Aham or Ego

Shrii Shrii Anandamurti explains Aham (Ego, “I do” consciousness, or second subjectivity)

“Matter is the crudest manifestation of citta and citta is a metamorphosed form of Cosmic Consciousness. The two subtler manifestations of Cosmic Consciousness, the Mahattattva and Ahaḿtattva, are in a dormant stage within the scope of citta. So in the case of the unit also the initial mind created is not anything subtler than citta, that is, in the mind of undeveloped creatures and plants the major portion is nothing but citta. Ego does not appear in the primary stage of mental creation, hence under such a circumstance, the blind force práńáh cannot activate the physical structure. After the expression of ego in a later stage of psychic evolution, ego (ahaḿtattva) and pure “I” feeling (mahattattva) are created, and with the help of these subtler stages of mind, that is, with the help of intellectual mind, the blind práńáh is properly controlled. Thus práńáh and the mind working in collaborated cooperation maintain the structural solidarity in this divine march of pratisaiṋcara. Here is the speciality of the philosophy of Ananda Marga over other philosophies, explaining by a logical and analytical theory that mind is a creation of matter.

This view is also supported by the materialistic schools of thought. But materialist philosophers fail to explain further, as they fail to explain the rudimental cause of the matter. Ananda Marga philosophy penetrates deeper into the ultimate cause of all the manifested effects and enunciates that matter is the metamorphosed form of Puruśottama – the Nucleus Consciousness existing as the noumenal cause. Thus, as a result of clash within the material structure, a subtle base is created, and this in turn gives rise to the formation of crude mind or unit citta, which has neither the ego (“I do” or second mental subjectivity) nor the first mental subjectivity (“I am”). Within the unit living structure práńáh transmits its own wavelength and mind transmits its own. The parallelism of these waves results in the cooperative functioning by which the living structure proceeds towards the destined path of pratisaiṋcara. In the initial stage of mental creation, living structures, with their underdeveloped ego, cannot function independently, and therefore they work according to the will of the Cosmic “I”, and the momentum (saḿvega) acquired from the Macrocosm (as a result of its applied will) acts within the crude mind and supplies requisite force for its movement in the journey of pratisaiṋcara. On the path of pratisaiṋcara the attraction of Vidyámáyá increases and the unit citta goes on marching towards Puruśottama.”

– from “Idea and Ideology”

“Brahma is the composite of Puruśa and Prakrti. Prakrti is the Operative Principle and Puruśa is the Consciousness or the Cognitive Principle. Brahma is two in one. Jiiva or the unit manifestation of Brahma is also composed of Puruśa and Prakrti, that is cognitive and operative principles. The sense of ego or “Doer I” that exists behind all that a person does, says, thinks, understands, or hears is the product of Prakrti. And behind this ego, the “I know I am” that exists as the Supreme Knower is a human being’s cognitive force – the undistorted Puruśa. Not only humans, every entity, whether animate or inanimate, movable or immovable, consists of Puruśa and Prakrti. Sentience or insentience are only relative conditions. Truly speaking, there is nothing which is insentient or inanimate. Rather we do them injustice by calling and believing them to be so. Take, for instance, a piece of stone. Is it insentient? No, nothing is insentient from the spiritual point of view. Only those things appear insentient or inert, in which the influence of Prakrti or force over Puruśa or Consciousness is more in evidence. In other words, I would call only that inert, in which due to the greater influence of Prakrti, Puruśa is not manifest, or is lying dormant. In the Sun Prakrti is manifest but Puruśa is subdued. That is why the Sun, in spite of being the nucleus of the solar system – whose inhabitants, human beings, possess such a highly developed intellect – whose countless organisms are conscious of their respective egos – does not know itself as the Sun. But its progeny, human beings, very well know it as the sun. Not only that, they have tried to know and understand its functioning more and more deeply and have persevered and will persevere to possess and unravel all its mysteries through philosophical researches and analytical experiments. This conquest of human beings over the sun – the credit for this feat, does not belong to human beings but to the developed Puruśa or Consciousness. I cannot, from the spiritual standpoint, call anything inert or crude which looks apparently so under the greater crudifying influence of Prakrti, because the entity, which appears to be passive or crude, is actually the crude manifestation of Prakrti-influenced Consciousness. That is to say, in such a state the Consciousness is incapable of expressing its knowership, for its expression has been curtailed at the very outset by Prakrti. Thus a piece of stone which seems to be inanimate or inert, is not actually so. It only exists in a particular state of Consciousness and it too has the potentiality of transforming itself into a glorious human being like you one of these days. The dormant Puruśa in such seemingly inert objects will certainly one day awaken.”

– from “The Intuitional Science of the Vedas” published in “Subháśita Saḿgraha Part 3″

“Savikalpa Samádhi or the determinate suspension comprises the fullness of Vidyá Prakrti (Introversive Force); that is, the full establishment of the introversive momentum in the Sádhakas’ austere spiritual life – the absence of any Extroversive Force (Avidyá), and total cessation of their extroversive momentum. So in such a state the ego not only exists, it exists in its total fullness and completeness. This very ego in its Brahmá-ic mood evolves the universe, in its Viśńu-ic mood it preserves the universe and in its Shiva-ic mood it destroys the universe. In the three manifestations of this very ego lies the anchor of this universe – in this short-long-slow rhythm of creation-preservation-destruction lies the tether of space, time, and person.”

– from “The Intuitional Science of the Vedas” published in “Subháśita Saḿgraha Part 3″

“The Supreme Consciousness has concealed Himself within your mind. He is hidden behind the curtain of your “I-ness”. You need not go to the Himalayan mountains to find out the thing that is concealed in your own “I”. Does one need a mirror to see the bangle on one’s hand? The Supreme, therefore, is within you. There is need only of removing the veil of ego.”

– from “Niti and Dharma”

“The “I” entity of human beings is buddhitattva, which is subtler than ahaḿtattva and citta. What then are ahaḿtattva and citta? It has been explained in the first chapter that ahaḿtattva (ego) comes into being as a result of the qualifying influence of the mutative principle of Prakrti on buddhitattva, whereupon the latter manifests itself as ahaḿtattva. The ahaḿtattva (ego), on being further qualified by the static principle of Prakrti, is manifested as citta. It is, in fact, buddhitattva, or the pure feeling of “I”, which is manifested as ahaḿtattva (ego) and citta due to the qualifying influence of the mutative and static principles of Prakrti. Ahaḿtattva (ego) and citta are only cruder functional forms of the human being’s “I” entity. The human being’s mind is, therefore, a further projection of his feeling of “I” (buddhitattva), and is made of that entity only.

Unit consciousness or átman is reflected only when there is a physical body made of the five rudimental factors of the Macrocosm. Buddhitattva comes into being as a result of the influence of sentient Prakrti on unit consciousness, and so buddhitattva, or the feeling of “I”, is also dependent on the physical body. Since Buddhitattva pervades every bit of the body, one feels the presence of “I” in every part of the body and is prone to identify this “I” with the body. It has, however, been explained earlier that this feeling of “I” and the body are not the same entity. They are different – the feeling of “I” is buddhitattva, and the physical body merely forms a shelter (ádhára) for it.

A human being’s feeling of “I” is thus neither his or her unit consciousness nor his or her body; it is only the mental creation of unit consciousness, termed as buddhitattva, and this “I” is further manifested as the other two functional forms of mind – ahaḿtattva (ego) and citta.”

– from ”Who Am I and What Am I?” published in “Ananda Marga: Elementary Philosophy”


About Suresh Emre

I have worked as a physicist at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and the Superconducting Super Collider Laboratory. I am a volunteer for the Renaissance Universal movement. My main goal is to inspire the reader to engage in Self-discovery and expansion of consciousness.
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