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Who am I


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According to ancient Hindu wisdom, our visible Body is not at all our real Self. We have an invisible Inner Body which is the real 'Us' living inside the outer, visible Body and is the seat of all our experiences and learning in our past, present and still-to-come births.

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Who am I

  1. 1. Who Am I? Who is the REAL “Me”? What is the Total “Me”?
  2. 2. <ul><li>“ I ” am made up of: </li></ul><ul><li>my visible Self </li></ul><ul><li>+ </li></ul><ul><li>my invisible Self </li></ul><ul><li>+ </li></ul><ul><li>my Soul or Atman </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>This lecture is an attempt to answer the empirical Question, </li></ul><ul><li>“ Who Am I?” </li></ul><ul><li>with the help of Ayurveda and Yoga. </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>According to Ayurveda, </li></ul><ul><li>Our UNIVERSE is the macrocosm and </li></ul><ul><li>WE are its microcosms. </li></ul><ul><li>We actually exist as “ a part of the whole ”. </li></ul><ul><li>But our individual Senses make us perceive ourselves as separate entities. </li></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>There is a permanent and invisible link which binds every individual to the macrocosm through his various births. </li></ul><ul><li>This link is his Inner Invisible Self </li></ul><ul><li>When even this link disintegrates, the Soul attains Mukti . </li></ul>
  6. 6. The Beginning. <ul><li>To understand our birth, we have to understand how the visible and non-visible Universe was formed. </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>The Universe was formed from Purush and Prakriti , which have no causation, are infinite and incomprehensible to us. </li></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>However, broadly speaking, </li></ul><ul><li>Purush </li></ul><ul><li>= Consciousness, Will, Motivation etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Prakriti </li></ul><ul><li>= Energy ( which gradually converts to Matter ) </li></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>Time and Space begin only after the visible Universe is formed and are finite. </li></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>Prakriti exists in unmanifest form and starts manifesting itself only when the Purush wills it to do so. </li></ul><ul><li>As Prakriti evolves and differentiates, it becomes more and more manifest . </li></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>all Manifest forms of Prakriti have </li></ul><ul><li>3 gunas namely, </li></ul><ul><li>satva - raja – tama </li></ul><ul><li>(in varying amounts) . </li></ul>
  12. 12. The Evolution of Prakriti <ul><li>Moola Prakriti manifests progressively by forming </li></ul><ul><li>the Mahat-tatwa </li></ul><ul><li>and then, by forming </li></ul><ul><li>Ahankar . </li></ul>
  13. 13. <ul><li>Ahankar , vested with the 3 gunas , keeps evolving ……. </li></ul>
  14. 14. <ul><li>from Rajas and Sattvic Ahankar, our </li></ul><ul><li>Sense Organs </li></ul><ul><li>and </li></ul><ul><li>Mind </li></ul><ul><li>are formed. </li></ul>
  15. 15. <ul><li>from Rajas and Tamas Ahankar </li></ul><ul><li>the panch mahabhootas </li></ul><ul><li>(prithvi-aapa-tej-vaayu-aakash) </li></ul><ul><li>are formed </li></ul>
  16. 16. <ul><li>Rajas and Sattvic Ahankar </li></ul><ul><li>together create our </li></ul><ul><li>Inner Self (our Invisible Self ). </li></ul><ul><li>We are not aware of the existence of this Self during our lifetime. </li></ul>
  17. 17. <ul><li>Rajas and Tamas Ahankar </li></ul><ul><li>together create </li></ul><ul><li>the panch mahabhootas , </li></ul><ul><li>which are the building blocks of our </li></ul><ul><li>Visible Body . </li></ul>
  18. 18. <ul><li>Let us now learn a little about our </li></ul><ul><li>Inner, Invisible or Real Self </li></ul>
  19. 19. The Inner Self of a person is composed of <ul><li>his five Pranas </li></ul><ul><li>+ </li></ul><ul><li>his five Dynanendriyas </li></ul><ul><li>+ </li></ul><ul><li>his five Karmendriyas </li></ul><ul><li>+ </li></ul><ul><li>his Man, Buddhi, Chitta, Ahankar </li></ul><ul><li>(+ his Atman or Soul) </li></ul>
  20. 20. <ul><li>Dynanendriyas and Karmendriyas are our Sense Organs. </li></ul><ul><li>They are formed out of Ahankar which is invested with the 3 gunas …. satva, raja, tama . </li></ul>
  21. 21. <ul><li>Therefore, our Sense Organs too, are invested with the 3 gunas and are slaves to the corresponding panch-mahabhootas, towards which they get drawn incessantly. </li></ul>
  22. 22. <ul><li>We all have two types of Sense Organs: </li></ul><ul><li>The Dynanendriyas </li></ul><ul><li>The Karmendriyas </li></ul><ul><li>We all have five Dynanendriyas and five Karmendriyas . </li></ul><ul><li>Dynanendriyas correspond to the Sense Organs described in Allopathy . </li></ul><ul><li>Karmendriyas have no corollary in Allopathy . </li></ul>
  23. 23. <ul><li>Five Dnanynendriyas </li></ul><ul><li>Ears ....... hearing </li></ul><ul><li>Skin ……. touch </li></ul><ul><li>Eyes …… sight </li></ul><ul><li>Tongue ……. taste </li></ul><ul><li>Nose …….. smell </li></ul>
  24. 24. <ul><li>Five Karmendriyas </li></ul><ul><li>Speech (Vaani) …. Talking </li></ul><ul><li>Two upper limbs …. Grapsing </li></ul><ul><li>Two lower limbs …. Locomotion </li></ul><ul><li>External genitalia …. Sexual pleasure </li></ul><ul><li>Urethra & Anus …. Expulsion of urine and faeces </li></ul>
  25. 25. <ul><li>Like the Indriyas, our MIND also arises from Rajas and Sattvic Ahankar. </li></ul><ul><li>Ayurveda recognises many states of the Mind: </li></ul><ul><li>The Sub-conscious state </li></ul><ul><li>The Conscious state </li></ul><ul><li>The Unconscious state </li></ul><ul><li>The Dream state </li></ul><ul><li>The Supra-conscious state </li></ul>
  26. 26. <ul><li>The MIND exists in the forms of </li></ul><ul><li>man </li></ul><ul><li>buddhi </li></ul><ul><li>chitta </li></ul><ul><li>ahankar </li></ul><ul><li>Together, these form the ‘Mind Quartet’ . </li></ul><ul><li>The Mind is also looked upon as an ‘Indriya’. </li></ul>
  27. 27. <ul><li>Let us now a little about our </li></ul><ul><li>Visible Self (or the Gross Body) </li></ul>
  28. 28. <ul><li>The panch mahabhootas keep forming throughout Time. </li></ul><ul><li>In turn, they continuously form the five basic elements that build our visible Universe. </li></ul><ul><li>aakash </li></ul><ul><li>vaayu </li></ul><ul><li>tej </li></ul><ul><li>aapa </li></ul><ul><li>prithvi </li></ul>
  29. 29. <ul><li>The panch-mahabhootas are Matter . </li></ul><ul><li>They have weight and can be measured; they follow all the rules that apply to Matter. </li></ul><ul><li>The panch mahabhootas are the building blocks of our visible body. </li></ul>
  30. 30. <ul><li>The panch-mahabhootas mix with each other in different proportions in the Body, to form………. </li></ul>
  31. 31. <ul><li>1. All the tissues and organs of the body . </li></ul><ul><li>2. Three substances called </li></ul><ul><li>Vaata , Pitta and Kapha . </li></ul>
  32. 32. <ul><li>Akash + Vaayu = Vaata </li></ul><ul><li>Akash + Vaayu + Tej = Pitta </li></ul><ul><li>Aapa and Prithvi = Kapha </li></ul>
  33. 33. <ul><li>Vaata resides in the body in predominently five forms. </li></ul><ul><li>Prana vayu </li></ul><ul><li>Apaan vayu </li></ul><ul><li>Vyaan vayu </li></ul><ul><li>Udaan vayu </li></ul><ul><li>Samaan vayu </li></ul>
  34. 34. <ul><li>Prana vayu resides mainly in the region of Heart . </li></ul><ul><li>It controls breathing and other life-sustaining activities. </li></ul>
  35. 35. <ul><li>Apaan vayu resides near the Sigmoid colon. </li></ul><ul><li>It controls the function of expulsion of subtances from the body through the pelvic organs. </li></ul>
  36. 36. <ul><li>Vyaan vayu resides predominently in the skin and the nadis. </li></ul><ul><li>It controls the function of transport within the body. </li></ul>
  37. 37. <ul><li>Udaan vayu resides predominently in muscles and joints. </li></ul><ul><li>It controls voluntary movements. </li></ul>
  38. 38. <ul><li>Samaan vayu resides predominently in </li></ul><ul><li>the Small Intestine. </li></ul><ul><li>It controls peristalsis and other involuntary movements in the body. </li></ul>
  39. 39. <ul><li>Pitta too, resides in the body in predominently five forms. </li></ul><ul><li>Pachak </li></ul><ul><li>Ranjak </li></ul><ul><li>Bhrajak </li></ul><ul><li>Alochak </li></ul><ul><li>Sadhak </li></ul><ul><li>Each resides in a particular part of the body and performs a particular function. </li></ul>
  40. 40. <ul><li>Similarly, Kapha too, resides in the body in predominently five forms. </li></ul><ul><li>Each form of kapha resides in a particular part of the body and performs its designated function. </li></ul>
  41. 41. <ul><li>Vaata-pitta-kapha are never present in equal amounts even in healthy people. </li></ul><ul><li>There is predominence of either one or two of these doshas, in every one of us. </li></ul>
  42. 42. <ul><li>In the healthy State, </li></ul><ul><li>how much vaata? </li></ul><ul><li>how much pitta? </li></ul><ul><li>how much kapha? </li></ul><ul><li>does a particular person have? </li></ul><ul><li>This determines his Prakriti. </li></ul>
  43. 43. <ul><li>Let us now see, </li></ul><ul><li>how the Microcosm functions …… </li></ul>
  44. 44. <ul><li>There are certain ‘ tools ’ the Inner Self and Visible Self use to stay connected together and to co-ordinate their functions. </li></ul>
  45. 45. <ul><li>These ‘tools’ are the energy channels called nadis and the 7 Chakras that lie alongside our spine. </li></ul>
  46. 46. <ul><li>Energies from the macrocosm enter our Body through the Umbilicus; some travel upwards, some downwards and others laterally…. a total of 64 energy streams called dhis enter our Body in this manner. </li></ul><ul><li>These 64 dhis branch out and spread all over the body to form a network of 72,000 nadis that link the different parts of the Body and help them function in unison. </li></ul>
  47. 47. <ul><li>The Chakras are where information from outside and inside the Body is processed and from where instructions go out all over the Body. </li></ul>
  48. 48. <ul><li>The dhis and nadis connect both, our Inner Self and our visible or ‘outer’ Self to the Seven chakras that lie along our spinal column. </li></ul><ul><li>The dhis carry information to and instructions from the Chakras, all over our Body. </li></ul><ul><li>This function is both, afferent as well as efferent . </li></ul>
  49. 49. <ul><li>All this is described in textbooks of Ayurveda and Yoga. </li></ul><ul><li>From here on, we can apply our modern knowledge to surmise that….. </li></ul>
  50. 50. <ul><li>(1) </li></ul><ul><li>The Chakras regulate and control our </li></ul><ul><li>Autonomous Nervous System </li></ul>
  51. 51. <ul><li>(2) </li></ul><ul><li>and they regulate and control our </li></ul><ul><li>Endocrine System </li></ul>
  52. 52. <ul><li>(2) </li></ul><ul><li>Therefore, the Chakras </li></ul><ul><li>control and regulate the formation of all the hormones and enzymes in our Body. </li></ul>
  53. 53. <ul><li>(4) </li></ul><ul><li>In short, with the help of the dhis and nadis , the Chakras control the Growth and Metabolism of our Body. </li></ul><ul><li>And yes, perhaps they control our Mind and our Thoughts and Desires, too . </li></ul>
  54. 54. <ul><li>The Vedas say that ….. </li></ul>
  55. 55. <ul><li>The dhis link our Body to the external Universe. </li></ul><ul><li>They form a knot near the Umbilicus, which stays intact as long as a person is alive and they inter-twine with the Inner Self and keep it from floating away from the gross or visible body. </li></ul>
  56. 56. <ul><li>When Death occurs, the knot dissolves and the Inner Self separates and floats out of the visible or gross body. </li></ul><ul><li>This Inner Self then remains in a ‘loka’ other than our ‘mrityu-loka’ until the time comes for it to incarnate in this loka, again. </li></ul>
  57. 57. <ul><li>At the time of a new incarnation, the Inner Self acquires a new visible body and begins a new life. </li></ul><ul><li>Thus the Inner Self goes through innumerable births, dictated by the Rules of Karma . </li></ul>
  58. 58. <ul><li>Through successive births, the visible body always changes, each and every time. </li></ul><ul><li>The Inner Self however, probably remains mostly unaltered. </li></ul>
  59. 59. <ul><li>We conclude, therefore, </li></ul><ul><li>That our Inner, Invisible Self ………….. </li></ul><ul><li>is our Real Self. </li></ul>
  60. 60. <ul><li>Thank You! </li></ul><ul><li>Author: Dr. Jayashree Joshi </li></ul><ul><li>M.D., D.C.H </li></ul><ul><li>Email: </li></ul>