Kama

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Kama (devanāgarī: काम kāma) is a Sanskrit term meaning "desire," "wish," "passion," or "pleasure of the senses."

In Theosophy the terms refers to the fourth principle of human beings is "the seat of animal desires and passions. This is the centre of the animal man, where lies the line of demarcation which separates the mortal man from the immortal entity."[1]

Kama-rupa [is] the principle of animal desire, which burns fiercely during life in matter, resulting in satiety; it is inseparable from animal existence.[2]
Connected so strongly with the organs that support and propagate life, the acme of Kâma is the sexual instinct.[3]

Kama-rupa

Although frequently called "Kama-rupa" (rupa meaning "form" or 'body"), the fourth principle does not form a body during life:

Metaphysically, and in our esoteric philosophy, it is the subjective form created through the mental and physical desires and thoughts in connection with things of matter, by all sentient beings, a form which survives the death of their bodies.[4]
It is no Rûpa, or form at all, except after death, but the Kâmic elements, animal desires and passions, such as anger, lust, envy, revenge, etc., etc., the progency of selfishness and matter.[5]

Kama-prana

The combined term "kama-prana" is used to refer to the animal life animating human beings:

For Prâna (or life) has, strictly speaking, two vehicles . . . Linga-Śarîra, or astral body, is the vehicle of the life principle, or spirit life; while Kâma-rûpa is the vehicle of the physical or material essence. In other words, the three higher principles of the septenary of Prâna reside in the astral body, while the four lower principles have their seat in Kâma-rûpa. . . . Therefore, as Kâma-rûpa is the vehicle of the grossest of that form, that Prâna the astral body has got, is a vehicle of the spirit of the life principle, because it is connected with the higher principles of the triad and not with the quaternary.[6]

Kama-manas

Kama is also the vehicle of manas, with which it forms the lower ego:

During life the Lower Manas acts through this Kâma-Rûpa, and so comes into contact with the Sthûla-Sarîra; this is why the Lower Manas is said to be “enthroned in Kâma-Rûpa”[7]
Manas and its vehicle—the Kama rupa, or body of passions and desires [are] the two elements of Ahamkara which evolve individualized consciousness—the personal ego.[8]

Due to this close connection, the manasic consciousness is constantly pulled towards the animal nature in man, away from the spiritual one:

Kāma (Sk.) Evil desire, lust, volition; the cleaving to existence. Kāma is generally identified with Mara, the tempter.[9]
The Astral through Kama (desire) is ever drawing Manas down into the sphere of material passions and desires. But if the better man or Manas tries to escape the fatal attraction and turns its aspirations to Atma—Spirit—then Buddhi (Ruach) conquers, and carries Manas with it to the realm of eternal Spirit.[10]

Purification of kama

The spiritual path involves the purification of the fourth principle so that no lower desires are left, but only the energy that this principle provides:

To get rid of Kāma, you must crush out all your material instincts––“crush out matter.” But at the same time you must remember that Kāma, while having as part of it bad passions and emotions, animal instincts, yet helps you to evolve, by giving also the desire and impulse necessary for rising. For in Kāma-Prāna are the physical elements which impel to growth both physically and psychically, and without these energetic and turbulent elements progress could not be made. . . . Hence the student must learn to dominate and purify Kāma, until only its energy is left as a motor power, and that energy directed wholly by the Mānasic Will.[11]

See also

Online resources

Articles

Notes

  1. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Key to Theosophy, (London: Theosophical Publishing House, 1987), 91.
  2. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine vol. II, (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1993), 593.
  3. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Collected Writings vol. XII (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1980), 708.
  4. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, The Theosophical Glossary (Krotona, CA: Theosophical Publishing House, 1973), 172.
  5. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Collected Writings vol. X (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1980), 608, fn.
  6. Michael Gomes (transcriber), The Secret Doctrine Commentaries (The Hague: I.S.I.S. foundation, 2010), 493-494.
  7. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Collected Writings vol. XII (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1980), 708.
  8. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine vol. II, (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1993), 241.
  9. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, The Theosophical Glossary (Krotona, CA: Theosophical Publishing House, 1973), 170.
  10. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine vol. I, (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1993), 244-245.
  11. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Collected Writings vol. XII (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1980), 708-709.