Question : When everything of ours, even our mind is influenced by external factors, then what is really our own? When everything is influenced by external factors, then what is really our own?
Speaker : It’s simple to see that. You have this television set here. This television speaks so much. Does it not? You will get tired speaking, but the set can speak for twenty-four hours. It speaks so much, it shows so much. You can even get tired of seeing, but the set will never get tired of showing. And if you keep it in good condition, then it is pretty much immortal. You will die, but it will not die, provided you keep giving it regular repair and services.
Everything that it says comes from outside. Right? And remember it says so much – audio, video – theoretically infinite. Is this set ever going to ask the question which you asked? Your life may have a semblance of consistency in it, some kind of rhythm and order, at least shades of an order, here there is no order. Complete disorder is there.
One second it is playing a cricket match, the next second it is playing a political speech. There is complete fragmentation. Right? One second it is playing a sublime bhajan by Kabir, the next second it is playing an obscene, vulgar clip by some depraved mind. There is complete fragmentation, chaos. And it is totally dependent on external stimuli. All you need to do it just press some button on the remote control. It is totally dependent, totally fragmented. And it never asks the question, “What is really mine?”
You too are fragmented, you too are controlled by the environment. But you see, today you are getting up and raising this question. Is not the answer evident in the question itself? You are asking, “What is in me that is really mine?” This question is really yours. Had there been nothing in you that was really yours, from where could this question arise? From where could this question arise?
Is any supercomputer, even the best one, ever going to ask, ‘Who programmed me? Bring him here, I want to see his face’? Is even the best super computer ever going to demand that? Is even the best super computer ever going to say, “Why the hell you programmed me. I want to live a free life. I want to be free of my conditioning”? Is it going to ever demand that? But there is something in you that yearns for freedom, that wants to get rid of conditioning. Right?
There is something in you that enquires, that wants to know- ‘what is meant by liberation? Who I am really?’ That which is asking, “Who am I?”, that you are. That which is powering the question, ‘Who am I?’, that you are. There is nothing within this television set that can power this question ‘Who am I?’. But there is something in you that pushes and prods you, something that does not leave you in peace till this question is answered, something that does not leave you in peace till the questioner dissolves.
And remember, there is no other way to answer your question, except by the dissolution of the questioner. This is the only question that is answered only when, the question-seeker is gone. So the answer will be there, rather the solution will be there, but there would be nobody to receive the answer. Because the one who asked the question has now become the solution. The questioner has already dissolved.
Howsoever deeply conditioned you might be, yet there is something that shines, and it shines from beneath all the rubbish. It shines despite being covered by all the haze. Nevertheless, it does shine. Its radiance might be mitigated a little, but it can never be completely lost. It just waits for that opportunity when it will meet its destiny. And its destiny is to shine. That radiance, you are.
Look at your face right now. Look how it is brimming with attention. Does this television set ever has this kind of a face? Does this screen ever shine in the same way as your eyes are shining right now? That which is powering the shine in your eyes, that is what you are. That which is enabling your attention right now, that is what you are. That which is allowing the mind to relax into peace right now, that is what you are. That of which you are getting a glimpse, but you cannot express in words, that is what you are.
Let this question stay – Who am I? The very presence of this question is the proof of who you really are. Go deeply into this statement. The very presence of this question is the proof of who you really are. Without being that which you really are, you could have never asked this question. ‘Who am I?’ is not a question. ‘Who am I?’ is actually a declaration of the being. ‘Who am I?’ does not ask that who am I. ‘Who am I?’ declares who I am. ‘Who am I?’ is not the normal run-of-the-mill question. it is the ultimate declaration of your being. It is not a question born out of ignorance, it is the question powered by the ultimate height of consciousness. After this there is just silence, after this there is nothing left, just silence.
Next time when you feel like asking, ‘Who I am?’, ask, “Who asks? Who is asking?” Your answer will be, the sense of self. Then ask, “Who is powering that sense of self? That am I. What is the source of sense of self? That am I.”
Ego can ask a billion questions. ‘Who am I?’ is the final question that the ego can ask. The questioner still is the ego, nobody else asks the question, but this is the climax of the ego. Hence this is a divine question to ask- ‘WHO AM I?’
The one who is powering this question, that I am. The one who enabled this enquiry, that I am. The one who is allowing me to understand, that I am.
– Excerpts from a Clarity Session held at Advait Sthal. Edited for clarity.
Watch the session at: Is there anything which is really mine?
Article 3 Link:-have much? Get more. Have little? Lose all!