Question 198: How is identification?


Rama asks ‘What is identification?’ The sage explains identification and body awareness, and the innumerable sufferings for those in bondage to the body, and to the desires for bodily pleasures. The sage recommends obtaining the nectar of detachment, so that you may attain bliss … …

moksha: liberation, for salvation, and of liberation, liberation from material bondage
jivanmukta: permanently self-realised (or God-realised) person who no longer has any indentification whatsoever with his or her body.
atma-gyan: direct knowledge of the Atma; self-realisation; knowledge of the Atmic state.
turiya: the fourth state of consciousness that transcends and pervades the three states of wakefulness, dream and deep sleep; the state where the individual self is united with the Supreme Self.
videhamukta: liberated; having no body feelings or body consciousness.


Question 198: Sir, what is identification? What is that identification which is of the nature of bondage? What is that identification which is an aspect of liberation (moksha) and how does it culminate in liberation?

Answer: Ramji, identification of the self with the body, or assumption of faith in the body and the consequent feeling that ‘I am an entity’ is an identification leading to bondage. To accept oneself as an entity on account of the feeling of self in a body, and having maintained that ego, to desire for pleasures is bondage.

He who has realised that Atma is everything and that there is nothing to desire or to renounce, is free from identifications and is liberated (jivanmukta). Such a person has no desire either for performing actions or for renouncing actions. He who is free from the desires of joy and sorrow, love and hate and has always firm faith in Atma, is said to be unattached and free from the bonds of actions (karma). He who is shackled with attachments and maintains his ego in actions and gratifications, is subject to innumerable sufferings.

Ramji, you should eradicate from your mind the feelings of identification with the universe so that on obtaining the nectar of detachment, you may attain bliss and your wandering in rebirths may be stopped. Reflect intently and follow what I have told you. Renounce all objects in your mind, and be established in the non-dual Atma and then you will have no identification and shall be free from all identifications, and your mind will be absorbed in direct knowledge of the Atma (atmagyan). This is the fourth state of consciousness beyond wakefulness, dream and deep sleep (turiya state) and it is the state of immortality. After that the bonds of birth and death break down and liberation is attained.

Ramji,when the individual self is united with the Supreme Self (turiya), this is the state of liberation (jivanmukta); after this is the turiya-atit (beyond turiya) state of videhamukta (having no body feelings or body consciousness) which cannot be described in words.


Nothing is permanent. Your body itself is not permanent. The body has however to be maintained. But there should be no body attachment, which leads man to endless cycle of birth and death.

That is why Adi Sankara said:

“Punarapi Jananam Punarapi Maranam
Punarapi Janani Jathare Sayanam
Iha Samsare Bahu Dustare
Kripayapare Pahi Murare.”

(I am caught up in this cycle of birth and death;
time and again, I am undergoing the agony of staying in the
mother’s womb. It is very difficult to cross this ocean
of worldly life. Oh Lord! take me across this ocean and
grant me liberation.)

Worldly life is full of sorrow and suffering. Lord Krishna said,

“Anityam Asukham Lokam Imam Prapya Bhajasva Maam” (as the world is temporary and full of misery, contemplate on Me constantly).

Having taken human birth, you must find fulfilment in life. You must pursue a noble path. Do not be inflated by praise. You should be above praise and blame. Foster peace. Where is peace? It is not available in the market for you to buy. Peace is inside. Outside you find only pieces. In fact, everything is there in you.

You are the embodiment of peace,
You are the embodiment of truth,
You are the embodiment of love,
You are the embodiment of God.

Summer Showers 2002, p88


follow the master


Hamsa Gayatri
Om Hamsaaya Vidmahe
Paramahamsaya Dheemahi
Tanno Hamsa Prachodayat

“May we realise Hamsa that is our own Self as the Swan. Let us meditate on that Paramahamsa, the Supreme Self. May Hamsa illumine us.”

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