Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Bhagavan Teachings on Self Vs. Ego

Q) Bhagavan, sometimes when we are speaking to people in the Corporate Sector or elsewhere Bhagavan, when we talk about the ego - they often have this condition/view, 'they say without the ego, it is very difficult for us to survive. If we are not egoistic, the world will dominate us, we would be finished.'

Is it really possible Bhagavan, to be really free of the ego and still function in the world; still be successful in the world; still be a part of this competitive life, Bhagavan?

Sri Bhagavan: Yes! Infact if you are free of the ego, you would be extremely successful. So, what we have to distinguish between is, The Self and The Ego. Self is an ambition. The will to fight it out. The will to achieve. Now, we are not talking of those things here. The Ego on the other hand makes you positional. When you become positional, you don't understand what the other person is talking. There is no listening. Hence, there is no learning. Therefore you have every chance of losing. You have every chance of losing a business order. You have every chance of losing a good employee. You have every chance of losing a good insight. That way the ego proves to be very harmful for corporate success. Here, you must know we are not talking of the self. The Self must very much be there; if you want to achieve success in the world. We are not talking about that. We are talking of the Ego and its games, which is harmful in the process of achieving success. So, you must learn to distinguish between the two.
Summary :- Of course, "self" is an illusion.In the inner world it separates man from god.In the inner world we must dissolve the self by becoming free from it.In the inner world you can become free from the self only when you could see the different portions of the self.That is the reason Bhagavan says, "To see is to be free". But in the external world we need to handle it differently.We have to use the "self" for our existence.So, self is helpful to reach a particular position in the external world.Here things are going wrong with many people.They are excessively projecting their self and so it is leading to the formation of ego.

So "self" should not exist in your inward journey (journey towards god).You are only a "athman" (soul) and you are a part of "paramathman" (supreme soul).There the self should completely dissolve and only then it is possible for you to achieve "Oneness State".

But in the external world you need to achieve success for which the "self" will be very much helpful.The portions of the self like intelligence, emotional intelligence, creativity, technical skills,interacting with people (Communication skills), passion etc can be used for reaching a particular position.After reaching that particular position, again you need to utilize the same portions of the "self" for your survival but if you use negative portions like pride, arrogance etc., then it leads to ego due to which you will end up in failure.

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Contemplative Questions

Here is a set of questions that would provoke you and put you through some soul searching. They are not about religion nor about ethics. They are merely about you.

They are not meant to serve as solutions nor are they meant to lead you anywhere. These questions are meant to serve as tools to discovering yourself.

1) Do you perceive the Presence of a benevolent force guiding, protecting and shaping your life? What name do you give that Presence? When did you best feel this Presence?

2) What is your opinion of God? Is your opinion drawn from religion, books, parents and or your personal experience of life?

3) Do you pray? Do they get answered? How often?

4) Do you think it is possible to relate to the Divine? What relationship would you opt?

5) Here is a story for you - Two fierce enemies once did a penance to placate god and receive boons vying with each other. God appeared to the first man and asked what he wanted. He said "give me twice of whatever you give my enemy". Then God appeared to the second one. Even before God could say anything he asked, "God, would you please tell me what my enemy asked for? On knowing his prayer request, he said, "then God, blind me in one eye."
Now what would you wish for yourself, your best friend and your worst enemy if God gave you a chance?

6) Have you ever experienced a coincidence or chance that seems to have involved so many people and factors that you can't stop wondering if a mastermind was behind this operation? If yes, do you savour the experience often and have you shared it with someone close to you?