Do you really need to perform heavy penance, self meditation and renounce the world in order to know yourself? Why should you for sake everything you have to know yourself and that bliss which already resides within you? There are millions of people who have renounced everything to discover their real Self. But have they found their inner Self? No, only a few sages have been able to unlock the answer to the question “Who am I?” However, that mystery remains concealed in the hearts of these mystics. Nonetheless, there have been very few individuals who have passed down this experience to others. The process of Self Realization is indeed very easy and nothing but the proper guidance is required.
To begin this quest to know yourself, let’s begin by looking at a conversation between an Enlightened person (Param Pujya Dadashri) and a seeker about what really belongs to us and what does not…
To know yourself, you need to separate I and My
Dadashri: At the moment, do you identify with the ‘My’? Is the ‘I’ alone, or is it with ‘My’?
Questioner: ‘My’ is always there.
Dadashri: What are all the things that fall under ‘My’?
Questioner: My home and all the things inside my home.
Dadashri: Are all of those things yours? To whom does the wife belong?
Questioner: She is also mine.
Dadashri: And these children?
Questioner: They are also mine.
Dadashri: And this watch?
Questioner: That is also mine.
Dadashri: And these hands, whose hands are these?
Questioner: They are also mine.
Dadashri: Then you will say “My head, my body, my feet, my ears, my eyes.” All these parts of your body fall under ‘My’. But then who is the person that is saying this word “My?” Who is the one that says, “All these things are mine?” Have you ever thought about that? When you say “My name is David,” (replace your own name with David) and then you turn around and say, “I am David” do you not think there is a contradiction in this?
Questioner: Yes, I think so.
Dadashri: You are ‘David’ right now. In this ‘David’ there is both ‘I’ and ‘My’. They are like the two railway lines of ‘I’ and ‘My’; they always run together yet they are always separate. They are always parallel and never become one. Despite this you believe them to be one. This is due to the ignorance or unawareness of your true identity. Having understood this, separate the ‘My’. Keep all that comes under ‘My’ to one side. For example, “My heart,” keep your heart on one side. What other things do we need to separate from this body?
Questioner: The feet and all the sense organs.
Dadashri: Yes, the five gnanendriyas (organs of perception) and five karmendriyas (organs of action) and everything else. Furthermore, do you say, “My mind,” or “I am mind?”
Questioner: We say, “My mind.”
Dadashri: Do you also not say, “My intelligence?”
Dadashri: And “My chitt (the component of inner vision and previous knowledge in the mind)?”
Dadashri: Then do you say, “My egoism,” or do you say, “I am egoism?”
Questioner: My egoism.
Dadashri: So even egoism is not a part of you. By saying “My egoism,” you will be able to separate that too, but you are not aware of other components that fall under ‘my’ and that is why you are not able to make a complete separation. Your awareness has limitations. You are aware of only the sthool (gross) components, beyond which there are sookshma (subtle) components. The subtle components also need to be separated, after which there are two more levels of subtlety, sookshmatar (subtler) and sookshmatum (subtlest), which also need to be taken away. Only a Gnani Purush (Enlightened One) is able to achieve a separation at these intangible levels. Is it not possible to separate the two? If you keep on deducting ‘My’ from ‘I’, at every step and at every level, and put all the things that fall under ‘My’ on one side, then what will remain?
Questioner: The ‘I’.
Dadashri: That ‘I’, is precisely what you are. And that is the ‘I’ that you need to realize.
Questioner: After such a separation am I to understand that whatever is left over is who I really am? Is that the Real I?
Dadashri: Yes, whatever remains after the separation, is your Real Self. ‘I’ is the Real You. Should you not inquire about this? Is this method of separating the ‘I’ from ‘My,’ not simple?
Questioner: It appears to be simple, but how are we going to make the separation at the sookshmatar and sookshmatam levels? Without a Gnani, this is not possible, right?
Dadashri: Yes. That is what the Gnani Purush (Enlightened One) does for you. That is why I say separate ‘I’ and ‘My’ with the ‘Gnani’s separator.’ What do all the teachers of our scriptures call this separator?
They call it ‘bhed Gnan.’ It is the Science (knowledge) of separation. How are you going to take away the ‘My’ without this Science? You do not have the precise knowledge of what comes under ‘I’ and what comes under ‘My.’ Bhed Gnan means, “I am totally separate from everything that is mine.” It is only through meeting a Gnani Purush that one acquires this science of separation.
Is it not simple once this separation between the ‘I’ and the ‘My’ is made? Does the Science of Self-Realization not become simple this way? Otherwise, in this day and age, one can go on reading the scriptures to the point of exhaustion and still not attain Self-Realization.