Vritti Sarupyam Itaratra
At other times, when one is not in Self-realization, the Seer appears to take on the form of the modifications of the mind field, taking on the identity of those thought patterns.
Vritti- of the operations, activities, fluctuations, modifications, changes, or various forms (of the mind-field)
Sarupyam- root sa means with, and rupa means form
similarity, assimilation, appearance of, identification of form or nature, conformity with the shape of
Itaratra- elsewhere, at other times, when not in that state of realization above
How do you define Ego?
Anything in the external or internal environment that the mind field identifies with and claims as I. Anything in one’s experience that is constantly changing.
Past, future, memories, achievements, desires, dreams, doubts, insecurities.
Thoughts, emotions and physical body.
The ego’s essential purpose is survival. Consider all the ways your human reacts just to maintain its existence, or its originality.
The existence of the external world and the memories is not the problem. Rather, the pure consciousness mistakenly takes on the identity of those thought patterns. In this way, we incorrectly come to think that who we are is one and the same with these thoughts. The solution is to separate the seer and the seen, the experiencer and the object experienced, and this is the theme and practice of Yoga. Swami Rama
Where you have been to NOW
When I contemplate what I have been through and how that created my ego character, many of those experiences where unhealthy. I do believe that there is an underlying intelligence in the way the we navigate in the world.
Meaning that things happen to keep our ego intact and even protect our spirits. I fortunately found healthy outlets like yoga, meditation, massage, dancing and that helped shift many of my unhealthy habits into more healthy ones.
Active mind= mistaken Identity
In the Y.S 1.2-3 talk about the importance of using the techniques of yoga to still the mind, only when the mind is still can you recognize that you are the consciousness that is behind the thoughts, watching.
When the mind is busy and the soul forgets it’s essential nature it will inevitably begin to identify whatever objects, and activities it is involved in and perceiving.
The mysterious power of the mind misleads and binds us. We sleep to the divine self within, and wake to a world of distracting identities. Pandit Rajmani Tigunait
The relationship of mind and consciousness
The mind is the tool that consciousness uses to explore its own nature. Because of the mind’s instability, it runs in the external world from one object to another, and consciousness loses sight of its own inherent attributes and surrenders to the mind. Consciousness becomes dependent on the mind and complications set in. The mind is scattered and fragmented. It is not able to stay on an object long enough to gain a right understanding of that object. It flits from one object to another without perceiving any of them clearly. That is why, to a person with a restless mind, life and everything in it remains a mystery.
The mind has a unique characteristic: it assumes the form of whatever it perceives. When it is perceiving an object, it becomes that object. If the mind has a pleasant attitude toward that object, it experiences pleasure. If the mind has an unpleasant attitude toward an object, it experiences pain. But if the mind is not tainted by its own self-created notions, it will have a neutral attitude toward the objects it perceives which is simply neutral information presented to consciousness.
It neither stains nor agitates the mind, and therefore, the mind remains pure and still. Such a mind is the resting ground for the soul—a source of freedom and enlightenment.
But when its neutrality is lost, the mind becomes the victim of its own imaginations and projections, and consciousness has no choice but to identify with them. This identification leads to misery.
When a metal sculptor wants to make a mold, he might first make a plaster statue, then form the clay mold around that statue. Later, that clay becomes the mold for pouring the liquid metal. The process of the clay taking the form of the original plaster model is the meaning of the seer or Self appearing to take on the form of the thought pattern stored in the mind-field. When pure consciousness wraps itself around the mental object it encounters, it only appears to take on the identity of that object. It is a sort of mistaken identity that results.
Gold and clay
Gold is melted, reformed, and fashioned into many different ornaments. Yet, it remains gold. Clay is pushed and pulled and twisted, and shaped into many different bowls or other objects. Yet, it remains clay. However, much consciousness shapes itself into the many objects stored in the mind field, that consciousness remains pure, standing alone, that consciousness, itself lacking any form, is described as having the nature of existence, consciousness, and bliss.
I have been praying to God a long time to make me humble, though I didn’t realize that my ego had been built up by my yoga practice. My asana practice helped me build confidence and release many of the insecurities I had carried my whole life. Through vigorous vinyasa I was able to see and then believe in the potential of my body. It also awakened a competitive nature, with others and primarily with myself. I began to have expectations on how my body was supposed to perform and the poses I was “getting”. As humility awakened in my life more I began to see clearly the spiritual ego I created. I see that this became my character and this is just as much a hindrance to my soul’s evolution.