Who Am I?
Dr Dalvinder Singh Grewal
Who am I? I am a soul. I am part of Supreme Soul; having the same characteristics of Supreme Soul. I have been given a body to perform my functions. My soul was entered into a body to ensure performance of the given task. Body is thus the instrument of the soul given for performance. This is the truth. I have forgotten this truth and have started considering my body as my real self. I have got gradually attached to this body and everything connected to it. I have been made to believe that my mother has given me my body hence I am attached to her. I have also been made to believe that my body is the result of union of my mother and father. Hence I am attached to my father as well. Gradually this link has been expanded to grandfather, grandmother, uncles, aunties, brother/s, sister/s and so on. My attachment is also made this way to milk and other items of food because they are essential for my body.
This attachment is further expanded to the material and financial world because I have been made to believe that money can help me to buy anything in universe. I am also told that I will be known from the material and financial assets I have. I collect these fervently. More the assets I accumulate more proud I feel of these assets. If I do not get these I get angry at myself, my luck and all that connected to accumulate these assets. I am also made to believe that I will have my own world if I get married. I will have my own children as did my parents. I am attracted to opposite sex. This fills sexual instinct in me. I have started believing that all these attachments and accumulations are the real ones and get lost into these. I thus become the epitome of sex, anger, greed, attachment and pride; the five vices.
I have forgotten that I am not the body but the soul. I have forgotten that my body is subject to continuous change and that It changes from childhood to youth; youth to the aged; It is never the same. Similarly the name given to the body also goes on changing; e.g., baby-bunty in childhood; Raj in youth and Raj Singh Chauhan as a man. Change is transitory and I have got attached to transitory things; which are false. I have forgotten to care for the soul which is permanent. Finally the diminishing energy during old age, physical, mental or spiritual sickness results into death of the gross body and the soul has to change into a new cover. Soul being immortal moves on death from one gross body to another based on accumulation of subtle particles of good and bad actions, deeds, desires and thoughts of earlier births. It is Law of Nature that whatever is created or is born has to perish or die.
The souls of human beings remain immortal. Based on accumulation of past karma - thoughts, deeds and actions, it becomes fierce, calm, terrible, fearless, ignorant and enlightened, trembling and steadfast, forbearing and nonbearing, passionate and ascetic and a prey bewilderment. Thus the quality of manifested soul is different for each individual. Thus purity of the manifested soul and keeping it free from the effect of bad, corrupt and evil deeds, thoughts and desires make it as our philosopher, guide and friend. It is our bad and evil actions, which create tamasic subtle atoms and these go on accumulating on the soul. These subtle atoms being heavier and darker have the effect of dimming the light of the soul and the knowledge it provides does not reach the gross body and capacity to do noble and virtuous deeds and become virtually negligible.
The soul keeps on changing covers (avagaman) till it sheds away all evil deeds; becomes pure; gets totally linked to the Supreme soul. It reaches its final destination only by merging into Supreme soul.
I have also forgotten that I am part of the grand soul and I am required to perform according to the wishes of the Supreme Soul. I am a part of the grand design. I have created my own design instead and perform to meet my own requirements rather than the one assigned to me by the Supreme soul. I am living in a world of falsehood. I have forgotten the truth and started believing and doing all related to the untruth. This darkness of falsehood has engulfed me in such a way that no ray of hope penetrates through it.
If I had to break this wall of falsehood and get at the truth I must first realize myself. I must get attached to my soul after getting detached from my body to know the truth. The sequence of development is Physical Body- sense organs-senses-mind-will-intellect-ego-spirit (life energy)-soul-Supreme soul. The subtle soul shines when senses are under control and sattavic guna of purity and truthfulness is predominant. The body has to be administered by the manifested soul. I must realize that body is only an outer shell of the soul and is given as a tool to perform my functions assigned by the Supreme soul. I can also perform noble deeds and good actions under the influence of senses, but such deeds will be based on self-interest, personal gain and getting social recognition in society. I must always listen to the voice of my inner soul that is my real self. I must practice through knowledge and even meditation to reach my real self. My "self" is the essence of Supreme soul. In this sense I am pure knowledge; I am without blemish, radiating peace and love. The body can thus be considered as a boat, the manifested soul the sailor, the material world the ocean of matter which is crossed only through truth and knowleedge
Only when the soul acquires higher and nobler qualities and when I consider soul as the real self, then only I am different; I am exalted; I am relieved of the circle of life and death. Vedas say: on realisation of the real self, individual himself becomes Brahma (Book 19 of Atharva Veda). According to Yajnavalkya, we are but HE when we know our real self. In Kena Upanishad, it is made clear that the soul is Brahma Himself. Brihadrnayaka Upanishad mentions "ahm Brahma asi" - I am Brahma. Mundakya Upanishad says, "ayam atma Brahma"- my soul is God. Bible also says "the soul keeps God's laws" (Deut 26-16). Sri Guru Granth Sahib declared atma becoming parmatma.
I must efface my self-ego; come back to zero attachment (Sunn) with untruth and total attachment with truth. I must realize that I began from the Supreme soul and I have to end my journey in the Supreme soul. I came from Him totally clean and can be accepted only if I am totally clean. I must clean myself of all the vices and detach from all attachments. If I have to get attached to Him again; I must create some attraction for Him; some energy which may cause attraction. Remembrance, service and love are the best modes to cause attraction. Hence remember the Supreme soul; serve according to his directions and love him and the Creation He has created. Once you know this you are Brahmveta; enlightened; once you perform this you are liberated from the circle of life and death (mukta).
ęCopyright Institute of Sikh Studies, 2012, All