I Am This

Definition - What does I Am This mean?

“I am this” is a concept in yogic philosophy that suggests the yogi identifies with a self-centered perception of who he/she is. The concept equates with asmita, or egoism.

In the Yoga Sutras, Patanjali describes this concept as the misunderstanding that the true Self is made up of the physical, mental and emotional components of the person. Asmita is one of the five kleshas, or obstacles, that prevent the yogi from reaching the state of samadhi (union with the higher Self or the Divine).

Yogapedia explains I Am This

“I am this,” therefore, is attachment to whatever the ego wants. The kleshas, according to the Sutras, comprise the roots of all suffering. Yoga seeks to remove the kleshas so that the yogi transforms from a state of “I am this” to the higher state of “I am,” which represents pure consciousness. It is through meditation, pranayama, asana and other yogic practices that the yogi clears the mind and detaches from egoism.

In addition to asmita, the other kleshas are:

  • Avidya (ignorance)
  • Raaga (unlimited desire)
  • Dvesha (aversion or dislike)
  • Abhinivesha (fear of death)
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