One of the most important questions someone can ask themselves throughout their lives. Any person seeking the resolve of ignorance within themselves asks this question, and with good reason. Do you really know who you are? Lets take a look at this for a minute. There are many religions that talk about eternal life, and assure us of this eternity but this means that something is ever unchanging and ever unmoving, so this poses a problem in duality (what body-mind lives under in its life time). Duality is a term used to describe the contrasts in this finite world in respect to good or bad, light and dark, life and death, and although these may appear as two, they actually collect eachother in one.
The Most Simple answer is in the question itself. I Am
How do we arrive at such conclusion though, there is a process of ignorance that must be shed, first of all the identification with the body.This is what I’ve come to know, that the body although may be seen as many or individualistic (atleast to the ego sense), is not in any sense, and here is how I’ve explained it to people to the best of my ability.
The body is conceived by two parents which is a joint effort which makes the new body a collection of two bodies. Now those two bodies then were conceived by two more bodies each which makes them the product of two bodies and then exponentially getting bigger down the tree. So not only is the body a product of two bodies but also a product of the whole humanity itself. Heres another thing to look into, that the body’s purpose is of food essence (things it takes in from physical food, to concepts, to the elements) So the body is also a compilation of food essence, so how can one possibly think that it is an individual body? Also the bodies make up never stays constant, the cells are ever changing, you do not have the same body you did yesterday nor will you ever have the same body. It starts out as a baby, and then it grows to a toddler, teen, adult, and then it dies. It is never constantly truly in one state. Bound by time and space. Truths nature is to always be consistantly True, it is its nature so how can it possibly be True that you are the body?
So there is something more if you are not the body, something that existed even before the body was manifested into being, where were you 9 days before the body was born? To sustain life something had to of been in the presence of the body yet you cannot recall the day you were even born if you are the body. You are merely fed the concept of being born by your parents. Something prevades the body itself, which can be referred to in a lot of different ways, to name a couple: (God, Life Force, Soul, True Nature, Self, Pure Awareness, Universal Consciousness, etc.) The list goes on because the Word never surpasses the intellect. This birth principle is very much beyond the intellect just like God is every much beyond the concept of God. You can’t explain what it is, it is something to be directly experienced.
So if you are this life force or awareness that is eternal and ever unchanging then where do life and death come in, do they ever really take motion outside of the body for they only ring true for a short amount of time and then fade out. Heres where Awareness comes in, that state in which even in deep sleep is ever present, timeless and eternal. It always rings true regardless, the perceiving happens but there is always a perceiver perceiving and there is always a recollector or all, even of the way the body feels, acts, and thinks (or seems to think, which later the more you look into it, that you are not even the doer of thought)
Your True Nature is ever prevading, eternal and timeless, you are unborn. You will never cease to exist because of this reason and you eternally live even past the bodies death. Death does not affect you for you are Life itself, you cannot lose something you never had, given your very Nature is Life. Your very nature is Supreme Reality, that Absolute Truth.
You are nothing in particular, but You Are. -Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
When a question arises ask yourself, “To Whom does the question arise” the answer will be “To Me” When this is said then inquire, “Who Am I?” This brings you back to the Source, the Self. -Sri Ramana Maharshi