Which takes me here, to Mr. Block’s class, writing a 3-page essay about our memories. Sadly, the ones that I can be really descriptive on are the sad ones. Leading up to this was 2 scenes, a revise, and a “hot words” is what Mr. Block likes to call them. While I was writing I couldn’t really think on what to write until he announced, “ Everyone put ‘Free Write’ on top of your Google document. You have ten minutes.” I had no idea what so ever to put on my Google doc. I sat in class, during last period for about 4 minutes pondering on what to jot down. Words of any kind, non-stop about anything that my two scenes reminded me about a larger part in life.
I stared and stared until I finally thought of a good idea. “Who am I really?” That was a question that I was trying to answer. While trying to haul all my thoughts and words on this page quickly I finally knew what to say and how to say it. For some reason, I’ve always felt sad, the little things I picked out, and sometimes I even feel as though I’m not confident enough in myself.
I know that not everyone is going to like or approve of you but sometimes I just feel this way. Other times, I feel empty, just as hallow as a log. I feel like I’m hiding behind a mask most of the time. Who am I really? The darker thoughts reminded me of how it all started like a punch to the face. I remembered how I first felt like I was lost in myself trying to find my true self out. It all started when my friend had called my name in technology class during the 6th grade, “Briana?” he asked.
That’s all I could hear through the thundering of noise of voices echoing off the technology walls. My best friend David had showed me a picture of this fallen angel with it’s back facing the screen and her left wing broken and crippled but the right wing folded in. The picture was very alluring and it drew me in like the smell of a fresh homemade apple pie. I couldn’t help but understand the picture so well. With constant friends leaving, and promises broken, I understood the pain and sorrow that screamed through the picture.
With my speechless eyes I stared at the picture. I couldn’t take my eyes off it. It was if my eyes hunger for the understanding of the photo. It felt as if I needed the reassuring judgment that the photo brought to it self. The power in the photo was overpowering that everything I was supposed to hear, was closed and pushed out.
After being suck into the vibe of the photo I soon heard, “It’s time to go. Everyone line up.” I soon realized that it was time to go back to class with my homeroom teacher. And with that, I pushed in my chair with aching noises of yelling and got in line. We then as a class, left the technology room. Having this whole flashback moment I realized how many bad things must have happened when I was little.
I’ve always had friends leaving me from my side. And I’ve always been so trustworthy, believing everyone that was nice to me. Always being lied to and having to chose over friends, I’ve never really knew who was telling me the truth and who wasn’t. The constants “I’ll always be your friend” or “You can tell me anything” had always been a lie for me. Now I don’t know who’s really being truthful, and who’s not.
I guess you can say I kind of just gave up on people? I still have things to strive for, but now people are just an obstacle for me. I sound like a horrible person to others when they read this, but I’ve always learned that there's a story behind every person. There's a reason why that they’re the way they are. They aren’t just like that because they want to, something in the past created that.
But knowing that I still feel as though I would be hated for being the me that I think is my true self. Sometimes not caring is the only thing that saves you. But if you think about it, I’m not the one completely at fault. Because others didn’t like the way I was, I changed. I learned how to control my tears. I mold myself into the person that everyone wants me to be.
To them, I was the backup. The one everyone looks to in time of need. But what if the backup needs a backup? I remembered one time when I tried to pour out all my thoughts, my feelings onto paper. “Why” was the only word on the page of my spiral notebook.
Somehow I couldn’t think of anything to say. I somehow wanted to get all the pain out. Sitting there on the farthest of my couch I thought about the happy times that used to be fun and made everyday seemed as though the sun was out and smiling down on us. That’s when I quickly snapped back into reality. I didn’t notice at first, but I soon felt a small marble like tear jump from my cheek and onto the pants of my leg.
I wiped my face with the quickness. I was angry with myself. How could I possibly cry over something that happened so many times already? With my thoughts filled with rage I finally begin to write. When I was done, I still didn’t feel any different.
I was confused with how my coping skills had failed me like my 5th grade teacher tried to do. How could I still be feeling upset if I just poured out all of my feelings on the paper that was trying to keep it hostage? After a while I just sat, and pondered on what to do next. I then noticed that all I could do was just accept all of it. Accept the pain, happiness, sorrow, everything.
And after my friendship of 8 years ended with one of my closest friends, I told my self to shut down completely. Now I can’t tell my feelings from real to fake. I just go with the flow of my life. I follow what people want from me. I smile when I feel it’s a need to, and I try to be sad when everyone else is too.
I’m numb, and I don’t know how to fix myself yet. Maybe it’s better to leave the broken pieces of glass where they are instead of trying to put them back together. So I continue to find out who I really am. Searching for the chance when that one faint light shines to lead me out of the surrounding darkness of my own shell. But until then I still look for the answer to my question, “Who am I?”
Who am I?
Everyone tell their name if asked who are they. If "I" was the name then for any marriage or events I can send a note with my name on it instead of going there, isn’t it? Therefore its clear that I am not a name. My body responds to the calling of my name. After I go out of the body, my body does not move, it cannot feel the sense of touch, it does not respond if called. So, I am not this body.
As I am inside the body of a human I call myself as a human. An animal calls itself an animal. The difference between a human and animal is that a human body grows upwards whereas the animal's body grows sideways. Even if I present as human, devata or animal, I am not a body. Where was I before birth? Me, my mother or father do not know. We were born from mother's womb. We will disappear one day. After I leave this body, it is not going to function anymore, even if it is called by name. Then who made me function in this body?
In our practical life, we might have seen this. Someone got a diseased body and was taken to the hospital. But, he had passed away. When the person was being taken to the hospital, the people say, "He was taken". But, after He has died and brought back, they say, "the body was brought". From this point, we can see that this body functions as long as "I" am present. When "I" am not present, this is only dead corpse.
If I beat or burn my mother or father, I would be punished or placed in jail. Whereas if I burn their bodies after they pass away, I will be appreciated for doing my duty. The government also sanctions this matter. But, if I burn them alive, I will end up in jail.
I say like this: I am a baby when I am born and then I am a child and then a young boy and then a youth and then an adult and then an old man. Body changes, but I don’t change. I am that which does not change.
We shall see this in another angle: I am a son to my parents, I am a brother to brother, I am husband to my wife and a wife to my husband, I am a parent to my child and I am a grandparent to my grandchildren and so on... "I" am not anything mentioned here. These relations are related to my body only. "I" refer to something different than "mine". For instance, I received a flower garland; I will say it is my garland. I only received the garland and it does not mean that the garland and me are same.
Similarly I call mother, father, brother, husband, wife, son, daughter as my relatives and not that "I" am the relative. It is clear that I am not different to this. Also I tell it’s my eye, ears, nose, hands, leg and body and I do not tell that "I" am eyes or ears and so on.. All these are mine but I am not them.
No one says, I am a head or I am a mouth or body. We only say it is my head and my nose and my mouth. We say, 'My head is paining', but we don't say 'I am headache'.
Next, I am not mind or intelligence. If mind and intelligence come from the brain, then after my passing away from this body, why does the brain no respond to a call or hit? Therefore I am not mind also. Brain does not have intelligence or knowledge. Only when I am present in the body, it appears that the brain is intelligent. From childhood, we go to school to get worldly knowledge. But in schools or colleges, we are not getting to know 'who we are'. It appears none has got complete knowledge even through education from childhood.
The above-mentioned points have not yet told who are we or what we're supposed to do. I am this body, I am a language, a relative in my family, a person of this caste or a citizen of this country is all the designations given by the worldly people. The body really is used to get happiness. When I am not present in it, it does not experience happiness or distress.
To know the real knowledge of myself, the 4 Vedas, 2 itihasas, 108 Upanishads, 18 puranas are the literatures available. In that, the most holy Bhagavad Gita and Srimad Bhagavatam are available in a detailed way to understand clearly. If we follow the instructions given in these scriptures, we can get the topmost bliss.
Brief explanation on "Who am I":
Who am I, means a soul inside this body.
I am a soul, no one is learning or discussing who they are. Even after many days of training, it is difficult to understand that we are souls. But if we associate with pure devotees, we will soon realize that we are individual spirit souls.
What is the soul? The living entity (soul) is above this material world, eternal, full of knowledge, indestructible, unchangeable. Soul is full of knowledge and immortal. But, the body takes birth, grows, gives by-products, lives for some time, dwindles and dies. Therefore it undergoes six changes and hence it is dull matter, without any knowledge and destructible.
The spirit soul cannot be drowned in water, burned by fire, withered by wind or destroyed by any kind of weapon. Many people may ask how the soul was made. The soul cannot be realised by the material senses. Vedas proclaim that the soul is atomic. That is the size of the soul is 1/10,000 part of the tip of the hair. The nature of all souls and potencies are all same. They depend on others for living. All souls are servants of God.
Vedas state:- “ Atma dasyam hare swamyam”
ALL SOULS ARE SERVANTS, HARI IS THE MASTER (supreme ).
“jivera swarupa hoya krsnera nitya dasa “
The real nature of all souls is to be a servant of Krsna.
One in knowledge is called a jnani. And those who understand the truth that they are Krsna's servants are the jnanis.
Is it better to be a jnani (knowledgeable person) or a servant? The knowledge for each individual living entity may vary. But the nature of servitude will not change. Therefore to realize that we are servants of Krsna is the best and topmost realization.
Because of all false ego, the soul is trapped in this prison like material world. Durga is in charge of this prison (material world). In Sanskrit, Durga means difficulty. The prime duty of Siva and Durga is to imprison the souls in this material world who were envious of Krsna and wanted to live whimsically.
Only after understanding his relation with Krsna and knowing that he is the servant of Krsna, a soul becomes eligible to enter spiritual worlds like VAIKUNTHA or GOLOKA VRINDAVANA. After attaining that there is no possibility of returning to this material world.
Krishna-JesusChrist - Allah-Buddha are all same
We are living in kali yuga. Kali yuga means the age of quarrel and hypocrisy. The reason for these quarrel and problems is man’s losing his good qualities like mercy, honesty, purity and discipline. If there is no mercy to any living entity, people will start eating meat. If there is no discipline or regulation in mind and body, they will start taking intoxicants. If there is no truth, gambling is performed or wealth is earned by wrong means. If there is no purity in mind and body, illicit sex is done. These have been described 5000 years ago by the sage Vedavyasa in the Vedic literature.
Sanatana Dharma, Buddha dharma and other religions clearly instruct us not to eat non-vegetarian. Science also tells that this gives way to lot of diseases. Television and cinema more often show things breaking the above mentioned 4 regulative principles. Women are being embarrassed in the name of attractiveness. Watching movies and television is wasting money and time. Mind also becomes distracted to a wrong path. For example, If we go out with our parents and see a boy and girl doing intimate activities, we will be very upset in mind. But in TVs and movies they show this in a very bad way. We give money, mind, intelligence, time for this and waste everything.
The principles said before make us free from sin. An intelligent person understands this and follows as per the vedic directions. Less intelligent people who challenge the Vedas and try to live whimsically are compared to animals. In kali yuga, people with a desire to do sinful actions, do not have faith in vedic scriptures and Spiritual masters. Parents try to make their children as a doctor, engineer, lawyer or any rich person. In this, anyone may become true or does not happen. But, one thing is present, and it can't be stopped at any cost. That is death. Scriptures tell what the person becomes after death. We try so much for things which may or may not happen. After knowing that death is sure and to know more we have to read scriptures like Bhagavad Gita and Bhagavatam.
The one who created this universe can only be one. There are not many Gods. Here, the presence of many religions may cause confusion, but, all speak about the one God only. The only difference between man and animal is that a man can have devotion to God and lead a regulated life. But, nowadays, man is becoming animalistic. In the Bible, Youvan 3.12, Jesus Christ says, "In this stage, you do not believe things which I say according to this world, so if I tell about spiritual matters, will you believe?"
Innumerable spiritual topics are given in Sanatana dharma (Vedic religion). Sanatana Dharma is called Hinduism. Bible, Quran and many scriptures proclaim God to be light and many worship accordingly. But God is complete (without any imperfections) so a formless stage will become an imperfection in God. Bhagavata Purana says God appears in three categories: Brahman, Paramatma and Bhagavan. The bright effulgence coming out from Krsna’s transcendental body is Brahman; this is worshipped by many people in their different religions. Vishnu, paramatma is present with each soul inside and outside and in complete as the supreme personality of God as Bhagavan Sri Krsna.
Bhagavan indicates Krsna only. This is said in Bhagavad Gita, Bhagavatam and many Vedic scriptures. Krsna Himself says that there is one God and He is that God. This is also mentioned in the Bible and the Quran. The names Krsna, Allah and Buddha all indicate one person only. Sun cannot become different or many by calling it in different names in different parts of the world. In the same way, all scriptures talk only about Krsna.
The Holy Bible contains the scriptures of the Hebrews and the instructions of Jesus Christ. Then God's instructions to Prophet Mohammed were made as Al Quran. In the Quran, Jesus has been described as the messenger of God in the name of "IshaNabi". Jesus, Prophet Mohammed and Buddha are all described before in the Mahabhavisyad purana. Prophet Mohammed has been described in two places in Atharva Veda. Jesus has told himself to be the son of God. Buddha was mentioned in Padma purana, Vishnu Purana and Bhagavata puranas. Also, the appearance of great Acharyas like Ramanujacarya, Madhvacarya, Nimbarka and Vishnu swami who established Krsna alone to be the Supreme God was mentioned in the Padma purana.
All scriptures like Bible, Quran declare God to be present in the Spiritual World. Krsna is called the Supreme Personality and Supreme Father in different scriptures. Krsna declares that He is to be known from all Vedas and the origin of everything that exists. He is the seed giving father and the whole material nature is working under His supervision. Bible and Quran also tell the same thing of God.
Some examples are given to prove God is not formless in the Judaist scriptures, Bible, Quran etc.. For example, Supreme Father in the Spiritual World is called Jehovah in the Bible and there are similarities between Jehovah and Lord Vishnu. His form is described as follows: He rides in a bird(Garuda), uses fire to destroy evil(Sudarsanchakra), has a stick and strong thick conch(club and flute), also wears a splendid crown that represents incomprehensible reality. He appears like a blazing fire and His voice will sound like thunder. It is said that the Lord showed Moses his backside and not his front side.
God definitely has a form which is not material, but fully spiritual. To see God in material vision, deity worship was established. This material world was created by God when we, the souls wanted to live whimsically out of false ego. Brahma Vaivarta purana and Padma purana describe these 14 planetary systems and 84 lakh species of life to be the God's creation and as a material prison. There are 9 lakh species of living entities in water, 20 lakh species of flora, 11 lakh species of insects, 10 lakh species of birds, 30 lakh species of animals and 4 lakh species of human beings. Here, people who are fond of consuming meat are born as lions, tigers; people who like to be naked are born as trees and people who are lusty are born as dogs and hogs.
We get a birth in the 14 planetary systems according to our pious and sinful activities. For our pious activities, we get a birth in bhur, bhuva, svarga, mahar, Jana, Tapa and Satya lokas or planets. And for sinful activities, we get birth in atala, vitala, sutala, mahatala, rasatala, tasatala and patala lokas which are 7 hellish planets. Above all these 14 planetary systems is Kailash, the abode of Shiva. And above all these are the eternal, blissful spiritual worlds. These spiritual worlds have innumerable forms of Vishnu and therefore there are innumerable vaikuntha planets here. But, above all these is the Supreme Abode of Lord Krsna called Goloka Vrindavana. By attaining these spiritual planets, one does not need to take birth again in these miserable material worlds.
Satya yuga extends for 1728000 years, treta yuga lasts for 1296000 years, dwapara yuga contains 864000 years and kali yuga has 432000 years. Totaling these four yugas, there is 43,20,000 years. By multiplying these years by 1000, we get one day of Brahma. The same duration is his night time. In this way, Brahma lives for 100 years. From Brahma's point of view, we take birth and die in a second as for us a bacteria appears momentarily, grows up, produces by-products, dwindles and dies. This is same for all living beings.
In Kali Yuga, people are searching for happiness and peace but without knowing the right path. Without controlling the mind and senses there is no peace or happiness. To keep these under control, we must chant the holy names of Krsna. If we follow Bhagavad Gita and srimad Bhagavatam, then there is no need for separate endeavour to escape from the dangers of kali yuga.
Especially, in kali yuga, the Maha Mantra recommended is "HARE KRSNA HARE KRSNA KRSNA KRSNA HARE HARE HARE RAMA HARE RAMA RAMA RAMA HARE HARE". Chant this mantra 108 times daily.
The more we chant this mantra 108 times, the more peace and blissful we will feel.
The above given essay may contradict our personal thoughts and ideas because we may have read many books other than bonafide scriptures and that is the major cause of confusion and nothing else.
Hence, by studying only the scriptures written by Srila Veda Vyasa we will soon realize that we are Lord Krsna's eternal servants in the Sanatana dharma.
The King of all knowledge and The Most Confidential knowledge:
Krsna is the Supreme God and the rest are all demigods. The 30 million devatas are Lord Krsna's servants and devotees. There is no need of worshipping the demigods, because everything is complete in Krsna.
The prime necessities of life are following dharma(religion), accumulation of wealth, attaining mundane desires and going back to Godhead. Only the first three out of these four necessities are provided by the demigods in a very less proportion. And that too is granted to them by Lord Krsna. But all four can be given completely by Lord Krsna only. Especially, liberation can be given only by Lord Krsna. Worshipping demigods is not in line with the scriptures. Furthermore, even if we go to the heavenly planets, we need
to again take birth in this miserable world. To get out of the miseries of this material world namely birth, death, old age and disease, the only way is to surrender to Krsna.
Lord Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead as said in the Vedas, Puranas, Itihasas and Upanisads:
Atharva Veda: Gopala Tapani Upanisad 1.1.
namo vedanta vedyaya
"I offer my respectful obeisances at the feet of Sri Krsna who is eternal, full of knowledge and bliss, who is the subject matter of the Vedanta, who is the absolute cause of creation, maintenance and destruction, who destroys the five types of miseries of his devotees, who is our spiritual master and the source of our intelligence."
Gopala Tapani Upanisad 1.3.
Krsno vai paramam advaitam.
"Only Lord Krsna is the Supreme God"
Gopala Tapani Upanisad 1.21.
Eko vasi sarvagah Krsna idhya
"Lord Krsna is the Supersoul, the absolute truth, all pervading, with no equal or superior."
Eko'pi san bahudha yo'vabhati
"Lord Krsna is unlimited and not under the jurisdiction of time and space."
Yatravathirnam Krsnahkhyam param brahma narakruti
"The Vedas proclaim only one Absolute truth. His name is Krsna"
Gopala Tapani Upanisad 1.24.
yo brahmanam vidhadhati purvam
yo vidyas tasmai gapayati sma krsnah
"In the beginning Krsna revealed the vedas and instructed Brahma in the vedic knowledge."
The Padma Purana says,
'Nama cintamani Krsnas.'
'The crown jewel of all names is the name of Krsna'.
Atharva Veda: Gopala Tapani Upanisad state:
Brahmanyo devakiputra: Devaki's son Krsna is the Supreme God.
Sac-cid-ananda-rupayah Krsnah: Krsna has an eternal and blissful form.
No Need of worshipping other devatas if we worship Krsna:
Bhagavatam 4.31.14: When we water the root of a tree, the stem, branches and all leaves get nourished. Also, when we take food for the stomach, the senses and all parts of the body get nourished. Similarly, by worshipping Acyuta all his parts like the demigods are satisfied.
Bhagavatam 11.5.41: Anyone who has completely surrendered unto Mukunda, giving up all other duties is no longer a debtor, nor is he obliged to anyone -- not the demigods, nor the sages, nor the people in general, nor kinsmen, nor humanity, nor forefathers.
Bhagavatam 10.14.58: For those who have accepted the boat of the lotus feet of the Lord, who is the shelter of the cosmic manifestation and is famous as Murari, the enemy of the Mura demon, the ocean of the material world is like the water contained in a calf's hoof-print. Their goal is param-padam, the place where there is no material miseries, not the place where there is danger at every step.
Also, the Bhagavatam states,
Krsnas tu Bhagavan svayam. 'Krsna alone is the Supreme God.'
Krsna has a name called Asamaurdhva meaning one who has no equal or superior.
In the Vedas, some parts say that Brahma created everything. Some parts say it all began with Siva while still others say the devatas and demigods and goddesses created everything. But if we go deep into the Vedas, it is said that only Narayana was there before the creation. There were no Shiva, brahma, fire moon or the sun. By creating and enjoying everything, Krsna is proved to be present as the only personality to be present in the beginning and therefore the names mentioned in the beginning of the devatas were actually indicating Krsna as per the Itihasas.
Atharava Veda, Narayanopanisad:
Eko vai narayana asi na brahma na isano nabhoagni samela neme thyavaprithvi na nakshatrani na surya. sa ekaki na rameda thasya thyanath. satasya yatra santokai. kriyamanostakadhi samnjaka stuthi sthomalu sthomam ucyate.
"In the beginning, there was only Narayana. There was no Brahma, Siva, fire, moon or sun. Krsna, the creator and enjoyer of everything was only present."
Similar statement is found in the Bhagavad Gita 10.8, wherein Lord Krsna Himself states,
Aham sarvasya prabhavo, mattah sarvam pravartate.
'I am the source of all spiritual and material worlds. Everything emanates from Me.'
Narayana brahma jayate Narayana rudra jayate.
'Brahma was created from Narayana. Rudra, who is called Siva was created from Narayana.'
Yajur Veda, Kathopanisad:
Paramapnoti tad visnoh paramam padam.
'That which is beyond samsara is Visnu's abode.'
Similiar statement is present in Bhagavad Gita 8.21 wherein Lord Krsna himself states,