Insight in Sanskrit is Prajna. The English Dictionary says that the “capacity to gain an accurate and deep understanding of someone or something is INSIGHT. We can know what it means, it is “Looking Outside” i.e. observing things or somebody through our senses. In contrast, there is an art of “Looking within” i.e., observing thoughts arising inside. Apart from these two there is a third element which is most important, it is “Looking from within” which means unifying both the “Looking Outside “ and “Looking Inside” thus becoming only a witness.
This state is called Prjana. One of the Mahavakyas says “Prajnanam Brahmaa” (Insight is Absolute) This state is known by different names such as Enlightenment, Realisation, Awakening, Natural State, Atma Sakshatkara, Sakshibhava..., etc.
Our senses which are five in number will introduce us to the world every morning as we get out of our bed. The world outside is hence called “Prapancha” meaning group of five namely Sight, Sound, Smell, Taste and Touch. All these five invoke likes and dislikes in the one who is using them. In the search for pleasure we encounter emotions like desire, greediness, possessiveness, jealousy, hatred, fear, anxiety etc. We are ignorant to feel that all these emotions are due to those which are outside of us.
We are unaware of the fact that the apparent pleasure and the absence of it, felt as pain, do not exist at all. The pleasure and pain emanate from within in a distorted form. Since it is we who entertain a sense of individuality and sense of doer-ship we experience the duality of pleasure and pain.
We fail to see “Look inside” leave alone to acquire “Insight” (to see from within). We conveniently bring in an external God and pray to bestow pleasure and remove pain. Amazingly the external god we imagined is the one who is “Within” He is there not to bestow pleasure or remove pain, He is just a Sakshi to His own Leela (Play) which He scripted for purpose best known to Him.
Our experiencing pleasure and pain is out of our inability to know about our true nature (Swaroopa). He has bestowed us with “Intellect”, a source of knowledge through which we can realise our true nature. This is also a part of His Leela. In His Leela, He lets the seeker to come out of ignorance and recognize the true nature and also to witness the modes of prakriti exhibited through Him.
In the macrocosmic aspect, God is Sakshi viewing His own creation i.e. prakriti's function. The seeker out of ignorance thinks he is the doer that is; he thinks he has the freedom of perform. He doesn’t know that it is prakriti which is the aspect of Him, which is performing action in the form of Rajo guna. Interestingly we find certain people who withdraw from performing action and remain aloof. Here again it is the prakriti in the form of Tamo guna which takes shapes in their living.
To realise our real nature we need not forcibly withdraw our normal activities which amounts to suppression of physical activities which does not help to erase the mental activities though. An intellectual comprehension of the real nature leads us to the final understanding of Truth, i.e. INSIGHT. The one who is in this state is “Awakened”, for he is the witness witnessing thoughts and events without being affected. He never entertains a sense of individuality or freewill he just accepts the fact that it is the prakriti which is doing all the actions. Thus he is experiencing equanimity and there hence tranquillity and serenity.