Ka, 4 Definition(s)
At least from earliest Old Kingdom times (5,000 Before the Present) beings were considered to have a ka which was equated with the vital essence.
The ka (represented by two upraised arms) was the individual's "vital force" or "spiritual twin." When a person was born, the god Khnum created his or her ka, modeling both body and spirit on his potter's wheel. Kings could have several kas; mere mortals had only one. During life the ka remained separate from the body. At death a person was said to have "gone to his [or her] ka."
To survive, the ka needed a body for its eternal home. The Egyptians believed that the ka dwelt within either the mummy or the tomb statue (sometimes called the ka-statue), a spare body needed if the corpse should be destroyed.
~ James F. Romano. Death, Burial, and Afterlife in Ancient Egypt. Carnegie Institute, 1990.
Ka; The Ka was the symbol of the life force each human received from the Gods. The Egyptians believed the Ka lived on after death, and because it used the body as a vessel, the body was mummified so that the person would live on in the Afterlife. The Ka was what we would consider a soul, and much more, for it was the conscience or spiritual guide to live by.
The god "Khnemu", who was said to be responsible for creating each man out of clay on his potter's wheel, also molded the Ka at the same time. Because the Ka reigned supreme the Pharoahs claimed to possess multiple Kas. There is a difference between the Ka of gods and kings, and the Ka of common people.
The Ka of gods and the kings represented a kind of individuality, and the Ka of common people related the individual to his or her family.
The Kas of common people were their ancestors that were passed on from generation to generation. The continued existence of the Ka after physical death was to be ensured by offerings made by the deceased's descendants (see Eye of Horus below) and by the magic of the offering-scenes in the tombs (see Ba).
The Egyptian definition of the spirit and life-force of both humans and gods. Ka and ba (soul) form together the immortal elements. When a mortal was born, his ka was created with him and remained in the world of eternity while his mortal body was alive on earth. When a person died, he "rejoined his ka". Ka also acts as a protecting spirit and guards its dead against the dangers of the after life.
The hieroglyph for ka is two raised arms with the palms of the hand stretched.
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