We are neither the dress (our body) nor the address (our identifications with the body). This dress and address is an illusory identity. Vedanta has declared this long back and science, too, is substantiating the statement today. A much decorated astrophysicist of the 20th century, Sir Arthur Eddington states, “The greatest illusion of man is solidity.” All solidity that our senses perceive is an illusion! The attitudes of “I am this body” and “mine is this wealth” are mental projections. The mind is only changing thoughts creating an illusory reality which endlessly dances as mental moods.
The quality of your life, happy, unhappy, fortunate or humiliating, successful or failure, depends entirely on your mental perceptions of a person object or situation. So what is the reality of this ever changing “me” and “mine”? In deep sleep, it disappears completely! Your great “address” is what is known as (upadhies) in Vedanta, as, “my car, my house, wealth, spouse, education, position, and power” All these bring along innumerable sorrows, yet man spends his lifetime trying out different combinations of these.
These gain in power and man is overpowered, as he feels “incomplete” and “inferior” without them. They are after all, his only address (identity), not him. Just as the entire dream world—the jungle, the tiger, the hunter and the hunted—are only the mind, created and sustained by the mind and dissolved into the mind, so is this illusory reality of the world, a projection of the mind alone.Consciousness, the only reality, reflects divinity in a calm mind.
“Any effort to quieten the mind is yoga. The equipoise with which you face life is yoga,” said Swami Brahmanandaji.
Who then am I? Neither dress nor an address? If the questioner is illusory, then does the question have a locus-standi?
Prarthna Saran, President Chinmaya Mission Delhi.