So what is the “I”? The simple answer is whatever is “yours” is not “you.” Just as we say, “My head hurts”, “I can’t believe my ears”, “My house burned down,” and so on, so your head, ears and house belong to you; you would never consider yourself to be the head, ears or house. Therefore, the inner you is the soul. But how can one know this in actual fact? All our faculties for sensing, knowing and deciding are material. When even the material world cannot be fully grasped by the material senses, how could we know the soul, which is divine and extremely subtle? Great scientists who explore the farthest reaches of the universe are still ignorant as to what the soul is. How can it be detected? There is no method of measurement that could measure its presence.
So when we cannot have direct perceptual proof of the soul and we doubt inferential proof of its existence, only one kind of proof remains and that is shabdapraman or divine scriptural knowledge. Scriptural knowledge is of two kinds, nitya and sadi. Sadi proof is revealed in the writings of Saints who have attained divine knowledge. Nitya proof is the knowledge of the eternal Vedas which are one with God. In the beginning, the Vedas emerged from God through His breath. At that time, Brahma also emerged from His navel. God said, “Learn the Vedas and then start creation.” Brahma tried for thousands of years, but he could do neither. God was seated in Brahma’s heart and from there He graced him and only then did Brahma gain understanding of the Vedas, who he was and what he was to do.
We can also determine who am I through the knowledge of the Vedas, but we have to gain this understanding through someone who already has that practical knowledge; a true Saint. For example, many words such as prana or life breath, atma or soul and jiva or living being come in the Vedas but have an opposite meaning. They all instead refer to Supreme God. In addition to this, the Vedas are considered the form of God, which means they are automatically beyond the understanding of a material human intellect. Yet, if that knowledge is not gained you cannot understand who am I and who is mine, and you must understand the answer to both of these.
An English translation of a discourse delivered in Hindi by:
Jagadguru Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj
20 October 2009
Bhakti Dham, Mangarh
© Radha Govind Samiti
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