What is Your True Identity?

Your True Identity

by Jayaram V

Notes: I have translated the Bhagavadgita twice. The first one was a loose translation. The second one was a word to word translation with a detailed commentary. The commentary is however different from what you will find here. In this section I will share with you my thoughts about the knowledge, philosophy and wisdom of the Bhagavadgita as I understand it from my perspective. Jayaram V


You have several identities. First, you have an identity which comes from your birth and  your parents. People recognize you as the son or daughter of so-and-so.

Next, you have an identity, which comes from your ancestors. It is your family lineage. People recognize you by your last name and the family to which you belong.

Then, you have an identity, which comes from your future, through your children and their descendents. People recognize you as the father or the mother or the ancestor of so and so, and may even remember you if your descendents attain fame and name.

You have another identity, which comes from the people around you. Your regional, national, racial, social, communal and caste identities come from that. Through them, you extend your influence and establish friendships and relationships with the world.

You have another identity, which arises from your actions and achievements. It is your identity as a person or individual in society as you earn name, fame, status, and recognition.

You create another identity, through your worship of gods. It is your identity as a Savia, Vaishnava, Vaidikia, Sakta, Tantrika, devotee, worshipper, etc. Through your karma and latent impressions (samskaras), you also create another identity for your next birth. It is your casual self.

Each of these identities binds you and strengthens your ego. They draw you deep into the objective world and bind you through desires and attachments to the cycle of births and deaths. You use these identities to seek security, fulfillment and belongingness and enjoy the fruits of your labor. However, your peace and happiness do not last forever, since each of the identities you create in this world is subject to decay, change and destruction.

The Bhagavadgita says that there is another identity, your inner Self, which you need to know and which you should accept as your true and everlasting identity. It is important because it stretches beyond your mind and senses into the universe and connects you with the infinite and indestructible world of Brahman. You have to find it, making it the sole purpose of your life. It is your door to transcendence. When you renounce every other identity, and remain centered in your true Self, you will attain the highest perfection.

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