If I ask a very simple question that Who are YOU? There can be many answers to it. Some of them may be
- I’m a Male / Female / Human Being (but it’s just a biological association)
- I’m Parth Sharma (it’s only a Name association, we do exist even before a name is given to us)
- I’m a HR professional and Life Enthusiast (it’s only a professional association)
We definitely exist beyond the above associations Isn’t it? We existed even before these associations were attached to us.
One of the most beautiful answers to the fundamental question of Who Am I is in the Hindu Mythological text called “Mandukya Upanishada”. It gives the theory about the states of consciousness and about the Atman (Self).
It says that our existence can be summed up in the 4 states of consciousness that are
- Awake – the state where we are completely awake and experience the world with all our senses and have the all senses in action
- Dreamer – it is the state where we are in a dreamed state.
- Sleeper – It’s a state of deep sleep where we don’t have the sense of our being as well, not even thoughts.
- Fourth (Turiya / Chaturth) – This is the state of real consciousness THE OBSERVER or the SEER, who observes our existence in all above three states.
We all go through the first three states every day and exist through them. When we are awake we experience the world around us and interact with it through our senses. This forms our reality. When we are in the Dreamer state we see dreams and imagine ourself being at some other place or doing things beyond awakened reality, but our existence in the state and we seeing those things are also REAL. Similarly, when we are in the Sleeper or Deep sleep state where we even lose the touch with our sense of being and thoughts, we still exist and are real. Isn’t it?
So there is something that is common through us in all the 3 states that keeps our existence as real. This something is the Fourth state (Turiya / Chaturth) i.e Pure consciousness.
Let’s understand the above concept with a very simple example. Imagine you had 3 GOLD Ornaments, a bangle, a necklace and a ring. The bangle was melted and the necklace was made out of it, then after few days the necklace was also melted and the ring was made out of it. Now at present you see there is no relationship between bangle and the ring, or necklace and the bangle but there is still something that exists from the time of Bangle to Ring, that is GOLD. Similarly, we may not have any relation between our states of existence but there is still something that binds all and that is consciousness that sees us or watches us in all those states.
So we are nothing but pure consciousness (energy) that keeps transforming under different states and even different bodies.
The other dimension of answering WHO AM I can be of our inner self that I discussed in my earlier blog post Who Am I? …… A Fundamental Question for all of Us.
Sending Love, Laughter and Joy ……. Parth