‘I’ and ‘my’ (mine) (Who Am I?)

May, 2021 by Dr. Shailesh Mehta
These two words – ‘I’ and ‘my’ (mine) sound so simple but understanding these words and its implications thoroughly would lead to a great spiritual realization, the essence of all scriptures.

From our childhood, it is profoundly affecting our life and living. Even if my own brother or sister takes away ‘my’ toy, there would be a claim or even a quarrel “It is my toy.”  As life moves ahead, I say “my money, my car, my wife and so on.” Even one says, “It was my idea.” “My idea proved great or ‘my’ idea was not accepted. 

Immense Binding effects of ‘my-mine’

Have we ever realized how we are immensely affected even without any physical cord or connection just by saying, believing or claiming as ‘my-mine?’

Once a gentleman was on tour and he received a call from his friend that your house had caught fire. Normally one would expect him to be sad, worried and depressed. However, he started smiling, “I sold it a few days back. It is no more mine.” Ownership belief was changed by exchange of a few pieces of papers and all effects changed.

If my neighbours’ car meets with an accident, I may show sympathy. However, if it is ‘my car’ then? Heartbroken!  Everywhere it is ownership belief, sense of ‘my’ or mineness, which affects us deeply.

These are simple but most profound truths of life and living.

Enlightened one says, “There is no worry in I, don’t worry for ‘my’.

‘I’ – Ego

The word ’I’ and beliefs associated with it also have profound implications. 

‘I’ is my life, my existence, my everything. I live and die to protect my ‘I’-ego.  

All these humans are different forms and manifestations of ego. Only two things happen in the world, either ego is boosted or it gets hurt. 

If we wish to be happy in the world, we should use our ego positively, that is to help, love, care and share for others. If we like unhappiness then we can use ego negatively that is to harass, hate or exploit others. If we aspire for Real happiness or bliss, then we should get rid of ego.      

 Einstein said,  “Ego=1/knowledge” . Lesser the true knowledge of our Real self , more is the ego. If we have true knowledge of our ‘Real self’ and ‘how things happen’ then we can get rid of ego. 

Ego and attachment (अहंकार और ममता)

These two are said to be pillars of ignorance.  If one knows, who I am and who is doer? (How the things happen?) , the journey to true light will start.  One can renounce external things or house but unless ego and attachments are renounced, spiritual journey may not be in the correct direction.  

Journey towards Self -Realization?

When asked what is your name?

I would say, “My name is Shailesh.”

“Your name is Shailesh.  Then who are you ?”

“Well, I am Shailesh myself. I am Dr. Shailesh; I am a senior Eye surgeon, Son of someone, father of someone” and so on.

“No when you say,   ‘My spectacles, my wristwatch, my house’ than the object to which you say ‘my or mine’ and the owner, the one who says it; has to be different. Both cannot be the same.

Even we say, “My body, my speech, my mind, my feelings, my karmas – we never say I am body, I am mind, I am karmas”

If we put aside all things we say as ‘my or mine’ then what remains on the other side?  

– ‘I’ 

Moreover, everything we say as ‘my or mine’ has a beginning and an end. Even our body has a beginning and an end that is from conception to death. Our Speech, thoughts, car, money all these have a beginning and an end. Our relations – my wife, my children all have a beginning and an end.  Hence, they are temporary or having finite duration.  Now, one who knows that all these are temporary or finite must be permanent or infinite.

 In other words, everything under ‘my or mine’ is ever changing and circumstantial with a tendency to amalgamate and disperse out.    Hence, one who knows such a nature of circumstances must be constant, non-changing, perpetual or forever. 

‘My-mine’ is relative and circumstantial whereas Real ‘I’ is elemental and perpetual. Separate ‘my’ and ‘I’ with enlightened one’s separator. If one learns with help of the enlightened, self -realized soul as to how to  develop understanding of separation of ‘my’ and ‘I’ from gross to subtle and subtlest then one will realize true self or Real self.   

We say, I enjoyed it, I am bored, and I had good sleep. 

Then who slept and who knew it? Who knows good thoughts, bad thoughts?

It is said, “Know the knower and everything worthwhile would be known.”

Not to know “Who am I?” is a small mistake or a bigger one? It is a big mistake or a blunder.

Aspire to realize “Who am I?  What is my Real form, which are my innate properties? Which are my functions?” 

The world is the puzzle itself and there are two viewpoints to solve this puzzle, 

One relative the other Real. 

Shailesh is correct but from a relative viewpoint. This is my house, my car, are correct but by relative viewpoint but not by Real View point. 

By Real View point, I am pure soul, self, knower and seer of everything. I am abode of infinite knowing power, abode of infinite seeing power and infinite bliss. 

सम्यक्‌ दॄष्टि 

प्रभु महावीर का यह  दिक्षा मंत्र था 

“एगो मे सासो अप्पा, ज्ञान दस्सन संजुओ, सेसा मे बाहिराभावा सव्वे संजोग लखना 

संजोग मुला जिवेन पत्ता दुखम परम्परा , तम्मा संजोग सम्बंधम सव्वम तिविएनम वोसिरामि” 

Only my pure soul self is eternal or perpetual. It is with Knowing power ( Gyan) and seeing  or perception power( Darshan) as its innate qualities. Rest all is outside which is circumstantial in nature. By believing circumstances as ‘my or mine’ all beings have a series of sufferings. I surrender all these attachments with circumstances. 

Summary – One should aspire to know who I am. To realize my true self, I further aspire to see and have guidance from a self- realized person with the right vision. It is my earnest hearty wish and prayers, my hearty bhav.   

About Author

Dr. Shailesh Mehta.

Dr. Shailesh Mehta


Dr. Shailesh Mehta is Eye surgeon at Vadodara, India. He is much interested in the study, research, practice and spread of Jain knowledge or Vitrag Vignan in an impartial Holistic way. He has interest in scientific and practical spirituality. He is a well-received speaker who has travelled nationally and internationally to several countries for it. He also has written a few books. He was blessed with Self Realization in 1977 at the age of 18 years and has been practicing lifelong celibacy as a vow.

   co-edited by Rishwa Doshi

Notify of
1 Comment
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Реферальный код binance
Реферальный код binance
1 month ago

Can you be more specific about the content of your article? After reading it, I still have some doubts. Hope you can help me.