Based on Bhagavad Gita Chapter 07, Text 04
By His Grace Chaitanya Charan Das
“You are your car,” claims a billboard displaying a person driving a flashy car. The ad indicates how one’s car determines one’s image in a status-driven world. Additionally, the ad’s equalization of a conscious person with an insentient vehicle illustrates how we misidentify with that which we are not.
The subtle arrangement that brings about such misidentification of the soul with the body is called ahankara. Significantly, the Bhagavad-gita (07.04) also mentions ahankara as one of the eight material elements. Thus, ahankara is both an object and a concept — the object, a material element, is the tool through which the concept, the misidentification, is manifested and maintained.Ahankara as an object, as a material element in our body, will remain as long as we are in material existence. But ahankara as the concept of misidentification will disappear when we become self-realized, as the Gita (13.09 – anahankara) alludes to.