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Who am I
Mar 21, 2024

“Anything which can be attributed as ‘this’ and ‘that’, is not real ‘I’.” Vivekananda.

Our struggle to understand our identity never goes away. We look for something to hold on to. In the process, we end up forming many false egoistic identifications, which, being momentary, temporary, and false, fail to give us permanent happiness.

We have had many births, with many more to go. Life had been more or less the same in almost every incarnation—pains and pleasures, sufferings, etc. The questions of life remain mostly unanswered.

A stage comes in everyone’s life, when, after suffering in many incarnations, a spiritual awakening occurs. The search for the meaning of life then begins. In many ways, it is the central struggle of every human life. And whether you are 7 or 70 or somewhere in between, you need to know, WHO ARE YOU, WHAT ARE YOU?

This question is the most profound question of all time; the first question in all philosophies. The most important, inspiring question of all time, is who is me. What makes me who I am? What does my present self, have to do with my past self, which was ten years ago? And what will my future say after ten years?

Is there truly something that persists throughout and keeps us as who we are? Are we body, brain, or mind? Is there anything that we call the Self? Is it how it feels and appears to us?

We find the most fascinating problem in the world is who I am. It is so elusive and mysterious. Because what you are in your innermost being, escapes your attention in the same way as you cannot look at your own eyes through the same eyes that help you see the whole world. You require the external support of a mirror. It is like the self, trying to know the Self. How interesting!

This question overwhelms us. It’s inspiring to note what is said by the Indian sage Ramana Maharshi: “The question, ‘who am I’ is not meant to get an answer, the question’ who am I ‘is meant to dissolve the questioner”.

This question makes us ask more questions: can I ever know who I am? why do I need to know who I am? Will any answer ever satisfy me?
Interestingly, this is not a question for someone to answer for you, but a question you need to ask yourself. Then there is a difference between knowing and being here. Although it takes a lot of effort to even know, it is good progress that way. But it is of not much use till the realization is achieved, which requires different efforts.

The practice of learning is more important. Spiritual teachings can be understood by reading them over and over again, meditating on them, and then applying them in everyday life. Meditation carries more weight, for sure. You will be able to realize Him if you can demonstrate how serious and willing you are to persevere and devote time to Him to realize your own higher nature.

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