Jnana Yoga

  Jnana Yoga and The Breath of Life

The Ankh, or Breath of Life, is a fascinating corollary to the supreme transcendental finding that I came across in late 1992. As many other people who like to read about different subjects, I had been aware of the Ankh’s existence for many years, but before coming into the finding I am about to relate, I had never paid any particular attention to it. I can, however, recall one instance in which, after someone placed a rather charming plastic representation of the Ankh in my hands, I was sort of magically drawn to it with a very unusual level of curiosity. That very short episode took place sometime in December of 1969, and lasted for only some 10 minutes or so, but I do remember that, at that moment, I was quite elated to hold such charming plastic shape in my hands.

I also remember that after I handed back the object to its owner, my mind quickly went back to the customary state it used to adopt in those days. In consequence, that episode was relegated to the back corners of my memory for a couple of decades. Aside from that instance, the Ankh had always been completely out of my radius of interest, up until the moment when I was faced with a reality which was completely impossible for me to deny.

The ankh is a symbol that appears in many Egyptian hieroglyphics and is a very mysterious item in Egyptian Iconography. Without a doubt, the Ankh is intimately related to Egyptian history and Mythology, but my experience shows that it never pertained solely to the Egyptian people, but to everyone in this world. For a few reasons, it is not difficult for most common individuals like me to never even think of studying anything related to the Ankh. To begin with, the literature about it is very scarce, which tells us that not much has been previously known about it. Then there is the fact that the few existing interpretations of the Ankh’s meaning sound like sheer speculation with not much solid archeological or philosophical evidence to support them. On top of this, some of those speculative explanations appear to be outright devoid of the least significant insight into the artifacts and representations in which the Ankh is found

For example, the painting of Nefertari receiving the Breath of Life (Ankh) from the God Isis and the engraving of Amenhotep II receiving the Ankh from the God Anubis (see Picture A below) have probably been the subject of archeological studies for well over a century now, yet no one has ever come up with a fairly plausible interpretation of the meaning behind such symbol. Nevertheless, the Ankh is some sort of sine qua non within Egyptian mythology, as it is basically too omnipresent to be overlooked.

In contemplating such abundant evidence of the Ankh symbol’s existence, therefore, one cannot help but to ask why was the Ankh so important to the Egyptian elites and why is its meaning such a secret even up to our days? To these questions I respond that the Ankh was so important to the Egyptian elites because of the otherworldly reality it represented and its meaning was kept so secret probably for the customary political reason that the elites always try to hide their most precious and vital information from the masses.


                                                                                             Picture A

Since my Realization, however, the hidden otherworldly meaning behind the Ankh is no longer hidden or otherworldly, but an intrinsic part of every human being’s daily existence. This assertion is not something I am just speculating about, but a fact of which I have direct knowledge. When I realized my True Eternal Identity I first became aware of the “Shape” that the eternal consciousness appears to adopt when it illumines the human body. That shape has the unmistakable form of an Ankh.

As far as I am concerned, since the day of my Realization, the mystery of the Ankh is no longer a mystery: The Ankh is the Atman, the Breath of Life that animates this body whose fingers are pressing some keys on a computer keyboard to write these words. This Breath of Life is like an aperture into the eternal Sat–Chit-Ananda which is my True Identity, but it is much more than that, as it actually consists of the same Substance of which the Eternal Consciousness consists. In fact, the Ankh is the Eternal Consciousness Itself which adopts the Ankh’s form when incarnated in the human body, thereby illumining it. The Ankh is my Eternal Self, just as it is everybody else’s eternal self.

The Ankh is the Atman of the Hindus, the Soul of the Christians, the Samsarin, the wandering consciousness that keeps re-incarnating for as long as the person in whom it reincarnates does not attain the realization of Who he/she really is. To “merge” with the Ankh’s consciousness is to become one with the all-pervading Eternal Consciousness, as the Ankh is the Eternal Consciousness Itself, the One Without a Second: Eternal Being, Wisdom and Bliss.

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