The Self Effulgent Consciousness

Gairika Mitra
3 min readJun 1, 2021


Today’s session by Swamiji on the Aparokshanubhuti was one that I’d say I could grasp after a very long time. In my previous blogs, I did mention my uneasiness and incapability of grasping the concepts. Quite uncannily, they seemed so very exacting that I had to refer to Swami Vivekananda’s Complete Works to further ease up the process.

My mum though holds the thought that today’s speech seemed favourable since I listened to it early in the morning, and as we know mornings are the times mostly when we are super productive. So, I wouldn’t rule out the possibility entirely.

Now, coming to Swamiji’s lecture today where he coveted Verses 24–27 of the Aparokshanubhuti, and I mentioned earlier also that these parts of the text mention about us being the supreme consciousness, and not the body and the mind. The Verses talked about the nature of this real consciousness, that light under which everything shines, and that it’s not dependent on anything external.

Photo by Ava Sol on Unsplash

As human beings, we often tend to ignore or do away with unpleasant experiences and try every possible means to ignore them. Swamiji mentions that one must not strive to prevent the wrongdoings from happening, as it will happen anyway, instead we must make every effort to deal with it positively and with a clear mind.

Is that even feasible? Well, Vedanta says yes, and that too in this very life. You do not need to be in search of peace or happiness outside, in fact, you are peace yourself. Swamiji says that it’s not the same as saying that you’re peaceful, but you yourself are the nature of peace — Shantam.

The consciousness that Swamiji talked about is one which is the light of all lights. As in the evening prayers at the Ramakrishna order, they sing “Jyotiro Jyoti” — meaning the light of the lights. Consider this, for a moment when you close your eyes, you see darkness, and nothing in front of you; but consciousness isn’t dependent on any of your sense organs, on the contrary, it exists without anything, even the body, and continues to live after the body’s death too…

Swami Vivekananda states that our main problem is that we operate from this level of finiteness, and can never think of anything beyond. He states that we must strive to catch hold of the infinite, the extreme, which is none other than us. He even mentions that we all must be able to give up little joys for that extreme bliss.

In today’s lecture, Swamiji talked about the intellectuals, as described in the Bhagavad Gita, as ones that are “Samadarshi”, or the same towards everyone. The Gita even holds those to be knowledgeable that are equipoised, and treat both pleasure and pain with the same dignity.

How achievable is that? In our English lessons, we were taught this concept of stoicism, and now when I listen to these scriptures I see that it’s no different than that. Are we there yet? Maybe, maybe not. Will we get there soon? Certainly.



Gairika Mitra

A writer embarking onto a journey into spirituality, it has literally changed my life overnight! I write twice a week and would love to keep y’all abreast.