The master key to self realization existed in our assimilating pearls of wisdom contained in Bhagavad Gita. As nothing in Bhagavad Gita can be understood literally, we need mastering art of contemplation (chintan) to effectively understand the underlying meanings of sacred texts.
Indulgence in contemplation is the master key to self realization. I say it with my own experience that amongst all spiritual factors necessitated to reach state of self realization, contemplation is the most important of all. Unless we understand what Bhagavad Gita contains, we can never cut across darkness of ignorance. To successfully indulge in jnana yoga, we need jnana wisdom contained in Bhagavad Gita. Only then we can dissolve plethora of queries within.
Self realization means realizing our true inner self, becoming a pure spirit soul atman in the cosmic journey of life. The inner journey towards the spirit, soul atman existing in our heart can be covered only by indulgence in contemplation (chintan). There was never a second way to reach spirit within. We can realize our true identity only by indulgence in contemplation.
Contemplation means logically indulging in any query. As the abstract truth the ultimate truth can only be one; we have to every time reach the correct answer of the query. Weighing all the factors one by one, practicing self enquiry, indulging in Neti (not this, not this) we finally reached the absolute answer, the one and only one.
To distinguish between definition of Dharma, spirituality and religion I almost contemplated more than seven years. During this period I kept on thinking again and again devising and dismantling all permutations and combinations one by one. Finally I reached the abstract answers of my own.
The best part of indulgence in contemplation is we do not require a spiritual master to guide us in the spiritual journey of life. The journey of contemplation is always indulged in isolation. Maharshi Ramana, the master of silent teachings all the time indulged in contemplation. If Maharshi Ramana could do it, we can also duplicate his path.
Indulging in spirituality we shall realize that nothing worthwhile is achieved indulging in religious practices (rituals). Self realization can never be reached indulging in religious practices.
Mastery of contemplation needs time but the best part is we can indulge in contemplation all the time. I indulge in contemplation even when walking, jogging, singing, indulging in studies and sports and even while conducting business.
I sometimes became so engrossed in contemplation that when I asked my mother for dinner, she looked at me twice, blinked and said it is breakfast time. I could see the sweet smile on her face. Probably she guessed I was busy in something important.