Ramana Maharishi of Arunachalam said that one should search for selfidentity by asking: “Who am I?” In meditation one should ask this question and with gradual evolution find calmness and peace.
The question really means, what is the source or origin of ego? To find the answers you need to be free of attitude. Give up the bhavana that you are the body related to name, profession, region, language and other such acquired identities. There is no need to have an attitude about your real nature. It exists as it always has. It is
real. Some ask that does not the enquiry “who am I?’’ turn out, in the end, to be an empty question?
Self-enquiry is not done in vain. It is more than the repetition of a mantra. If the enquiry were a mere mental exercise, it would not be of much value. The very purpose of self-enquiry is to focus the entire mind at its source. It is not one eye searching for another eye. Neither is self-enquiry an empty formula, for it involves an intense activity of the entire mind to keep it steadily poised in pure self-awareness. Until one realises that state of pure being, the enquiry should continue. By gradual evolution in this state, it is possible for one to get permanently established in the state of selfawareness. The state of self-awareness is termed as sat-chit-anand or total bliss.
Be what you are. Lose your ego. You cannot run away from yourself. Maharishi said, reject all other thoughts and persist with the enquiry “who am I?” As per Maharishi’s formula, if you keep raising the enquiry “who am I?” many thought waves will get to disappear with the enquiry.
Self-enquiry leads to knowledge of Self. One is aware of the Self even though the Self is not objectified. When you say you do not know the Self, it means absence of related knowledge because we are so accustomed to relative knowledge that we always look for same. Because of this the goal of Self- realisation appears to be distant.
Feel yourself dismantling the false i that is ego and establish yourself in the real i and the answer to the query of “Who am I?” becomes evident. To gauge progress on the journey of Self-realisation see the degree of absence of thoughts. Self-realisation itself
does not admit to progress. The obstacles are thoughts. Progress is measured by the degree of removal of these obstacles.
With self-enquiry you go to the source of these thoughts and this enquiry removes that source of thought. This process will remove all doubts and finally peace will prevail. This way we will be able to say that Self-realisation is that which is peace. All that we need to do is to keep quiet.
Peace is our real nature. By realising the Self you can easily call yourself divine. Ahambrahmnsmi or “I am Brahmn” can be felt in word and spirit. Those who realise the Self are called saints. The journey is not difficult; it is achievable. Just meditate on the question: “Who am I?” and you will eventually find the answer.
Courtesy: The Speaking Tree/ Times of India