Sri Swami Satchidanda wrote one of my favorite books from the Hindu tradition – The Yoga Sutras of Pantanjali. Some of you may remember this passage because I posted it on my first website many years ago. I am moved to share it.
Remember who you are
You seem to have lost your original identity and have identified with your thoughts and your body. Suppose I ask you who you are. If you say, “I am a man,” you have identified yourself with a masculine body. If you say, “I am a professor,” you are identifying with the ideas gathered in your brain. If you say, “I am a millionaire,” you are identifying with your bank account; if “a mother,” with a child; a husband,” with a wife. “I am tall; I am short; I am black or white” shows your identity with the shape and color of your body. But without any identifications, who are you? Have you ever thought about it? When you really understand that, you will see we are all the same. If you detach yourself completely from all the things you have identified yourself with, your realize yourself as pure “I.” In that pure “I” there is no difference between you and me.
Oneness with All Things
This is true not only with human beings but with everything. You call something a dog because it has a dog’s body. The spirit in a dog and a human is the same. The same is true even with inanimate objects; there is the same spirit in a stone or a wall. If I use the term “spirit,” or “Self’,” you might hesitate to believe me, but if a physicist says the wall is nothing but energy, you will believe that. So, using the scientist’s language, there is nothing but energy everywhere.
Even an atom is a form of energy. The same energy appears in different forms to which we also give names. So, the form and the name are just different versions of the same energy. And, according to the Yoga scientists, such as Pantanjali – and even many modern scientists – behind the different forms of energy is one unchanging consciousness or spirit or Self.
© 2012 by Satchidananda Ashram-Yogaville, Inc.
Beloved Sri Swami Satchidananda