The birth of “I”

Life Lessons Spirituality

Exactly 63 years ago on this very day, an organism weighing about seven pounds slipped out of its temporary abode and made its way into this world. Unlike most other animals, this organism was born helplessly reliant on its mother to survive. Its mother took care of the organism very well, and even though she had no milk due to the previous eight offspring, the organism got enough breast milk from the maids that the mother kept. It received all the care and attention but unfortunately fell sick when it was just three months from Diphtheria and typhoid simultaneously. Just as the mother was about to give up on it, the organism survived and survived well to become a plump and healthy calf when it was six months old. It lived instinctively and reacted if it liked what was fed; it ate or else closed its mouth shook its head in disapproval. It cried when hungry or lonely and laughed when it felt happy. If its instincts sensed danger, a threat to its survival, like a loud noise or in darkness involuntary cries of panic would emerge from its mouth.

The organism had only awareness and no mind of its own. In other words, it was merely consciousness enveloped in a physical body without any ideas. It was one with everything it saw and heard. The hands of the organism appeared as independent and unlabelled as the faces that appeared. Its innocence was pure and filled with nothing but love and everything appeared likable and lovable

Another few months passed by, and the organism started to crawl on the ground to reach out objects and tasted them to understand. It recognized faces of a few people who were always with it like its mother, father, siblings and the maids who fed it. It heard a familiar word being repeatedly shouted at it. A face with a large red dot on its forehead was constantly with it that responded whenever it cried. Slowly it started to form likes and dislikes about what it saw and heard.

The organism started to recognize that people liked it if it reacted to a particular word. The word that it repeatedly heard and to which it began to respond was “Mona”. A concept appeared in its awareness that its body was linked with that name by its parents and society. An assumption formed in its awareness that something existed in its physical form, its body that had a name.

The first foundation of an “I” formed with a word associated with its body and sensations. Immediately a databank of memories commenced in “Mona’s” awareness that started attaching all the experiences to a created entity called “I” and “me”. Like writing a b c d on a clean slate, soon its clean slate of awareness transformed into a data bank of memories of experiences called “Mind.”

The mind created a list of what and what not to do, how to react, how to cry to get attention. how to please to get what it wanted.  An algorithm  was constructed based on what brought it pleasure or pain, joy or sorrow in this journal. These concepts got etched in its memory, and a mind of its own got permanently cemented that gave it an identity, an ego.

From a being of pure awareness and presence, the organism started to filter everything it heard or saw through this script called “I” and started doing instead of being..

So over time, pure awareness got overwritten entirely with the story of “I”, and the awareness was no longer pure and innocent. The identity of the “I” and “Me” made it completely ‘unaware”

From the standpoint of this reality, the biochemical factory with a physical form and that my mind believes it exists within was born on the 18th of January 1958.

Who is that “I” I wonder. When was I, that pure awareness, really born? Was it always there into which my body and mind appeared? That is what our Vedanta says.

But the world and my mind say;

Today is my birthday.


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Inner Trek
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After being threatened by a Bangalore mob boss, retired Indian businessman Mohan Ranga Rao takes a vow to trek around Mount Kailash, a holy Tibetan Mountain revered by over a billion people. What starts out as merely a challenging high-altitude trek soon becomes a life-changing adventure. With a blend of humour, honesty and keen insight, Mohan journeys toward a deeper understanding of the world around him. A memoir of a road less travelled and a true story of self-discovery at 19,000 feet.

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