What is ego?

Ego


We can expand the term EGO as “EDGES GOD OUT “.  EGO is nothing but I-ness inflated to the point of occupying one’s entire inner space and the consequent exclusion of everything other than the self.  It connotes vanity, pride and stupidity.  The same ‘i’ without vanity and arrogance is called ASMITHA in Sanskrit, meaning innocent or the very personification of innocence.  Everything is created by God.  There is logically nothing that justifies our pride.

EMPTINESS is the absence of ego, a willingness to be hollow on the inside, so as to be able to be filled with Divine Music.  If you have draw love from the Lord or music from His lips, empty yourself of all your self-centredness.  No AHANKAR or I-ness, no vanity, just remaining in a state of SHUNYA.

All of us are conscious.  The conscious mind can be considered as functioning like a filter.  When certain memories and experiences in the conscious mind pass through this filter, they become part of the subconscious.  We cannot directly access the subconscious.  Hypnosis is one way through which the subconscious becomes accessible to us.  Dreams are the other means.

Dreams are the mind’s way of reconciling with unfulfilled expectations, signals sent by the subconscious to the conscious mind.  The best way to deal with a dream is to live that dream in the waking state.

 There is a traditional way to prepare your mind before going to sleep to receive dreams and signals during sleep.  Try to recollect all that had happened from the morning till then, go over your experiences of the day in detail and reframe them with heightened awareness with deep positivity.  Then go over the previous days as best as you can.  Your mind is now in a spiritual level, and this is SADHNA that takes your mind to a greater degree of sharpness.

———— Swami Sukhabodhananda.  

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We are custodians, not possessors

Lord Krishna : Everything which we possess today was possessed by somebody else yesterday and will be possessed by others tomorrow and somebody else day after tomorrow.

Everything which we possess —— money, house, car, jewellery, property, etc., — was possessed by somebody else in the past, which means they got transferred to us.  We might have either earned it, or inherited it, or won it in a lottery, but the fact remains that they were possessed by somebody else, and in the present we possess them.

Will these possessions remain with us permanently ?  Will they not go to somebody else tomorrow, the way they came to us ?  They will definitely go to someone else after our death.

The land on which our house is built belonged to somebody else before our house was constructed, and maybe after 100years belong to somebody else with another house built over it.  Is it not our ignorance that the house in which we live is felt to be ours, the wealth which we own today is felt to be ours ?  All these things are temporary.


Krishna painting


Our body is not  permanently ours, as we will leave it after our death.  Our thoughts that emanate from our mind are not ours.  They have been received from other people and since our mind liked them, it possessed them.  We change our thought pattern too when we grow in age  or get influenced by others’ thoughts (of more intelligent, successful or spiritual people).

Everything in this creation is passing through from person to another, from one hand to another and from one place to another.  Everything is in a transmigratory state be it wealth, property, relationship or physical body.  We can at the most feel custodianship of all that which we possess.  A custodian is never attached to anything, has no ego of ownership, as he knows full well that all that which he possesses belongs to somebody else.

The laws of creation do not permit anything to remain permanently with anybody.

———-  Sadguru Rameshji.   

Life is calling

Moksha and happiness

Is there such a thing as “life’s calling” ?  There is no “life’s calling”, but “life is calling” —— both from within and without.  Only when you truly respond to the “call of life”, you know life in its entirety.  If life is calling you, you must go towards it with utmost passion and involvement without any hesitation and calculation.

This is not about your ego wanting to do something different.  It is about living to your full potential. And if you are truly passionate about every aspect of your life, you will realise what you are good at.  It could be that you are good at something new that has never been done before.  But even if you are doing the same, age-old things, when, you do them with utmost passion and involvement , they will raise you to a new dimension of experience.
Problems come when people are passionate about one thing, or when they are passionate in an exclusive way.  This often leads to isolation.  Living an exclusive existence with very limited involvement will only lead to frustration and pain.  One must be absolutely and passionately involved with everything that five senses can perceive in a given moment.
The way life happens is first being, then doing, and then having.  But right now, people always think of first having.  For example, when you were at a certain stage of life, you may have decided that you want to have a certain kind of life that includes a partner, house, car, etc.  Then, you think, “How can I have all this ?”  The moment you start thinking how to get it, people around you start advising you.  Then you think of becoming a doctor, lawyer, software engineer, etc.  Once you are in one of these professions for a period of time, you think you have become something, and that is when you start moving against life.  You are going the “having-doing-being” way, which  leads to an endless pursuit of having.  This is the basis of an unfulfilled life.
You must first establish your way of being.  Then, whether you get what you desire or not, you will still be wonderful.  The quality of your life depends on your way of being.  What you get to have is only a question of capability and situations that are conducive.  If you make this simple shift to “being-doing-having”, then the large part of your destiny will be by your will.
————Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev

Epitome of knowledge

lord-hanuman-hd

The one who is the repository of incomparable strength, the one whose body resembles a golden mountain, the one who is the destroyer of forces of demons, the one who is considered foremost among knowledgeable beings.  The one who is the repository of all the virtues and good qualities, the one who is the dearest of all devotees to Lord Ram, I salute you.
Lord Hanuman is the giver of “gyan”.  When there is gyan, “avidya” (ignorance) vanishes.  Our problems stem from avidya, which connects us with the unreal.  It is because of avidya that a human being attaches himself/herself to health, finances, relationships, social status, etc. all of which are unreal. as they are temporary and bound to leave us, and when they leave, they leave us in pain.  Is there anything in the physical world that you can hold on to ?  Even your own body is not your own and will be left behind.  Yet, we keep chasing the temporary and getting troubled by it.
Ram and HanumanLet us distinguish ‘gyan’ from ‘knowledge’ here.  ‘Gyan’ is the experience that you live through.  ‘Knowledge’ is for the brain.  The former dissolves the ‘ego’, the latter makes it shoot up, tying a being further into unreality and taking him/her away from reality.  ‘Ego’, in fact, is considered as one of the greatest barriers in yoga.
Take a look at the majority of the learned men around you, you will find their egos touching the sky.  Lord Hanuman, on the other hand, was a “gyani” — an incarnation of “rudra” aspect of Lord Shiva.  He was unparalleled in might, power and abilities.  Yet, he made his place at the feet of Lord Ram.  He was a ‘gyani’ and so he dedicated his life to supporting the incarnation of Vishnu in its task of preserving the creation.
Hanuman Jayanti marks the day when this phenomenal “Shakti” took an earthly form.  The energy of Hanuman exists on earth even today, but in a semi-dormant form, as there is no one to awaken them.  Hanuman Jayanti is a powerful day to awaken the force of Hanuman, through specific “mantras” and “yagyas.”  This normally has the effect of wish fulfilment.
——– Yogi Ashwini

Let go of ego

It is a well-established fact that the biggest impediment in the way of one’s peace, happiness and enlightenment is “EGO”.
buddha_and_mara_bj49A person’s ego causes him/her to be regretful in life, distances friendship and attracts enmity, puts  person into depression, causes unnecessary grief, does not let the person progress easily in any field.  Moreover, ego becomes a serious obstacle in one’s spiritual progress.
Hence it is of utmost importance that we consciously try and get rid of any ego that we might possess, so that we can progress spiritually.  Complete reduction of ego, of all forms, will eventually lead to enlightenment —– which I the single-most purpose of our existence.
First, we need to understand what is “ego” and then reduce it so as to achieve eternal peace, happiness and enlightenment.
“EGO” can be broadly classified into 3 categories : ** Sthool Ahankaara or “gross ego” :  People who are egoistic of material things like wealth, beauty, status, fame and progress  possess this kind of ego.  **  Sukshma Ahankaara or “subtle ego” :  shivaPeople who are egoistic of ‘subtle things like experience, age,  devotion and knowledge possess this type of ego. It is astonishing to see that some people are egoistic about their “bhakti” towards God too.  ** Shudh Ahankaara or “pure ego” :  This is the state of enlightenment, because we establish ourselves in the pure consciousness, which possesses a pure ego of its existence.  And we become one with this pure ego and relieve ourselves from the “birth cycle”.
The next step is to realise whether we are being egoistic or not.  Few indications that help us realise whether we possess any ego are : ** Whether we judge people or look down upon them for no fault of theirs.  For example, we look at a beggar and laugh at his hardship or we think other people are stupid.  ** Whether we start getting irritated at small things and make an issue out of it.  For example, if something is not done as per our idea or we try and find fault with others.
Once we are aware of the above two steps, we should consciously try and reduce the level of our ego.  One of the ways to do so, is slowly establish oneself in the third and the most important form of ego — PURE EGO.  Slowly, you should associate everything, everyone as an extension of your existence.  By doing this you will, eventually, stop looking down on anyone because, indirectly, you will be looking down upon yourself.  The “PURE EGO” stage is nothing but the “ultimate stage of enlightenment.”
——- Sadguru Rameshji 

Freedom from inner demons

 
 
 
 
inner_demons_by_faisalart2006We have just celebrated 67 yrs of Independence, but have we achieved freedom from our inner demons ?  Our biggest inner demon is our NEGATIVE EGO.  A negative ego makes us feel that we are superior to others —– in looks, wealth, health or in intelligence.
 
The worst part is that we do not realise, that when we develop a big negative ego —- it builds over time, over experience, over situations.  Sometimes, when people do not take us seriously, we shout at them, and they listen to us finally.  This makes us believe, that to get things done, we should make ourselves heard.  Similarly, if one is praised often about his/her looks, it builds an ego within that person about his good looks.  This negative ego, deludes the possessor, by making him/her feel that everything he/she does is right.  He also feels that without the negative egoistic identity, he would be suppressed upon. 
 
This negative ego may give temporary happiness —– when people listen to us, do things the way we want, appreciate our looks, but people may be doing so out of some selfish interests.  And when their interests will no longer be fulfilled, they will stop fuelling our negative ego.  Then we will feel depressed.
 
The best way to get a reality check on our negative ego, is to observe our feelings when someone praises us and when someone criticises us.  If we feel happy when someone praises us and feel sad when someone criticises us, it is a sure sign that we do possess this INNER DEMON OF NEGATIVE EGO.  But if we remain neutral, then it shows that we have no negative ego.  So, if we do not kill this inner demon, we cannot enjoy actual freedom.
 
The first step is to overcome the fear of what will happen if we let go of our negative ego.  We need to be assured that once we kill this negative ego, we will  realise our true potential, our true self, our true identity, our pristine consciousness.
 
The second step is to gather courage and ask our near and dear ones as to what our shortcomings are.  No one knows us better than our family and friends.  But they should feel that you will be open to their criticism.  So, like our country fought against the British rule to gain Independence, we should fight against our INNER DEMONS and attain freedom from pain and sorrow.
 
———–Sadhguru Jain.
 
 
 
 

Universal consciousness

Truth can be likened to a pyramid—–its pinnacle gives the highest expression of truth, while its broad base gives strength and stability.

I’ve been amazed by the number of people in India who tell me that they don’t believe in God, and then go on to demonstrate that they do.  They can’t get away from it —-it is part of their upbringing.  They don’t necessarily define God in terms of somebody who is blue and plays the flute.  the thought, however, of an infinite consciousness is so ingrained in them, that it is impossible for them to reject it.

h_consciousnessBecause the highest expression of spiritual teachings has, throughout the ages, only been found only at the pinnacle, the result is that only a very few people reached it.  Spiritual teachings were often very esoteric, and those few people who received them would go into the mountains or monasteries, or go into silence and solitude.

Paramhansa Yogananda gave people a simple, practical way to magnetise the inner spiritual spine so that they can bring their consciousness into alignment with a higher reality. In ‘Autobiography of a Yogi’, Yogananda gave a lovely description of God.  He said, ‘The divine vision is everywhere, circumference nowhere’.  You are the centre of the universe.  the universe is not some big thing imposing itself on some little thing.  It is created from within each little centre, radiating outwards.

Deep inside, each of us wants love, joy and understanding.  We think we will get these things by having more money, more possessions and more exciting experiences.  But at a deeper level of our awareness, we are always dissatisfied with that kind of restlessness.  The more you live at the surface, the less you can ever absorb and understand.

The ego has only one direction to go——to contract inwards and think first of me, me, me.  But this makes us more and more a prisoner of littleness and limitation.  There is another direction we can go—-that of the expansive ego which feels other people’s sorrows and happiness, and thus enjoys things through others.  But you realise that there is a limit to how far even this little ego can reach out.  It is then we realise that you become aware of the unlimited reality of God in everything.

The more sensitively attuned you are to your inner Self, the more you can understand other people and perceive solutions to their difficulties.  What you have to do, is simply look at life in a new way—–from your own centre outwards.  Thus you become attuned with the divine consciousness which is ‘centre everywhere, circumference nowhere’.