Aham Is The Name Of The Lord

Does God have a Name? …and if so, what is that Name. The Supreme Godhood Who is beyond any names and forms, any attributes, has a ‘Name’, the Name that is indicative of Supreme Atman and that Name is Aham… an enlightening piece of Divine discourse from Bhagawan.

You are what you are, not somebody else. Whether it be a pauper or a millionaire, a pandit or an ignoramus, a child or an old man, a man or a woman, when they introduce themselves everyone uses the word, “I”, “I”, “I”, (Nenu in Telugu). If birds and animals could speak, they would describe themselves as “I am a cat, I am a monkey, I am a dog” and so on. Thus “I” is found everywhere. The cosmos is based on the consciousness of “I”. “I” is not only the basis, it is the very form of the cosmos. Wherefrom has this “I” originated? In fact, it has no origin. It is a principle which exists in all beings at all times.

If we examine the phenomenal world, we can see that terms like “you” and “he” and “we” came into existence only after the term “I”. What is this “I”? Who is this “I”? It is the embodiment of the Atma. Where does the Atma dwell? It is all pervading. The Shrutis have described this all-pervading Atma as Hridaya. Hrid+daya is Hridaya. “Daya” means compassion. That which is the embodiment of compassion is Hridaya. Therefore, the term “I” refers to that which is filled with compassion.

If a student is asked “Who are you”? He may reply, “I am Rangayya or Ramayya”. If you ask him “When did you come?” he will reply, “I came on May 20 for the Summer Course.” What is it that has come? It is the body. It is in relation to the body that the student says that he came on the 20th. Here the reply is based on identification of himself with the body. The next day the same student says, “My stomach is upset”. When he says, “My stomach”, there is an obvious distinction between him and the stomach. When one refers to “my hand”, “my head”, “my belly”, “my leg” and so on, obviously he is different from these organs. When one says, “This is my towel”, the towel is separate from the owner.

The question naturally arises, “Who are you”? This question has to be fully explored. One makes himself separate from all physical objects. The entire cosmos is thus made up of two elements. “This” and “I”. “This” refers to what is seen (drishyam). “I” is the seer. We use the terms, “This is a table”, “This is an auditorium”. We cannot refer to any object without first using the word “This”. By the use of the term “This”, the particular object that is referred to is made clear.

That which is seen is perceived only because there is a Seer. When there is no Seer, there is no Seen. People say that the eyes see. But on what basis do the eyes see. It is not the eyes that see. There is something more basic. For instance, when a bulb sheds light, it is not the bulb that illumines. It is the current that makes the bulb shed light. Likewise all the objects in the world that are present are perceptible and made manifest by the perceiver.

Thus the principle of “I” is all-pervasive. People may call themselves by different names. But the one thing that is common to all of them is the concept of “I”. The very first word in the universe was “I”. I (Aham) is the first Name of The Lord. “Aham Brahmasmi”; Aham comes first and Brahma comes afterwards. This means that “Aham” is the Name of The Lord. For everyone, therefore, the term “I” is always present.

II Samastha Lokah Sukhino Bhavantu II