The quest to discover our true identity
We must go on a Talaash, a search for the truth, and find answers to all the possible questions that we have, questions which relate to life and existence. Unfortunately, we are so engrossed in this world of pleasures and possessions that we don’t consider it important to discover the truth about ourselves
Though we claim to know who we are, have we ever given it a second thought? We say: I am John. Or, I am Rita. But is that our true identity? Are we our name? Were we born stamped with a name on our forehead? Of course not. The name has been given to us. Then, who are we and how can we discover our true self? How do we know who we really are?
The only way to discover the truth is to go on a quest. We must go on a Talaash, a search for the truth, and find answers to all the possible questions that we have, questions which relate to life and existence. Unfortunately, we are so engrossed in this world of pleasures and possessions that we don't consider it important to discover the truth about ourselves. We are completely preoccupied with chasing wealth and success. We constantly run after happiness, little realising that our pursuit of happiness is misguided. Thus, we live and die in ignorance and as long as we live, we suffer the triple suffering — the pain of the body, the misery of the mind and the agony of the ego.
We are intrigued by stars in the sky, planets, galaxies and other wonders that appear to be in outer space. We are busy exploring the depths of the ocean trying to discover what lies on ocean beds. In fact, we are so busy discovering the world that we have forgotten to discover ourselves! Instead of exploring all that is outside, we have to go within. But most of us have no time to go on an inner quest to understand who we are; that we are not the body. While we see the body die and we know that it is not the person who was alive, we don't ponder on the question – Who am I? We give so much importance to the mind that we believe we are the mind. Although we live in worry and fear, we do not go in search of the truth to realise that we are not the mind. Where is the mind? We cannot find! The mind doesn't even exist. It is just a bundle of thoughts! We are far too busy to discover that what we live in, is actually a Cosmic Illusion - Maya. The Cosmic Illusion has trapped us in its twofold power that keeps us ignorant. The first power is the power that conceals the truth. The second power projects the myth. Because we do not even attempt to go in quest of the truth, we live and die in ignorance. What is the truth?
The truth is that we are the Atman, the Divine Soul, the Spirit, the energy, not the body and mind that we appear to be. Unless we embark on a quest, we will not realise this. On our quest, we must read, assimilate knowledge, observe our thoughts and the projection we see in front of our eyes, and listen to the spiritual masters. The truth cannot be known. It has to be realised and this needs 3 steps. Sravana, Manana, Nididhyasana which mean to read and to listen, contemplate and interpret, and realise. We may collect all the available knowledge but we must intellectually discriminate the knowledge we collect. We must not blindly follow our religion. We must transcend the mind and activate our intellect. We must be in silence, till we can reach the state of consciousness which leads to the realisation of the truth.