"Who Am I?"
"Who am I?" is a most fundamental question regularly occurring in the hearts of people around the world. Even after living seventy or eighty years, people confide that they wonder what their life was about and whether they lived it appropriately. They confess they still don't quite know who they are and very often yield up their lives in the same manner that they lived them — perplexed.
Ramana Maharshi was one of the great masters of the twentieth century, recognized in the East and West as an enlightened man. He commonly responded to the questions of existence and the yearning of human hearts in saying that the main problem of people is we don't know who we are! If we could figure out who we are, we would live our lives entirely differently — more harmoniously and constructively, he taught. People would recognize easily and naturally how to attain true peace and well being. Maharshi advised that while there are many beautiful techniques and practices to help a person solve the riddle and mystery of his or her existence and aching heart, there is a much more simple and direct procedure: ask yourself, "Who am I?"
In this beautiful practice the ego, or false sense of self, gradually turns from its delusions and pretensions toward the higher consciousness and ultimately the soul, the spirit of the Divine within each of us. In time the ego is transformed and the soul stands resplendent.
The question is only resolved for periods of time at first, as the ego now and then — due to old momentums and habit patterns — reclaims dominance. But eventually the false sense of self is seen as a delusion and is happily discarded. The great "Who am I?" riddle is solved in bliss and wisdom.
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