In the practical world, it is important to know who I am and what my duty is. It is equally important, in spiritual life, to know who I really am. If I speak of something as ‘mine’, the owner ‘I’ is definitely a different entity. When I talk of ‘my’ body, evidently the speaker ‘I’ is distinct from the body. When we say ‘I have fever’, or ‘I am emaciated’, we are obviously identifying ourselves with the body, and confusing matters. To identify oneself with the body, losing sight of the true ‘I’ is an illusion, and this creates experience of ‘pleasure’ and ‘pain’. The fact that I detest ‘pain’ and welcome ‘pleasure’ clearly indicates that my original state must be one of joy, permanent joy. The water we bring in a jug from the flowing river must taste like the water from the river, because the two are identical; if it tastes different, we can confidently surmise that the jug must have been unclean. We may extend the analogy and say that, since the individual soul is part of the ever-blissful Cosmic Soul, it must be equally blissful; if it is not, if it experiences misery of any kind, this can only be ascribed to pollution in the form of the ‘body-am-I’ idea. Therefore the mind must be disabused of that notion. If we desire to stop the growth of a certain tree, it will not do merely to prune the foliage; we must stop watering the roots. The tree of our prapancha has flourished because it has been nourished by playing into the hands of ego, and it is this ego that needs to be eradicated. This can be achieved by discarding the pride of ‘doership’. This pride is entirely unjustified, because the true doer is God, not we. True worship consists in cultivating the conviction that God is the true doer, not I. Pleasure and displeasure both vanish when the conviction that God is the doer gets indelibly inscribed on the mind. Such a mind possesses an unmistakable grandeur of contentment, and this, indeed, is the mark of saintliness. It is the attainment of this peaceful, undisturbable contentment that all sadhana aims at. Nama-smarana should be practised with the conviction that all doership rests with God. * * * * *
Sri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan-Aug.5.
The ‘body-am-I’ Feeling is Sheer Illusion