Who Are We?
This is a story that I heard in my yoga practice, it illustrates the problem, the purpose and the essence of this life…
A great party was in progress. It was a wonderful party, everything was perfect, and all the guests were happily enjoying themselves. Around midnight a crazy gatecrasher sneaked into the house and joined the celebration. He approached the host and said, ‘What a boring party! What a suffocating atmosphere!’ He went on and on about what a terrible party it was in such a convincing way that, finally, the host began to be persuaded. He forgot how much he had been enjoying himself until now and became convinced that it really was a terrible party. He even forgot that he himself was the host! So he said to the gatecrasher, ‘You’re absolutely right. It’s awful! Let’s go somewhere else.’ ‘Yes,’ said the gatecrasher. ‘I will organize a fantastic party – it will be my party, and you will be my guest.’
The gatecrasher began to promise him all sorts of wonderful, enticing things. They left the party together and went to the gatecrasher’s house. It was a dreary place – ugly, dirty, and lifeless, and no one else was there. But the crazy gatecrasher, believing his own illusions of grandeur, kept trying to persuade his guest that the gloomy house was a beautiful mansion and that they were about to enjoy themselves at any moment. ‘The fun will soon begin,’ he kept saying.
But nothing happened. In the beginning the man believed him, but then he suddenly returned to his senses. ‘Wait a moment!’ he exclaimed. ‘What is it?’ said the gatecrasher, looking worried. ‘Oh no!’ exclaimed the man. ‘What am I doing here in this horrible place? I have forgotten that I am the host of that other wonderful party – that it is my home! I have forgotten how much I was enjoying myself there.’ Ignoring the gatecrasher’s protests, the man walked out through the door and hurried back to his own house.
All his friends were still there having a great time; they hadn’t even noticed he was gone. He smiled at them and happily rejoined the celebration.
My children, the entire human race is in a similar position. People have forgotten who they are. We are supposed to be living in our own wonderful home, where we belong, enjoying the splendid celebration of life and creation. Like the host in the story, we are, in fact, the center of it all, but we do not know it. Something has gone terribly wrong. The ego has sneaked in and has lured us into a state of utter forgetfulness, a state of unconsciousness. We have forgotten that we are the host of a glorious celebration. Instead, as if sleepwalking, we have left to join the ego, the ‘crazy gatecrasher’, at his non-existing party. The ego is an outsider. But we, the host, the real center of the wonderful ‘party’, around whom the whole play of creation is taking place, have forgotten the truth about our real Self. We have mistakenly attached ourselves to the ego, the impostor, identifying with the ego and its distorted views. We need to wake up from our stupor and remember that we are the ‘host’, the very center of creation. Then, we, too, will exclaim, ‘Oh no, what am I doing here? I have forgotten that I am the host of that party! That is my home! I have completely forgotten how much I was enjoying myself over there!’ Then you will not waste another moment. You will rush back to your real home, and remain within your blissful, joyful Self.