Word of the Week: Ahamkara

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Ahamkara = ego, or “I-maker”, aham = I, kara = maker, it is the ability of the mind (antahkarana) to take on identities, to make things “me” or “mine”.
 
Ahamkara = one of the four functions of mind: manas, chitta, ahamkara, and buddhi
 
Ahamkara can label or color the incoming sensory impressions with “I like” or “I don’t like” and “me” and “mine”, therefore it is ahamkara that builds the identity of an apparent individual. All coloring created by ahamkara together makes up the ‘you’. A sensory impression that is colored by ahamkara with attraction or aversion is stored in chitta and is now called a samskara (a colored seed, a latent desire). When a samskaras awakens from the storehouse of chitta, it is called an active desire. Ahamkara does not color all sensory impressions, some go to the chitta neutral. It is important to note that ahamkara remains separate from all the samskaras, meaning it is the function of the mind-field that is able to take on identities and not the collection of identities itself.
 
Ahamkara and kleshas: the third and fourth kleshas; raga and dvesha, attraction and aversion, come into existence because of the instrument called ahamkara. After Consciousness forgets (avidya) it is pure non-dual Consciousness, it then appears as an individual (because of the coloring of asmita), which has the four functions of mind; manas, ahamkara, chitta, and buddhi. It can then take on attractions (raga) and aversions (dvesha).
 
Ahamkara and willpower = if ahamkara is trained it can become the power of will, the power of determination: “I can do it, I will do it, I have to do it!”
 
Ahamkara = is also used as one of the 7 streams of emotions, because the feeling of ‘I’ or egotism is also an emotion.
7 streams of emotions are: kama (desire), krodha (anger), moha (attachment), lobha (greed), muda (pride), matsarya (jealousy), and ahamkara (egotism)
 
read more on “What is Ahamkara?”
 

from www.SwamiJ.com

 

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