The “I” doesn’t matter

Once upon a time there lived a rich man who was fond of trekking and climbing mountains. He climbed mountains because trekking gave him a sense of achievement and adventure.

In one of his trekking expeditions, he lost his way  in a jungle. The more he tried, the more he was absorbed in the thick jungle and he couldn’t figure out the route. When the sun was about to set, he abandoned his plan of finding the route and started looking for a cave so he can at least spend the night and begin a fresh search next morning.

The man found a cave and before deciding to enter it, he lit Fire to ward off any wild animal which might be sitting inside.

Voice –

Come inside

Man –

Who is that? Is that a ghost?

Voice –

No, I am not a ghost. Come inside, don’t be afraid.

Man –

But I don’t know who you are, how can I trust you?

Voice –

The very reason why I trust you even though I don’t know who you are. Don’t be afraid, come inside.

Man –

I can’t. Please come outside and show me who you are, only then I will come inside.

Voice –

You have no other option than to enter this cave and save yourself from wild animals. And you know it very well. Even after knowing this, why are you negotiating?

The man gave it a thought and agreed what the voice said. He entered the cave and sees a sage sitting on a stone accompanied by two tigers, one on his left and another on his right. He stands still near the entrance.

Sage –

Are you afraid?

Man –

No. I was afraid when I was outside but I am not afraid now, even though I can see two wild animals sitting next to you.

Sage –

Why are you not afraid now?

Man –

I am not sure why I am not afraid. Can you enlighten me?

Sage –

You were afraid because your ego was telling you not to believe the other person. But now there is no space for ego anymore. You have come to terms with reality. Now you cannot afford to be afraid since the very ego which was telling you to be afraid is no longer with you anymore. The ego has left you.

Man –

But why did the ego leave me?

Sage –

Ego or “Ahamkara” expands when a man has options. You have no option now, hence there is no room for ego. The “I” doesn’t matter anymore.

Man –

Who are you? What are you doing here with these two animals? Aren’t you afraid of death?

Sage –

How does that matter who am I? I told you that the “I” doesn’t matter.

I come here to meditate and I have been meditating for a while in this cave. I have lost count of time in my quest to search for the truth. And I am not afraid of the destruction of my physical body. These tigers are resting here for sometime, they will soon leave to start their hunt when the night grows even darker.

Man –

Why are you searching for truth? What is the need to search for truth? Can’t you go back and live a normal life with your family?

Sage –

Most people live in the illusion that there are other things to do, more important than the search for truth. But we must realize that life can end any moment and hence there is an urgency to know why we live, what we live for and who we are.

The sooner we realize this the better, because you never know what the future is or can be. If “Kaal” tells me that my death is imminent, will I go around and collect things like you are doing all your life? What is the value of all the things which you have collected so far?

Man-

Well, I have earned a lot of money for my wife and children so that I can secure their future.

Sage –

Who are you to secure their future? You are again focusing on the “I”, please note that you are a nobody. You think that by earning money for your family, you are securing their future. That is not true. Your family will continue to live and have a future, regardless of what you do for them. I told you, the “I” doesn’t matter.

Man –

What do you know about truth? Please enlighten me.

Sage –

I know nothing about truth. (and then he murmures a shloka from Samveda)

yasyaamatam tasya matam matam vasya na veda sah
avijnaatam vijaanataam vijnaatam avijaanataam

Tho who think they know, do not know and those who think they do not know, perhaps do know. It is not understood by those who think they understand it, it is perhaps understood by those who think they do not  understand it. However, the latter is not aware of his understanding of it.

When you say “I understand it” or “I own this”, the ego inside is getting strengthened. When the “I” is gone, what remains is the “Truth”.

Man –

Tell me the way out of this jungle.

Sage –

Go out in the jungle not with the intent of finding a way, not with a pinch of fear in your heart thinking what can be the outcome, whether the “I” will survive or not. Go along, as if you are on a journey to heaven and you shall find the way, without having to take the effort to find the way. The “I” doesn’t matter.

The man suddenly woke up from his sleep, he had been dreaming all this while resting under a tree. He realized the meaning of life without the “I”, the value of selfless cause and doing Karma without worrying about the “I”

Moral

Whatever you are upto in life, the “I” is of little significance. When you separate the “I” from the karma, what remains is the truth. The “I” is not the truth, the “I” is the mask of “Ego” your mind has attached to the soul. Tear that mask off since the “I” is insignificant in the pursuit of your search (whatever that search might be).

 
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