Question to Radhanath Swami: How to explain about one’s true self to an atheist, how to explain to him about what his real identity is?
Radhanath Swami: The body is always changing, but do we change? Does the witness of the body and the mind change? From boyhood to youth to old age, we are the witness of life. If you show a person a photograph of himself/herself as a little baby, they will say “that was me when I was 2 months old.” Now they might be 45 years old. Is that body actually the same? The body is very much different, and the mind of a 2-month-old child and the mind of a 45-year-old man or woman are very different. But it is the same soul, the same person in that changing body.
And at the time of death, the body is there, but there is something missing. If it is a material ingredient, why no one can find that ingredient to put it back? Death means there is nobody home. We are seeing through our eyes, tasting through our tongue, smelling through our nose, hearing through our ears, feeling through our flesh, thinking through our brain, and loving through our heart, but who are we? Who am I? That is the most important question in life. If we want to be actually happy and have meaning, we have to understand this.