The ghost of the ego is born amidst forms, based on a group of forms, the eater of forms, who has given up and held forms, is by itself formless and runs away at the time of inquiry into itself.
Continuing his teaching, Swami Paramarthananda said, in this shloka Bhagawan Ramana Maharishi deals with the anatomy of Ahamkara. It is not an independent substance; rather it is a mixture of Atma’s features and Anatma’s features. If these features are given back to Atma and Anatma respectively, Ahamkara will disappear. When we introduce ourselves we say, “I am” so and so. The “I” indicates the Consciousness (Atma) and “am” indicates Existence. Both “I” and “am” are borrowed features from the Sat (existence) and Chit (Consciousness) of Atma. Having borrowed two features from Atma, other features following “ I am”, such as my biographical qualifications such as my age, are borrowed from Anatma. Bhagawan Ramana Maharishi calls these features Rupani or qualifications. Many of them are borrowed from Annamaya, Pranamaya and Vignanamaya koshas. These features are all roopams or properties borrowed from Anatma.
Thus, features of both Atma and Anatma exist in Ahamkara. Of them, the Atma feature does not change. The “ I am” or Sat Chit does not change. At all ages you say “ I am” and it remains same. Atma’s features do not cause the variety in Ahamkara. Variety is caused by Anatma features such, as I am old or young etc. They are borrowed from the four Koshas. So, Ahamkara is born out of Anatma’s features. Since Anatma’s features are constantly changing Ahmakara also changes with it.
In sleep, Ahamkara does not exist. “I am “ is nirvikara, while other features are vikara. So dismiss all those vikara attributes and reach Atma.
Ahamkara =features of Atma + features of Anatma.
Ahamkara does not have intrinsic features of its own. When these features are removed from both, there is no more Ahamkara left, it is a myth. Therefore, it is considered Virupaha (disfigured). It lives on borrowed life. Citing example of a Reflected face in a mirror, it is a third entity, which is other than the original face and the mirror. Upon enquiry we find that reflected face experienced by me, has some features of the original face and some of the mirror as well. When these features are removed there is no reflected face anymore. Even the motion of the reflected face is borrowed from the mirror. Even though it does not have its own existence it is still available for experience. Hence it is called Mithya or Maya.
Because it is a mythical and mysterious substance it can be destroyed only by enquiry. Bhagawan Ramana Maharishi gave example of the man who attended marriages uninvited. The bride’s side thought he belonged to the groom. Groom’s side thought he belonged to the bride. He got away with it until someone enquired about him. Then he disappeared altogether. So also, upon enquiry, Ahamkara disappears.
Shloka # 28:
In the being of the ego, all this shines. In the dissolution of the ego, nothing at all shines. Therefore, all this is of the form of ego. The search for it is the way to all victory.
The mythical Ahamkara can be ignored if it does not make problems. Our own shadow or reflection is also mythical. Unfortunately, Ahamkara is the cause of all problems in life. It is the Karta, Bhokta and has all Karmas including Prarabhdham. This Karta Bhokta status is because of Ahamakra.
As long as you are fighting prarabhdha karma, you are fighting it with your hands tied. You can’t see it, but it can see you. It can punch you at any time. This is the lot of Ahamkara. There is only one way to uproot Ahamkara. Only Atma-Anatma Viveka can uproot it.
Citing an example, in the waking and dream state, Ahamkara is present and we have suffering. In sleep state there is no Ahamkara and there is no suffering. So, the “Wakeful sleep” state is the state of wisdom. In this state you are awake but Ahamkara does not appear. This wisdom is called “wakeful sleep”.
So, Ahamkara prapancha is Mithya Jagat and Mithya Ishwara. So, don’t struggle changing the world or the situation. It is like shifting load from one shoulder to another. You may get a respite but pain will come back. So, enquiry into Ahamkara is the only path for total victory. Punyam, Papam, Dharma, Artha, Kama are all only temporary solutions to Ahamkara.
Shloka # 29:
That is true Being, where the ego does not rise. That again will not perish without a search for its place of emergence. If that does not perish, can there be the Being in the form of oneness with one’s self.
Here Bhagawan Ramana Maharishi tells us what is a temporary solution and what is a permanent solution to the Ahamkara dilemma.
Here Ahamakara is suppressed or evaded. In sleep, Ahamkara is dormant or evaded. Listening to music or a admiring a work of art can also place Ahamkara in a dormant situation. All sense pleasures, moral or immoral, can suppress Ahmakara. Music and alchohol can suppress Ahamkara, placing it in Layaha state or state of dormancy. Even in Maha Pralayam, Ahamkara is dormant. It comes back to life at the next creation. So, death is also not a solution.
Permanent Solution: is Ahamkara nasha. Ahmakara should not rise again. This is possible only by removing the root of Ahamkara. The cause of Ahamkara is Ignorance. Ignorance of what? It is ignorance of Adishtana Atma. This can be accomplished by only one method. It is through Atmagyanam. This can only come through Atma vichara. Until this is performed Ahamkara may become dormant but it will continue to rise again.
Satya sthithi or Moksha is that state wherein Ahamkara can never raise its hood again. Ahamkara will never leave us permanently without enquiry.
Suppose a man does not want to destroy Ahamkara. After all, shatras impose detachment as an essential for this Vichara. But detachment is difficult to achieve. This is acceptable if you accept Prarabhdha Karma. Therefore, insure yourself with Gyanam against Ahamkara. Moksha is security. Therefore go to advaita nishta. Insure yourself when things are going well.
With Best Wishes,