# 74 Who am I? Meditation

# 74 Who am I? Meditation

When desire or knowledge have not arisen in me -who am I?, in that condition. That is truly my essential Reality. By reflecting in this way, one will be absorbed into that Reality.Verse 97, Vigyan Bhairava Tantra

Who am I before desire or knowledge have arisen?

This is a very direct inquiry that liberates us. It is a method that was made famous by Ramana Maharshi, the Indian saint of the 2Qth Century. Maharshi’s method was a shorter version of this verse. He used to say that one should always inquire, “Who am I?” Even when you have a thought, ask yourself this question. “To whom do these thoughts belong. Who is this I?” This is a method that requires no strenuous physical activity, or chanting or meditation. It is a direct inquiry that dissolves our ego. Who am I really -at the core of my Being? This question removes all our layers of conditioning, and takes us to our true nature. When desire or knowledge have not arisen in me – who am 1?, in that condition.

The verse asks a slightly different question. Who am I before desire or knowledge have arisen? Desire and knowledge arise when there is an ego. Without an ego, there can be no desire. In our highest state there is only One, therefore how can there be any desire? For desire to exist, there must be objects separate from us that we can desire. In our highest state there is nothing separate from us and therefore there is no desire. When the ego arises, we feel separate from other objects in this world, and the desire to acquire some of them arises. It is the same with knowledge. It is our ego that has knowledge, limited knowledge on various subjects. The verse goes on to say that the state we are in before desire or knowledge have arisen, is our true state. It is our original, pure state. By reflecting in this manner, by asking yourself this question, you will be lead into that original state.

To reach our true. state, which is before thoughts or desires arise, we first have to look at the source of our thoughts or desires. When a thought or desire arises, ask yourself this question -Who am I? To whom do these thoughts belong? When you do this, your awareness is directed back towards yourself. Who is this small I, this entity, to whom these thoughts belong? You will realize = that there is no such entity. The mind cannot survive when the light of awareness is turned on it. The mind is nothing but a bundle of thoughts. It has no separate existence. When you direct your attention back towards yourself, searching for the source of your thoughts, you will find that your mind automatically falls silent.

Awareness our true Self

The source of our thoughts, our mind, is a shallow entity. It has no separate existence. When you become self-aware, this false entity disappears. It is nowhere to be found. There is only awareness and silence. You will then discover that our true state is awareness.

Awareness is our essential reality, before thoughts or desires arise.

This meditation has many wonderful, practical implications. Sometimes, we experience fear, self-doubt, or an addictive desire. The next time this happens to you, ask yourself these questions – To whom do these fears belong to? Or to whom do these doubts or desires belong to? As you peer within, you will find that there is no such entity. Then, all your fears and doubts will be washed away, and you will rest in awareness.