I Am Shiva

The saint addresses his disciples, “Common man lives with a ‘Body-am-I’ attitude while the Divine exists only as a witness.”

Disciple says, “I did not understand the meaning. How does the Divine/God exist only as a witness?”

Saint says, “Look at this tree. Do you see the two birds perched on it? One of them is savoring the fruit of that tree while the other is rejoicing just by looking at the other one.”

Disciple says, “Yes! But the one enjoying the fruit still doesn’t seem content. He looks miserable. Why is that?”

Saint says, “That’s because he is dissatisfied.”

Disciple says, “Alright, but I still don’t understand completely.”

Saint says, “Look here! The tree is our body, the fruit is the experiences we have as a result of our past actions. One of the two birds is jiva, an ignorant soul and the other is Shiva. The ignorant soul experiences pain and pleasure, but Shiva, the Divine, is a mere witness and is not touched by anything.”

Disciple says, “Guruji, why does the soul experience pain and pleasure?”

Saint says, “Man has a strong sense of ‘Body-am-I’. As a result, the ignorant soul thinks it is him who is experiencing pain or pleasure when pain/pleasure is only related to the body and the mind. Due to this ‘Body-am-I’ sense, one always remains dissatisfied, unhappy and restless.”

Disciple says, “What is to be done to calm our mind?”

Saint says, “Do as I say. 1) sit in a comfortable position; 2) close your eyes; 3) relax the body. Don’t try anything deliberately; 4) focus your mind on the breath.”

The disciple did as he was told. After some time, he slowly opened his eyes and said, “Guruji, what you said is absolutely true. I experienced joy and my mind is calm. I feel happy. I experienced ‘I am Shiva’.”