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Ahamkara causes Asanthi

Man creates and developes in himself an abounding variety of selfish habits and attitudes and he gives rise to great discontent for himself. The impulse for all this comes from the power complex, the greed for accumulating authority, domination and power, the greed for things which can never be eternal and full. In fact, it is impossible for man to attain them, up to the level of satiation. Omnipotence belongs to Sarveswara, the Lord of All. A person might feel elated that he has become the master of all arts, or owner of all wealth, or possessor of all knowledge or repository of all the Sastras, but from whom did he acquire all these? That source must indeed be greater. He might even claim that he earned all this through his own efforts, his labour and his toil. But surely someone gives it to him, in some form or other. This he cannot gainsay. The source from which all authority and all power originate is Sarveswara. Ignoring that omnipotence, to delude one-self that the little power one has acquired is one's own, this indeed is egoism, conceit, pride, Ahamkara.

If a person is a genuine vehicle of power, he can be recognized by the characteristics of truth, kindness, love, patience, forbearance and gratefulness. Wherever these reside, Ahamkara cannot subsist, it has no place. Seek, therefore, to develop these.

The effulgence of the Atma is obscured by Ahamkara. Therefore when Ahamkara is destroyed, all troubles end, all discontents vanish and Bliss is attained. As the sun is obscured by mist, the feeling of Ahamkara hides Eternal Bliss. Even if the eyes are open, a piece of cloth or cardboard can prevent the vision from functioning effectively and usefully. So, too, the screen of selfishness prevents man from seeing God, who is, in fact, nearer to him than anything else. Many an aspirant and recluse, many a sadhaka and sanyasi has allowed all excellences won by long years of struggle and sacrifice to slip away through this attachment to the self. For, power without the bliss of God-realisation is a wall without a basement. Mere punditry is of no use at all; the Vedas, the Upanishads and the Sastras are doctrines for living out in daily practice. Whatever the wealth of words, whatever the standard of scholarship, it is all a colossal waste. To bring the teachings of the Vedas, Upanishads and the Sastras into one's actual life one has to scotch the feeling, "I know," and open one's eyes to the real Essence and Introspect on it. Then, one can attain Bliss without fail. Next