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"I AM", the most profound word in the scriptures!
What AM I?
The real meaning of "I AM"
“I am”. What is the meaning of this word “I am”? Literally, it may mean “I exist” and grammatically this word represent, “Present continuous”. Hence, this word “I am”, is the most suited to describe the “Self”. In the Bible, there is a profound statement; “I am that I am”. It is esoteric and not literal. It represents “I” and that are one only. But in worldly terms and logic, this is not correct. How “I” and that can be one and the same? The real meaning is “I am everywhere always”. Hence the so called ‘that’ is not different from the “I”. Truly, “I” represent only the “self” and not the body as we take!
In Hindu scriptures, there are certain assertions like “TAT TWAM ASI – This means “I am that” which is not different from the assertions of Bible! Hence all scriptures are the outcome of Truth only. Only certain learned men tried to give different meaning to the words, “I am that I am”
First of all, we cannot understand the self with our limited understanding and intellect. The basis for all that exists is the “Self”. How the creation can comprehend the creator? It is quiet impossible even to attempt understanding the principle of self!
A small example will clarify the situation. One goes to a mango grove to pluck a ripe mango fruit. The idea is to taste and consume the mango fruit. Instead of that, the man who goes there starts counting the number of leaves, number of branches, the girth of the tree, the color of the flower etc., it would be the most futile exercise. If you want to eat the fruit, pluck it and eat it. There ends the venture. In a similar manner, we want to enjoy the grace and blessings of God, who is Omnipresent, Omnipotent and Omniscient! Why should we go on investigating and explaining god? Love him wholeheartedly with pure intentions. Then grace will be the fruit.
Today, many of the intellectuals and even the so called spiritual people go on arguing continuously about god. It is like the seven blind men trying to explain the ‘elephant’. Understand yourself first, then you can understand god. We are not aware of our own selves. We are considering the outer cover, the perishable body as us. Nothing can be more foolish than stating “I am the house, I am the car” You are the resident of the house and you are not the house. You are inside the car and you are not the car. Even in ordinary talks, we confirm, ‘this is MY house; this is MY car, this is my hand, this is my eye etc. When you say, this is my pen, and then pen is different from you. In the same way, if you say, this is my hand; the hand is different from you. If you say, ‘my mind’, then the mind is different from you. Hence even without understanding the meaning of the words, we assert that we are different from our body, mind and all that is external perceptible entities. Hence if one says, I am James, I am Thomas and I am Rama, he means the label fixed to the body after birth. You were not born with your names affixed on your brow. It is given by the parents for easy identification and it is just a label.
This is how the Hindu scriptures tells about god! “Ekoham Bahusyam”-this means, I AM ALONE, LET ME BECOME MANY! Wherefrom the ‘many’ came? It is from the “I” alone, everything emanated. Hence all this is expression of the will of the One. First of all we must understand that there is nothing other than one! There was only one from the beginning. If we observe second entity, it is due to the illusion created by the mind. Hence in reality, “I” alone IS. In the dream state, we are lying in the bed, absolutely unaware of the surroundings. We lie like a log of wood! Then, how about the manifold dream experiences? They are nothing but the creation of the mind. Yes, the mind is quiet capable of illusions in the dream, which the individual consider as very much real! Only on waking up, he find that all the experiences are not true and they are creations of the mind. In the same manner, creation itself is for hoodwinking the ignorant. One who knows the truth about the existence of One self, is never deluded. In fact, he realizes his identity with God!