Self-realization is the process by which any human being can realize his real self. And what does this real self mean? It means that our soul (atman) within our body which is the real self within every being (and for that matter every living being) reaches the fag end of its cosmic life.
The soul (atman) liberates forever from the chain of manifestations. The dross having been completely removed… our soul (atman within us) becomes free forever. It shall not be required to manifest a body again.
We need to understand the relationship between our real self, the soul (atman) and the body taken by it. Unless this relationship is absolutely clear we shall never be able to understand the true meaning of self-realization.
Indulgences and fulfilling of wanton desires may be a hindrance on the path of self-realization. It is only after reaching the stage of a human being can a soul liberate itself forever from the cycle of birth and death… and finally reach the stage of self-realization… Never before!
We must understand that self-realization is not a goal of life… it is the end of the journey itself. After having reached the stage of self-realization… every self-realized soul has but to leave for the abode of God (Baikuntha as we call it in Hinduism). Before we reach the stage of self-realization we need to gain absolute control over the senses and the mind.