By Dada Bhagwan

Dadashri: What is your name?

Questioner: My name is Chandubhai.

Dadashri: Are You really Chandubhai?

Questioner: Yes.

Dadashri: Isn’t Chandubhai your name? Are You Yourself Chandubhai or is your name Chandubhai?

Questioner: That is just a name.

Dadashri: Yes, so who are you? If Chandubhai is your name, then who are you? Are you and your name not separate? If you are separate from your name, then who are you? Do you understand what I am trying to say?
If you say, “These are my eyeglasses,” then you and the eyeglasses are separate, aren’t they? Similarly, do you still not feel that you are separate from your name?
Just as if a shop were to be named ‘General Traders’, there is no offence in that. However, if we were to say to the shop owner, “Hey General Traders, come here!” then the shop owner would respond, “My name is actually Jayantilal, and General Traders is the name of my shop.”
So, the name of the shop owner is separate, and the shop owner is separate, the merchandise in the shop is separate; everything is separate, isn’t it? What do you think?

Questioner: That makes sense.

Dadashri: Whereas here, people insist, “No, I myself am Chandubhai.” So here, not only are you the sign on the shop but you are also the owner of the shop! ‘Chandubhai’ is just a means of identification.
Yes, it is not that you are not Chandubhai entirely.
You are Chandubhai, but ‘you are Chandubhai’ is correct from the relative viewpoint.

Questioner: ‘I’ am actually the Self (Atma), but my name is Chandubhai.

Dadashri: Yes, but if someone were to swear at Chandubhai, then does it affect you?

Questioner: I do get affected.

Dadashri: Then you are Chandubhai, you are not (prevailing as) the Self. If You are (prevailing as) the Self, then You would not get affected. But the fact that you are getting affected, means that you indeed are Chandubhai.
You are taking on the verbal abuse that is being hurled in the name of Chandubhai. If someone is speaking negatively about Chandubhai (in the next room), then you end up putting your ear to the wall and start listening. If someone were to ask you, “What is the wall saying to you?” Then, you would say, “No, not the wall, behind the wall they are talking about me and that is what I am listening to.” Now, who are they really talking about? About Chandubhai. Hey, but You are not Chandubhai. If You are the Self, then you would not accept anything addressed to Chandubhai.

Questioner: In reality, ‘I’ am indeed the Self, right?

Dadashri: You have not yet become the Self, have you! You are still Chandubhai, aren’t you! The belief that ‘I am Chandubhai’ is a false attribution (aaropit bhaav). The belief that ‘I indeed am Chandubhai’ has set in for you; that is a wrong belief.
This belief of yours, that ‘I am Chandubhai,’ does not disappear even at night in your sleep, does it! Moreover, people get you married off, and then they say, “You are this woman’s husband,” so then you accept the role of a husband and act like one. After that, you keep reiterating that ‘I am her husband.’ Would anyone be a husband forever? If you end up divorcing, then from the very next day, would you be her husband? So, all these wrong beliefs have set in.
Thus, ‘I am Chandubhai’ is a wrong belief. Then ‘I am this woman’s husband’ is the second wrong belief. ‘I am a devotee of Lord Krishna’ is the third wrong belief. ‘I am a lawyer’ is the fourth wrong belief. ‘I am this boy’s father’ is the fifth wrong belief. ‘I am this boy’s maternal uncle’ is the sixth wrong belief. ‘I am fair-skinned’ is the seventh wrong belief. ‘I am forty-five years old’ is the eighth wrong belief. ‘I am this man’s business partner’ is also a wrong belief. If you say, “I am an income taxpayer,” then that too is a wrong belief. How many such wrong beliefs must have set in?
This (belief of) ‘I am Chandubhai’ is egoism (ahamkaar). This is because to falsely claim ‘I am’ when one is in fact not that, that is called egoism.

Questioner: How can there be egoism in saying, “I am Chandubhai”? If someone says, “I am like this, I am like that,” that would be a different matter, but if he casually says, “I am Chandubhai,” where is the ego in that?.

Dadashri: Even if he says it casually, does the ego withdraw? Even if he says, “My name is Chandubhai,” casually, it is still egoism indeed. This is because you do not know who You are, and you identify yourself with that which you are not. That is all egoism indeed, isn’t it!
(To say) ‘You are Chandubhai’ is for a ‘dramatic’ purpose only (for playing your role in worldly interactions).
So, there is no problem with saying, “I am Chandubhai,” but the belief that ‘I am Chandubhai’ should not set in.

Questioner: Yes, otherwise the state of the ‘I’ will have taken hold (in the wrong place).

Dadashri: If the ‘I’ is placed in its right place, then it is not egoism. The ‘I’ is not in its original place, it is in a wrongly attributed place, hence it is egoism. When the ‘I’ withdraws from the wrongly attributed place and gets positioned in the right place, then the ego disappears.
Therefore, the ‘I’ is not to be removed; the ‘I’ is to be positioned in its right place.
Is One Unknown to One’s Own Self?
In fact, for infinite lives, one has attempted to remain hidden from one’s own Self. Is it not astonishing that not only has one remained hidden from one’s own Self, but one has also known everything that is not of one’s Self?
How long will you remain hidden from your own Self? For how long will you remain (this way)? The only purpose of this life is to realize ‘who am I’. The purpose of the human life is solely to figure out ‘who am I’. Otherwise, until then, you will continue wandering aimlessly. You will have to know ‘who am I’, won’t you? Will you need to know ‘who am I’ or not?
If you were told to separate ‘I’ and ‘my’ with a ‘separator’, then would you actually be able to separate them? Is it worth separating ‘I’ and ‘my’ or not? Sooner or later, you will have to know this, won’t you! Separate ‘I’ and ‘my’. Just as there is a ‘separator’ that separates cream from the milk, similarly, separate this (‘I’ and ‘my’).
At the moment, are you identifying with ‘my’? Are you the ‘I’ alone, or is the ‘my’ there alongside?

Questioner: The ‘my’ is bound to be there alongside, isn’t it!

Dadashri: What are all the things that fall under ‘my’ for you?

Questioner: My house and all the things inside my house.

Dadashri: Are all of those things considered to be Yours (of the Self)? And who does the wife belong to?

Questioner: She is also mine.

Dadashri: And whose children are these?

Questioner: They are also mine.

Dadashri: And whose watch is this?

Questioner: It is also mine.

Dadashri: And whose hands are these?

Questioner: These hands are also mine.

Dadashri: Then you will also say, “My head, my body, my feet, my ears, my eyes.” You refer to all these parts of the body as ‘mine’, but who is it that says ‘mine’?
Have you never thought about that? You say, “My name is Chandubhai,” and later you say, “I am Chandubhai”; do you not feel there is a contradiction in this?

Questioner: Yes, I do.

Dadashri: You are Chandubhai; currently, both ‘I’ and ‘my’ are encompassed in that. The two railway lines of ‘I’ and ‘my’ are completely separate; they always run parallel, they never merge. Nevertheless, you believe them to be one. Having understood this, separate the ‘my’. Set aside everything that falls under ‘my’. For example, (you say) “My heart”; so set that aside. What other things do we need to separate from this body?

Questioner: The feet and all the sensory organs.

Dadashri: Yes, everything. The five sensory organs (jnanendriya; the body systems through which the knowledge of sight, hearing, touch, smell, and taste is acquired) and the five organs of action (karmendriya; the eliminative organs, genital organs, feet, hands, and tongue).
And then do you say, “My mind” or “I am mind”?

Questioner: I say, “My mind.”

Dadashri: Do you not say, “My intellect”?

Questioner: Yes.

Dadashri: And you say, “My chit (the subtle component of vision and knowledge in the inner functioning instrument which is composed of the mind, intellect, chit, and ego),” don’t you?

Questioner: Yes.

Dadashri: Then do you say, “My egoism,” or do you say, “I am egoism”?

Questioner: My Egoism.

Dadashri: If you say, “My egoism,” then you will be able to maintain separation to that extent. However, you do not know what lies beyond this, what part is Yours. So then complete separation does not happen. You only know what is Yours to a certain extent. You only know the gross parts; you do not know the subtle parts at all. As a matter of fact, the subtle parts need to be deducted, then the subtler parts need to be deducted, then the subtlest parts need to be deducted; that is a task only for the Jnani Purush.
However, if you keep on subtracting away each of the spare parts, then it is possible to separate the ‘I’ and the ‘my’, isn’t it? If you keep on deducting ‘my’ from ‘I’, what is it that finally remains? If you set aside the ‘my’, then what is it that ultimately remains?

Questioner: The 'I'.

Dadashri: So that ‘I’ is precisely what You are! That is all. That ‘I’ needs to be realized.

Questioner: So, after such a separation, am I to understand that whatever is left over, that is what ‘I’ am?

Dadashri: Yes, whatever remains after the separation, that is who You are. The ‘I’ is what you actually are. This will need to be examined, won’t it? So, isn’t this an easy method, provided the ‘I’ and ‘my’ are separated?

Questioner: It does appear to be simple, but that happens only when the subtler and subtlest levels become separate, isn’t it? That is not possible without a Jnani, is it?

Dadashri: Yes, the Jnani Purush will show you that. That is why ‘we’ say, “Separate ‘I’ and ‘my’ with the Jnani’s separator.” What do the writers of the scriptures call this ‘separator’? They refer to it as the Knowledge of separation (Bhed Jnan). How are you going to do the subtraction without the Knowledge of separation? You do not have the Knowledge of separation, the Knowledge of what things are yours and what things are not yours. The Knowledge of separation means: All this goes in ‘mine’ and ‘I’ am separate from that. Therefore, if you remain in touch with the Jnani Purush, then that Knowledge of separation will be attained, and then it will become separate for you. If the separation between ‘I’ and ‘my’ is made, then it is very easy, isn’t it? Is spirituality easy or difficult through this method that ‘we’ have shown? Otherwise, the living beings of this era of the time cycle will keep on reading scriptures to the point of exhaustion.

Questioner: We need someone like you to help us understand, don’t we?

Dadashri: Yes, there is that need. However, there are not a lot of Jnani Purush who are around, are there! They are rarely around, so get your work done during that time. Take the Jnani Purush’s ‘separator’ for an hour or so, there is no charge for that! Get the separation done through that. So, then the ‘I’ becomes separate, otherwise, it would not! Once the ‘I’ becomes separate, all the work gets done. The essence of all the scriptures is just this much.
If you want to become the Self, then you will have to surrender all that falls under ‘my’. If you surrender the ‘my’ to the Jnani Purush, then you will be left with the ‘I’ alone.
‘I’ with ‘my’ is known as the embodied self (jeevatma). ‘I am, and all of this is mine,’ is the state as the embodied self. And ‘I am ‘I’ alone and all of this is not mine,’ is the state as the absolute Self (Parmatma). Therefore, it is due to the ‘my’ that liberation (moksha) does not happen. If the realization (bhaan) of ‘who am I’ arises, then the ‘my’ leaves. If the ‘my’ leaves, then everything leaves.
‘My’ is the relative department and the ‘I’ is Real. Meaning, the ‘I’ is never temporary, the ‘I’ is permanent. ‘My’ is temporary. Therefore, you should find the ‘I’ amidst all this.