Swami Sarvalokananda’s address at Ramana Maharashi Jayanti*
Who am I – is a spiritual discovery!
Today’s subject is a very interesting one –‘Who am I?” Since the dawn of civilization, this has been a very fundamental and basic enquiry.
Just like every day there are newer and newer physical and scientific discoveries, there is also one kind of discovery called the spiritual discovery – self-discovery. Our saints and seers – the spiritual scientists – discovered the Self, and this discovery is the greatest discovery on earth.
Thousands and thousands of years ago, our saints and seers discovered what the real nature of a human being is, the real identity, and the real entity of a human being. And this applies not only to the human being but to living and non-living beings. They discovered and declared long ago, “शृण्वन्ति विश्वे अमृतस्य पुत्रः” – listen O mankind, you are the children of immortal bliss. You are not the physical body, you are not only a tiny biological entity made of flesh, bones and blood. You are children of immortal bliss.
Today, when asked what is your identity, we generally say my name is ‘so and so’, I am son and daughter of so & so, I am working in some office and my address is so & so, with the blessings of so & so email id – our name @ yahoo or gmail.com!
Dear friends, this is not your real identity! Your real identity is something else. But due to our ignorance – which is called in Sanskrit avidya – we have forgotten our real identity, our real nature. That is why we consider ourselves as a body-mind complex. We are not the body-mind complex. We are something else. We are beyond the body-mind complex.
The real me is indestructible – the story of Alexander the great
The great Alexander came to conquer India. When he was passing through a jungle, he saw a great yogi sitting on the stone. Lean and thin.
Alexander asked the captain of his soldiers – who is this man? Lean and thin, sitting on a stone block? Not looking here and there, and totally absorbed in meditation? His captain said – Sir, he is a great Yogi. A Yogi can meditate for hours together. An Indian Yogi can attain Samadhi – higher states. The great Alexander was astonished hearing about the powers and nature of this Yogi.
With great reverence the great Alexander went to the Yogi and prayed to him – Sir, you have become lean and thin. You have no food or shelter in the forest. I will take you to my country and give you a nice room and good food, and you can take rest. The Yogi refused everything. I do not require anything from you, he said.
The great Alexander got annoyed. He was very egotistic. I am the great Alexander. Am emperor. I have conquered almost all the countries of the world. This fellow is not listening to me! Alexander told the Yogi – you are not listening to me, I can punish you. I can even kill you. The great Yogi answered – Sir, you cannot kill me. I am not the body, I am not the mind, I am not the senses. I am not antakarna. I am not the vital-force – the pranashakti. I am that Atman! The Brahman! Which you cannot destroy; you cannot cut into pieces. You cannot kill me. You can kill my body, but you cannot kill my Self.
The great Alexander was astonished. He had never heard about this. It was a great discovery for him. The greatest discovery is the Self discovery.
Why must I spend time and energy to discover myself – to receive untainted joy
One person asked me – Swamiji, what is the use of discovering ourselves? We are fine. We are earning a lot of money, we are eating well, staying in a nice room, driving in a nice car. What is then the use of self-discovery?
When you discover yourself, i.e., you are not the body-mind complex, you realize yourself, experience yourself. When you experience yourself, you go beyond all your pettiness, meanness, narrowness. Because in the Self, there is no narrowness or pettiness. There is no meanness. In the small ego there is pettiness, meanness, narrowness, jealously, hatred. In true Self, there are no negative emotions like anger/ jealousy etc. In the language of Bhagavan, you will get untainted peace and happiness. Untainted. The peace and happiness we are getting now from the world of objects, is tainted peace and happiness. But when you discover yourself, you will get untainted peace and happiness.
The sages of yore have proclaimed – shivoham, shivoham – chidanandarupah! That is your true nature – you are Shiva. Sat-chit-ananda is your real nature. If you realize your real nature, discover it, then problems may come, but your mind won’t be disturbed. You will have peace of mind.
Self discovery is therefore the greatest discovery.
* Swami Sarvalokananda’s address at the Sri Ramana Maharashi Jayanti
Venue: Swami Vivekananda Auditorium of Ramakrishna Mission & Math Mumbai
Organized by the Ramana Satsang, Mumbai