|Vedanta Spiritual Library|
Module - H
Unit - H01
Lesson H0101: Understanding 'YOU ARE THAT'
By Raja Subramaniyan
Joyful Living is possible only when we understand the essence of the scriptures, namely, 'YOU ARE THAT'. Due to ignorance people do not have clarity on the meaning of the word, 'YOU'. Since the word 'THAT' refers to God, who is relatively unknown, it will be easier to learn that part. With respect to the question, 'who am I?' confusing and often contradicting knowledge exists in our mind. We need to gain clarity on the meaning of the word 'YOU' so that it is possible for us to comprehend the meaning of the statement, 'YOU ARE THAT'.
Conflicting questions will arise in our mind if we attempt to understand this statement, 'YOU ARE THAT' with our wrong knowledge. How can I, a limited, mortal human being be an all powerful God? Such contradictions will force us to either one of the following options.
Option 1: Disregard the scriptures or conclude that the scriptures DO NOT declare 'YOU ARE THAT'. People who are not fully qualified for Joyful Living will choose this option. They may have to spend many more lifetimes to understand that this option will not lead to Joyful Living.
Option 2: Accept and have faith in the declaration of the scriptures and start doubting our understanding of the meaning of the word YOU. People, who choose this option will embark on the process of enquiry and find out the right meaning of the word 'YOU'. They will reach the destination of Joyful Living soon.
Inquiry about the meaning of the word 'YOU'
Prior to commencing the inquiry of the meaning of the word YOU, we should be clear that this word does not mean our body/mind complex. Our physical body is an incidental addition and not an integral part, as detailed in earlier modules.
The word 'YOU' is wrongly assumed to mean two distinct entities. One is EGO and the other is SELF/ ONE. Our body/ mind complex exists and is enlivened by these two distinct entities.
ONE is the changeless consciousness, which lends existence to the whole universe. In the context of our body/mind complex, the very same ONE is referred to as SELF.
EGO is different from Ego. Our mind has four modes: one of which is Ego (the thoughts of 'I' and 'mine'). Our mind also reflects the consciousness or SELF/ONE. EGO is this reflection.
In this module, the original consciousness is referred as SELF or ONE and the reflected consciousness is referred as EGO.