(Aham Vṛtti): “The whirl of ‘I.’” Translated as the “I”-feeling or the “pure ‘I am’-feeling,” “I”-sense, or “I”-thought, it represents the irreducible element of any human knowledge, experience, perception, etc. According to Ramana Maharshi, aham vritti has the following essential characteristics:

  • It originates from a place called the Heart Center, located on the right side of the chest in the human body.
  • It is the very source of the personality, the irreducible starting point of all experiences.
  • It has the tendency to identify and attach itself to different experiences. This very identification “solidifies” the ego-consciousness.
  • Tracing it back to its source is a way to reveal atman (the Supreme Self). Read more.