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What is Antakarana ?!

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The Antakarana are our inner psychic qualities or components. They include Mana, Buddhi, Chitta and Ahamkara.


Mana is the mind or the thinking substance. We are to purify it by being careful to have only positive thoughts. Endeavor to think positively and with love, no matter what is happening.


Buddhi is the intellect that guides us. Buddhi and Mana work very closely together and influence one another. Apply your Buddhi therefore to purify your thoughts and feelings.


Chitta is subconscious mind. To have a clear conscience means that there are no doubts, complexes or hatred in your consciousness.


Ahamkara is the ego. Ego is the greatest enemy of all, particularly of those on a spiritual path or those who have psychic problems. The latter unfortunately take offense all too easily and react in ways that later bring more pain on themselves. Some people always react negatively. They reject out of hand everything that is said to them and do the opposite because their ego will not accept anything from others even if the others are right. On the one hand they can be volatile, changing their minds and their paths again and again, bringing on themselves nothing but disappointment and pain. On the other hand they are stubborn, self-absorbed and egotistic, and this thick-headed ness eventually brings about depression, nervousness and inner anxiety. What they need to do is to purify their Antakarana with the help of Guru-Bhakti and mantra. They could seek help from a true guru, one who is actually Brahmanistha Shrotria, and not from someone who only speaks from intellect and book learning.

By identifying things and qualities in the world, ahankara enables the soul to relate itself to perceived objects. If the soul is founded in ignorance, or avidya, then ahankara may lead itself to be separate from the divine. Paramhansa Yogananda has characterized the ego as soul attached to a body.

Ahankara also refers to ego identification on a cosmic scale. The ego principle exists even when the ego is not limited to an individual body, where it is centered in the medulla oblongata.  It may also be expanded to the Self in all creation. In this case, the body may be considered the entire manifested universe. Realizing itself as the cosmos, the Self is freed from ego feeling.

Yoga teaches the individual to identify the ego with the greater Self. In seeking guidance, the self must use buddhi to discriminate between the feelings caused by limited ego and the intuition brought by cosmic consciousness. Ego allows the self to live in the world, whether in delusion or consciousness.



[x]. Vedic Knowledge Wiki, accessed April 2020. 

[x]. Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali by B.K.S Iyengar 1966.

[x]. Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras by Swami Jnaneshvara – Commentary and Translation.

[x]. The New Path, by Swami Kriyananda. Chapter 34, “Kriya Yoga.”

[x]. Intuition for Starters, by Swami Kriyananda. Chapter 5, “How to Recognize False Guidance.”

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