With the expansion of “mine,” the “I” expands. As the “I” grows, the pain also grows. On one hand one feels that happiness is on the increase, on the other hand the unhappiness also goes on increasing. The more we increase this happiness, the more unhappiness goes on increasing – and between the two an illusion is carried on. Where there is no possibility of saying “mine,” there too we go on saying “mine” falsely, unmeaningfully. This hand you call “mine,” this body you call “mine,” are also not yours. When you were not, even then the bones, the skin, the blood of this hand existed somewhere; and they will exist even after you. The bones in your body, they have been bones in so many other earlier bodies. The blood in your body has flowed in the body of some animal yesterday and in some tree the day before. Who knows how long, how many billions and trillions of years, the journey has been? Even when you won’t be, not a single particle of your body will be annihilated. It will all exist. It will flow in some other bodies.
Understand it this way: the breath you took in just now, a moment ago it was inside the person sitting next to you. A moment ago he was calling it my breath, and a moment later it does not belong to him anymore, it has become somebody else’s.
Life does not accept anybody’s claim over it and goes on flowing each moment. But we go on claiming. This illusion of claim, this is man’s deepest illusion.
So whenever a person says “mine,” he is falling in ignorance. This sutra is to break this very illusion. Not only the land is not mine, the house is not mine, the money is not mine – even the body is not mine. Your body is made up from the atoms of your parents. Those atoms existed before you were, and they are coming to you after a long journey. Before your parents, they were in the bodies of their parents. These atoms have had a long journey of millions of years; now they constitute your body. That body too is a field, a land in which you are rooted, but you are not it. You are not the body, you are separate from it.
This sutra says a man is not only not the body, it goes even deeper and says man is not even the mind, because mind is also an accumulation.
Do you have a single thought which may be yours, which you can say is yours? There are none. Some have come from tradition, some from scriptures, some from hearing someone, some from your reading – they have come from one or the other external sources. If you search for the birth-chart of your every single thought, if you look at the journey of every single thought, you will find you don’t have a single thought of your own, they are all borrowed; they have come to you from somewhere.
No thought is ever original, all thoughts are borrowed. But we claim even a thought to be “mine.”
Remember, even a breath cannot be called “mine”; thought is a much more subtle matter. Going deeper and deeper into this analysis, where does one come to? Where have the Upanishads come to? Where does Buddha come to? Where does Mahavira come to? Continuing this analysis, using the negation, “I am not this, I am not this”; when in the end nothing remains to be negated, when nothing remains about which I can even think whether it is mine or not, that which remains even then…. When there is nothing left to cut, when all relations are broken and none remains that can still be broken, that which remains even then is what the Upanishads have called sakshi, the witness.