Amkhara: What Does the Religious Text Define it As?

by January 13, 2019 0 comments

Ravana is believed to be armed with immense virtues. Legend suggests that he had mastered Vedic scriptures, art and music. He was a valiant fighter.  Through intense penance, he had acquired great psychic powers. Becoming empowered thus, he thought that he had become invincible and could lead all the three worlds to his whims and fancies. When such an inflated sense of ahamkara overtook his mind’s drive, it created situations where all his virtues took a back seat. That brought his end at the hands of Lord Shri Ram. The question now is: Is ahamkara that deadly? Ramayana is believed to be a real time story. But, you never know. It could even be fictional.  But all said and done, its import holds good even in contemporary terms.

Going by Samkhya Philosophy, ahamkara is a necessary constituent of human mind, buddhi (faculty of discriminate intelligence), and manasa (sense aided mind) being the other two.  So, every human being has to have the sense of ahamkara. Then how come it played a devil for Ravana and not Rama who killed him?

Remember, ahamkara brings in the sense of ‘I’ consciousness in a being, which in the first place, makes one identify with his/her body-mind organism, differentiated from all others.  Second, it brings in the sense of being a ‘doer’ in one’s own right. The choices you make, the tasks you undertake, the way you respond or react to any situation, or for that matter any call that you take as an individual is the prerogative of ahamkara.

It is pertinent to note here that ahamkara, or for that matter even buddhi and manasa don’t have a reality in their own right. They all derive their power from the eternal element of consciousness, and work in togetherness as a unified organism. In the usual run, ahamkara is supposed to invoke buddhi for due diligence before taking any call, which, manasa operating from the front translates into action. Evidently, if due diligence is done before taking any call, the choices made and initiatives taken shall be by and large reasoned and therefore, worth doing. The irony, however, is that whereas ahamkara always remains in active mode, buddhi doesn’t play out involuntarily. It needs to be consciously invoked. That makes it incumbent upon us to be alert enough to consciously keep buddhi in active mode.

The irony of the whole situation, however, is that in its usual flow, ahamkara unmindfully identifies itself with individual specific samskara.  Coming as it may as Karmic carryover from the past, samskara defines the unique character of each being. That finds reflection in our day-to-day conduct as our inherent mind-traits — individual specific beliefs, desire trends, likes and dislikes, prejudices and passions, habits and attitudes, virtues and attributes. Invariably, it remains loaded with a bag full of both good and bad tendencies, depending on the particular set of experiences one would have gone through in the past. It, thus, restricts the scope of our vision, not allowing scope to look beyond for a better lead.

More often than not, ahamkara gets going on the promptings of indwelling desires. Assuming it to be its dream destination, it pursues it passionately. In its overdrive, it seldom cares to invoke buddhi to discriminate upon ‘what one wants’ and ‘what is worth’ and with obvious consequences. Often, ahamkara does also get drawn towards glares and glitters of the seeming world, and then gets tempted to passionately chase them.

Evidently, if ahamkara doesn’t care to invoke buddhi for due diligence, the negative tendencies carried over from the past will play out unhindered. That, acting from the front has to have its bearing on our decision making process. Also, they do not allow our indwelling potential play out in full and evidently to our detriment. Here lies the catch. It, therefore, becomes incumbent upon us to purify our minds of all its unwanted tendencies which a human being is capable of. Remember, human mind is a unique equipment. It could reflect upon itself to identify one’s negative traits. It could also be fed with fresh educative inputs to address the indwelling weaknesses, and reframe the thought process.

The issue continues.

The writer is an astrologer, vastu consultant and spiritual counsellor. Write to him at G-102, Bharat Nagar, New Friends Colony, New Delhi – 110 025 Tel: 91-11-49848475/9818037273 Email: Website:

Writer: Bharat Bhushan Padmadeo

Courtesy: The Pioneer

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