A Hinduism Story that answers “Who am I? What am I?”
At some point in life, most men and women will be plagued by the query, “Who am I? What am i doing here? What am I?
Some people believe that creation is accidental and some say that the answer to why the world is created can never be understood. Vedanta says that both the above views are deluded.
Men and women in every age have, by their own efforts been able to find an answer to ‘ulitmate truth of life’ and crossed the samsara or this repetitive cycle of birth and death.
The truth of life and the secret behind creation needs to be realized layer by layer; just as when you peel each layer from an onion, another layer is revealed. Similarly the truth is to be inquired step by step. Rama, the god who was born as man had the same query centuries ago: Who am I? What am I? What am i doing here?
Who am I – The dialogue between Sage Vasistha and Lord Rama
In this regard there is a less known, esoteric story that was conveyed by Sage Vasishta to young Rama in the Treta Yuga. This story encapsulates the truth of life in a profound message.
Rama as a young prince went into despair and lost interest in his worldy duties. Upon being summoned by his father, the King, Rama stated before the court that he was disllusioned with this material cycle of life and death and was not sure about the truth of life and the purpose of creation.
Who am i? What am I here for? thundered Rama in the courtroom.
The king requested Sage Vasishta to end Rama’s despair. This story is chronicled in the glorious book “Yoga Vasistha”.
Sage Vasistha tells the following story to Rama who is full of angst in trying to understand the truth of life.
Once upon a time in a city which did not exist, there were three princes who were brave and happy. Of those three princes, two were unborn and the third had not been conceived. Unfortunately all their relatives died.
The princes left their native city to go elsewhere. Unable to bear the heat of the sun, they took shade under three trees, out of which two did not exist and the third had not even been planted. After resting there for some time and eating the fruits of those trees, they proceeded further.
They reached the banks of three rivers; of them two were dry and in the third there was no water. The princes had a refreshing bath and quenched their thirst in them.
Then they reached a huge city which was about to be built. On entering this city, the princes found three palaces of exceeding beauty. Of them, two had not been built at all and the third had no walls at all.
They entered the palaces and found three golden plates; two of the plates had been broken into halves and the third had been smashed into pieces. They took hold of the plate that had been smashed into pieces. They took ninety-nine minus one hundred grams of rice and cooked it. They then invited three holy men to be their guests. Of them, two had no body and the third had no mouth. After these holy men had eaten food, the three princes ate the rest of the food that had been cooked . The three princes were greatly pleased on having this meal. They then lived in the city for a long time, in peace and joy.
Sage Vasistha then proclaims to Lord Rama, “Know this, that whosoever can comprehend the secret of this story, will understand the ultimate truth of life and be able to answer the question Who am I?”