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A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami


The Official Source For Srila Prabhupada's Original Books

Who am I

The Bhagavad-gita, chapter two text twenty states:
“For the soul, there is never birth nor death. Nor, having once been, does he ever cease to be. He is unborn, eternal, ever-existing, undying, and primeval. He is not slain when the body is slain.”

So who am I?

What is my real identity?

Am I a human?
Am I American, Indian, black, white, Latino, etc?
Am I Hindu, Jewish, Christian or Buddhist, etc?
Am I my country?
Am I my social circle?
Am I my style?
Am I my favorite music or television show?
Am I my body?
Am I my mind?
Am I my thoughts?

What is the self?

Who am I?

From the Bhagavad-gita, we can understand that we are none of the things listed above, so what is the self, that true inherent identity?

We can identify with or may like the things listed above or an unlimited number of other things, but we are not any of them. So first of all we must come to this realization that we are not these innumerable things that we have been taught to IDENTIFY with. This is the reason we are not in a constant state of full bliss, peacefulness, and complete satisfaction. Because these things can NOT satisfy us. All these labels and things are inherently foreign to us, foreign to our real identity.

Okay, so what are we? What is that self?

Let us think about it, the self is always there, so it is eternal. We are that self and we are always there so we are eternal.

So the next question must be, if we are the eternal self, what are the natural activities and nature of the self? The nature of the self must also be eternal because we are eternal. So what is that activity that is never-ending and is constant just like me?

The only thing that is constant is service, we are always busy serving on so many different levels. We serve our friends our parents our pets like dogs and cats. We serve the government by paying taxes and following the laws like stopping at stop signs or driving on the proper side of the road. Even if we move to the forest and live alone we will still be serving the dictations of our mind and senses. Our tongue says give me the ice cream or feed me in this way or that and then we work hard to satisfy the demands of the tongue. The same goes for the ears, eyes, genitals, etc.

So if we think about it we are always serving either our own senses or someone else’s or something else.

The material service is monotonous and unsatisfying due to its temporary, material, and bodily-centered nature. But serve we must. The Veda’s recognize this so they recommend simply turning that service propensity towards Krishna the all blissful supreme eternally lovable master. And Since he is eternal that service will not go in vain, lost or be taken away! (in Sanskrit this transcendental divine service of Krishna is called “Seva”).

This Seva is the eternal nature of the soul.

We are always serving something, someone, or the dictations of our own minds. So since we are natural servants why not serve the most wonderful beautiful master, Krishna?

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