Episode # 109 – “WHO AM I?” – Sage Jada-Bharata gives a beautiful narrative to this question!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed how Sage Jada-Bharata was starting to slowly make King Rahuguna understand a few important points that would clear off the doubts from his mind. In that way, he had reiterated his answer that he had given to King Rahuguna’s question as to why he didn’t carry the carriage properly. Here, Sage Bharata clearly explains how he cannot be held responsible for this, as Goddess Bhoomadevi was the one who was solely responsible. He gives a detailed accord as to how the “Atman” is totally different from the “Deham” and how everything in this world is interconnected to each other. Here Sage Bharata gives the example of how we boil rice in a kettle – He explains how the boiling of rice depends not only on the heat that is generated, but also on various other things like the nature of the firewood that is used, the match stick used to ignite the fire and finally Goddess Bhoomadevi, upon which all of these rest. Hence, it is wrong to blame just one entity for something which is not happening. Moreover, in the second point, Sage Bharata has clearly explained the context wherein the words “I” and “You” do not signify the “Deham”, but the “Atman”. For instance, when King Rahuguna made fun of Sage Bharata initially by saying that he was stout and well-built and yet, he couldn’t carry the coach properly, the reply was very clear – If we’ve to say that someone is well-built, it does signify only the “Deham” and not the “Atman” in anyway! Thus, Sage Bharata countered King Rahuguna that it is wrong to point at “him” and to say that “he” was well-built. In fact, it was his body that was well-built, but not Sage Bharata as an “Atman”. It might be a little confusing for few readers, but I urge here that if you feel confused, please read the above-explained point one more time for better understanding. 

Moving on thus, King Rahuguna slowly starts to open up his doubts to Sage Bharata. He now asks Sage Bharata thus:  

“Shruyataam sohamityetath vaktum bhoopana sakhyate!

Upa bhoga nimittham cha sarvatra aagamanah kriyaa!!”

Thus, King Rahuguna asks a very important question here – “Oh Sage Bharata! What is that which gives the “Shreyas” (Unique speciality or Significance) to both the “Atman” and the “Deham”?” As King Rahuguna poses this question thus, Sage Bharata quips in reply immediately, “Oh Rahuguna! As I had mentioned earlier, the “Atman” doesn’t have a form or a shape for itself. It is an invisible element that is present within the body. So, like you think, there is nothing called “Speciality” or “uniqueness” for an “Atman”. You might wonder why I’m making this unique point here. Just imagine, Rahuguna! If we’ve to say that money is something that makes the “Atman” more significant, we’re making a mistake here. Money can never add any sort of significance to the “Atman”, as it is beyond all sorts of “Bhoga” (Worldly pleasures). Or, if we’ve to say that parents add speciality and uniqueness to the “Atman”, that might also not hold any water. It is because we have one set of parents in this birth, but at the end of this birth, they are not going to be existing anymore! Moreover, when we take the next birth, some other individuals are going to be our parents, isn’t it? Hence, this is also not a permanent phenomenon for an “Atman”. Hence, parents can never add any significance to it. Thus, none of the worldly pleasures (Bhoga) or parents are going to add any value to the “Atman”, and it is only the “Gnyaana” (Knowledge about Bhagawan and how to walk the path of spirituality) that gives real deeper meaning to the “Atman”. This is why I repeatedly emphasize the point that nothing in this world can add any sorts of significance to the “Atman”!” 

Sage Bharata now adds one more funny point here to poke King Rahuguna sarcastically. He says thus, “Oh Rahuguna! Every time you’re boasting that you are a king isn’t it? You have all the pleasures, wealth and status of a king, isn’t it? But are all these going to last forever? Or, are you going to be alive in this world forever to enjoy all these pleasures and status? Neither of these are going to happen, isn’t it? For instance, you might be the king for this country. However, you might have different other roles to play in life isn’t it? For instance, you are a husband to your wife. Similarly, for your son or daughter, you are a father. In similar lines, for the enemy country, you are an enemy. Similarly, for your elder brother, you are a younger brother. Thus, can you see how many roles you play in your life, although you only signify one role of yours, which is a “king”?” 

This is an extremely important point here that Sage Bharata is explaining. If we deeply introspect the above narrative of Sage Bharata into our lives, we would start having a big doubt now, as to who we are! For instance, I might be a husband to my wife. I might also be a son to my father. At the same time I might also be a father to my son. So here, I’m both a father and a son! Similarly, I might be a friend to another friend. Or, I might be an enemy to another enemy. Thus we can see here that I might be both a friend and an enemy at the same time. If we now combine all these sentences together, all the “I” that we used in the above sentences would collectively indicate the “Atman”, and all the other variables like friend, enemy, son, father, husband, etc. would indicate the “Deham”. Thus, again we see here that the “Atman” is just a constant entity and the “Deham” is an ever-changing entity, isn’t it? This is exactly what Sage Bharata is trying to explain to King Rahuguna here. 

So for today, let us deeply think and try to understand this point clearly and let us try to differentiate between the “Atman” and the “Deham”. It might be a bit confusing, and I’m reiterating my point here – Please read this more than once to understand clearly. We shall first introspect within ourselves to find out the “reality” of who we are, and we shall wait till the next episode to continue this discussion further! Stay tuned! 🙂


Published by Dr. Jeayaram

Holds a PhD in Management Psychology from Universite Paris Saclay, Paris, France. Also an Asst. Professor of Human Resources management at Bharatidhasan Institute of Management (BIM) Trichy, India A professional South Indian classical musician (singer) performing concerts. Through this blog, I'm trying to bring out the richness of Indian culture & values and I request your support and feedbacks in making this humble effort a success!!

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