A self-contained, self-reliant individual is free from emotional bondage. Know thyself, for within you is all the love, happiness, wisdom and freedom you will ever need.
I am That I amBefore his passing away the Buddha's final words were: "Be a lamp unto yourselves." What he meant was that we must not seek salvation by depending on others. We must look within. Self-knowledge is the key to self-improvement and self-realisation.
There are two main ways that Buddhists focus on self-reliance. Firstly, each person must work out for themselves the way to end their own suffering and attain happiness. And secondly, it is up to each person to realise that it is their own actions that determine their future. In Buddhist thinking, each individual's destiny is not determined by an outside power but by the way we live our own lives and our personal attitudes to suffering, happiness and the world around us. This means that every one of us is responsible for our own actions. Every one of us can progress or develop only as much as our own efforts allow. Buddhists learn that dedication, self-discipline and wise judgment are the keys to reaching the highest goals in life.
The Buddha's advice is that at all times we must remain masters of ourselves through self-reliance. We must never surrender our dignity or free will. The Buddha strongly advocated the doctrine of self-reliance, purity, courtesy, enlightenment, peace and universal love. He said "If you wish to see the end of your suffering and fear, develop discipline, compassion and wisdom."
The light of knowledge of the self will banish the darkness of ignorance. Constant meditation on the atma is the master-key to open these realms of self-knowledge. Vedanta speaks of the primary truth, tat twam asi or 'Thou art that,' marking the identification of the small, personal self with the larger, infinite self. The journey of life is all about returning to this source by realising ourselves.
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