श्लोक 13 (Part#1): Who Are We?

After understanding the recycling of our physical body and I/Ego or thinking mind, we ended the last post with a few questions.

In the next shloka, Shri Krishna answers those questions :

देहिनोऽस्मिन्यथा देहे कौमारं यौवनं जरा |
तथा देहान्तरप्राप्तिर्धीरस्तत्र न मुह्यति ||2.13||

Just as, we, the embodied being, go through phases like childhood, teenage, adulthood, and finally old age, in the same way, we go to a new body at the time of death. The wise are not bothered by this transition.

First of all, like we all experience, Shri Krishna calls us “embodied being,” i.e. someone who is not the body but is inside the body.

While we feel the body is ours, we know we are not just the body. We also have seen that when people die, their bodies stay.

So for sure, we are someone inside the body. That someone is what we call “I”.

We also know that this “I” is what is powering the body, providing consciousness to it, and once it leaves the body, this body will no longer be living.

But, we must ask, what is this “I”? Where does it get its energy or consciousness from?

Let’s try to answer this using an example.

In the rainy season, after the rain stops when the sun comes out, we find water puddles coming to life with dancing reflections of the sun in them.

The sunlight falls everywhere, shining everything, but only a few surfaces like water puddles form the sun’s reflection, while everywhere else, the light only reflects. Only those surfaces that form the sun’s reflection give an impression of being alive.

Just as the sun shines everywhere in the above example, consciousness/चेतना is the primary element of this universe, and it shines everywhere.

Our body+mind is like puddles filled with water. Similar to those puddles, our body+mind can form a reflection of consciousness within them. As consciousness/चेतना is shining everywhere, a reflection gets formed in body and mind, making it alive and conscious.

This reflection of Consciousness/चेतना appearing in body and mind is what gives rise to the feeling of “I” within us.

This way, the “I” that we feel inside us is “just” a reflection of Consciousness/चेतना and is also called as जीवात्मा.

If that “I” inside us is just a reflection, then who are we?

We are the one that is reflecting, i.e. consciousness/चेतना! But, we mistakenly treat the reflection inside our body/mind as ourselves.

Just think, if the Sun in Sky starts to think it is the reflection in the puddle, that would be stupid right? That’s what we all are doing when we identify ourselves with body+mind.

Self-realization is giving away the mistaken identity and realizing what we really are, i.e. Consciousness/चेतना.

BTW, We are already Consciousness/चेतना, we always were, and always will be. The only thing we need to do is to realize the reality, that’s it!

In this post, we covered the first part of the shloka and understood that our true identity is Consciousness/चेतना. In the next post, let’s understand how this जीवात्मा transitions from one body to another.

All the Best!