Ego: Its Nature and
and How to Eliminate It
Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj
Ego is subtle. It manifests itself in different forms. We usually refer to ego as pride. Let us take a closer look at the different kinds of pride.
Pride of power
When we fall victim to pride of power, we are led to think that we are more powerful than others. We think we are the big bosses and that others must cater to us. We try to control others.
We want to determine the lives and fates of those around us. In the home, we try to run the lives of our family members. We do not allow any room for their individual needs or wants. We hurt others by trying to boss them around.
In our offices we try to use our power to get what we want and do not consider the others we work with. While we may be very polite to our superiors, we act like tyrants to our co-workers and our subordinates. We make arbitrary decisions to show how powerful we are. Sometimes we are insensitive to the needs of those below us. We try to force our views and our ideas on others.
In the video below, recorded during an informal session, Sant Rajinder Singh Ji explains that when we criticize others and find fault, we find ourselves further from our spiritual goals.
Pride of knowledge
Pride of knowledge causes us to feel we are intellectually superior to everyone else. We feel we are smart and everyone else is not as intelligent. We think that our ideas are better than everyone else’s because we are smarter.
It may be true that someone has a higher I.Q. than others due to good background or having put in more effort in one’s studies. There is no doubt that we do not all have the same level of outer intelligence. But the danger comes in when we become proud of it.
If we put others down or act superior, then we are spending time thinking of ourselves and comparing ourselves to others. The effect of this kind of thinking can range from mere annoyances and petty disputes to wars.
Most of the arguments echoing throughout countless homes and offices are based on pride of knowledge. Bosses and employees argue, co-workers argue, parents and children argue, husbands and wives argue. It is through this means that the mind keeps the world embroiled in useless conflict. It is in this way that the soul is kept from knowing itself.
How to Eliminate Pride
We can eliminate the various forms of pride by thinking about God. Pride arises when we think we are responsible for our attainments. We attribute all that we are and all that we have done to our own individual efforts.
If we could have a bird’s-eye view of Creation, we would discover the fallacy of this way of thinking. A deeper understanding of life tells us that God created this entire universe. It is God who created humanity and all forms of life. Considering this fact alone should be enough for us to realize that we are but small specks in the entire scheme of creation, and should help us curb the ego.
Pride blocks our way back to God
If we are to attain our true purpose in life and find our way back to God, we must develop right understanding about the realities of our human existence. We must safeguard against the failings of pride of wealth, power and knowledge.
If we are in positions of power, we need to do our job efficiently and well, but not injure anyone. We should be kind and courteous and loving to the people with whom we work.
We may think we are all-powerful, but we must remember it is God who is really all-powerful. If we wish to have compassion and mercy from God, we must be compassionate and merciful to others. We must do away with pride and recognize all as God’s gifts. If we are blessed with knowledge, we should use it to make the lives of others better.
Selfless service helps eliminate the ego
Another remedy for ego is selfless service. If we spend our time engaged in activities that are helpful to others, we are serving others instead of ourselves. If we serve without any desire for gains for ourselves, then we are not thinking of ourselves, and are thus eliminating our ego.
The more we empty our self of our ego, the more God’s grace can enter into us. Ultimately, our entire being will be permeated with God until we become one with God. This is the secret of humility.