Not Knowing Who We Are Is Cause Of All Sufferings!

Once a king while hunting had an accident and lost his memory. For days he wandered in the forest, his clothes became dirty and torn and he looked completely disheveled. His beard also grew and no one could say by looking at him that he was the king. Finally, after a month of wandering aimlessly, he reached a city which was the capital of his own kingdom. For days, he lived in the streets begging for food and sleeping wherever he found a place to. One day soldiers caught him, suspecting him to be a thief and produced him before the chief minister who instantly recognized him. He took him to the king’s palace, made him have a bath, got him shaved and gave him royal robes to wear. The poor man was much bewildered by this kindness and said, ‘Why are you doing all this for me?’

The chief minister smiled and said, ‘Sir! You seem to have lost your memory, but you are the king and the ruler of this kingdom.’ Just then the queen and her children appeared and hugged the king who had been lost for so many months and who they thought had died. But the poor man was still stunned by this revelation that he was the king and he had suffered so much in his own kingdom for so long just because he did not know this truth.

You might smile at this tale but the fact is that I, you and in fact the entire human race is suffering from the same misfortune that befell the king. How, you might ask?

Well, we too do not know who we actually are. And this fact that we do not know our true identity is the cause of all sufferings that we have in life. We go through worries, pain, suffering, problems, diseases, old age and death because we know not who we are. Even the richest and most prosperous of us feel that there is something lacking in life. No one is truly satisfied and the reason again is that we do not know who we are.

The scriptures say that after God created this universe, he wished to experience it and so he became living forms through which he could experience everything. The most evolved of all life forms he became, the humans, were capable of experiencing to the fullest. But so enamoured did God become on experiencing life on earth through the human form that he completely forgot himself – the truth that he was God. Ages have thus passed and this forgetfulness has got even deeper till today, when no one even knows that this is not a human being but God himself living and experiencing through this form. And this forgetfulness has resulted in all pains and sufferings that are experienced to this day.

And it is not that we have never been informed about this. We often say –

Tujh mein Ram Mujhme Ram, Sab mein Ram Samaya

God lives in you, in me and in every form. We kept singing this but failed to understand that if God lives in every body then all beings are forms of God.

In different ages and in different places, prophets and avatars have also manifested from time to time in order to make us aware that it is not you or I but it is God living in every human form.

Jesus said – Is it not written in your law, you are all Gods (John 10:34)

In the Gita, Krishna says at not one place but several that God dwells in all or all are God. “The dweller in all bodies is eternal and indestructible….” (Chapter 2:30). “He who sees Me everywhere and sees all in Me, does not let Me perish and nor do I let him perish.” (Chapter 6:30). “He who, established in oneness, worships Me abiding in all beings, that Yogi dwells in Me and remains always existent.” (Chapter 6:31). “At last after many births, one who has attained Gyan reaches Me, realizing that All is God (Vasudev Sarvam)” (Chapter 7:19). ‘I am the origin of all, from Me all evolves; understanding thus, the intelligent worship Me, endowed with this Bhava.’ (Chapter 10:8). ‘I am the Atma seated in the heart of all the beings; I am the beginning, the middle and also the end of all the beings.’ (Chapter 10:20). ‘The Supreme Purush [God] in this body is thus called the witness, permitter, supporter, enjoyer, Maheshwar and also Paramatma [Supreme Self].’ (Chapter 13:23). ‘He who sees the Param-Ishwar [Supreme God] abiding equally in all the beings as the Imperishable among the perishables – he sees.’ (Chapter 13:28) ‘Seeing indeed the same Ishwar [God] dwelling equally everywhere, he does not destroy the self by the self; he then reaches the Supreme Goal.’ (Chapter 13:29)

Kabir too said –

Jab Main Tha To Hari Nahin, Ab Hari Hai Main Naahi

When I looked at myself as ‘I’, then God was not there; and now when I have realized that this is God, then I am not there.

In Ramcharitmanas, Lord Ram says to Laxman – Main aru mor tor tain maya, jehi bas kinhe jeev nikaya

O Laxman, the thoughts of I and mine, you and yours constitute delusion which have captivated all beings.

Everyone regards oneself as ‘I’ and others as you or they. Human beings believe that they are men and women. No one knows it is one God who is living in all bodies and experiencing life while living in the bodies. When God doesn’t have the self-realisation and remains caught in the thoughts of I and mine, you and yours, called Maya or delusion, conflicts arise not just outside but in the mind too, leading to stress and worries. And worries make the physical system weak making it prone to diseases, old age and death.

On the other hand, accepting that this is God, not I or you or anyone, living in all forms frees the mind of all conflicts, fears and worries. When one God lives everywhere, who to fear or fight, and why? Who to blame anyone for anything? Who to call good or bad?

And when mind is freed from worries by Truth, the body remains strong and does not fall prey to disease, old age or death.

Many people say that enjoyments of life are the cause of suffering. But who is enjoying it all? It is not you or I, but God enjoying everything from all forms. It is not the enjoyments that are the cause of suffering but the thoughts of ‘I am enjoying’ are the cause. God says in verses 15:7-10 of Gita –

A fragment of Myself having become an eternal living being in the living world draws to Himself the six – the senses and the mind – that abide in nature. When Ishwar acquires a body and also when He leaves it He takes these (senses and the mind) and goes as the wind carries the scents from the seat. Presiding over the ears, eyes, the organs of touch, taste and smell and also the mind, this God enjoys the objects of the senses. Departing or dwelling or enjoying, attached with the attributes, the deluded do not perceive; but those with the eye of Gyan perceive.

These verses clarify that it is God who enjoys fall sense objects rom the physical form through the senses. When one thinks ‘I am enjoying’ one becomes attached to the objects and enjoyments which results in suffering. But when one thinks that God is enjoying one is freed from the attachment and suffering. For this, the Gita says in the beginning itself that the beings do not have right to the fruits, and therefore, they should renounce attachment to the fruits and become same in success and failure. So the cause of suffering is not the enjoyments, but the lack of true knowledge of oneself, just as the king in the story narrated before who suffered because he forgot who he was.

But just knowing that this is God, not I or you, the goal in not achieved. This is just information. There has to be true self realization that this is God, not I. For this, Gita has revealed a secret science and called it Karm Yog. Gita says that all actions from the bodies are performed by Nature, not us. We the beings are not the doer of any actions. It also says that Nature is doing everything for God dwelling in the bodies. When one thinks that I am the doer and I am the enjoyer, one realizes oneself as the physical body and thus regards the body as ‘I’. As against this, when while performing actions one thinks that Nature is performing the actions and God is enjoying one will slowly have the self realization that this is God, not I.

Verse 9:27 of the Gita says that whatever we do or whatever we eat we should offer all that to God. Again Verses 5:8-9 of the Gita say that the person who thinks, ‘I do nothing at all’ and believes that all actions such as seeing, hearing, speaking, eating, walking, sleeping, breathing, etc are performed by the senses he knows the truth and is united to God. Verse 13:30 also says that the person who sees all actions as performed by nature alone and himself as actionless, he sees. He knows that this is God, not I.

Although these verses have been read over and over again for many ages, the human mind could not get to their essence and true understanding. And the reason is that the true understanding of Truth comes in time on its own as it has now come in to the world. And the essence of this true understanding of Truth is that this is God living and acting through all physical forms and by accepting and practicing this Truth mankind can be freed from worries, ailments, problems, old age and even death.

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