EGO- Man's greatest enemy

It has been a long time since I put a post out...maybe its only me reading my own posts but sometimes writing puts a point into your head more strongly than just reading about it. Hence I write.
EGO - Edging God Out
Someone once wrote on top of the blackboard in our MBA Class: " EGO stands for Edging God Out". How true it is indeed. There is just one thing that clouds our minds, keeps us away from our own reality, makes us bite the dust every time we attempt to soar into higher realms and that's what is called EGO.
The amazing aspect of EGO is that it springs from something which is much more subtle and true to reality - Existence. But the problem is that we confuse Existence with Importance and that's where EGO is born. It is born out of comparison, competition - the idea of the existence of something else.
Lets look at this more carefully....Ego is the manifestation of the assertion that 'I exist', so is the very existence - Sat.... but the essential difference is that Ego is when we feel, 'I exist and therefore I must be given importance'....that happens when there is someone 'else' to give importance to you. Whereas, the Sat - sees it as I exist ...period. No comparison, no other entity....everything else is subsumed in that existence.
Its amazing how ego plays with us all the time...the cocoon that it weaves around us - of emotions, of feelings, of pain, anger, jealousy, greed, lust, avarice, prejudice... and the list is endless - just goes to show how it has removed us from 'Sat' and made the same thing look so different by projecting images and making us believe that the images are real.
There will never even be two opinions if we are established in the reality of Existence instead of ego. The very fact that differing opinions come into picture means its the play of egos. For how can there be two when there is only one Truth behind it.

Now all this sounds like good philosophy but lets get practical. The truth is that we cannot be far removed from ego. We can certainly make an effort to give it the backseat but removal will mean liberation itself. From a practical perspective, how can we get over conflicting opinions...simple, give your ego a backseat. But that's easier said than done.
Swami once said "Veru bhaavame vaira bhaavam" meaning the feeling of being different or separate itself leads to enmity. He said that if people can put aside their egos, they will all see just one - even when He was talking about planning of an activity.
But the challenge is - again - talking from the current state of mind that we are in - I see this as being the right thing to do, but what do I do if the other person's ego is so big and he does not see the point. There are two ways -1. go ahead and do what you think is right since you believe that it does not spring from the ego or
2. waste your time convincing the other person and pleasing the other person's ego to get your work done more easily which might even mean being hypocritical.
Which is the right way? Perhaps, there is no right way in this. When one is convinced about something which is not springing from a selfish thought, and is clear that that is the right way, I don't think anything can stop him. Those who will join will see the value of it. Those who wont will keep away for some time. But, eventually all have to agree. That is what Swami did too. He was totally aware of His divinity. Although there were initially a lot of people who didn't quite believe in Him or thought that He was some kind of fraud and were left behind. Finally, all had to come the full circle and reach His lotus feet.

Adi Sankaracharya

The play of EGO is so subtle that it sometimes springs from doing the right thing too! How? Well, Adi Sankara has said in his famous treatise - Viveka Chudamani - that the toughest ego to overcome is the ego of being righteous. How true this is? Many times, we fail to see that being good and doing good also leads to EGO. That is the main reason why Swami would say that when you serve, think that you are serving yourself or God. Don't ever think that you are doing a favour to another - because Swami knew how dangerous ego can be and how it can raise its ugly hood to undo the good that we have done.
I am reminded of a beautiful incident when Swami was gifting an article to me and I was refusing to accept it because I thought that it may boost my ego and increase material attachment. Swami sweetly said, "To 'not want' something is as bad as to 'want' something. Equanimity means being the same whether you get a gift or not." Deep isn't it? Ponder on it for there is a message for all of us in there. The Avatar lived His life like that to show us the way. However, we still let the cocoon of ego bind us and refuse to develop the wings He wants us to so we can soar into the skies. I hope we stop 'Edging God Out' of our lives.

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