Who You Are – In Gita Verse 7.2 I shall now declare unto you in full this knowledge, both phenomenal and numinous. This being known, nothing further shall remain for you to know.
Krishna is saying to Arjuna now I will teach you which cannot be taught. That is Who You Are.
To understand Krishna’s these words I will be sharing with you all Upnishad’s story:
In the UPANISHADS there is a story about a young man, Shwetketu. He studied in the nearby forest university, graduated with honors, came back home with a very great ego because he had come first in the university. His father looked out from the window as he was returning.
And he told his wife, “He has gained knowledge; one can see even in his walk his ego, pride. But we have not sent him for that. I will have to send him again. So don’t come in between, don’t start weeping and crying, ‘You are sending our son away again.’”
Shwetketu came. The father said, “Don’t enter the house! I know that you have learned all the scriptures. But do you know who you are?”
Shwetketu said, “It was not part of the course. I have learned the four VEDAS, all the UPANISHADS. But the question ‘Who am I?’ was not part of the syllabus in the university.”
The father said, “Then go back to the old seer who is the head of the forest university and ask him the question. And unless you learn it don’t come back; because there is no point in coming back. I’m living just to see that you have known yourself.”
He was turned back from the outside of the door. Shwetketu was very much disturbed, shocked. He was hoping to be received with a great welcome and this was a strange welcome. He went to his master and told him, “My father says what you have taught me is absolutely useless. You have not taught me the real thing, ‘Who am I?’”
The master said, “That is true, but it is a difficult task, very difficult.”
He said, “Whatever – I have to do it because without doing it I cannot enter into my house!”
So the master said, “You do one thing: take these one hundred cows, and when they have become one thousand by giving birth to new calves… Remain in the deepest forest where nobody comes. Even if you see somebody, hide! Don’t speak human language, just remain with the cows. And when they have become one thousand, bring them back.”
Strange idea, Shwetketu thought. “When will they become one thousand? It may take half of my life.”
But the master was telling him, so he took those one hundred cows and went into the forest as deep as possible where there was no question of anybody coming. For a few days, ideas continued in his mind. But how can you continue to think the same things every day? And there was nobody to talk to.
Finally he became silent. Years passed, he became almost like a cow. Just living with the cows, sleeping with the cows, taking care of the cows, the cow world was his world. He forgot humanity completely.
The story is so beautiful, that he has forgotten even the idea that when they become one thousand he has to return, because an idea is language. And he had forgotten even to count. And things were going beautifully into utter silence.
The story says that finally one cow had to say, “I cannot resist the temptation to speak because we are now one thousand. And you seem to have forgotten everything. Now it is time to take us back to the master.”
Shwetketu brought the one thousand cows. The disciples saw from far away one thousand cows and they told the master, “Shwetketu is coming after many, many years. And he is bringing one thousand cows.”
The master said, “Don’t use the word ‘Shwetketu’ anymore. Say one thousand and one cows are coming back!”
And that’s how it was. Shwetketu came and stood there just as other cows were standing. He didn’t say a single word. And his eyes had become so pure, so silent, that the master shook him, “Now, get out of your cowhood! You are capable now of facing your father. Go back.”
So without saying anything he simply went to his father. His father looked again from the window.
He said, “My God! He has really known. And I myself don’t know who I am!”
So he jumped out of the backdoor telling his wife, “It does not look right because he will touch my feet. It does not look right that a man who knows should touch the feet of a man who is ignorant. It is very embarrassing. I’m going. You take care of your son. It may take a few years for me, I am old, but I will try and I will not come back again until I know who I am. I cannot face my son; he’s approaching so beautifully, so humble, so not-knowing, with no pride, with no ego – just a pure silence, a cool breeze.”
When Krishna is saying – now declare unto you in full this knowledge – he means know yourself.
Recollected from your own life when you are with yourself that is the time you feel silence. Unless you know yourself – Who You Are – all the other knowledge is futile, no use.