Ko Hum (“Who am I”) to So Hum (“I am That”)……is a journey each of us need to make......
Ko hum or who am I? It is a very simple yet strange question. Have you ever wondered who you really are?
Do we really know who we are? When asked this question, the first thing that comes to our minds is our name, maybe our title, our nationality, perhaps even our status in society, rich or poor, possibly even our education or not being educated springs to mind. Interestingly all of this maybe true and yet not true because all of these things can change or could be changed.
Something to think about is - You definitely were not born the same size and shape that you are today. You were a baby, then a child, then a teenager, then an adult, to whatever you are now. The point is that physically, you have been changing, all this time since birth.
What is really interesting is that along with our bodies our minds are also changing, our likes and dislikes change from time to time and yet something inside us is observing everything. Something within KNOWS that "YOU" are the same person. Yet that itself which observes cannot be observed.
Who is this great Observer inside you that you don’t seem to know? Isn’t that fascinating? What is this entity or the one who is observing all this change that is happening to us?
Who are we really? Can we find out for our selves?
The great sages and wise men say, Koham (Ko Hum) or who am I is the practice of self investigation or self enquiry, whereby we will actually experience what “I” really is and the answer to that is Soham (So Hum) meaning, I am That or it is the true self-knowledge that we gain by practicing self-enquiry.
Another common characteristic is that each one of us wants to be happy. Our every action, thought and deed is put together to bring about happiness. Yet many a times despite doing our best we still remain unhappy or even if we are able to achieve happiness for a while something comes about and things change and we are sad, sorrow takes hold. So we flit between these two states most of the time.
When we are happy we get a good night’s sleep but if there is even a single thought of pain or worry, sleep evades us or we are restless and are unable to have a proper rest. The point to note here is that only when you drop every thought, every worry, every relationship, every possession, including our bodies and minds we are able to glide blissfully into the sleep state. In this state, we are totally unaware of anything.
So here might be a clue to eternal happiness. When we are completely relieved of identity and possessions as in deep sleep we are happy. If this state can be experienced when we are awake, when we are conscious and fully aware, we will be able to enjoy that same happiness as experienced in deep sleep and our true identity will be revealed to us.
The ignorant one thinks: “I am this body”.
The wise one knows: “I am the Self”.
Soham - “That in whom reside all beings and who resides in all beings, who is the giver of grace to all, the Supreme Soul of the Universe, the limitless being – I am That.”
I am That Absolute Truth - Consciousness incarnated in human form.
Soham as a Mantra - The Soham mantra is a natural mantra because it is already part of your nature.
"Sooooo..." is the sound of inhalation, and is remembered in the mind along with that inhalation.
"Hummmm..." is the sound of exhalation, and is remembered in the mind along with that exhalation.
The Soham mantra thus has been called the universal mantra because of the fact that its vibration is already a part of the breath, and everybody breathes.