A student, who was to appear for his exams, came to Sri Swamiji to seek His blessings. And in the course of his conversation with Sri Swamiji, he told Swamiji how he had prepared for the exams and a few strategies that he had planned; He said that he had decided not to talk or discuss anything with friends after reaching the place where the exams were held. And also, that he would keep his cool and read through the question paper before beginning the exam. And that he had planned to answer those questions that he was confident about first, and he told of many other such plans of his to write the exam well.
Sri Swamiji asked him "Whom are these instructions for?" The boy replied, "They are for myself Swamiji! I am telling all this to myself!"
To this, Sri Swamiji beautifully replied “Do you observe that you get instructions and guidance from within? This is the Big 'I'. This 'I' in each of us, which is apart from the small 'I' or ego (which always deludes us), always guides us, in every step. We only fail to observe this. In every situation, we hear the voice of this 'I', 'do this', 'don't do that', 'be careful' etc. So it is clear that there is a distinct 'I' within us, (which instructs us and guides us in all walks of our life), apart from our little selves.
~ Janani Kumarasami