Awareness is the first rung of the ladder of spirituality; the next is aspiration. Very often people are confused about the words "awareness" and "aspiration". One can be aware in any field: in the physical field, in the mental field or in the vital field; but aspiration is something deeper. This aspiration comes directly from the soul, from the Self. Aspiration comes from our inmost, inner being. Now, to speak about awareness, one who is not aware of one’s inner divinity which is all-pervading is, from the spiritual point of view, a dead soul. In our Upanishads, the seer cried out, "Arise, awake!" Unless one is aware of what one is doing, or what one wants to be, or what one wants to achieve, one is almost in the category of the animal consciousness. When we say "awareness", spiritually it is the awareness of our actual inner being; but very often when people say "awareness" they mean the awareness of the mind. They feel that the mind is the sole answer to all problems. But the real spiritual seekers or spiritual Masters say, "No, we have to go beyond awareness."

Awareness in the mental domain is, "What am I doing, what am I seeing, what am I eating, how am I behaving?" These are all in the field of the mind, but beyond the mind, there are many regions. And it is aspiration that takes us to the regions beyond the mind. So long as we are in the mind, we can be and we must be fully aware of all the activities that are taking place in the physical, in the vital, in the mind proper and in the world that is visible with our ordinary, outer eye. So awareness is the domain of the mind and if one wants to go one step ahead of awareness, then I am glad to say that it is in aspiration, the mounting flame. That mounting flame is deep within us, the mounting flame that climbs up to the Highest, the pinnacle. But we have to start our journey with awareness because without being aware of what we are going to do, say or become, we will be, in no way, making any progress. But this progress is very limited in comparison to our soul’s realisation which we get on the strength of our aspiration. Again I wish to say that awareness is of paramount importance to start the inner journey, to launch into the path of the Spirit.