Who am I Technique is direct but Difficult
Question : No
doubt the method taught by Bhagavan is direct. But it is so difficult.
We do not know how to begin it. If we go on asking, `Who am I?', `Who am
I?' like a japa [repetition of the name of God] or a mantra, it becomes
dull. In other methods there is something preliminary and positive with
which one can begin and then go step by step. But in Bhagavan's method,
there is no such thing, and to seek the Self at once, though direct, is
In the direct method, as you call it, in asking yourself `Who am I?', you are told to concentrate within yourself where the `I'-thought, the root of all other thoughts, arises. As the Self is not outside but inside you, you are asked to dive within, instead of going without. What can be more easy than going to yourself? But the fact remains that to some this method will seem difficult and will not appeal. That is why so many different methods have been taught.
Each of them will appeal to some as the best and easiest. That is according to their pakva or fitness. But to some, nothing except the vichara marga [the path of enquiry] will appeal. They will ask, `You want me to know or to see this or that. But who is the knower, the seer?' Whatever other method may be chosen, there will be always a doer. That cannot be escaped. One must find out who the doer is. Till then, the sadhana cannot be ended.
So eventually, all must come to find out `Who am I?'.You complain that there is nothing preliminary or positive to start with. You have the `I' to start with. You know you exist always, whereas the body does not exist always, for example in sleep. Sleep reveals that you exist even without a body.
We identify the `I' with a body, we regard the Self as having a body, and as having limits, and hence all our trouble. All that we have to do is to give up identifying the Self with the body, with forms and limits, and then we shall know ourselves as the Self that we always are.
Am I to think `Who am I?'
Source: from David Godman Excellent Book "Be As You are"