For anything to be able to help us, it is important that in us is present a deep and genuine earnestness to expound our experience and reach our goal.

Be it self-help books or anything else, if we make use of them with utmost sincerity and dedication, for the purpose of attaining our goal, by keeping all our mind and heart in it, it will definitely help us! Tenacity of purpose and honesty in pursuit certainly brings one to their goal. One who has an unswerving determination to get somewhere, all circumstances automatically come to their aid.

Sincerity is a very significant virtue, found in all great and renowned people in the world
Such people never consider anything to be less or more important and nothing to be really small or big. Call it honesty, integrity or wholeness, everything they try, to it they give their full hundred percent! For example, if they are given self-help books, they sincerely, and very diligently and faithfully, complete whatever they are asked to do in the self-help books. Owing to this sincerity, the self-help books really help them.

Hence, sincerity in whatever we do is the prime condition of success and sincerity is what determines the rate of our progress too. Sincerity allows us to absorb what needs to be absorbed with a happy heart and a steady learning mind.

Nevertheless, self-help books on liberation may not get us anywhere!
However, if our goal is spiritual, that of ultimate liberation, then before we read or do anything, we should consult the Gnani Purush; otherwise it is considered ‘svacchand’ and it will cause bondage.

Krupalu Dev (Shrimad Rajchandra) has specified:
“Whatever is done without awareness of the living Gnani is all binding. This is what I utter from the core of my heart.”

Scriptures or any self-help book cannot be read without the guidance of Gnani Purush, or else it is called svacchand.

What is svacchand?
Param Pujya Dada Bhagwan explains,
“Svacchand means self-guided thinking, interpretation and action according to your own intellect. Svacchand will lead you to your doom. Svachhand will destroy you spiritually.

Svacchand means ‘to make your own medicine for yourself’. It is like diagnosing your own ailments, making your own medicine and prescribing it to yourself. And lo and behold, you make your own medicine for liberation also? That is why it has become a poison for you. That is precisely why when someone compliments you, your attachment increases and if someone criticizes you, you feel abhorrence.

Svacchand has no place in religion or in religious austerities and rituals or in understanding the scriptures (or any other self-help books). Any following of scriptures performed with svacchand will not do. Do not be guided by your own intellectual understanding or imagination in spiritual matters. Doing so, you go around being the judge, the lawyer and the culprit.”

We can liberate ourselves if we get rid of our svacchand, however svachhand is not something that we will be able to get rid of on our own.

Furthermore, it leads to intoxication of ego!
The goal of liberation is achieved when the ego is reduced to zero. But when we try to progress on the path of liberation by reading self-help books or scriptures on our own, there is every possibility of the ego of ‘I know something’ to grow strong.

Therefore, Dadashri cautions,
“The attitude and feeling of ‘I know something’ is heavy intoxication; it is present even in sleep. Only those who do not have such intoxication attain liberation. Do people read scriptures and assimilate them for the purpose of acquiring liberation or is it to increase their wandering for lifetimes to come, by increasing their intoxication? Intoxication of a drunkard is easily removed by splashing water over him but the intoxication one has of having read the scriptures and ‘I know something’, can never be destroyed.

The lesser the intoxication of ego, the sooner liberation will come. Those who have intoxicated ego can never attain liberation.”

Self-Realization is what really helps attain the ultimate goal!
We believe, ‘I am John (you may insert your own name here).’ However, this is not what we really are. ‘I am John itself is the subtlest ego, from which all types of egos expand and emerge.

Because we’ve not known really, ‘who am I?’, we have not achieved liberation. Today, through Akram Vignan, we can attain Self-Realization very easily with the help of the direct grace of the Living Gnani!!!

Once we attain Self-Realization from Gnani, there is no need for penance or renunciation; there is no need for reading scriptures or self-help books. Just following Gnani’s given words sincerely, we shall achieve our goal of liberation!

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Author's Bio: 

Ambalal M. Patel was a civil contractor by profession. In June 1958, spontaneous Self-Realization occurred within Ambalal M. Patel. From this point on, Ambalal became a Gnani Purush, and the Lord that manifest within him became known as Dada Bhagwan. A Gnani Purush is One who has realized the Self and is able help others do the same. Param Pujya Dada Bhagwan used to go from town to town and country-to-country to give satsang (spiritual discourse) and impart the knowledge of the Self, as well as knowledge of harmonious worldly interactions to everyone who came to meet him. This spiritual science, known as Akram Vignan, is the step-less path to Self-realization.