E-mail this to a friend
Printable version
Font Size    

What is this Ego?

by Swami Sivananda

E
go or Egoism or Egotism or Ahamkara in Sanskrit is the self-asserting principle or Tattva born of ignorance or Prakriti. Abhimana is egoism. Garva is egoism.

The seed of this ego is the differentiating intellect or Bheda Buddhi. It is the ego which has created the idea of separateness from God or the Atman. It is the ego which is the root cause for all human sufferings and births and deaths.

This ego identifies itself with the body, mind, Prana, the senses. Wherever there is ego, there are mineness, selfishness, likes and dislikes, lust, anger, greed, hypocrisy, pride, jealousy, delusion, arrogance, conceit, impertinence, Vasanas, Trishna or cravings and Vrittis or Sankalpa, clinging to this earth-life (Abhinivesha), agency, doer (Kartha) and enjoyer (Bhokta).

You must have very clear understanding of the nature of this ego, if you want to annihilate egoism. Killing of egoism is killing of mind only. Destruction of thought, desires, cravings, mineness, selfishness, jealousy, pride, lust is really destruction of mind or egoism. Control of senses also is annihilation of the mind or egoism.

This egoism assumes a subtle form. The gross egoism is not so dangerous as the subtle egoism. Institutional egoism is a subtle form of egoism. The man identifies himself with the institution and gets attached to the institution or cult. He has no broad-mindedness or catholicity.

The working of egoism is very mysterious. It is very difficult to detect its various ways of working. It needs a subtle and sharp intellect to find out its operation. If you practise introspection daily in silence you will be able to find out its mysterious ways of working.

This ego likes his own birth place and district, people of his district, own mother tongue, his own relations and friends, his own ways of eating, mode of dressing. He has his own predilections and preferences. He dislikes others' ways of eating, dressing etc.

This ego wants to exercise power and influence over others. He wants titles, prestige, status, respect, prosperity, house, wife, children. He wants self-aggrandisement. He wishes to domineer and rule over others. If anybody points out his defects, his vanity feels offended. If anyone praises him he is elated. This ego says, I know everything. He does not know anything. What I say is quite correct. What he says is quite incorrect. He is inferior to me. I am superior to him. He forces others to follow his ways and views.

This ego will lurk like a thief when you start introspection and self-analysis. It will elude your grasp and understanding. You must be ever alert and vigilant. If you obtain the grace of the Lord through Japa, Kirtan, prayer and devotion you can easily kill this ego. Through Lord's grace only your self-surrender will become Perfect.

When this ego melts in the cosmic ego you will attain communion with the Lord or Self-realisation.

May you realise the goal of life and attain everlasting Bliss through annihilation of this little ego!


copyright © 2011 the divine life society. All rights reserved.