Who Am I? : Part One

When you are a party bee who hangs out with your wolf pack at least twice a week and converted your passion of hanging out and making new friends out of strangers into a Dating Guru, the last thing you want to hear is a 21 day lockdown.

To tell you the truth, in the last 35 years, this is the first time many from my generation were even hearing about or experiencing such an extended lockdown. I can only imagine how the younger generations will feel about this.

While my father keeps talking about the politics and the ground level impact of this lockdown, most of the people I know are mostly skeptical either about their health or their industry’s health. Obviously we all know this is the only topic in all the news channels (although, they are getting quite creative too of late).

I decided to use this downtime to understand the world inside of me instead of the trending topics and frustrations outside of me. Nice, but where do I start?

So I watch this video by Swami Sarvapriyananda (Ramakrishna Mission). He talks about a dream that Goddess Sita’s father (Raja Janak) had where he loses his kingdom after a loss in a battle and he gets a bowl of milk to drink after many days of starving but even that falls down. He wakes up from the dream and suddenly starts asking what is real? The wakeful world or the dream world? It so happens that no one in his kingdom knows the truth. At this same time, a highly enlightened sage (Ashtavakra maha muni) enters his palace. He explains to Janak Raja that neither the wakeful world, nor the dream world nor the deep sleep world is true, the only truth is the FOURTH (option).

The FOURTH here is also called as Turya. This Turya is the only reality. It is the consciousness. Its also called ATMA. So this means whatever we see, hear, see, feel or smell in the wakeful / dream/ deep sleep worlds is not true. The FOURTH does not care about the remaining three worlds but these three worlds derive their identity from the FOURTH. The FOURTH is pure, un-stainable, unattached, omnipresent source of knowledge, purpose and energy. The FOURTH does not see any distinction between the living and non-living, sees the whole universe as one and one as the universe.

This ultimately means all the worldly pleasures that we crave during our birth as a human, all the material sufferings we go through during our birth as a human does not impact or affect or reward the FOURTH. This makes it easier for us to reduce the cravings (i.e. whether I own a Mercedes or do I look charming or which smartphone do I carry) and also brave the sufferings (diseases, separations, losses etc) during our journey as a human.

Watch this space to know more about what Ramana Maharshi talks about consciousness in my next blog post – “Who am I? : Part Two”

— Varun Gowtham Mannava

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