Synthetic turf | Turn Ahamkara into an asset
Human beings enjoy the exclusive privilege of guiding their action by choice and discrimination. But choice action carries an equal likelihood of use and abuse. And there are no free lunches in life. You have to bear the consequences of the choices you make, and the actions – good or bad – will depend on their intention and quality. It ties us together in a chain of cause and effect, which establishes the premise upon which the theory of Karma works. The things happening right now are the culmination of past actions and defeats. How you negotiate the present defines how the future can unfold and which might extend to the next birth. Your inner discriminatory capacity, however, allows you to weigh the options in hand and make reasoned choices, but this privilege does not come into play unintentionally. You have to consciously invoke it for due diligence before taking a call, which has to be on high alert, which we rarely are.
The truth remains, that we often end up making inappropriate choices. Why? For the answer, a look at the construction and chemistry of the mind becomes imperative. There are three functional dimensions of the mind: Buddhi, Ahamkara and Manasa. Buddhi offers the faculty of discriminating against intelligence, intrinsic to which is a sense of impartiality. By applying what the mind is evaluating, make righteous judgment and direct Manasa to act accordingly.
Ahamkara brings the sense of “I” to a being who voluntarily makes choices, engages in tasks undertaken and takes all actions on our part. Ahamkara’s will is the way the ordinary mind works.
Manasa working from the front, leads through the functionalities of the mind assisted by the senses. He is supposed to collect outside data, transmit it to Buddhi for prior checking; then act as guided. Also, it puts into action desires projected by karmic imprints carried over from the past, or under external influence. And, if ever Ahamkara subconsciously wants to take matters at face value, ignoring the need to invoke Buddhi, Manasa could act on instinctive judgment as well.
Speaking of the mind, let me add here that it is only an instrument, which cannot act on its own. Much like the mass of earth, which lends ground for the sown seed to become a plant, the mind is fueled in action by the inner thought-seeds (karmic transfer of the past). These imprints, varying from person to person, unwittingly build individual belief patterns specific to each individual, which hold the key to our inherent desire tendencies, habits and attitudes, as well as our virtues and attributes. It defines the way the mind works. As the mind moves forward, it also picks up and responds to inputs from environmental influences. The mind also has the potential to absorb new educational inputs that are consciously introduced to it. Now the mind first excites the tendencies of desire in accordance with the calls of the embedded thought seeds. Desires, in turn, excite thoughts which, when they gravitate, after further processing in the mind, translate into action.
Now, coming back to the three operating tools of the mind, they are supposed to work in perfect coordination with each other, as an inseparable unitary mechanism. If it is applied as mandated, the spirit comes out the best. But, at the end of the day, it’s Ahamkara’s prerogative to take the final call. The paradox, however, is that more often than not, ahamkara identifies with the inherent tendencies of desire and passionately pursues them as its ultimate goal. He is also taken by the tempting influences of the apparent world, and makes it his dream destination. In either case, taking it at face value, ahamkara does not feel the need to invoke buddhi for due diligence, often leading to undesirable ends.
We must therefore train our mind to follow its usual conception, with special emphasis on ahamkara. The irony, however, is that caught up in the usual mills of life, our habitual tendencies trap ahamkara in its bosom, which turns out to be limiting. So the challenge that lies ahead is to remain vigilant enough to use our option of choice to ensure that ahamkara turns into a determination to do our best. In this case, it will transgress the limits of the usual tendencies and make optimal use of the other two dimensions of the mind.
Someone with a serious challenge came for advice the other day. His inflated ego was in evidence, as Jupiter was placed opposite the Sun and Mars. When advised to turn his ego into a resolution that could lead him to his target destination, it was difficult for him to digest. I had to explain it in detail to make him understand.
The writer is an astrologer, a vast consultant and a spiritual advisor. Connect with him at
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