The meaning of self-inspection or introspection is to examine or critique oneself. Everybody looks outward at people around them where as the people who look at themselves are rare. The exercise of self-inspection is somewhat difficult but is of paramount importance.
In my life I learned and gained nothing while I was focused on other people. When I started looking at myself instead, I discovered that I was completely devoid of any saintly qualities. That is when I developed a deep desire to acquire these desirable qualities.
The person who keeps analyzing himself or herself one day becomes a liberated soul. Our soul and mind are meant to work in tandem. The mind plans and executes all our actions, and the soul analyzes and reins the mind. As long as the mind remains in the soul’s supervision, things work well and happiness ensues. But when the mind becomes autonomous and loses the soul’s supervision, it is then that things go awry and unhappiness follows.
The accountant who is unscrupulous and has not maintained his books properly is the one who is petrified at the time of an inspection by his superiors. Similarly, persons who harbor all kinds of malice and ill-will are the ones who fear self-inspection and do not want to go that route.
But everyone has to pay for their deeds and actions at the time of the real redemption. There will be a list of all our good and bad deeds, and a true judgement would be rendered.
Therefore, it is of utmost importance to keep introspecting and rectifying oneself during one’s life. As it is only while we are in this body (human form) that we can perform remedial actions. By doing so we can hope for a favorable final verdict in the other world.
It is important for everyone to introspect each day to determine what they gained and what they lost on that particular day. Everyone should try to keep a count of behaviors that are worthy of humans and behaviors that are unworthy, each day and everyday.
The countries which are rich in natural resources are considered wealthy and prosperous in the world. It works a little differently where people are concerned. Humans who truly understand religion, acquire true knowledge, and have universal love, are the people who are truly wealthy, and not the ones who amass a lot of physical wealth.
By the process of methodical and consistent spiritual practice one earns control of one’s mind and one’s desires, develops an ability to withstand hardships, acquires the wisdom to shun bad company, and ultimately realizes God.
Such wealth, earned through one’s sadhana, works for him in this world, as well as beyond. These earnings are quite superior to the material riches of this world, which no one can take with them once their time on this earth is over.
It is wrong to assume that we do not have to do anything for our upliftment and that all the work will be done by someone else. This thought lulls us into falsehood and creates an obstacle in the path of our progress. We have to work actively for our improvement.
Someone else can guide us and show us the path which we need to traverse but the actual walking will have to be done by us. We can keep thinking about it but not even a leaf will move until we make an effort. We should start this all-important process as soon as possible because nobody knows what the future will bring and whether we would have time to accomplish this later on.
Once a saint was asked as to how one could save oneself from committing bad deeds. The saint replied that most of the times humans indulge in such deeds when they think that nobody is watching them. Wise people however should always think that God is right behind them, always watching them, and that they will not be able to go anywhere where it would be possible to hide from him. This always keeps their actions pure and appropriate.
God can never be separate from any living being. The way the sea creatures always dwell in the water, and birds dwell in the air, similarly all living beings always dwell in God. He is always with us in all the activities of our life. Just like the alphabet ‘a’ is included in every Hindi alphabet, God is also always present everywhere. In our normal state our eyes cannot see him and our mind cannot understand him, but once we open our inner eyes we will see him as clearly as we see a person standing next to us.
We have never tried to really see him and never really remembered him with all our heart. Once we make a consistent, sustained and concentrated effort to see him, we will find him right next to us. Once that happens, there would be nothing else to see or know.
This life was presented to us to get to know God. We were given eyes, ears, and all our senses to appreciate and experience him. But all we use them for is to look at other humans, to find a fault in them and criticize their bad behavior. When we do that, all the shortcomings of the others also make their way into our own hearts.
In reality the human heart is very similar to a camera. Whatever a person sees and hears gets inscribed in his heart. People who keep their thoughts directed towards God, in time, gradually develop saintly qualities. They slowly get enlightened with true knowledge and eternal bliss. That is the reason we should spend at least some time thinking about God, who is always ready to shower eternal happiness and true wisdom upon us
Translated from an article written by Pandit Mihilal Ji titled Atma Nirikshan which means self-introspection by Sanjiv Kumar .