Sadhguru: It is all right to walk on the street, point at someone and ask, “Who are you?” But if you go to someone and ask, “Who am I”, that smacks of something else!
This happened in the Cincinnati Airport. A very important looking man rushed into the airport. There was a long line at the check-in counter. This man jumped the line, went straight to the counter and thrust his passport and his ticket. The lady at the counter said, “Sir, there is a line, please stand in line.” He said, “No, No. I am in a hurry. I need to go.” She said, “No sir, please stand in the line.” Then he said, “Do you know who I am?” She promptly picked up the microphone and said, “There is a man here who doesn’t know who he is. Can somebody help him?”
No one can help him because everybody is in the same state. Everybody is existing here without knowing the essential nature of who he or she is. Without knowing the very fundamentals of who we are, we are trying to make a life. That is the whole confusion.
Ramana Maharishi made this question very popular. But you must understand, he told you to ask yourself the question¸ not ask someone else. It is a question that should be addressed within you, digging deeper into yourself every time you ask it.
“Who am I?” is the most profound question in your life. If you do not even know who you are, do you know anything else for sure? Once you do not know who you are, it is one big joke. The only consolation is that the majority of the population is with you.
The first and foremost thing you should do with your life is to know the nature of your existence. Without knowing that, you live by accident. Everything is by accident, by assumption and by opinion. There is no contact with reality.
“Who am I?” This question exists, screaming in your body and your mind. If you just remove the surface nonsense, it is screaming within you. When you do not clear the surface chatter of the mind, “Who am I?” is a mere question. If you clear up that noise, you will see “Who am I” is immense. Nothing else is there.
“Who am I” is not an experiment or a mere question of curiosity. Until the question tears you apart, you will not know what is inside it. When the question screams, it will not be directed outside, but inside. Then, the scream will naturally catch fire and find light. No one can stop it.