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Who am I
Date: Tue Sep 15 1998 - 09:24:57 PDT

When did life begin for me?
I asked my parents and they gave me the date of my birth from the
hospital's records.  I asked the doctor: "that was only the moment when
my body was delivered by my mother unto mother earth; please tell me
when my life really began."
He was surprised at the unusual query and frowned a little, engaged in
deep thought and said: It's a strange question which few ask.  Of
course, there is an answer in medical science. The date of birth is a
conventional mark on the time-scale to define birth.  But your life
began long before that -- in fact, about forty weeks prior to that
event. That was when conception of the first cell of your body took
place in your mother's womb.  There is no record of the precise moment
of that birth.  We can know only approximately."  He added: "The process
of life is truly mysterious.  It should come as no surprise to you that
the first moment of your life is indeed shrouded in great mystery!"
     A one-half of my first cell started its life when my mother herself
was born; it lived for a long time as an egg in her ovaries, until the
day it was launched in its search for its other half which lived with a
million other sperms in my father's body.  Among those million specks
which raced to meet my female-half, the unique one that is now my
male-half succeeded in beating competition and uniting with its
better-half.  It is this historic event that truly marked the beginning
of my life.
     In that first moment of life, my entire body existed in a potential
state in a single-cell-microscopic-dot.  It knew Nature's 'Law of the
reversed effort' and divided so it can multiply!  The process continued
in the womb until the space inside became insufficient and my body was
forcibly ejected to continue its growth in the free space outside.  To
the world, that was the moment when I was born, but we know that life
began much earlier.
     Later, when I read other books and listened to great scholars, I
learned about an even earlier origin to my life.  This is what I
learned: "your body is just the house in which you live now.  But you
have lived in other houses before and each such life is known as a
previous birth.  Very few can recall the memory of such births; but rest
assured that that your life goes a long way back in time.  Your present
body was chosen for you to fit your mission in life with reference to
your deeds in your past lives.  Your life does not end when the body
dies, for Life is immortal."
     The realized ones, the Seers, have encouraged us to enquire
constantly: Who am I?   I am not my name; I am not this physical body; I
am not the mind which is another name for the constant flux of thoughts;
I am not the ego which seems to hold me in its tight grip and refuses to
loosen its hold on power, pelf and pleasure.   Rejecting such untenable
answers repeatedly, they have assured us, will lead us to an awareness
of the universal Life-principle which does exists common to all of
us.       I realize that my search will end only when this questioning
"I" disappears; this is the true purpose of my life for which  I need
the guidance and blessings of my Guru and divine Grace. Late in this
life I have understood that every other enquiry or effort only prolongs
the agony of this search. 
Adiyen Dasan
MK Krishnaswamy