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Chapter 10: Déjà Vu: A Small Fragment from the Past

Who are you? Somewhere I feel the answer will be there when I realize who am I, yet, what I get is already so much. To sit at your feet is the greatest blessing of all my lives. Suddenly, I know I am loved by existence. What a deep, deep joy to realize this. I am dancing in your garden. This is more a song of my heart than a question.
Who are you, my Beloved Master? My tears flow in awe and wonder.

The question is easy and natural, but it is impossible to answer it. “Who am I?” has been asked for thousands of years and it has helped thousands of people to discover themselves, but nobody has been able to find the answer, because one’s being is a mystery. You can ask a question about it, you can experience the mystery, but the answer is not possible, because the answer murders the mystery.

An answer is a way of demystifying. You can feel me, you can rejoice with my joy, you can be filled with my song, you can dance to abandon, but these are all making the mystery deeper; they are not answers. One day, you will understand - when you come to know yourself. Knowing is possible, but bringing it to words is impossible.

It is just not in the nature of things to formulate an answer about your innermost being. It is a secret and it is going to remain a secret. In fact, the more you enter into it, the more you are overwhelmed with wonder, not with knowledge - enchanted by its magic, by its silence, by its grandeur, almost breathlessly.you see the greatest beauty that you have ever imagined. But you cannot find any words to describe it, it defies all description; it negates all explanations.

The question is significant because the question is nothing but a quest. The question takes you closer to yourself, hoping that you will find the answer - that you will find yourself - but you don’t find the answer. In fact, you find that the question was fundamentally unanswerable.

One of the most enlightened people of this century, Raman Maharishi, had only a simple meditation.. He was uneducated; he left his home when he was seventeen. Somebody, perhaps his mother or father, had died and the shock was so much that for him, the whole world became meaningless. Rather than going to the funeral with the others, he simply escaped into the mountains. The fact - that death is going to take you over any day - made him aware, “I have to know myself before death comes.” He was just a boy, uneducated - he knew nothing of scriptures, he knew nothing of meditation techniques, but out of his innocence, he simply sat in the hills asking only one question: Who am I? He wanted to know before death came. He was not willing to die without knowing himself. Who am I? became his only concern, the ultimate concern.

At first it was only a question in the mind. Slowly, slowly, it penetrated his blood, his bones, his marrow. A moment came when it was no longer a question - his whole being became thirsty; it became a thirst, a quest. Even the question went beyond words and he was no longer asking, Who am I? His whole being was transformed into the question: Who am I? It was no longer a mental exercise; it became an existential experience.

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