Sanjaya, how am I to know? How can I answer this question? Nobody else can answer it for you except you. I cannot answer it on your behalf.
I know who I am, but how can I say who you are? You will have to dive deep within your own self. And the people who have been answering on your behalf are your enemies, because you will start collecting and accumulating their answers, you will become knowledgeable, and to become knowledgeable is to prevent wisdom arising.
Yes, thousands of answers are available. I can also answer you very easily: that you are a soul, eternal, deathless; that you are sons of God, sons of immortality – amritasya putra. I can tell you all these beautiful things that have been said down the ages, but they are not going to help. If you cling to them, I have not helped you, I have hindered you. I have not been a master to you but an enemy, not a friend.
I cannot answer it for you. It is not a question that can be answered by anybody other than yourself. You have to go into your own self. You have to search. You have to ask and inquire, “Who am I?” It is a question which is very private, absolutely private, and only you are capable of knowing the answer – and not through scriptures, remember, but through a deep inquiry into your own being. That very inquiry is meditation.
Ramana Maharshi used to give only one meditation to his disciples: Sit silently and go on inquiring within yourself “Who am I?” First verbally, and then slowly slowly let the words disappear and let the question become a feeling: “Who am I?” – just a feeling, just a question mark deep down in your heart. And go on asking. One day even that feeling disappears. There is no question; suddenly you are questionless.
The question “Who am I?” will help you to destroy all other questions, and then finally it commits suicide: you are left with no question. And that is the moment of the answer arising in you. Then, even if you know the answer, you will not be able to communicate it to anybody else. It is incommunicable.
You ask me: “Who am l?”
You are Sanjaya; this is your name. You are a man; you have the body of a man. You are an educated person; you have a medical degree. These things can be answered by anybody, but these are not you. You are a Hindu; you have lived the life of a so-called Hindu religious man. You know the Gita; you have read it so many times that you can simply repeat it from memory. And in the Gita Krishna has answered so many times who you are that you must know those answers too.
Beware of people who answer such deep questions of yours. Only superficial questions can be answered by others. If somebody starts telling you about your deepest core, stop him immediately. It is none of his business and he is going to make a mess of you.
A bachelor sent in his income tax return.
One of the agents working for the Internal Revenue Department noticed that he claimed a six-hundred-dollars deduction for the upbringing of a baby. He wrote the man a letter saying, “That obviously must be a stenographical error.”
The return letter read: “Sir, Are you telling me!”
Whenever somebody else tells you who you are, stop him immediately. This is none of his business, and whatsoever he says to you is going to harm you; it is poisonous.
The real master will not tell you who you are, though of course he will shake you and shock you into awareness.
The two patients met with each other in the asylum grounds.v
“Good morning, Fosdike, how are you?”v
“I’m fine, Cartwright, but my name isn’t Fosdike.”
“Mine’s not Cartwright either.”
“Not to worry, we’re probably not ourselves today.”
But this is the situation of the whole world: the whole earth is almost like a madhouse; nobody knows who he is. People who don’t know who they are go on telling others about their innermost selves. They are simply repeating scriptures, beautiful scriptures, like parrots; but in their hands all scriptures lose their truth.
When somebody who is awakened says something it has a truth in it, but when unawakened people repeat it, it becomes untrue. Truth repeated by those who have not experienced becomes untrue. Truth borrowed becomes untrue.
Sanjaya, only one thing can be said: that you are in a deep unconsciousness. The unconsciousness has to be broken, the ice has to be melted. Once your unconsciousness is broken, once you have become a little conscious, you will be able to see who you are – you will be the first person to know who you are. See the unfortunate situation: that we have to ask others who we are.
The captain told the prisoner that he would be released if he fulfilled three conditions: “First, you must drink this gallon of Kentucky rotgut whiskey without stopping. Should you survive this, you must go outside to the animal cage where a lion has a bad tooth. You must remove the tooth barehanded, without anesthetic. And finally, if you survive the first two conditions, you must go out the back to a tent where a woman who has never, I repeat never, been sexually satisfied is waiting for you to satisfy her. If you accomplish all three, I will set you free.”
The prisoner shuddered, but feeling that he had no choice agreed to try. First he drank the whiskey, turning all shades of the color spectrum. He then stumbled out the front door. For an hour all that could be heard were screams and roars, shouts and more roars.
Finally the prisoner returned, his clothes in shreds, his body covered in blood.
“Okay,” he mumbled. “Now where’s the lady with the bad tooth?”
Osho, The White Lotus, Ch 4, Q 2