Your name is the first name that was ever given. When Havva was created because man was alone – Adam was alone, and was very much depressed because of the loneliness…the whole existence and Adam was lonely! He asked God to give him a companion, and God created a woman. God asked Adam, “What are you going to call her? What name would you like to give her?” And he was so ecstatic that now at least there was somebody with whom he could be friendly, with whom he could be loving, with whom he could talk, communicate, with whom there was a possibility of relating. He was no more alone! – he was so ecstatic that he said he would call this creature “Eve, Eva, Havva.”
“Why?” God asked.
And Adam said, “Because Eve, Eva or Havva means life – she is my life. Without her I was almost dead.”
But when Eve was created, there was no name. A name was given to her because Adam would need it. Sometimes he would have to call her: “Where are you?” Sometimes the name would be needed – but a name is a false thing, it is just a label. We give names to people just to make it helpful to commune, to relate, to call, to address. But names are not real. You need not drop them, and even if you drop them nothing will be dropped.
You can drop this name “Eva” – nothing will be dropped, simply an idea. And you are no more attached to it. In exactly the same way: the name is for others to call you by, but you need something to call yourself by too. That’s what the ego is: I.
If you want to say something about yourself, you need some word – that word is “I.” Names are for others to call you by; the ego is for you to call yourself by, to address yourself. It is also false, it does not exist. You need not lose it. All that is needed is to understand it – why this “I” has become so important, why it has become so significant, so central, so substantial. A shadow has become so substantial – why? Because you don’t know your real self
When Jesus says “I,” he does not mean the same “I.” When he says, “I am the gate, I am the truth, I am the way,” his “I” does not connote any ego. When Krishna says to Arjuna, “Come to my feet, surrender to me,” his “me” is not the same as your “me.”
Buddha used to say to his disciples, “Be a light unto yourself.” A great King, Prasenjita, had come to see him. And he saw many sannyasins coming and bowing to Buddha, and saying: “Buddham sharanam gachchhami – I go to the feet of the Buddha. Sangham sharanam gachchhami – I go to the feet of the community of the Buddhas. Dhammam sharanam gachchhami – I go to the feet of the ultimate law, the ultimate law that supports existence, that runs like a thread and makes the existence a garland.”
Prasenjita was a man of logic, well-educated, sophisticated. He was a little bit puzzled. He asked Buddha, “Excuse me Sir, but you say to people, ‘Be a light unto yourself,’ and then they surrender to you, and they touch your feet – you don’t prevent them. This is illogical, this is contradictory. If you say ‘Be a light unto yourself,’ then there is no need to surrender to anybody else. Then why should they touch your feet?”