People soul-search to take stock of the situation. It is a kind of self-examination to evaluate, ‘where did I go wrong, why am I behaving the way I am, how do I improve?’ It is an internal search done with a deeper meaning for a moral assessment of one’s self. One looks inwards for answers with an objective to correct oneself.

Param Pujya Dada Bhagwan, the Enlightened being, has said, “The world is like a mirror; it reflects (shows) everything exactly the way it is. If there is a defect, it will reflect (show) that defect.” Hence Soul-searching is highly beneficial for it makes it possible for us to catch hold of our defects that the world reflects. Through Soul-searching, one dwells deeper within, closely examines inwards the way they responded to various scenarios, and fathoms out the reasons or motives behind their every emotion and behaviour pattern that surfaced in different situations.

Param Pujya Dadashri very emphatically states that, “If the inside is flawed, the outside will appear flawed as well. There, you should inquire within: ‘why am I bothered, when others are not? Hence, there must be some flaw within me.’” This inquiry marks the starting point of an effective Soul-Searching exercise! The guiding spiritual principle here is, ‘The Fault is of the Sufferer!’ Following this axiom will ensure that our soul-searching is moving in the right direction.

“The one who can see his own mistakes can become Parmatma (Absolute Supreme Soul)!” – this sentence of Param Pujya Dadashri encourages us to actively pursue the Soul-searching exercise on a daily basis, so that we begin to see our mistakes as soon as they happen, and we can acknowledge them, accept them and finally overcome them and thus become free from it.

Mistakes happen by all. But what is important is that we accept our mistake, apologize for it, learn some good lessons from it and progress ahead in life. Param Pujya Dadashri says, “The world has not bound us; we are bound by our own mistakes. Once these mistakes are eliminated, we are free.”

So come, let’s peruse a few good ways to free ourselves from all mistakes, as recommended by the Enlightened One:
A mental resolve that, “I want to see my own faults”
Shrimad Rajchandra has said: “If I cannot see my mistakes, how will I come out of it?”

One of the main reasons why we cannot see our own mistakes is because we are always absorbed in finding faults with others. Param Pujya Dadashri cautions, “One binds karma by seeing faults in others, and becomes free from his karma by seeing his own faults - such is the principle of karma.” Hence, let’s resolve that, ‘In any situation, I always want to see my own faults, and not that of others.’ This will ensure a smooth sail in our Soul-searching process.

A genuine attitude of gratitude towards those who help us locate our mistake
An easy way to trace our mistakes is when people point them out to us. However, in such a situation, out of fear to save our impression, we react by not accepting our mistake; on the contrary we get angry at the other person and thus try to defend ourselves. This is suicidal for effective Soul-searching!

So, henceforth, let’s gather the courage to face our mistakes and accept them readily. The more straightforward we are, the more straightforward will our Soul-searching prove to be! And we want to be genuinely grateful to those who save us a lot of Soul-searching effort by bringing our mistakes to light.

The biggest ordeal to our Soul-searching is our stubborn conviction of ‘I want to be right’
To accept, ‘I am wrong’ is one of the most difficult things for our ego, the reason being our obsessive attachment to ourselves. This attachment to self becomes a breeding ground for a whole lot of vices like greed for a good impression in the minds of people, using tricks to prove I am right, hatred owing to false pride, bursting out with enormous anger, etc.
These vice make us emotional internally and compel us to behave wrongly externally. We don’t hesitate for even a moment in outrightly sacrificing the peace and happiness of ours and that of our loved ones too, just so that we can satisfy our ego by being right. Can we call ourselves sensible then?! No, never.

Param Pujya Dadashri says, “To protect one’s own statement, to impress upon others that ‘my statement is correct’ is a form of violence itself.”

The solution to this violence is: Pratikraman i.e. every time we hurt someone by indulging into the above-stated violence, we will sincerely apologize and repent before God, “Dear God, I am so sorry for trying to prove that ‘I am right.’ Please forgive me and give me strength so that I do not make this mistake again.” Even after this prayer, the mistakes will continue; and therefore, we too will continue to do this prayer heartily every time we default. This will help wash away one layer of mistake, each time we practice a hearty repentance for it.

Our intellect, like an attorney, will argue heavily in defence of ego. But if we remain steadfast in acknowledging and accepting our mistakes, and try washing each of them with sincere repentance, then mistakes shall soon fall off. Mistakes survive because we protect and support them, and they are forced to go away if we do not side with them. Therefore, whenever we realize that we’ve acted in a wrong way, we shall straightaway do Pratikraman, as stated above.

Attain Self-Realization
Param Pujya Dadashri says, “The ignorance of our real Self is the biggest mistake of all. Only later, comes the mistake of one’s belief that ‘I am correct; I am not at fault.’”

Our idea of Self is totally mistaken. We are really a Pure Soul. However, we believe ourselves to be the body, and the name given to this body. Believing this mistaken self to be our true identity, we remain preoccupied with our wants and fears and confine ourselves within the narrow prison of the self. Self-Realization liberates us from this mistaken idea of Self and thus frees us from all egoism.

For Self-Realization, we must go to the Living Enlightened One, who has the divine powers to awaken our pure Soul, which by its inherent nature, is a Knower and Observer. After Self-Realization, we realize that the mistakes lie in John (you may insert your name here) whereas we are really a Pure Soul.

Thus, in the light of the enlightened words of the Enlightened One and the awareness of the awakened Soul, we begin to see and know all the mistakes of John much more vividly, as we are separate and detached from John now. This is when the Soul-searching exercise gets fulfilled in the real sense and proves beneficial in the exact terms!

To know more:

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.