INNER PSYCHIC ORGANS – EGO
Ego is an inflated feeling of self pride. Frankly speaking, it is not your enemy. It is a vital component of your very existence forming part of your consciousness. Only if you are able to understand ego, you can transcend it. You can only transcend it and you cannot live without it, as ego was born out of necessity to acquire energy from the cosmos. Ego is the product of the Brahman and ego is to be dissolved back into Brahman. It need not or rather cannot be annihilated. When ego is dissolved, what you see is the Reality, the Self, the Supreme. Like the mind, ego also can be kept under check. If you are not able to reform your egoism, you cannot advance in spirituality. Ego arises when your mind identifies itself with your body. Mind by nature is always attracted to the body and as a result of which, ego arises. Therefore, ego is inherent in human nature. Your ego takes the shape of your own body. It considers everything as object to be feared, hated or possessed. It prevents you to look into the Reality of any object. It makes you to feel that humility is weakness. It works on you through every possible means to give you illusionary self importance. It is only your ego that prevents you to surrender to the Lord. Ego makes you to function for reward, name and fame. It maneuvers you in all possible ways to stay away from the Brahman. If you begin to understand the eternal reality of the Brahman, ego has no work to do. Ego induces you to believe that God is nothing and you as an individual is competent enough to do everything that you deem fit. This leads to over confidence and the ultimate disaster. Ego makes you say “I am this” instead of saying “I am That”, where this self refers to you, as an individual and Self refers to the Brahman, the all pervading. Ego is the source of your ill founded pride. Pride is the deadliest enemy not only to spirituality, but also to your profession. It spoils the core of spirituality, ‘learn to love and be loved’. Ego is the source of all your sufferings.
If ego’s attachment to your body is traced and nullified, you have conquered the ego. Liberation can be attained only if we understand our essential nature, the soul within. Ego is the main cause for duality. It only makes you to consider that you are someone different from the Brahman. Ego is the direct evolution of intellect. Ego is often mistaken for conscience. Ego is concerned more with practical realities than with inner thoughts and feelings. Conscience is unconditioned awareness of your own individual identity, whereas ego is conditioned by concern for your selfish interests. Your true nature stands completely covered by ego. Realisation of the Supreme Self within is possible only when you are able to dissolve your ego. Dissolution of ego means that traces of ego still remain within you, as you cannot totally obliterate ego. Practically, this is not possible. When you say that you have dissolved all the traces of ego, it means you are dead.
Like intellect, ego is also bound by the three types of attributes or guṇa-s, goodness, passion and darkness. Anything that forms a hindrance in realizing the Self is always bound by these three attributes. Depending upon the predominance of these attributes in your ego, ego can also be classified as ego of goodness, ego of passion and ego of darkness. Out of these three types of ego, ego of goodness develops into subtle faculties such as mind and intellect. The other two types of ego evolve into gross faculties such as action faculties - hand, foot, mouth, organ of procreation and organ of excretion, and subtle elements such as sound, touch, form, taste and smell.
Ego drives you to do what is not possible for you. In other words, ego gives you deceptive self-confidence. When your will power transforms into illusory or deceptive self confidence, you make attempts to achieve the impossible. Your true confidence level is inherent in you and your true level of self-confidence can be tested only without ego. Ego induces you to use “I” frequently. The repeated use of “I” distinguishes you as a different entity from the Self within. Therefore, ego has got its limitation and the limitation is the minimum level required for your very survival. Ego causes negativism in your mind.
Ego also exists in your mind. It is only the ego that says this is my mind, this is my body and this is my friend. Ego alone cannot say this. It has to depend upon your mind to express itself freely. Ego is not concerned with anything except making you to identify with “I, my and mine”. How can you say I or I am? You are just a body formed as a sheath (discussed later) around the Self within. Your body is not going to be with you for years. It is going to die. Your body is only temporary. When you are identifying yourself with your body, you are deceiving yourself. Ego in association with your conscious and subconscious mind makes you to do this. You must understand that all subtle matters in your life like mind, intellect, consciousness and ego, try their level best to prevent you from realizing the Self within. They do not want you to become spiritually advanced person. That is why, in spirituality the inner psychic organs are said to be more powerful and need to be subjugated, as you advance in your spiritual journey.
When you are transcending your ego, you are being enlightened. When you are transcending all your subtle afflictions, you are being enlightened in the process. The only way to go past your inherent ego is to become a humble being. You are nothing before God. Think that you are His child. Think that you are being nurtured by the Mother Nature, which is a reality. Every organism is being nurtured only by Her. Even without your efforts, you will continue to live till your date with death. Everything is predetermined by the law of karma, your own accountability to the Brahman. If this being the case, what right you have to take credits for those actions which you think are done by you? You have only executed His orders when your karmic account becomes ripe for such executions. The only way to subjugate your ego is to consider yourself as the child of God, child of Mother Earth. Now your ego will not predominate and its intensity will come down.
If you really want to advance in spirituality to its logical conclusion, you have no choice except to set aside your self-centeredness. When you have no concern for yourself, you transform into a person of humbleness. Whenever you come across tragedies in your life, you move closer towards God. Every tragedy that you face is a divine gift. Tragedies make your mind withdraw for a while and immediately the process of mind purification begins. As you know, mind cannot consciously remain idle for a long time. God is ever ready to offer you liberation. The only precondition is that you must make the first move. He wants you to make that first step forward. You have no individual value in front of God. All are equal to Him. When you are associated with ego, you are trying to fudge the divine. You cannot do anything without His knowledge, as He is always within you, watching and laughing every moment of yours, though He does not prompt you to do any action. You must always remember that all your actions happen only due to your karmas.
Unconditional love, meditation, prayers, service, etc are some of the ways to keep your ego under check. Who can tell you that you have conquered your ego? Nobody can tell you the level of your spiritual advancement, except you. You are the performer and you know better. The best way to subjugate your ego is humbleness. You are a tiny particle before God. The more you progress spiritually, more humble you have to become. You are insignificant as a person. After all, you are one among zillions of His creations. It is your mistake to identify yourself with your body that is subjected to aging and ultimate decay. In the interim period between your birth and death, you think too much of yourself, prompted by your ego. This is the reality you should know. Can you identify a piece of sand in seashore? In the same way, you are insignificant in the vastness of the universe. You are born in the present shape and form as a result of your karmic imprints. You have no control over your birth nor can you exercise control over your death. You cannot even decide about your next moment. Then who are you? You are nothing but flesh and blood constituting as a protective covering to the Self within. You refuse to understand this reality and get carried away by the whims and fancies of your afflicted mind, the source of your ego.
Ego is here today and gone tomorrow illusion and can be made crestfallen during our existing life itself. The moment ego is set aside, the eternal self or our true nature can be realised. Many times, ego causes a deceptive conviction that you are Self realized person.
INTERCONNECTIVITY AMONG INNER PSYCHIC ORGANS
The difference between the mind and consciousness is subtle, yet powerful. Mind is more aligned to prakṛti, as it is more concerned with materialistic affinities. Consciousness is the reflection of the Brahman, but concealed by the effects of māyā. When the Brahman is not camouflaged by māyā He is known as the Supreme Brahman and when camouflaged by māyā, He is known as soul. An individual soul is nothing but the reflection of the Supreme Brahman. This reflection of the Brahman is also known as the individual consciousness or soul. Mind works only in the materialistic plane, whereas consciousness can also work in higher planes, as it is nothing but His reflection. The power of māyā forms a sheath around the soul, through an apparatus called ego. Māyā always unfolds its act of causing illusion only through ego. It is the ego that makes the soul to forget its original stature. Ego cannot act on its own and has to necessarily act only through mind. Mind is the base in which all the inner psychic apparatuses operate. Intellect always works in close coordination with mind and plays a significant role in discrimination. This discrimination is conveyed to the consciousness through the mind.