In this third part of the series, Acharya Das discusses the topic of enlightenment. He explains that the foundation of enlightenment and self-realization is to understand that a person is not their material body or mind—that they are a spiritual being.
This understanding, that a person is not matter, but is the spiritual occupant of the body, can be life changing in how a person determines their purpose in life, in what ways they pursue happiness, and how they see others and the world around them.
To discover the answer to the question, “Who Am I?” Acharya Das examines three key aspects of discovering the truth about the identity of the living being, our essence, position, and natural spiritual function.
Whenever a person experiences, by self-realization, that both the gross and subtle bodies have nothing to do with the pure self, at that time he sees himself as well as the Highest Spiritual Truth (God). – Bhāgavata Purāṇa 1.3.33
Just as fire, which burns and illuminates, is different from firewood, which is to be burned to give illumination, similarly the seer within the body, the self-enlightened spirit soul, is different from the material body, which is to be illuminated by consciousness. Thus the spirit soul and the body possess different characteristics and are separate entities. – Bhāgavata Purāṇa 11.10.8
One who is enlightened in self-realization, although living within the material body, sees himself as transcendental to the body, just as one who has arisen from a dream gives up identification with the dream body. A foolish person, however, although not identical with his material body but transcendental to it, thinks himself to be situated in the body, just as one who is dreaming sees himself as situated in an imaginary body. – Bhāgavata Purāṇa 11.11.8