Unraveling the Essence of Identity: Navigating Paths of Self-Discovery and Fulfillment

By Dr. Jaharlal Debbarma

Often, I find myself engrossed in pondering the essence of my true identity, as I embark on a relentless quest for profound self-discovery. I find myself entangled in a dilemma due to the multitude of identities I bear in this world. This complexity hinders me from gaining a clear understanding of my true self. As an indigenous person from Tripura, I am known by numerous names, such as tribal, S.T. putra, janajati or even chinki  in ‘mainland’ India. For instance, when I read the poem of Kishore Murashing’s, “Identity”, the poet vividly depicts the sombre and desolate state of the indigenous people of Tripura. The poem showcases the various labels or names and stereotypes or identity forced upon them by different individuals and institutions.

“Contemporaries call me: “Hey  mama.’

Teacher calls me,  ‘Hello extremist’.

To the police, I am a terrorist.

To the leader, I am a man  from the backward class.

To  a ration dealer, I am a  BPL card holder.

To somebody else, ‘Hey  pahariya’.

To  some  others,  separatist.

There  may  be  innumerable  identities.

Sometimes  I wonder, is it not possible for me to be known as a relative, a brother, a  friend, or as  a human.”

Similarly, in Shefali Debbarma’s poem “Lamination,” the poet expresses the profound anguish experienced by the tribal people of the state who are predominantly known by the caste certificates they carry.  

“In the year I was born,

I got an S.T. Card

singed by the S.D.O.

My mother, preserved it with great care within

the folds of risa and pachchra

in the khuturuk lest it gets torn.

Today, after almost a century the risa and pachchra have been torn to shreds and diligent termites have fed on the khuturuk;

on the S.T. Card shines bright within the lamination.”

These laminated certificates not only serve as proof of their identity in the land, but also serve as constant reminders that they belong to a supposedly less sophisticated and more barbaric group or civilization.

Consequently, the question of my true identity remains unanswered, leaving me in a state of uncertainty. As I navigate through life’s complexities and bear the weight of multiple identities, I find myself grappling with the profound question: Who am I, truly? Consequently, I am left grappling with these questions in my mind:

Who am I? What dies? Who dies?

Are we born merely to face death?

Do I transcend death? .

Do I contemplate these questions prior to encountering death?

Do I ponder these questions before meeting the inevitable end?

Is social existence a conspiracy to divert us from such profound inquiries?

Nevertheless, there exist heroic individuals who perceive themselves in a constant confrontation with mortality, challenging themselves to respond. The demise of a loved one, the constant news of death, the looming threat of war, or the spectre of a nuclear explosion all compel us to contemplate the hidden question of who am I?

In this quest for self-discovery, I am left with a profound urge to unravel the enigma of my true essence/self/identity and understand the profound depths of my being.

As I ponder the question, “Who am I?” or the concept of self, I find myself grappling with the various aspects that define it. Is it the names I bear, the physical body I inhabit, or the essence of my soul (referred to as “atman” in some beliefs) that can be called the self? This inquiry leads me into a state of dilemma as I seek the right answer.

If I consider my identity or self to be solely determined by my name, I encounter a predicament. There are others who share the same name as mine, highlighting the fact that names themselves are merely conventions used to distinguish individuals, devoid of inherent worth or meaning. This reminded me of the famous question posed by playwright William Shakespeare in Romeo and Juliet, “What’s in a name?”

On the other hand, if I identify my body as the self, attributing the experience of pain or suffering to it, I encounter another quandary. When a person dies, their body ceases to feel pain or suffer. Hence, it cannot be solely the body that defines the self and experiences such sensations.

This leads me to consider whether the soul is the true essence of the self. However, it would be incorrect to claim that the soul experiences pain because the soul does not feel pain or suffer.

Therefore, I find myself grappling with the complexities of defining the self, searching for an answer that eludes me.

As when we see how the concept of the soul has been explained and being explored by the various western and Indian philosophical traditions throughout history.

Western Philosophy:

Ancient Greek Philosophy: In ancient Greek philosophy, particularly in the works of Plato, the soul (psyche) is often regarded as an immortal and divine entity that exists independently of the body. Plato suggested that the soul is eternal, pre-exists before birth, and continues to exist after death. He described the soul as having three parts: the rational, the spirited, and the appetitive.

Christian Philosophy: In Christian philosophy, the soul is often viewed as the spiritual and immortal essence of a person. It is considered to be created by God and is believed to be the seat of consciousness, morality, and personal identity. The soul is thought to be united with the body during earthly life and is believed to survive bodily death.

Cartesian Dualism: René Descartes proposed a dualistic view of the soul, separating it from the body. According to Descartes, the soul (or mind) is a non-physical substance, distinct from the material body. He argued that the mind and body interacted through the pineal gland, and while the body is subject to the laws of physics, the mind/soul is free and capable of rational thought.

Indian Philosophy:

Hinduism: In Hindu philosophy, the soul is referred to as Atman. It is considered eternal and unchanging, representing the individual’s true self. Hinduism views the soul as distinct from the physical body and the temporary material world. The ultimate goal is to realize the identity between Atman (individual self) and Brahman (universal reality).

Buddhism: Buddhism challenges the concept of a permanent, unchanging soul (Anatta). It teaches that the idea of a substantial and independent self is an illusion. Instead, Buddhism emphasizes the impermanence and interdependent nature of all phenomena, including the self.

According to Buddhism, realizing the non-existence of a fixed soul is crucial for attaining enlightenment.

Jainism: In Jain philosophy, the soul is called Jiva. Jainism considers the soul to be eternal and inherently pure, but subject to the cycle of birth and death due to karmic attachments. The liberation of the soul (moksha) is achieved through the purification of karma and the realization of its true nature.

It’s important to note that the concept of the soul can vary within different philosophical and religious traditions. The specific beliefs about the nature, characteristics, and destiny of the soul may vary among different philosophers, schools of thought, and cultural contexts.

I believed the true self is the soul which I uphold, however, as I/body get entangle with the worldly attributes I am blind to understand and know the true self.

When I delve into religious texts from around the world, a common theme emerges: they shed light on understanding oneself/true self and the path to liberation or enlightenment, or heaven. The mystic Sadhguru once said, “The fundamental strength of Bharat is that we are a land of seekers – seekers of truth and liberation – and this spiritual thread is what binds us as a nation.” These seekers yearn to uncover a specific truth – the truth about their own essence/self and how to liberate it from its bondage. It is from this philosophical standpoint that we can explore profound questions such as “Who am I?” and gain insight into the nature of the self and attained moksha or liberation.

As we embark on the journey of life, our quest to discover our true selves is met with the presence of two divergent paths, each offering a unique array of possibilities. These paths, known as sreya and preya according to the ancient sages, hold profound significance in shaping our existence. Let us delve into a thoughtful examination of these paths, their inherent qualities, and ultimately unravel the unequivocal choice that lies before the earnest seeker.

They are the path of preya (dear)/immediate gratification and sreya (good) long-term fulfillment. These paths are as tangible as life and death  and has influenced those who came before us and will continue to impact those who come after.

At its core, sreya signifies the path of goodness, while preya represents the path of personal desires and attachments. It may initially seem perplexing why these two paths are distinct, as what is dear to us should naturally align with what is best for us. However, for those who have not yet attained self-realization, this assumption is challenged, leading us to explore the reasons behind this divergence.

In order to grasp the distinction between sreya and preya, it is essential to delve into the nature of our identity. Are we merely the physical body we perceive in the mirror? Are we solely the thoughts that occupy our minds as we engage with these words? The answer is no. Both the body and mind act as veils, concealing our true essence/self. We are eternal souls, indivisible units of consciousness, whose purpose and fulfilment manifest in the realm of awareness. Our existence transcends physicality, and we do not perish with the body’s demise nor gain through the mind’s indulgence. When we attain a profound realization of our authentic self, the distinction between sreya and preya becomes starkly evident, encompassing vast dimensions.

Upon an initial encounter with the concepts of sreya and preya, it is natural for both paths hold a certain allure. After all, we are inherently inclined towards both what is beneficial for us and what brings us personal joy and fulfillment. However, within the cryptic verses of the Katha Upanishad, we discover a profound insight:

“Anyat śreyaḥ uta anyat eva preyaḥ,

te ubhe nānārthe satī puruṣaṁ sinītaḥ.

Tayoḥ śreyaḥ ādadānasya sādhu bhavati,

u saḥ arthāt hīyate yaḥ preyaḥ vṛṇīte.”


The good (sreya) is one thing, and the dear (preya) is another. These two, with distinct aims, bind the individual. Those who choose the path of goodness attain righteousness, while the one who selects what is dear sacrificed the ultimate goal.

Upon hearing this, a natural question arises: “What do ‘the good’ and ‘the dear’ truly signify?” Sreya, representing the good, refers to that which benefits the soul, our authentic self. On the other hand, preya, representing the dear, pertains to what is cherished by the illusory ego.

Precisely so Preya encompasses all that is pleasing, agreeable, or desirable to our false ego and its associated aspects: the body, senses, mind, intellect, and any extensions of self we identify with, such as family, friends, nation, or location. Any endeavours undertaken solely to fulfill these aspects, without considering the welfare of our true self, tread upon the path of preya.

On the other hand, sreya represents all that is beneficial for the eternal soul. However, the true understanding of sreya goes beyond mere relative benefits and extends to what is supremely advantageous for the soul. It denotes the good that surpasses any equal or superior alternatives. Sreya embodies the pinnacle of welfare, our ultimate fulfillment. It encompasses the highest good, the summum bonum.

Both Western and Indian philosophers engage with these profound questions, who am I? But they may approach them from different cultural, religious, and philosophical frameworks. It is important to note that there is no single definitive answer to these questions, and philosophers continue to offer diverse perspectives, inviting individuals to reflect, contemplate, and seek their own understanding and meaning in life.

 Dr. Jaharlal Debbarma is Assistant Professor, Department of Philosophy, Kabi Nazrul Mahavidyalaya, Sonamura.



Please follow and like us:

74 thoughts on “Unraveling the Essence of Identity: Navigating Paths of Self-Discovery and Fulfillment”

  1. I’ve been browsing online more than 2 hours today, yet I never found any interesting
    article like yours. It is pretty worth enough for me.

    In my opinion, if all web owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the net will
    be a lot more useful than ever before.

  2. My spouse and I stumbled over here from a different
    page and thought I should check things out. I like what I see
    so now i am following you. Look forward to exploring your web page for a second time.

  3. Hmm it appears like your blog ate my first comment (it was extremely long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what
    I wrote and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog. I as
    well am an aspiring blog blogger but I’m still new
    to everything. Do you have any helpful hints for rookie blog writers?

    I’d definitely appreciate it.

  4. When I originally commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get several e-mails with the same comment.
    Is there any way you can remove people from that service?

  5. After going over a number of the articles on your blog,
    I seriously like your technique of blogging. I saved as a favorite it to my bookmark webpage list and will
    be checking back in the near future. Please check out
    my web site as well and let me know your opinion.

  6. Heya i am for the first time here. I came across this board and I find It really useful & it helped me out much.

    I’m hoping to provide something back and aid others like you aided me.

  7. We are a group of volunteers and opening a new scheme
    in our community. Your web site provided us with valuable information to work on. You have done an impressive job and our whole
    community will be grateful to you.

  8. Hi there i am kavin, its my first time to commenting anyplace, when i read this post i thought i could also make comment due to this brilliant paragraph.

  9. Sweet blog! I found it while surfing around
    on Yahoo News. Do you have any tips on how to get listed in Yahoo
    News? I’ve been trying for a while but I never seem to get there!

    Thank you

  10. Oh my goodness! Amazing article dude! Thanks, However I am having difficulties with
    your RSS. I don’t know why I can’t subscribe to it. Is there anybody else getting the same RSS problems?
    Anybody who knows the solution will you kindly respond? Thanx!!

  11. Hi there very nice website!! Guy .. Excellent ..

    Superb .. I will bookmark your web site and take the feeds additionally?
    I am happy to search out so many useful info right here in the publish, we need work out extra strategies on this regard,
    thank you for sharing. . . . . .

  12. Currently it sounds like Expression Engine is the best
    blogging platform out there right now. (from what I’ve read) Is that what
    you are using on your blog?

  13. Useful information. Fortunate me I discovered your site by chance, and
    I am surprised why this twist of fate did not took place in advance!

    I bookmarked it.

  14. Hi there! I could have sworn I’ve been to this site
    before but after checking through some of the post I realized it’s
    new to me. Nonetheless, I’m definitely happy I found it
    and I’ll be book-marking and checking back frequently!

  15. Great items from you, man. I’ve bear in mind your
    stuff prior to and you’re simply too excellent.
    I really like what you’ve obtained here, certainly like what you are stating and the way in which you assert it.
    You are making it entertaining and you continue to take care
    of to stay it sensible. I can not wait to learn much more from you.
    This is actually a great website.

  16. Hi! This post could not be written any better! Reading
    through this post reminds me of my previous room mate!
    He always kept chatting about this. I will forward this page
    to him. Fairly certain he will have a good read. Thanks for sharing!

  17. Hello! This is my 1st comment here so I just wanted to
    give a quick shout out and tell you I truly enjoy reading your blog posts.
    Can you suggest any other blogs/websites/forums that
    cover the same subjects? Many thanks!

  18. I love your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you design this website
    yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you?
    Plz reply as I’m looking to design my own blog and would like to find out where u got this from.

  19. Howdy just wanted to give you a quick heads up. The text in your post
    seem to be running off the screen in Opera. I’m not sure if
    this is a format issue or something to do with web browser compatibility but I thought
    I’d post to let you know. The layout look great though!
    Hope you get the issue resolved soon. Many thanks

  20. After going over a few of the articles on your
    web site, I truly appreciate your technique of blogging.
    I book marked it to my bookmark webpage list and will be checking back
    soon. Please visit my website as well and let me know how you feel.

  21. Howdy, I do think your web site could be having internet browser compatibility issues.
    When I look at your blog in Safari, it looks fine however when opening in I.E., it’s got some overlapping issues.
    I merely wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other than that, great website!

  22. I like the helpful information you provide in your articles.
    I’ll bookmark your weblog and check again here frequently.
    I’m quite certain I’ll learn a lot of new stuff right here!
    Best of luck for the next!

  23. hello there and thank you for your information – I have certainly picked up anything new from right here.
    I did however expertise several technical points using this web site, as I experienced to reload the site a lot of times previous to I could get it to load correctly.
    I had been wondering if your web host is OK?
    Not that I’m complaining, but slow loading instances times will very frequently affect your placement in google and can damage your high-quality score if ads and marketing with
    Adwords. Well I am adding this RSS to my e-mail and could look out for much
    more of your respective fascinating content. Make sure you update
    this again soon.

  24. I’m excited to uncover this site. I want to to thank you for
    your time for this particularly fantastic read!! I definitely
    really liked every bit of it and i also have you saved as a favorite to check out new information in your blog.

  25. I have been surfing online more than 3 hours these
    days, but I never found any fascinating article like yours.
    It is beautiful value enough for me. In my view, if all website owners and bloggers made
    just right content material as you probably did, the web
    might be a lot more helpful than ever before.

  26. Someone necessarily help to make severely posts I would state.
    That is the very first time I frequented your website page and
    so far? I amazed with the analysis you made to make this
    particular publish amazing. Great activity!

  27. First of all I want to say terrific blog! I had a quick question which I’d like to ask if you don’t
    mind. I was curious to know how you center yourself and clear your head before writing.
    I’ve had a hard time clearing my thoughts
    in getting my thoughts out. I do enjoy writing however it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes tend to be lost simply just
    trying to figure out how to begin. Any suggestions or hints?

  28. Aw, this was an exceptionally good post. Spending some time and actual effort to create a really
    good article… but what can I say… I procrastinate a whole lot
    and never manage to get nearly anything done.

  29. Thanks for a marvelous posting! I certainly enjoyed reading
    it, you happen to be a great author.I will be sure to bookmark your blog and may come back sometime soon. I want
    to encourage one to continue your great job, have a nice

  30. Hi my friend! I wish to say that this article is awesome,
    great written and include almost all significant infos.

    I would like to look more posts like this .

  31. What’s up to every one, the contents existing at this site are in fact awesome for
    people knowledge, well, keep up the nice work fellows.

  32. You are so awesome! I do not think I’ve read a single thing like this before.

    So nice to discover another person with genuine thoughts on this issue.
    Really.. many thanks for starting this up.
    This website is something that is needed on the web, someone with a
    little originality!

  33. Greate article. Keep posting such kind of information on your blog.

    Im really impressed by your site.
    Hey there, You’ve done a great job. I’ll certainly digg
    it and in my view suggest to my friends. I’m confident they’ll be benefited from
    this website.

  34. I’ve been browsing online more than 2 hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours.

    It’s pretty worth enough for me. Personally, if all web owners and bloggers made good content as you did,
    the internet will be a lot more useful than ever before.

  35. I got this web site from my friend who shared
    with me regarding this website and at the moment this time I am
    visiting this web page and reading very informative articles or reviews at this time.

  36. You actually make it appear really easy
    with your presentation but I to find this topic to be actually something
    that I feel I might never understand. It sort of feels too complicated and extremely large for
    me. I am looking ahead to your next publish,
    I’ll try to get the hang of it!

  37. Attractive section of content. I just stumbled upon your website and in accession capital
    to assert that I get in fact enjoyed account your
    blog posts. Any way I’ll be subscribing to your augment and even I
    achievement you access consistently fast.

  38. Hey there! Someone in my Myspace group shared this website with us so I
    came to give it a look. I’m definitely enjoying the information. I’m book-marking and will be tweeting this to
    my followers! Great blog and great design.

  39. Wow, incredible blog format! How lengthy have you ever been blogging for?
    you made running a blog look easy. The whole look
    of your site is great, let alone the content material!

  40. Hey! I know this is kinda off topic however , I’d figured I’d ask.
    Would you be interested in exchanging links or maybe guest authoring
    a blog article or vice-versa? My blog covers a lot of the same topics as yours and I
    believe we could greatly benefit from each other.
    If you happen to be interested feel free to shoot me an email.

    I look forward to hearing from you! Terrific blog by
    the way!

  41. Excellent post. Keep writing such kind of info on your page.
    Im really impressed by it.
    Hi there, You have done a fantastic job. I will
    definitely digg it and personally suggest to my friends.
    I’m confident they will be benefited from this website.

  42. It is perfect time to make some plans for the future and it is time to be happy.

    I have read this post and if I could I desire to suggest
    you some interesting things or suggestions. Perhaps you could write next articles referring to this article.
    I desire to read more things about it!

  43. It’s the best time to make some plans for the future
    and it is time to be happy. I’ve read this post and if I could I want
    to suggest you few interesting things or tips. Maybe you can write next articles
    referring to this article. I want to read even more things about it!

  44. It’s actually a nice and useful piece of information. I’m glad that you just shared this useful information with us.

    Please stay us informed like this. Thanks for sharing.

  45. Hi there, just became alert to your blog through Google, and found
    that it is truly informative. I am gonna watch out for
    brussels. I’ll appreciate if you continue this in future.

    Many people will be benefited from your
    writing. Cheers!

  46. Thanks for finally talking about > Unraveling the
    Essence of Identity: Navigating Paths of Self-Discovery and Fulfillment – YAKHRAI < Liked it!

  47. betoptic: effectieve oplossing beschikbaar zonder recept.
    prijs van betaxolol met voorschrift in Brussel
    betaxolol kopen zonder recept in Eindhoven betaxolol bestellen met snelle
    en discrete levering
    betoptic tegen betaalbare prijs betoptic online bestellen met snelle verzending
    betoptic: effectieve oplossing beschikbaar zonder recept.
    aankoop van betoptic
    betaxolol verkrijgbaar zonder recept in Spanje
    online apotheek België betaxolol aankoop van merknaam Mylan betaxolol
    prijs van betaxolol in Marokko
    betaxolol kopen in België Vind betoptic zonder recept nodig in Groningen, Nederland
    betoptic zonder recept verkrijgbaar met discrete verzending
    betaxolol zonder recept veilig en snel bestellen
    koop betaxolol in Italië zonder medisch voorschrift in België
    betoptic: Alles wat je moet weten betaxolol kopen zonder voorschrift:
    eenvoudig en snel
    betrouwbare aankoop van betaxolol in Peru betaxolol kopen zonder gedoe met recepten
    betoptic online kopen zonder doktersvoorschrift vereist gemakkelijk betaxolol kopen in Europa
    online aankoop van betoptic zonder recept
    betaxolol kopen in Europa
    betaxolol beschikbaar in een apotheek in Nederland Bestel betoptic
    online in Amersfoort – geen recept nodig!
    betaxolol online bestellen zonder voorschrift in Nederland betoptic receptvrij verkrijgbaar in Nederland
    Waar kan ik betoptic kopen in België? betoptic bestellen via betrouwbare webshop
    Bestel betaxolol online veilig en discreet betoptic op recept prijs in Rotterdam
    Bestel betoptic online en ontvang het snel en discreet betaxolol vrij verkrijgbaar in Luik,
    betoptic online bestellen bij vertrouwde leverancier
    betoptic online bestellen: eenvoudig, snel en veilig
    Online apotheek voor betoptic in Leiden Bestel betoptic zonder recept in Arnhem – snelle verzending!

    betaxolol zonder voorschrift in Martinique
    betaxolol beschikbaar in apotheek in Rotterdam
    betoptic beschikbaarheid in Nederland Beste prijs voor betoptic in Nederland
    betaxolol zonder bijwerkingen
    betaxolol kopen in Italië zonder recept
    betaxolol online kopen in Nederland: de slimme keuze voor gezondheid.
    betaxolol dosering en aanbevelingen
    betrouwbare aankoop van betaxolol in Peru
    Bestel betaxolol zonder voorschrift en ontvang het snel
    Waar betaxolol online te vinden in Nederland prijs van betaxolol
    in Frankrijk
    Vraag betaxolol aan met een medisch voorschrift betaxolol kopen zonder voorschrift was nog
    nooit zo eenvoudig
    Koop betoptic online in Cusco Online apotheek
    voor betoptic in Tilburg

  48. tadalafil de confiance en ligne
    Options de paiement sécurisées pour commander tadalafil en Suisse acheter tadalafil sans risque
    tadalafil à prix compétitif en France tadalafil sans frais cachés
    cialis en ligne : ce que vous devez savoir avant d’acheter tadalafil en ligne :
    guide d’achat pour les débutants
    cialis en ligne : conseils pour une expérience d’achat sans souci
    Achat en ligne de tadalafil : conseils et précautions
    Obtenez une prescription en ligne pour cialis
    Acheter de la cialis de marque en ligne Vente de tadalafil en ligne en Europe
    tadalafil : Ce que les consommateurs doivent
    savoir avant d’acheter en ligne
    tadalafil vente libre Suisse disponibilité de tadalafil au Maroc
    tadalafil avec ou sans ordonnance
    où acheter du tadalafil légalement
    cialis pour un traitement adapté à vos besoins Comparer les marques de cialis en ligne
    cialis avec ou sans ordonnance en France
    Options de paiement sécurisées pour la tadalafil
    tadalafil en ligne : Informations essentielles pour les consommateurs tadalafil rapide et efficace
    Où commander de la cialis en ligne en Belgique
    tadalafil en ligne : comment obtenir une consultation médicale Où acheter cialis en toute sécurité Belgique
    cialis en ligne : ce qu’il faut savoir avant d’acheter
    tadalafil pour une livraison rapide et fiable
    Acheter du tadalafil de qualité pharmaceutique en ligne Acheter tadalafil de
    qualité en France en ligne

  49. Good day! I know this is kinda off topic nevertheless I’d figured I’d ask.
    Would you be interested in trading links or maybe guest authoring a blog post or vice-versa?
    My blog goes over a lot of the same topics as yours
    and I think we could greatly benefit from each other.
    If you are interested feel free to shoot me an e-mail.
    I look forward to hearing from you! Awesome blog by the way!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Social Share Buttons and Icons powered by Ultimatelysocial

Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)