Your competition isn’t other people.
Your competition is your procrastination. Your ego. The unhealthy food you’re consuming, the knowledge you neglect. The negative behavior you’re nurturing and your lack of creativity. Compete against that.Free your mind and think, Facebook Group
Life of each life form is like complex string puppetry with numerous strings. While control through some strings seems to be apparent, there are other strings of which it is not clear who controls them, when, why or how.
The miracle of the divine is such that it would be perfectly valid to state that life of each life form is controlled by its own efforts but yet it would also be perfectly valid to state that life of each life form is controlled by circumstances beyond its control.
Life, as we experience it, seems to be a synergy of divine grace and the efforts of the life form. It is entirely possible that the lifeform stops its own efforts and lets the divine guiding force run its life. But it is impossible for a life form to sustain itself by its own efforts alone, given all the wonderous things needed to sustain life.
The divine plays a larger role in the experience each life form has of its own life. With the surrender of the life form to the divine, the need to have a life experience can cease. Without the individual ego and the need to experience life, there would be no need for life to manifest around the individual life form.
Life, then, is an illusory opportunity created by the divine to provide experiences to the individual life forms based on their own ego and desires.Krishnan
1. Drig Drishya Viveka
2. Shaiva Siddhantha
3. Swami Sarvapriyananda
Alternate terms: Ahankara, ahankar
English translation: Ego, Identity, Awareness, I-ness,
Meaning: (Ahamkara= I am the cause, I am the doer)
Ahamkara is a Sanskrit word that describes the ego, the image a person has of him/herself or the conscious mind as he/she perceives it. The term comes from the root, aham, which translates as “I am”; and kara, which means “doing” or “making.”
Purpose: The purpose of ahamkara is to create self-awareness. It is only by this self-awareness, a life form develops the ability to differentiate itself from the world around it and take ownership of objects as mine and not mine.
Position: Ahamkara is one of the four aspects of antahkarana, or the “inner organ”. In addition to ahankara, antahkarana includes buddhi , chitta and manas. The anthakarana are a part of the subtle body and exist in impure maya.
Working: The atman/soul is a source of pure consciousness. Ahamkara reflects the consciousness of the soul in its most true form to create a true reflection of the soul and thus create an identity. This reflection is not like the moon reflecting the sunlight but more like a dewdrop reflecting the sun. Moon’s reflection of sunlight does not reflect the sun truly and creates the illusion as if moon is also a source of light. But the dewdrop’s reflection of the sun is a miniature version of the sun itself. Like a red hot iron ball has both the attributes of iron as well as heat, this image of the atman created on anthakarana has attributes of both consciousness of the atman and the inertness of impure maya.
Role: The pure consciousness of the soul, is reflected and transmitted to ahamkara, is further transmitted to the other anthakaranas, sense organs and body so that the whole body till the tip of fingernails is illumined with consciousness.
This process of consciousness transmitting from the soul to ahankara to anthakarana to body organs is similar to heat flowing from fire to vessel to water to vegetable.
Inference only – not from text:
This consciousness that is imparted to anthakarana and the body is called “reflected consciousness” because:
1. It is an unclear indication of the source consciousness (like moon reflects the sun)
2. It is different from pure consciousness due to its association with impure maya of the anthakarana and the body.
1. Connection of ahankara with other anthakaranas is natural (sahaja) and cannot be broken
2. Connection of ahankara with the body has its roots in the karma (karmajam) carried by the subtle body and will be broken only by resolving the karma
3. Connection of ahankara with the atman is false (bhranthijam). By breaking this connection, the soul is liberated by staying rooted in pure consciousness.
“Okay. Can you tell me what Ayn Rand says?” Like an interviewer Bhagawan Yogi Ramsuratkumar asked with eyes sharply fixed on me.
“I can tell, Bhagawan. I have read one of Ayn Rand’s novels many times. Three of her novels are very popular — ATLAS SHRUGGED, WE THE LIVING, and FOR THE NEW INTELLECTUAL. These are also my favorites.”
“Okay. Then, tell me about Ayn Rand’s philosophy.” He asked again.
“Ayn Rand says that SELFISHNESS IS A VIRTUE. SCARIFICATION IS A FRAUDULENT WORD. Nobody sacrifices anything for anybody. Behind every sacrifice, there is selfishness hidden. There is no necessity for anybody to sacrifice anything. Selfishness alone is the only sacred thing.”
“Is it?” Yogi shrunk His eyes, and continued, “What she says is against our culture, isn’t it? Do you believe in this? When every religion says we have to sacrifice, I think, she is talking on the contrary, and gaining popularity. What do you say about this?”
I mused for a while, and said “Bhagawan, I think what she says is right. Everybody, in every stage of life, is selfish. Our selfishness is what makes us to live. What husband has with wife; wife has with husband, father has with son; son has with father, is nothing but selfishness. It’s only with selfishness we live.”
“I didn’t ask you to take your life as an example. Here (in India), there are so many noble souls who have sacrificed their lives…do you say that they all did it out of selfishness? Do you say Mahatma Gandhi was selfish? Do you say Ramalinga Vallalar was selfish? Can we call Buddha, Shree Ramakrishna Pramahamsa, Bhagawan Ramana as selfish people? You say everyone is selfish. Will you include them too? Will Ayn Rand certify their lives as selfish too? Will she say their sacrifices were fraudulent?”
Though His face was calm, the question was intense. I was not able to say Shree Ramakrishna Pramahamsa and Bhagawan Ramana as selfish people. At the same time, I was not able to ignore Ayn Rand too. I sat with an ideological confusion. My family was watching me.
Yogi gesticulated to talk. As I remained silent, He expounded, “Balkumar, once a person came to Bhagawan Ramana and said something similar to this: ‘Everyone in this ashram is working and doing jobs. You alone are sitting simply without doing any work. Why don’t you do something like others?’ Bhagawan Ramana retorted: ‘THERE IS NO OTHERS!’
Do you understand what it means, Balkumar? When there is no ‘I’; then, there is no ‘you.’ Only when you have the sense of ‘I’; then, there will be the sense of ‘you’. Only for those who have the ego ‘I’, there is a division called ‘others.’ Only when we separate ourselves as ‘I’ and ‘you,’ then, there can be a division that some are superior and some are inferior. Only for those who are divided, ‘selfishness’ and ‘sacrifice’ appears as two opposite ends. In our Hinduism, selfishness itself means only others’ welfare. SELF MEANS ONLY OTHERS. OTHERS ARE THE SELF. In truth, there is no such thing called division.
Birds, trees, animals, plants, stone, mud, sea, sky, wind, humans—nothing is separate. Everything is One. That’s called God. You and I are part of Him. You are in me, and I’m in you. In an ocean, is there a difference in the waves? Are two sea waves different? We see them only as a part of ocean, isn’t it? Within ocean, they may separate themselves as waves and bubbles. But still they remain only as a part of the ocean. Each wave and each bubble are part of the whole sea; rising and dissolving are an appearance. In fact, they are not different from the ocean. And so are we, like the sea waves in the ocean.
Balkumar, this is not just told for the sake of an example. This is truth. This is a reality. This is a state we all can attain. We all can live in.
If you feel hungry, I should also feel hungry. Your hunger should disturb me. If you cry, I should also cry. Your tears should shake me. This is the life of every enlightened men. Humans should always try to live such a life. Each one of us should continuously strive to live like that, even if it takes lifetimes.
What Ayn Rand says is a delusion. Something very superficial. Born out of ego.
In our lives, after marriage, the ‘I’ thought is slowly broken as it expands as my wife. Then it further expands as my children; my children’s children; my children’s relatives; my children’s friends, and also as my country men— so on and so forth. Likewise, as one grows older, this ‘circle’ called the ego must also grow bigger and bigger, and get expanded. That’s a life worth living. But if the opposite happens…if the circle shrinks…it becomes ugly. Such a mind will only become deluded.”
Since I didn’t fully grasp and digest what Bhagawan explained, a foolish question arose in my crooked mind: “If I eat, will your hunger be satiated Bhagawan. If you have food, will my hunger be satiated.”
But Yogi Ramsuratkimar is a Divine Master. He could easily read others’ thoughts.
“Once a river mingles in ocean, then it’s never called as a river. It can’t separate itself from the ocean to become a river again. Similarly, those who have dissolved themselves in God can never come back to ordinary state. God’s mercy and compassion are like the ocean that never drains. And that’s the state of those who have attained God-hood. In them too, God’s mercy and compassion will ever be there, flowing to all others.
This is how Shree Ramakrishna Pramahamsar, Bhagawan Ramanar, Shree Aurobindo lived. There was not a drop of selfishness in their lives, Balkumar. They never did their sacrifice as an act of deception.”
When He uttered the last line, there were tears in His eyes.
Seeing that, I panicked and got up. I prostrated before him, and said, “If I have spoken something wrong, please forgive me.”
He smiled and said, “What you spoke has made me happy. You should always speak like that. Only then you can clarify your thoughts, and write with ease.”
Yogi Ramsuratkumar made me realize the virtue of sacrifice, and the ugliness of selfishness. From then on, my writings got transformed. It was all because of my Guru, God’s child, Yogi Ramsuratkumar.