What am I?
Number five has a special significance in spirituality the five elements (Panchmahabhoota), the five bodies (Panchsharir), the five rules of the Buddha (Panchsheel), the five precepts of Aurveda (Panchkarma), etc.
However there is one set of fives that denotes a unique spiritual phenomenon that very few are aware of the five qualities of the Self. Lot of significance has been attached to the questions Who am I and Why am I? But the question What am I? is often ignored. What is my inner core made up of? What are the qualities of the Self? What is at the essence of my being? What are the five core values of a human being? And the answer will be five qualities or values. These are creation, realization, satisfaction, devotion and discrimination. To make it simpler, you can substitute these five qualities with the verbs Expressing, Being, Enjoying, Loving and Knowing.
Why only these? You can use an micro or macro approach and will arrive at the same set of five whatever approach you take. Macrocosmically, examine what is being human all about. What differentiates us from animals? Man is considered to be the highest manifestation. What makes him highly evolved are five things that only humans are capable of, not any other animal. Only man is endowed with higher abilities to create and express as manifested in art, to meditate and inquire as manifested in Self–Realization, to love and devote as opposed to merely lust, to be happy and blissful as manifested in laughter, to discriminate and know the difference between what is real and unreal as manifested in developed cognition and conscience. Microcosmically, when you meditate on Who am I and are established on the inner Self, you are left with only these five values. You experience creativity, peace, happiness, love and truth emanating from your inner core and reverberating in the universe. You do not even require enlightenment to experience it. Ask yourself whether at your core, aren’t the values of creativity, peace, happiness, love and truth that exist? Take any list of values in a value education class and you can distil them to these five, no more or no less.
Thus both from a macro and micro point of view, you are left with these five essences. Let us examine each of them to understand the qualities of Self or the nature of Godhead:
Creation (Abhivyakti) : Creation is the physical manifestation of ideas and thoughts. At the core of the universe is creation. The Self in Rest created the universe, the Self in Action to know itself. Shiva created Shakti. Creation also denotes self-expression.
Realization (Mouna) : Why did creation take place? So that the Self can realize itself. So that the silence can be realized. At the core of everything created is silence, peace. The purpose of human birth is to realize oneself. The body-mind has been given for the Self to realize itself. The body-mind can never realize the Self. Self realizes itself through the body-mind
Enjoyment (Anand) : The Self realizes itself to be established in bliss. A mere body-mind is enough for the Self to realize itself. But what is unique about humans is that the individual someone who thinks of himself as separate also gets created. And when the individual surrenders to the Self, bliss manifests. God created individuality to experience the happiness of coming back (realizing) to Himself. This happiness is possible only when there is forgetfulness, when there is separation. Thus the significance of the individual. Realization leads to bliss.
Love (Prem) : To realize oneself and be established in the Self, the body-mind has to surrender to the Self. You can call this as devotion (bhakti). Devotion arises out of duality. I am separate from God. The individual is separate from the Self. So now the individual surrenders to the Self through bhakti a higher form of love. Where the body-mind appreciates and is in amazement of the Self. Bhakti leads to realization. On realization, a higher form of love manifests. Love of the Self for its creation. Pure love. Love of the Truth for the Truth.
Discrimination (Satya) : On realization, you are stabilized on the truth. There is a clear distinction between what is real and what is unreal. Only knowing remains. Knowing of the truth. To attain realization too, discrimination of what is the truth and what is not the truth is critical. Only human beings can discriminate between real and unreal. There are only two paths to realization one is that of Surrendering (bhakti). The other is that of discrimination (vivek) where there is a constant enquiry of what is real, what is unreal.
These five qualities shall emanate effortlessly from the one who is realized. Others can practice some simple steps that can enhance these five qualities in their life. Take up a vocation or a hobby where you are fully self-expressed where you do not have a sense of time as you create. Mediate to have glimpses of realization. Carry happy thoughts and take time to smell the flowers as you enjoy the process of whatever you do. Be open to the love that exists in relationships. And practice self-enquiry to discriminate between what is real and what is unreal.
Open your eyes and watch how all nature, how all that you do is a manifestation of these qualities. How these are the core values. Marvel at the question, What am I?
– Gems from SirShree