The Ahamkara

Character Lore

Ahamkara

Welcome back everyone to another Destiny Lore episode. Today we are covering the legend of the Ahamkara. The video will cover where these dragon-like creatures came from and why they were hunted to extinction. There are portions of speculation throughout, so I will make sure you are aware of what is said in the grimoire cards and what is my own interpretation or speculation. If you want greater clarity of direct quotes, place the subtitles on and you will be able to see the quotation marks. Also, I do not believe these are the Ahamkara on Venus, and the one you see in the Tower, I believe are the Roc, yes as the Vanguard strike playlist the Roc. Roc in mythology are giant legendary birds of prey. Now that, that’s out of the way, we will begin.

When answering the question, where did the Ahamkara come from?, two griomire cards come to mind. We are told by the Ghost Fragment: Warlock card

“that much life sprang up when the Traveler came”

and one of those life forms, was the Ahamkara. The Golden Age grimoire card also reinforces that

“new forms of life”

were born during the Golden Age. It appears that the Traveler not only had the ability to terraform planets but also create new life. It could have been that the Traveler created the Ahamkara intentionally or it may have been unintentional and the shear act of changing planets gave birth to a new species.

However, it seems too simplistic that the act of changing a planet gave birth to a new species, and not just any species, a being that could consume reality, a being that possessed enormous power and knowledge, the dragon-like species, the Ahamkara. There is an alternative interpretation and speculation to how the Ahamkara came to be. This speculation suggests that the Ahamkara came from the Void. To understand this, we must first understand the void.

The Voidwalker grimoire card states that

“The traveler came out of the void that surrounds all things”

and the flavor text reads

“Those who have stared into the Void are not bound by the laws of space and time.”

The Void, grimoire card gives us further insight into what the void is

“The universe is defined by fundamental forces. Beneath the world of light and matter lies the vacuum, and the vast dark secrets that it contains. In the understanding of this vacuum lies the secret of Void Light”.

There is evidence that the void is also linked to the Vex or the Vex have some control over the void. The Undying Mind grimoire card says that

“We are starting to believe that time is home to the Vex, and somewhere in those unmappable voids dwell their undying minds. [The Vex] could quite possibly be resealing the Black Garden back into whatever void it once hid”.

This may also indicate that things can be trapped or hidden within the void, as the Black Garden was, it was not on any map known to space and time.

At the very least in the Destiny world, the Void relates to another dimension, universe or reality. I personally believe that the void is the empty space between dimensions, between universes and when the Traveler jumped to our system it had to pass through the void. The speculation is, as the Traveler passed through void and entered our system, it was followed by something, and that was the Ahamkara.

The reason why this is thought, is if we read the flavor text for the Skull of Dire Ahamkara, it says

“Reality is the finest flesh, oh bearer mine. And are you not… hungy?”,

it seems fitting that creature of the void would consume reality, feed off reality, making it nothing, just like the void. In addition the Ghost Fragment Legends 3 card says that Ahamkara possess great knowledge and that

“they knew answers to questions no one had known to ask.”

The void is often considered a place where great knowledge can be obtained, were knowledge can be found from nothing. So maybe the Ahamkara have this great knowledge because they passed through the void. This is reinforced by the behaviour of Warlocks, they often attempt to enter this void to gain knowledge, some like Punjari, a thanatonaut intentional die to enter the void, and Punjari has vision of the Black Garden. Other Warlocks who harness the power of Radiance, learn to

“pluck themselves from nothingness”.

All this to understand the truth, to gain knowledge, to understand these dark secretes, hidden within void. So it seems fitting to speculate that the Ahamkara who possess immense knowledge have some connection to the void. Finally, the Voidfang Vestmetns Warlock armour appears to be the greatest piece of evidence for the Ahamkara originating from the void. It’s flavor text reads

“YOU WILL DREAM OF TEETH AND NOTHING ELSE”,

the reference to teeth is a direct reference to the Ahamkara. The Ahamkara spine exotic item, says

“fill the world with teeth”.

If you then assume that the Vestments are related to Ahamkara, the word VOIDfang, gives some pretty strong indication that the Ahamkara are connected in some way to the void.

Regardless of what you believe, the Traveler brought the Ahamkara into existence, so lets move on to why they were hunted into extinction. The Ghost Fragment: Warlock card says

“Do you know the legends? The dragon that made promises?”

and Ghost Fragment Legends 3 card says

“Power had been obtained from the bargains”.

These two pieces of information implies that the Ahamkara were giving guardians knowledge and power, they were trading these abilities for something, we do not know what the guardians had to give in return for this power, however bargains were made.

It would make sense that our curious Warlocks would have an internal drive to seek the Ahamkara to gain knowledge but we must also question whether the guardians were lured to the Ahmakara. The Ghost Fragment Legends 3 card says that after the great hunt, after their extinction

“their call [was] silenced, their solipsistic flatteries erased”.

Solipsistic relates to solipsism and is the extreme pre-occupation with one self and indulgence in one self-desire,  egoistic, self-absorption. Guardians were attracted to the Ahamkara, the Ahmakara somehow faltered their egos, enhanced their self-obsessions. You could imagine this would be irresistible to Warlock, the Warlock obsession to discover the truth may lie with a visit to the dragon. I also believe Hunters were drawn to the Ahmakara but for a different reason, Hunters ego’s is to stalk the landscape to track the greatest game and take it down and no beast would be greater than Ahamkara. Hence Hunter’s too were lured to face the powerful dragons.

This idea that guardians were enticed, enchanted almost to visit the Ahamkara through exaggeration of their egos is reinforced by the Ghost Fragment: Warlock card. This describes a conversation between a Warlock and an Exo hunter. The Warlock has taken a portion of Ahamkara spine from the Cryptarch. The bone of the Ahamkara seems to influence the Warlock, enhancing his pride and ego and he ends up challenging the Hunter to take down an Ahamkara, even knowing that the hunter would face certain death. The card finishes with

“And I looked at the piece of spine in my hand and wondered – why did I say that? What moved me to such pride?”.

Just on a side note, I know I am talking about ego in very negative terms and from a psychological view point, that is not really the case, however I do think in the destiny world the Ahamkara enhance egotism, which is that self-absorption.

It seems that even the bones of dead Ahamkara has the ability to enhance one’s egotism. This is reinforced with the exotic Ahamkara items, the Claws say

“Look at all this life, oh bearer mine. There is so much left to burn…”

the Young Ahamkara’s Spine says

“Give me your arm, oh bearer mine. Let me help you fill the world with teeth”,

the bones of the Ahamkara within the armor don’t necessarily possess the wearer, however they try to convince the guardian who wears the armour to give in to their dark side, their destructive side, to test their strength and new found power, burning everything to ground, because they can, because it feels good. These items also emphasis the destructive nature the Ahamkara and in fact in the Ghost Fragment Warlock card says

“there is nothing to be afraid of anymore”

in reference to the extinction of the Ahamkara.

You can see how the Ahamkara could be considered a threat, they had the ability to make guardians only think of themselves, an ability that could divide a civilization and bring chaos. The Great Ahamkara Hunt was thought to have occurred during the City Age, as other events such as the Faction Wars and Saint-14’s crusade were said to occur around the same time. All of these events occurred post collapse. During this difficult period, guardians searched for the Ahamkara,

“driven by hope, or vengeance, or despair,”

seeking power and knowledge to pull them through this age, to survive. After

“great deliberation it was determined that the Ahamkara be made extinct. Power had been obtained through bargains however the City needed the power.”

Using this information, I speculate that the hunt was ordered by the Consensus and they did this because they believed the lure the Ahamkara was too great and would cause individuals to seek the power, and if successful an individual could easily rise to a leadership position within the City and take control over the City. The powers of the Ahamkara which enhanced one’s egotism, one’s selfishness was too great of risk for the City, they needed unity, they need combined strength, and so the order was given to wipe out the Ahamkara, silencing their call.

So now, lets get into some more heavy speculation. The reason I have been pronouncing Ahamkara, as Ahamkar, is because it is a Sanskrit term which is primary language of Hinduism and relates to one’s ego, yes, the name of this species actually translates to ego, which had already been hinted with the word solipsistic. I have limited knowledge of Hinduism so feel free to correct me but I did read that a certain branch of Hindu Philosophy asks you to remove your Ahamkara, remove your ego, because with it you cannot be subordinate to the lord. I think also though, in other parts of Hindu Philosophy it is also essential to spiritual development. However, for the sake of the speculation, lets say you need to get rid of you Ahamkara to be subordinate. If you believe Consensus ordered the Ahamkara Hunt, they ordered the destruction of guardian’s ego, without ego, guardians could not think of only themselves, they become perfect subordinate soldiers to the lord, the traveler. So if you do like to the think that the Speaker/Traveler is evil, then the removal of the Ahamkara fits nicely.

There is an item that I came across in my research for this video that heavily conflicts this idea that getting rid of the ego was required to make an army of guardians. It talks about removing ego as part of flow. The item is “Symmetry Fang VI” and says

“There are six factors in true Csikszentmihalyian flow. First is the loss of self”,

this a real world meaning, Csikszentmihalyian is the last name of Professor of Psychology. This professor suggested that to achieve flow, which is a state of complete absorption and concentration in activity, it is a balance between your skills and the challenge of the activity. For example, imagine you are quite good at something, and the challenge is quite low, this professor suggests that in this state you will be bored. However, if you get the balance right between skill level and challenge, you will achieve a start of flow and when this happens you will be

“completely involved in an activity for its own sake. The ego falls away. Time flies. Every action, movement, and thought follows inevitably from the previous one, like playing jazz. Your whole being is involved, and you’re using your skills to the utmost.”

You achieve flow. This item suggests that Warlocks attempt to rid themselves of the ego voluntarily to achieve a state of flow. Maybe it was necessary to remove the Ahamkara, remove the ego to achieve flow within the city.

The last piece of speculation I got from Bungie’s forum, looking at a post from AnonPig, thanks to subscriber Robert Clark for putting me onto this thread. Basically, it draws attention to the Claws of the Ahamkara, and how they are not scales but feathers. Anonpig suggests that the Ahamkara are feathered serpents, which makes sense because Dragons, flying reptiles and feathered serpents can be seen as synonymous. There are items that make reference to Serpents, one is the Warlock Purifying robes, which has a perk called Serpent’s Tail and the other is The Viper Spine VI which has some very interesting flavor text. It says

“There’s a story about a serpent selling knowledge. The moral is: always be the serpent.”

Anonpig links this to the Aztec God who was a feathered serpent and was a God of knowledge and linked to Venus. I have another interpretation of this, the Feathered serpents, the Ahamkara, were selling knowledge, the truth, this truth would conflict with the Traveler’s story, so they were wiped out, leaving only one truth remaining, the truth of the traveler/speaker, the moral is, always be the serpent selling the knowledge.

The question still remains, do any serpents still exist, that have defied extinction “Bones of Eao”.

Wowza, to research and write this script took me 13 hours, which  I did in one sitting, why, because I was in a state of flow. So please sure your appreciation with like and comment, and we will see you next time.

Peace

Myelin.