Who Am I?

who am I?

Who Am I?

There was a great Spiritual Teacher called Sri Ramana Maharshi. When he was 16 years old, he became mortified at the prospect of dying. The whole concept of death filled him with dread and misgiving. This led him to question the nature of life, and the self which could be paralysed with fear. Ramana Maharshi began meditating for several hours a day – enabling him to overcome the fear of death.

Ramana MaharshiHis quest for self discovery was so profound he left his home village and travelled to the mountain of Arunachala in the South of India. For several years Ramana Maharshi, maintained only the weakest connection with the world, spending his time rapt in meditation. Later in his life people were drawn to this very simple sage; feeling in his presence an aura of peace. He spoke very little – preferring to teach in silence. However, when he did speak he taught a very simple path of self inquiry. Ramana Maharshi directed people to ask themselves this question – Who Am I? He said if we could only discover who we really are, all our problems would be solved.

Where Did Your Thought Come From?

If you have a thought – Who is it that thinks that particular thought? Sometimes we have positive thoughts – “I am great” “I am better than everyone else” At other times we have the opposite frame of mind and we are overcome with insecurities; we feel useless and guilty. The mind is volatile – sometimes we feel we are the best, over times we feel wholly inadequate. But, which is true? The answer is that these neither of these thoughts are a reflection of who we really are. These thoughts and feelings are transitory and do not reflect our true nature. The fact that thoughts come and go show that there must be something deeper; something that can decide to hold onto thoughts or reject them. It is this inner self at the root of thoughts we need to find.

  • We should never believe our negative self image. Our thoughts may make us feel inadequate, but we need to remember this is not who we are.

Happiness is Our Nature

“Happiness is your nature.
It is not wrong to desire it.
What is wrong is seeking it outside
when it is inside. “

– Ramana Maharshi

Everybody Seeks happiness but, the question is where to find it? Usually we seek happiness and pleasure in external events. But, knowing who we are – being at peace with our self is the best way to bring to the fore a lasting happiness not dependent on favourable outer circumstances. If we are a slave to our thoughts and external events, real happiness will always allude us. Seek for the happiness that is deep within; the happiness accompanied by a sense of peace.

How To Help Others

“Your own Self-Realization
is the greatest service you can
render the world.”

– Ramana Maharshi

There is a difference between serving others selflessly and serving others through the perspective of our ego. If we seek to help others to please our ego, we can make things worse rather than better. We may have a feeling of superiority or want to please others in our own way. To know our real self is to understand that we are connected with others. If we understand our connection with other people it becomes natural and instinctive to serve others selflessly. – We will look upon other people as an extend part of our reality.

Who Am I? – Get Rid of the Ego.

To know who we are, we need to get rid of the ego. It is the ego which gives a false identity; it is this that is ultimately the source of our suffering. To do this we need to be able to be silent. At least silent for some of the time.

Photo Top: Pranlobha, Sri Chinmoy Centre Galleries

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13 thoughts on “Who Am I?”

  1. These thoughts are reflected in even more detail in the book The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. I recommend it to anyone who is inrigued by the words of Ramana Maharshi and are looking to acheive the inner peace and happiness he descirbes.

  2. While I understand the nice thoughts of always striving for peace and abolishing your ego in the process, I don’t quite understand why you would want to be an ego-less, peace loving person who selflessly serves others.

    Where would your identity come from at that point? Where would the motivation for serving others come from? You can say “I do it because I want to bring peace to the world”, but isn’t that coming from your ego?

    Why not try to understand your ego better from a peaceful /perspective/? It makes more sense not to get rid of it and instead turn it into something you can tame and use.

  3. It is true that once we start looking for answer to this question – Who Am I ? – all our other questions disappear or look insignificant. With this drops all our outside anxities, worries and problems.

    If anybody wants to learn more on how to go deep into this question and find its answer he/she can write me at kad.vinod@gmail.com.

    I will be very happy to help everybody on this path.

  4. The answer to “why am I” is very simple. Because you were BORN.
    In fact if you look at all questions apart from who am I the answers can always be reduced to one of 2 answers. Either because “you where born” or because “you will Die”
    Once you have grasped this the only true question is “who am I”

  5. Indian Vedantic texts like UPANISADS are devoted to the unravelling of the ULTIMATE TRUTH about the universe – but all this search finally ends up in “I”.

    There is no Universe – when there is no “I”. This I is different from the ego-centric “I”, which we generally understand. All of our sense organs and the mind, which are our only instruments to understand the universe and our self – are all directed outward. That is the problem.

    The Universe can never be understood in its totality with this outward bound search. We can not understand even one sub atomic particle in its totality this way. So trying to understand the universe is a totally fruitless and pointless search. That recognition drove the great sages into an inward search – which proved eminently successful.All truth is hidden within us. You don’t need to search any where else. Ramana Maharshi is incomparable in his clarity of “I”.

    Eckhart Tolle comes close in dealing with his POWER OF NOW. When the past and future are abolished from the mind, the present moment only remains. In the present, all sorrows,worries, angers and jealousies disappear. You begin to enjoy life from a new angle. But, that is the starting point of the “I” search. Not its end. Meditation precisely accomplishes this goal – of living in the present.

    When the I is discovered / uncovered – the past, the present and the future merge seamlessly. You discover your immortal nature.

    This EGOLESS “I” is called “SAT-CHIT-ANANDA” – meaning the eternal – consciousness – bliss principle. There is nothing more and nothing less in this Universe – this is what we discover in the “I”.

    The EGO belongs to the body, the mind and the senses and is subject to birth and death along with them – where as the EGOLESS “I” is SAT-CHIT-ANANDA, which is immortal.

    The central point here is – this must not be understood in mere logical way – but in a complete, experiential way.

  6. i am sarah age 16 from the age of 8 i have always wondered what my true reason for being alive was and still i do not truely know from this i have asked myself ” who am i? and for what reason must i live?” i belive that inside every one of us is a power of understanding and a power of self ..i belive that power of mind spirit or even body all come’s from with in..but sadly unless we know how to unlock these power’s we shall never know who we truely are or for what reason we were created..deep down in every one lays the answer we seek but untill we find the key to unlock it we are for ever asking are selfs the same thing with the same empty answer….sad isent it?

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