May 10, 2016

Who am I? What am I? Koham? Self-enquiry, Atma Vichara, Adhyatma Chintana, Vichara Marga, Path of Self-Enquiry, Direct Path, Vihangama Marga

Those who practice Self-enquiry or "who-am-I meditation" keep on questioning themselves "who am I?" They try to understand the answer with their minds or hope that someone from within will give them an answer.

During meditation, when a thought comes to the "who-am-I meditation" practitioners, they question "whom did the thought come to?" Then they will question "who is asking the question 'whom did the thought come to?'" Then they will again question, "To whom did the above two questions come or who raised/brought up the above two questions?" They will answer "To me or I; so, who am I after all?"

They may also do it like this: "who is meditating?" They will answer to themselves, "I am." Then they will question, "So who am I?"

There are lot of other ways they keep asking this "who am I" question.

Is there any end to such questioning? Can this be a good meditation practice? Can you ever be silent with such questioning? Is this not a kind of mental activity? Can such questioning ever give an answer, because of the activity of the mind? 

Questioning is an activity of the mind. The mind is cunning. It will trick you into asking many questions and will trick you with equal number of answers. You will be asking questions and answering them all by yourself all your life. Will this lead to any real spiritual experience?

TRUTH: I have been with or seen people asking themselves "who am I?" for 40 years or all their lives and still not getting any answer.  Not only that, it was surprising to know that they did not even have a single meditation experience to share. If you think I am wrong, then you can check for yourself by visiting the places where such practices are popularized and practiced. You can enquire the people who have been living, working, and/or meditating there for a very long time and find out the answers for yourself. Of course, you need to be smart enough to get an honest answer because people who cannot or do not want to speak the truth will come up with some cock and bull stories; the usual miraculous physical and psychological benefit stuffs of meditation.

A verse from Yogavasishtha or Adhyatma Ramayana:

Koham kathamayam dosha samsaarakhya upagate, nyaayeneti paramarsho vicaareti kathyate
Vicharat Gnaayate Tattvadvishranti atmana, atho manasi gnatattvam sarva dukha parikshaya

Who am I? How did I come into this defective samsara (world)?
Such investigation is called Vichara (enquiry).
Through enquiry, Tattva (The Knowledge/Reality of the Self and the Cosmos) is known.
Such knowledge brings repose in the Self, then follows peace and the end of dukha (suffering).

Vicharam na sahate sa maya
That which cannot stand Vichara (enquiry) is Maya (illusory knowledge of the world).

Self-enquiry has been misunderstood by 99.99% of the people who practice it. Self-enquiry is finding the answers to questions such as Who am I? What am I? Where did I come from and where will I go to? What is death and what will happen to me after death? How am I conscious? What is consciousness? Who created me? Is there a God or a creator? etc. Such questions should turn a person toward spirituality, i.e., the course of one's life should change from worldly to spiritual. When this person turns spiritual, then he/she will have to seek the answers through meditation. The answer will come in Samadhi through Kundalini/spiritual awakening.

Self-enquiry is not an intellectual meditation technique! It is a spiritual Samskara (spiritual conditioning/inclination of a person), i.e., such doubts as who am I? will come to those persons who are spiritually evolved. Spiritually evolved persons are those who have very little or no attachments to the world, family, friends, and the triples desires of Kaama-Kaanchana-Keerti (sex, wealth, name and fame/ego satisfaction). Without getting rid of worldly attachments, if you do "who am I?" meditation for your entire life, you will not  get any answer.

By thinking, questioning and answering, you cannot become silent. Activity (questioning, answering, thinking) and Silence are the opposites. Without silence, you cannot have any spiritual experience/knowledge. Spiritual experiences are a must to get an answer for who am I?

"In Silence, Know Thyself!"
"In Silence, The Supreme Sound (Aham) is heard!"
"Be still, and Know That I am (Aham is) God!"

To know the answer for Koham=Who am I? What am I? What is Aham? What is ham? click:

When the mind becomes still or silent, the breath becomes equanimous, or a momentary swabhavika kumbhaka (natural cessation of breath) is achieved--spiritual awakening happens and the answer for "who am I?" will be known through direct experience.

Warning: If you have been practicing "Who am I?" meditation for more than 3 years and have not had any meditation/spiritual experiences listed in the link below, you need to rethink about spirituality and meditation.

WARNING: It's okay if you don’t meet a Brahmajnani (Self-realized seer) or realize yourself in this life, but never ever meet or follow a BHRAMjnaani (fake guru who will make you delusional).  If you do, then you will suffer your entire life.
SHUBHAMASTU – Let Good Happen to You!


Alex said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Achintya Idam said...

Hi Alex,
Abstain from using names and enquiring about other persons' books and meditation methods, drawing comparison between books or individuals, etc. Such activities mean that you are still trying to understand spirituality and meditation in various ways, in a variety of combination of letters A-Z;
you are critically examining the truth about spirituality from the books available in the market which contain various teachings/words of various people;
you are still trying to get impressed with one or the other person's teachings or want to judge whose or which teaching is the best so that you can follow it, or you are trying to make up your mind about whether a particular book/person was realized or not.

All such intellectual/mental activities mean that you are trying to understand spirituality with your intellect, which you WILL NEVER so give up trying to understand spirituality with your intellect and tell yourself clearly "I DON'T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT SPIRITUALITY AND MEDITATION! ALL MY KNOWLEDGE IS SECOND-HAND, HEARD, READ, OR THOUGHT ABOUT! SUCH KNOWLEDGE IS DEFINITELY NOT MINE!" Ask your Inner Guru in silence to give you some direct experiential knowledge. Understand the truth about spirituality through direct meditation experiences.

As for Who am I or what am I (Koham), I am that (Hamsa), That I am (Soham/Saham), I have already written what exactly this ham/ahm/aham/om/aum/hum/hoom (mani padme hoom fame), etc., is:

Shubhamastu = Let Good Happen To You!

Achintya Idam said...

THINKING about the following is not a spiritual practice, and they will not lead you to experience your real "I":

Your real SPIRITual Self (inner BE+ING) or the real "I" is not your physical body. This real Self, "I," or BEING is your SPIRITUAL BODY/MIND/CONSCIOUSNESS.

Only in deep meditation/SAMADHI, you can experience your real state of "BE" or BEING, know the answer for "who am I?" and realize your real "I". After a lot of such Samadhi states, it becomes natural for you to get into Samadhi effortlessly anytime. This effortless, hence sort of natural, state of getting into Samadhi and BEING your real "I" or the spiritual body/mind/consciousness is called SAHAJA SAMADHI. Sahaja Samadhi is the result of 1000s of spiritual/meditation/Kundalini experiences.

Nobody can "JUST BE," experience BEING state, or get the answer for who am I? and experience the real I without Samadhi. If someone says that without deep meditative states or Samadhi one can experience the real "I" with one's mind, then that person is deluded. Only ignorant people think that the physical body/mind/consciousness is the real "I" or the real Self.

Shubhamastu = Let Good Happen To You!

badriram rao said...

If samadhi can be experienced,then samadhi becomes an object for experience. The existence of any object separate from the Self is मित्था

Achintya Idam said...

Hi Badri,
Real meaning of Samadhi:
Sam/Sama = Sameness, equanimity, absorption, putting/joining/bringing together, merging, union.
Dhi = mind/intelligence.

Samadhi means merger/union of your mind/intelligence with your real SELF (Pure Awareness/Consciousness (Chit/Chetana/Chaitanya)) due to achieving equanimity/silence during meditation. Samadhi means merger/union of lower you (unreal?) with HIGHER YOU. This HIGHER/REAL YOU or SELF is also known as Witness (Sakshi), Knower (Jnata or Kshetrajna), Seer (Drashta), Experiencer (Bhokta), etc.

Samadhi is a subjective experience; the subject is REAL YOU. Have some REAL meditation/spiritual/Kundalini experiences in this life to realize through DIRECT EXPERIENCE the truth (Satya) or untruth (Mithya) about Samadhi and yourself/your SELF. BOOKISH KNOWLEDGE WILL NOT HELP YOU.

Shubhamastu = Let Good Happen To You!

Chetana Sachde said...


Achintya Idam said...

Ok some more thoughts on Samadhi. I had written a post on Samadhi/Jivanmukti but I deleted it as too much theoretical info is not required for real meditators and spiritual aspirants. I'm writing the following for general knowledge, for people who want to know the various meanings of the word "Samadhi," and for those who have read many scriptures/books and still don't know what Samadhi is:

In addition to the meaning of Sam/Sama (Sama+dhi) as mentioned in the above comment, Sam/Sama also means mixing, dissolving, getting united, mingling, commingling ("Sama gaya/Sama Jaana," Sambhog, etc).

Evenness of the mind/same state of the mind (equanimity), neither thinking this nor thinking that, or silence is also called Samadhi. "Nidra Samadhi Stithi" means sleep is a Samadhi state.

A person' s tomb is called Samadhi because the dead person has become silent, neither thinking this nor that, achieved evenness of the mind, or merged/absorbed/had union with the Supreme/Divine.

Usage of "Samadhi" varies depending on the adjectives (types) used before it.
Samsara/Bhava Samadhi: "Bhava" is formed from word root - Bhu (to be, become): Being, coming into existence, birth, production, origin; worldly existence, the world.
According to Buddhist concept, it is the continuity of becoming.
Absorption/immersion of the mind in Samsara (bhu/bhava/world) and Samsaric (worldly) activities is Samadhi. PEOPLE ARE IMMERSED IN BHAVA SAMADHI. This type of Samadhi results in innumerable births/rebirths (nobody cares if you believe in rebirths or not) and deaths/redeaths as well as repeatedly and continuously experiencing the pairs of opposites - happiness/unhappiness, love/hate, likes/dislikes, heat/cold, day/night, good/bad and peaceful/peaceless states, thoughts, emotions, feelings, sensations, times, actions and reactions, karma and karmaphala, etc. Bhava Samadhi ends only when all the knots of the spiritual heart are totally loosened through Kundalini awakening:

Bhaava Samadhi: Bhaava roughly means mental attitude, disposition. It is often translated as feeling, emotion, mood, devotional 'state of mind'. In bhakti (devotion to the divine/God), Bhaava Samadhi denotes mood of ecstasy/intense emotional states due to God/divine devotion/intoxication/vision/realization. Avoid this kind of Samadhi:

Jada Samadhi: Being motionless/stillness of the body for a longer period of time (hours/days/months/years per the myth/lies spread by some gurus/disciples) without body consciousness and spiritual consciousness. This is like a coma/sleep state due to meditation. Many ignorant people believe that this is the real meaning of Samadhi, the result of meditation, where the triputi (triad/tripod/trinity) of Jneya (knowable), Jnata (knower) and Jnana (Knowledge) has vanished, hence there is nothing to know or experience. All distinctions/distinguishable stuffs have vanished/dissolved into an inexplicable/ indescribable/inexperiencable/unknown/void state.

Ignorant people vehemently debate that Samadhi means the triputi of the meditator (dhyata), the object meditated upon (dhyeya), and the act of meditation (dhyana) all have merged/dissolved into one and all distinctions between the 3 have vanished. The distinction between drik (seeing), drishya (seen object), drashta (seer) or bhoga (enjoyment/experience), bhogya (enjoyable/experiencable), bhokta (enjoyer/experiencer), etc., has all vanished. Since everything has vanished, who will know? where is the knower? and what is there to know? They end up believing/debating that there is nothing to know and no one to know/experience anything and hence Samadhi is an inexplicable state.

Achintya Idam said...

The ignorant people will proclaim that anybody who can explain Samadhi doesn't know what Samadhi is and whoever cannot explain it (but knows the ultimate truth as per ABAC/XYZ scripture) is enlightened/Brahmajnani/Atmajnani/Seer/Saint/Buddha, etc. This is Brahmajnana, Atmajnana, Enlightenment, Buddhatva, Nirvana, JUST BE/BEING state of such deluded people.

There are so many gurus who have taught/are teaching/will teach such stuffs. No wonder so many Toms, Dicks, and Harrys became enlightened gurus this way. So easy enlightenment is, you see. With this kind of enlightenment, people could straightaway become enlightened gurus and give instant enlightenment to their disciples/followers. This is another reason why many gurus did/don't not talk about Kundalini and real meditation/Kundalini/spiritual experiences--instant enlightenment without any spiritual/meditation practice/experience.

Sahaja Samadhi: This is a spiritual Samadhi and not a worldly Samadhi. This is a natural, effortless, or involuntary Samadhi (Kundalini awakening). Being/entering one's spiritual body/mind/consciousness effortlessly/naturally due to one's advanced stage of spiritual evolution is Sahaja Samadhi (of course due to Kundalini awakening).

Dhyana Samadhi: Intense spiritual experience during meditation due to Kundalini awakening. Without Kundalini awakening, there cannot be Samadhi (intense spiritual experience). Two types of Dhyana Samadhi, i.e., Jnana Samadhi and Kriya Samadhi are mentioned in the other posts of this blog. These Samadhis are also called nirvikalpa Samadhi, asamprajnata Samadhi, nirvichara Samadhi, nirvitarka Samadhi, etc., and savikalpa Samadhi, samprajnata Samadhi, savichara Samadhi, savitarka Samadhi, etc.

Truth: Kundalini awakening means Samadhi. Kundalini awakening results in Samadhi. Samadhi is the result of Kundalini awakening. Kundalini awakening = Samadhi. Samadhi = Kundalini Awakening.
Many people will give many meanings to the word "Samadhi." Meditators should take the meaning of Samadhi as Intense Spiritual Experience/Kundalini Experience during meditation. You should avoid getting impressed with bookish enlightenment/Self-realization/Self-knowledge lest you become a BHRAMjnani (delusional person). If you really want to have a REAL spiritual experience, then your mantra should be "Dhyan bina Gyan nahi" = Without Dhyan (meditation), no Gyan (knowledge of the Self). "No Dhyana, No Jnana." You should believe only in practical/real Dhyana Samadhis (Kriya and Jnana Samadhi) and real Samadhi experiences:

Simple Truth: Words and knowledge of words will never help anyone have a real Kundalini/meditation/spiritual/Samadhi experience. Words/languages have no meaning to our spiritual body/mind/consciousness.

I don't know Sanskrit. I am not a wordsmith/writer/regular blogger. I have written this blog because there are only a very few spiritual practitioners left on this planet and I don't want them to get hurt physically/mentally due to misconceptions/misunderstandings/myths about gurus, meditation/spiritual practices, spirituality, Kundalini, meditation experiences, Samadhi and other meditation/spiritual ideas/concepts.
By the way, the English word "myth" is derived from the Sanskrit word "mithya."

Enlightenment myths:

Strange Truth: Wordsmiths will have difficulty achieving silence during meditation, hence not many wordsmiths will have a real Kundalini awakening/experience or Samadhi.

Food for thought: Famous writers are litterateurs, wordsmiths, experts in very impressive written skills, masters in the art of writing and have highly educated/cultured/sophisticated followers/readers.

Achintya Idam said...

Correction: You should avoid Bhaava Samadhi because:

Food for thought: All famous spiritual books/scriptures have great literature, vocabulary, word usage, grammar, language, composition, following a particular poetical/prose style, etc.

All fake gurus want to become wordsmiths, experts in written/spoken skills, masters in the art of writing/art of teaching/art of faking/art of deluding/art of camouflaging/art of talking mumbo-jumbo, gibberish/art of translating/art of explaining scriptural truths to prove their enlightenment in order to have highly educated/cultured/rich/sophisticated followers/disciples. All this nonsense for a living!!!!

Wordsmiths, experts in written and spoken skills, masters in the art of writing/art of teaching/art of faking/art of deluding/art of camouflaging/art of talking mumbo-jumbo, gibberish/art of translating/art of explaining scriptural truths want to become gurus. All this nonsense again for a living!!!!

The trend now is that some young and retired highly educated/cultured/rich/sophisticated people want to become spiritual gurus by writing articles/books/blogs on scriptures, translating/teaching/explaining the scriptures, or by just marketing power. You can find most of the aspiring gurus in internet forums marketing their meditation/spiritual malwares.


Unknown said...

i have practised ramana maharishi who am i for 3 months and i have realized the classic truths
i did hatha yoga for 3 months and then technique of ramana maharishi like i would sit and do abdominal breathing and then when a thought would arise i would question myself ,'to whom does this thought arise , to me ,who am i ?......followed by silence i am in kota coaching and i have made no freinds this year just to get self realized but you say that these practises are wrong and i think you are right because now the body is suffering terribly ,i had tremendous concentration and siting time buut now when i sit to study my abdomen feels uneasy , and i am having too much gas and constipation and breathlessness,when i expand my stomach my chest and neck hurt ,is it due the meditation

Achintya Idam said...

Hi U,
What do you think it is due to? realizing classic spiritual truths?
Your problems are due to your WRONG meditation. If you continue your meditation, you will end up with more physical/mental problems.

Give up meditation, give up reading spiritual books, make friends, do some physical exercises - walking, running, etc., have fun and study.
Shubhamastu = Let Good Happen To You!