[Advaita-l] why ahaN^kAra is bad?
Ravisankar S. Mayavaram
ravi at ambaa.org
Mon Aug 30 14:18:44 CDT 2004
Sometime ago Sanskrit Beginner asked why ahaN^kAra is bad.
It is precisely answered by Lord Krishna in 3-27 and with the correct
approach presented in 3-28. Keeping this in the background makes the
kAmokArishhiit japam very effective (kAmokAriShInnamo namaH; kamaH karoti
naham karomi; kamaH karta nAham karta; kAmaH kArayita nAham kArayita; esha
te kAma kAmAya svAha -- mahanArAyanopaniShad). Lord later ties things like
kAma and krodha to rajo guNa.
Details of 3-27:
prakR^iteH kriyamaaNaani guNaiH karmaaNi sarvashaH .
ahaN^kaaravimuuDhaatmaa kartaahamiti manyate .. 3\-27..
Sankara (from http://www.gitasupersite.iitk.ac.in/):
3.27 Karmani kriyamanani, while actions, secular and scriptural, are being
done; sarvasah, in ever way; gunaih, by the gunas, (i.e.) by the
modifications in the form of body and organs; (born) prakrteh, of
Nature-Nature, (otherwise known as) Pradhana [Pradhana, Maya, the Power of
God.], being the state of equilibrium of the three qualities of sattva,
rajas and tamas; ahankara-vimudha-atma, one who is deluded by egoism;
manyate, thinks; iti, thus; 'Aham karta, I am the doer.' Ahankara is
self-identification with the aggregate of body and organs. He whose atma,
mind, is vimudham, deluded in diverse ways, by that (ahankara) is
ahankara-vimudha-atma. He who imagines the characteristics of the body and
organs to be his own, who has self-identification with the body and the
organs, and who, through ignorance, believes the activities to be his own-,
he thinks, 'I am the doer of those diverse activities.'
Ramanuja (from http://www.gitasupersite.iitk.ac.in/):
3.27 It is the Gunas of Prakrti like Sattva, Rajas etc., that perform all
the activities appropriate to them. But the man, whose nature is deluded by
his Ahankara, thinks, 'I am the doer of all these actions.' Ahankara is the
mistaken conception of 'I' applied to the workings of Prakrti which is not
the 'I'. The meaning is that it is because of this (Ahankara), that one who
is ignorant of the real nature of the self, thinks, 'I am the doer' with
regard to the activities that are really being done by the Gunas of Prakrti.
Lord also gives the correct view in the following verse:
tattvavittu mahaabaaho guNakarmavibhaagayoH .
guNaa guNeshhu vartanta iti matvaa na sajjate .. 3\-28..
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