Srimad-Bhagavatam: Canto 11 - Chapter 1 - Verse 11


तस्माज्जिज्ञासयात्मानमात्मस्थं केवलं परम् ।सङ्गम्य निरसेदेतद्वस्तुबुद्धिं यथाक्रमम् ॥ ११ ॥


tasmāj jijñāsayātmānamātma-sthaṁ kevalaṁ paramsaṅgamya nirased etadvastu-buddhiṁ yathā-kramam


Therefore, by the cultivation of knowledge one should approach the Supreme Personality of Godhead situated within oneself. By understanding the Lord’s pure, transcendental existence, one should gradually give up the false vision of the material world as independent reality.


The word yathā-kramam (“step by step”) means that after first realizing oneself to be different from the gross material body one should then progressively detach oneself from material mental activities. In this verse etad vastu-buddhim means seeing the material world as existing independently rather than correctly seeing all things as emanations of the Absolute Truth. When one correctly identifies oneself as eternal spiritual form, one achieves the real fruit of knowledge. The Lord is eternally manifest in His eternal form, and the living entity is similarly manifest in his eternal form as the loving servitor of the Lord. When we falsely assume that temporary, illusory material objects are real, knowledge of our eternal spiritual form is covered by ignorance. If, however, one meditates upon the Lord’s supreme presence within everything, one can return to the normal, blissful state of spiritual life. Every human being should seriously endeavor to understand the Absolute Truth, as indicated in this verse by the word jijñāsayā.