The Need to Attain Realisation Here In This World

The difficulty of attaining the realisation within the context of living life in the world, dealing with issues of survival, dealing with desires, interacting constantly with others has led many to believe that the true path to realisation is to avoid, escape or deny the reality of the external world of life.  Some choose the path of renunciation, and expect that by withdrawing from the world they can find true realisation through one-pointed focus on the Absolute.  Others believe that this world is a testing ground, an illusion or an interlude followed by a life in heaven or some other ideal existence elsewhere.  Hidden within each of these views is a sense of duality treating the Absolute Brahman as one reality and the life in the world as something other.  The divine standpoint of Oneness of all existence, however, leads to a different conclusion.  The Kena Upanishad clearly holds the need for achieving the realisation here in this world:

Part 2, Verse 5 states:  “If here one comes to that knowledge, then one truly is; if here one comes not to the knowledge, then great is the perdition.  The wise distinguish that in all kinds of becomings and they pass forward from this world and become immortal.”

Sri Aurobindo notes:  “This great achievement must be done here in this mortal world, in this limited body; for if we do it, we arrive at our true existence and are no longer bound down to our phenomenal becoming.  But if here we find it not, great is the loss and perdition; for we remain continually immersed in the phenomenal life of the mind and body and do not rise above it into the true supramental existence.  Nor, if we miss it here, will death give it to us by our passage to another and less difficult world.  Only those who use their awakened self and enlightened powers to distinguish and discover that One and Immortal in all existences, the all-originating self, the all-inhabiting Lord, can make the real passage which transcends life and death, can pass out of this mortal status, can press beyond and rise upward into a world-transcending immortality.”

” ‘There is no other path for the great journey.’ The Self and the Lord are that indeterminable, unknowable, ineffable Parabrahman and when we seek rather that which is indeterminable and unknowable to us, it is still the Self and the Lord always that we find, though by an attempt which is not the straight and possible road intended for the embodied soul seeking here to accomplish its true existence.  They are the self-manifested Reality which so places itself before man as the object of his highest aspiration and the fulfilment of all his activities.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Upanishads, Kena Upanishad and analysis, pp. 103-104, 165-170