D Instead of enquiring: ‘Who am I?’ can I put the question to myself:
‘Who are you?’ so that my mind may be
fixed on you whom I consider to be God in the form of the Guru?
Perhaps I would come nearer to the goal of my quest by that enquiry than by asking myself: ‘Who am I?’
RamanaMaharshi: Whatever form your enquiry may take, you must finally come to the one ‘I’, the Self.
All these distinctions made between
‘I’ and ‘you’, master and disciple, are merely a sign of ignorance.
The supreme ‘I’ alone is.
To think otherwise is to delude oneself.
Therefore, since your aim is to transcend here and now these superficialities of physical existence through self-enquiry,
where is the scope for making the distinctions of ‘you’ and ‘I’
which pertain only to the body?
When you turn the mind inwards, seeking the source of thought, where is the ‘you’ and where the ‘I’?
You should seek and be the Self that includes all.
D.: But, isn’t it funny that the ‘I’ should be searching for the ‘I’?
Doesn’t the enquiry, ‘Who am I?’ turn out in the end to be an empty formula?
Or am I to put the question to myself
endlessly, repeating it like some mantra?
RamanaMaharshi: Self-enquiry is certainly not an empty formula; it is more than the repetition of any mantra.
If the enquiry: ‘Who am I?’ were mere mental questioning, it would not be of much value.
The very purpose of Self-enquiry is to focus the entire mind at its source.
It is not, therefore, a case of one ‘I’ searching for another ‘I’.
Much less is Self-enquiry an empty formula, for it involves an intense activity of the entire mind to keep it
steadily poised in pure Self-awareness.
Self-enquiry is the one infallible means, the only direct one, to realise the
unconditioned, absolute Being that you really are.