Saturday, February 21, 2009

Eye think. Eye go.

Do you know of the phrase "Aham Brahmasmi"? It means "I am Brahman". Mind you, this is not the Brahmin of the caste system, but the Brahman of Oneness. The word-root for Brahmanda, which means Universe.

Brahman, quite literally, is everything. It is where everything comes from. When someone says "Aham Brahmasmi", he actually means that he is everything because he originates from Brahman. Don't confuse Brahman with God. According to religious concepts, God is good while the Devil is bad. Brahman is everything. How can everything be wholly good or wholly bad? It just is. And everything arises from Brahman.

The word "Ahamkar" means arrogance or pride. The ego. Masters say that the Ego is fuelled by things we think, say and do. If the word Ahamkar is split, then you get Aham (which means I am) and Kara, which I suppose would mean "doing". Logically then, Ahamkara arises by what I am doing. And Ahamkar arises from myself.

Karma. The result of all our actions, good and bad. By action it doesn't necessarily mean what you do, but what you think and say as well. So basically, there are consequences for every action you take. And if you have an Ego, then it adds to your laundrypile of results to bear. And Karma arises from my actions.

The Ego is the "I" factor. If the Brahmanda is about everything, then "I" am about myself only. And the only way I can exist is if I am aware of the differences between myself and everything else. But if everything, including myself, IS Brahman, then why have Ego in the first place? It exists because we have been taught "every man for himself". We have to create an identity for ourselves or get sucked into the large mire of being like everything else. That is why we have created an I v/s Everything else situation in our heads.

But if you ARE everything, then where does the boundary line arise? How exactly are you, YOU? What makes you, you? Are you your body? No, that can't be right because you just said "My" body. What is ME, then? Are you your mind? Or your thoughts? Or just your soul? Are you any of these things individually? Possibly not, because one can't exist without the other. It's all these things combined that comprises you. And you are Brahman.

So there really isn't a you and me situation. Everything is a part of everything else. The concept of Maya isn't all that wrong either. We are trained to believe only what we see. Somewhere down the line, conveniently being unable to explain optical illusions or mirages which are blatant examples that everything that we see isn't really there.

Maybe then a Visionary is one who sees things for what they truly are. Or see things as they are not.. because they aren't real. Human beings can perceive up to seven colours - the vibgyor. What about ultra violent and infra red? What about the radiations higher up and lower down? Gamma rays and radio waves? What would happen if our eyes could perceive every bit of those rays? Imagine seeing telephone tower rays penetrating through you every living second. You really wouldn't want that kind of vision, would you? Most of us wouldn't know how to handle it. We wouldn't want it. We would be happy seeing only what we have seen so far and be happy with it, shutting out the incredible larger picture in favour of the comfortable smaller one.

And that's where the boundary lines come up. The larger outside and the smaller I. Is it any wonder that I believe what eye see?

Maybe it's just time for the ego to go. I don't know. I can't see where this is going. And that's very self fulfilling in itself...


JD said...

To start with, wonderfully, wonderfully put :)

Whenever I think of shutting out the bigger picture, I always do a double take to think whether it's worth it. What if I dedicate my life to simply getting to know how big the bigger picture is? Wouldn't every small picture I'd encounter on the way give me the same satisfaction, while my ego, in turn, turns more humble?

What do you think? Why do great men turn humble? Is it because ego is probably a measure of how much of the big picture we don't know?

Angry Voices said...

Thanks JD.

A disclaimer before I reply to your post: I don't know the answer.

There could be two things that can happen while searching for the bigger picture.
1) The ego could increase because, "Wow, I have discovered so much!"
2) The ego could decrease because ,"Wow, there's so much more to discover that I am a part of".

Either way, the ego remains. So (in your words), is the ego a good thing or bad?

Gurneet Kaur said...

That post was the eyes.
Very very nice. :)

This is gonna be a long reply.

Talking of Ego and the dividing line..

Picturing our heart,ego could be the several hard layers we have created to separate us, from what we are a part of.
It could be a realisation that if we don't control things,we must live in constant fear of losing them. This fear might be the "reality",of which we all have our own versions.

No,it isn't a high blown version of ourselves which we try to project in the world.It possibly can't be,when our own self is in question here.

Pride,Ego,Self-esteem. Uhm..
1)I take pride in being who I am.
2)I don't care.I am happy the way I am.
3)I am.

We don't see different things. We may see things differently.
Accepting them at their surface value.
Allowing our sub-conscious to look beyond what is visible to the human eye.
Eye of the mind.
If inner voices and the subtle whispers of our heart tell us what we are.
I of the heart.

Why do we choose lesser over greater? and fail to embrace our magnitude?
'Ego gives a swollen head,pride gives a swollen heart.Big head gives headache,big heart gives humility'
If according to this,getting rid of ego would mean seeing the reality through our hearts and not heads..enabling us to feel more than we've ever felt.. .would that be a greater revelation?
Would we find our own selves,in that bigger picture?

Well.There is a great deal of unlearning that must take place and it is, quite frankly, a hard process.

For once,we simply are.

Asawari Ghatage said...

It could be a realisation that if we don't control things,we must live in constant fear of losing them. This fear might be the "reality",of which we all have our own versions.

I agree with Gurneet on this one. To a lot of us, we ARE our reality. And any perspective that might suggest otherwise, causes us to be insecure of all the things we have believed all our life.

It is exactly the "I" that keeps people going. You take away the "I", and people will start questioning their purpose here.

And I do agree with us being part of everything, and being everything itself. But I also think people require some amount of profound thought to realise this.

Nayantara said...

I’m one for ego. Without it, the very CORE of my being is obliterated. My actions would stem from trying to please whom? If I’m starving to death with person B, would I give that last remaining stick of French fries away? Doesn’t that contend Survival of the fittest?

Putting it as crudely as possible:

Ego is fundamental quantity 1.
OVERCOMING it is NOT a derived quantity. It is the next important fundamental quantity itself. Let’s call it 2.

When your ego keeps you from, let’s say, accepting your faults, you DON’T need to reduce the first quantity. You only need to increase the second.

“I am Everything”
I = quantity 1
Everything = quantity 2

Without quantity 1, you'd have to rephrase that as "am Everything". Who is?

Quantity 1 is an intrinsic feature of every *atom* in the world. Quantity 2 though, is humanity, maturity and mastery.

Kartik Ayyar said...

'This is deep' was my first reaction (i'd only got as far as the word 'Brahmand'). so i dropped reading it the first time on.
but being me, i had a good time with my buddies n i'm back here, giving it a go. it starts making sense (i only need to be a lil high, things get clearer).
after giving a good deal of thot, i've come to the conclusion that 'I, me, myself, Kartik Ayyar' am part of a greater thing. i need others to make me feel better, happier, alive. I need others to get me into trouble, n other others to get me outta shitholes (they're the parallel dimension warpers, with a starship enterprise at their beck-n-call). i dont see any inanimate objects making a dent in my system.
also, i feel the boundary lies in the physical. i touch you, so that's you. this is me. the metaphysical, the unknown, telepathy, etc they're all the warp zones. so effectively, i'm saying the boundary exists since i'm a different layer of this cake/brahman.
the visionary is the fellow who sees/ senses the steam billowing outta my nostrils n ears n stays outta my way. he's the one who senses the glow of happiness n asks for a loan. he's the one who sees the deep blue n hands me a knife. he's the one who understands that i love myself more than i can ever love/like her/him. the comparision is what makes it distinguishable.
so i definitely does exist. its a question of perception whether the larger picture here is actually that big.
if it is, bully for it. if it isnt, cheers!

Angry Voices said...

@ Reems:

You've hit it on the head @ we have different versions of reality. And there aren't just two sides to an issue, there are multiple ones.

We are who we want to be - this statement holds true more than ever. And the very notion that we are part of a Universal One makes us the same as everyone else. That thought is repulsive to many. What about the hard earned individuality, or the effort I put into being myself? But then, why do I want everybody else to appreciate me? Why that desire to be cheered by the same crowd which I moved away from?

Understanding and answering that is, quite frankly, a hard process.

Angry Voices said...

@ Asawari:

Agreed wholeheartedly. But come to think of it, most of us ask ourselves at one point of time, "What am I here for? What's my purpose? How do I fit into the grand scheme of things?"

And that's when "I" answers, and lulls us away into ourselves. We have become inward looking as opposed to outward looking. No TV antenna will give proper reception if it searches for signals within the set, will it?

Angry Voices said...

@ NT:

You're right about the obliteration of the core of your being. Ego is what lets you say "I am". Let's look at your statement of " When your ego keeps you from, let’s say, accepting your faults, you DON’T need to reduce the first quantity. You only need to increase the second."

You be wrong there. What is the thing that is preventing you from accepting your faults in the first place? Your ego. You've mentioned increasing the second. What is the second? It's just Ego all the way governing your actual actions. When you are giving that last stick of French fries away, it's both ego and egolessness at play. Egolessness because you are acting towards a greater purpose. Ego because you are keeping your own self fit because French fries are bad for you anyway. :D

You are not everything - don't make that mistake. You are a PART of everything, and that everything is manifest within you.

Angry Voices said...

@ Ayyar:

Thanks mate. That statement of "I need others to make me feel better, happier, alive" pretty much sums up our intrinsic need to be surrounded by others.

And you've made me think @ a question of perception whether the larger picture here is actually that big. Maybe our whole idea of wholeness is nothing more than the PoV of that frog in the well. Maybe it's bigger than what we think, maybe it's much smaller. But the point remains that it's bigger than us any which way you look at it.

Lazy louse said...

Whenever I think along these lines,I get really confused really fast and my eyes sort of glaze over.
People think I'm probably drunk, which increases my coolness quotient, considering this usually happens while attending a lecture.
Then I start thinking about what I just typed out and ... ok, nevermind.

I seriously admire that you were able to think about such "heavy stuff" for what must have been an appreciable time and then put it into words. Nice words. I promise I'll get back to reading the whole post you made one day. No promises about the comments :|

Nayantara said...


Firstly, the literal translation of ‘Aham brahmasmi’ IS ‘I am everything’ and not ‘I am PART of everything’ :)

I read the post and my comment again. I'll put it differently to make my points clearer.

How exactly are you, YOU?
Are you your mind? Or your thoughts? Or just your soul?

IMO, "You" are the way your Body, Mind and Soul REACTS to everything else the universe is. The coalition of the effect is YOU. We are differently affected, and we differently affect. That is how, despite all of us being part of everything, each of us hold/create an identity.

So there really isn't a you and me situation.

From the above perspective, as explained, there is.

As for who a visionary is, I hold no views. They say it takes to be one to know one :)

Sourav Ray said...

I don't quite know where to begin or to end... you've got me thinking overtime!

I will say this though - very nicely written.

Personally, for the better part of my childhood, I've wanted to know the 'big picture' inside out... but turning professional has changed this, and I think, with the passage of time, I'm happier with the little things... and I really don't want to know 'everything'.

Its tough to separate yourself from your ego... you would convince yourself that you've succeeded in it... but that would most likely be denial.

Kartik Ayyar said...

i'm happy that u thot my comment was worth reading. i'm ecstatic that i felt like replying to it. i had no idea i made sense. in fact i still dont think i made any sense.

Rover said...

Hey there...long time lurker, first time poster. After 14 comments, there don't seem too many angles open for discourse. Though I'd like to add, more posts please.

Ibanov, Sir Rekaf said...

There's this line of thought as per which there is no virtuosity without ego - behind every act of kindness or nobility is the swelling of the doer's pride. Since I'm not in a particularly philosophical mood right now, a more real comment shall follow soon.

PS. Everything shall become clear, once you rid yourselves of your eyes, 'coz its lenses are naturally clouded, and force you to view life, the universe and everything through it darkly. The moment of truth is the moment you die - that very same instant when your entire life flashes by right in front of your now crystal-clear eyes, preceded and followed by a spectacular blinding white light.

And if you choose to introduce science and parapsychology, then I guess that's the moment when you get to see everything you'd rather not see - the UVs and the IRs, wandering souls of the dead (if souls exist), etc.

More later, when I'm in a more suitable frame of mind.

rimz said...

Awesome , thoughtful piece.
We, rather every living being on earth has some limited capacity. In case we were able to visualise and realise evrthing that really happens, perhaps it would have been tougher for us to exist. So, its truly we make our moves according to what we think we see or we feel.

1st time in ur blog. liked ur this post vey much. kip writing.:)

Incognito..........Revee said...

Awsome one....EGO and PRIDE are two things which should be implicit and not explicit and should motivate the person's cognitive as well as affective self.

I can adda quote here... I was with the feeling of being in love but not in love......Acknowleging the real truth and add it to the mental make up context is very important.

By the way,I love your blogs.And blog ta pore bujhte parlam j tumi bangali kinba atleast bagla vasa ta jano.....

Nice one.....