Avidya or ignorance about the Brahman is the cause for destruction, as it leads to desires and attachments. Knowledge about the Brahman leads to liberation. Liberation does not mean going to the Heavens, but merging with the Supreme creator. To attain liberation, renunciation is important. If you renounce, where is the question of desires and attachments. When you renounce, you do not discriminate. When there is no discrimination, you are nearing Brahman, as Brahman does not discriminate. If someone thinks that there is a short cut to self-realization, unfortunately they reach the abode of Yama only. This means they have to be born again. Same is the case for making money. If you want to make quick money, that is just impossible. The quick money if made will also go away quickly. Only the money earned out of one’s own work will stay. The quick money always prompts you to indulge in wrong activities. Another aspect is attachment to one’s family. This is a ticklish issue to resolve. If you have a family, it is your duty to make them happy.
Assuming that you want to be a bachelor, still you have your parents and if you do not maintain them properly at their old age, your karmic account swells. Having born, all of us have certain duties to perform, but the results of the duties should be given to the God, be it good or bad. Therefore such types of desires and attachments make us not to think about the Brahman. Such people do not think about life after death. Again only humans can think whereas other creatures cannot even think. Thinking is one of the products of mind. Without mind you cannot gain knowledge. Therefore knowledge is applicable only to the humans and not to other living beings. This is the reason for saying that the human birth is the gift of God. One may have inclination to know about the Brahman, but there may not be anybody to teach him. Only a person, who had realised the Brahman within, can impart knowledge of Brahman to others. But it is extremely rare to come across such spiritual Gurus. Even somebody gets a true Guru, one may not be fortunate in grasping the teachings of the guru. But self realization does not happen in a single stroke. It is a step by step process (that is why I call this blog as ‘step by step guide to self-realization’).
If your efforts are sincere in searching for a true Guru, he will come to you at the appropriate time. But he will come to you only if you are ready both mentally and physically. Even if you get a Guru, you have to have confidence in him. Apart from the confidence you have in guru, you have to have self confidence. The latter is more important than the former. Yama says that supreme Self cannot be realized by reading scriptures, listening to lectures, attending classes etc. The Supreme Self can be realized only through teachings of a learned and self-realized guru. Yama also says that such gurus will be too happy to have disciples like Naciketa, a disciplined and dedicated pupil. Yama told Naciketa that he (Naciketa) knew what self realization is, but his knowledge of self-realization is not complete as he has this knowledge not due to internal search. When you try to explore within, you get many doubts, for which you may not have an answer. Such doubts can be clarified only by a competent guru.