‘I am’ is the first thought that raises when you wake up and remains constant. Remaining thoughts are based on experience and memory. ‘I am’ is difficult to explain through language. It is not an experience but feeling beyond experience.
Let’s see how it is.
A name is given to us by parents to identify with society. The reality of the name is confined within municipality birth certificate only. Lineage and Caste is attached by default as he is born in some family. He is made to believe that ‘I am Brahmana’, ‘I am Kshatriya’ etc.
In the school, he learns alphabets. The experience of child is different from adults. When an alphabet ‘A’ is shown to him, he sees lines in different angles. Confused, he is repeatedly forced to see lines and after certain struggle learns alphabets. Like wise in the course of time, childhood and young age is passed with full of experiences acquiring second hand knowledge.
After completing degree, he attaches with a thought that he is an engineer, doctor, scientist etc…and starts living with an EGO. Later after getting a Job, he gets married and now attaches a title called Husband. Likewise he becomes father, grand father etc…
But what is this happening to us in the so called life. Human mind keeps attaching things to the real nature of ‘I am’.
The list keeps on growing in the so called trap of time but there is one thing that is always constant and same in the experience. It is sense of being ‘I am’. Childhood, Adult and Old age passes but the feeling of ‘I am’ is always the same and remains witness of all the stages of life.
Now comes the secret of the enquiry, even the sense of being ‘I am’ also merges into the union. There is no ‘I am’ in the sleep. You don’t know anything in the sleep but the thing that you don’t know is also experienced in that consciousness.
Question here is can we know the nature of being. No we cannot because it is beyond the perception of senses, mind and language. Similar to the fact that you cannot stand on your own shoulder, You can only Be and not know the self.
A doll made of Salt jumped into the Sea to measure the depth of Sea.
Fundamental concept here is all that you know, cannot be you. Anything known becomes Object or Vishaya. I know the body, hence it an Object for me. I know movement in mind, so negate it. I know intellect, negate it. Negate all the things you know, then that remains is you.
Famous quote from ‘Nirvana Astakam’ by Adi Shankara
Mano-Buddhy-Ahangkaara Cittaani Naaham
Na Ca Shrotra-Jihve Na Ca Ghraanna-Netre |
Na Ca Vyoma Bhuumir-Na Tejo Na Vaayuh
Cid-Aananda-Ruupah Shivo[a-A]ham Shivo[a-A]ham
You are not the mind, intellect, ego and memory. You are not five senses. You are not Pancha Boota. Here almost everything is negated…that remains is the bliss ‘Shivoham’.
Liberation is not something you have to achieve. You are already liberated and happiness incarnate. But due to identification of body mind complex, you are thrown in to the trap of Samsara(World of desires with pleasure and pain). Note, it is you who have identified. and it is you who can come out of it.
It’s mere ignorance to identify with materialistic things. For a Sadakha (Seeker) it is necessary to be Vairagi towards material world to step into the real nature of being.