What are we really? We are not this mind, this body, these emotions although we tend to identify with these. Some people operate on a mainly intellectual level and may find the thought of going beyond their minds unsettling. Others operate more on the emotional or physical plane.
But then, to come back to the above question, what are we really? We are, in essence, the Spirit, a part of our being that never dies. This has been expressed beautifully in a poem by Adi Shanakaracharya called Tad Niskala. The first stanza is reproduced here:
Om. I am neither the mind,
Intelligence, ego, nor ’chitta’,
Neither the ears, nor the tongue,
Nor the senses of smell and sight,
Neither ether, nor air,
I am Eternal Bliss and Awareness.
I am Shiva! I am Shiva!
Here follows an extract from a talk by Shri Mataji, the founder of Sahaja Yoga:
So, today we are going to think about our Spirit, which we have neglected throughout. They are not even conscious that we have a Spirit. Through Sahaja Yoga those who are now conscious, because they can feel it through their vibrations, they can also get lost and can forget it. The Spirit is the only eternal thing within us, all the rest are transitory and evolutionary. Everything rose into evolution and the better is the evolution the higher the Spirit starts manifesting itself. Like the reflection… the reflection on the stone of even the sun is zero. And the reflection of the sun on the lake is sometimes I think, is the reflection that is felt in the Sahaja Yogis, when they see, feel it, it flows, they can feel the breeze in their hands.
But still their attention is not fully enlightened, the Spirit has not permeated inside. It’s just reflecting still. In the mirror you see the reflection of the sun. But even then, when you removed it you cannot reflect it. This is the difference – that even if you become the mirror of the sun, unless and until it permeates into your being and transforms you into something new, you have not done full justice to yourself and nor to the powers of your Spirit. The Spirit has come just like a vision to you an experience to you, but the growth of your being has not yet started and if it has started it’s so slow that you may not achieve much in one lifetime. Because your attention is on all various things. You have been misidentified from the very beginning, since the time you were amoeba you have been misidentified. The matter played a big role in your life, so matter was important. Then all the five elements that are within us were very important to us. Because we can see them, feel them we have lived them for years, thousands and thousands of years. So they are part and parcel of your being and that is why you are so much identified with it. That should be, no doubt.
But in the living process it never happens like that. There are some seeds which grow so fast that within one year they become trees after they have been sprouted. They bear fruit in one year’s time. Some trees are such, but some of them linger on and linger on and linger on and they take too much time. So much so that maybe when they are not yet fully developed any storm, any wind, any one of these things can just push them down. So you have to make a rapid growth within. Even after realization I have seen people do not pay attention to their Spirit. So for every Sahaja Yogi today I would say they have to ask … “Where is your attention?”
Extract from a talk, The eternal Spirit, London, 10 November 1980 by Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi, founder of Sahaja Yoga