For us to understand why we should give up our ego, we must first explore what is the ego.
A simple scientific answer is, the ego is not who we truly are. The ego is the cause for a false belief over our real Self – Soul. Ego is the reason for internal suffering, misery, and perpetual bondage for worldly life.
Let us now get a clear scientific understanding of this.
What is ego?
During the Soul’s journey, beginning from the dormant stage of complete darkness (ignorance), all through the five senses and then into human form, the Soul is journeying towards liberation, this is its only goal! But upon acquiring human form, because of ego, one tends to wander in four life-forms i.e. animal, human, heaven and hell life-form, and thus gets caught in the vicious cycle of repeated birth and death.
How does ego arise?
The belief that “I am John” (please insert your name here) itself is ego in its subtlest form.
How long does it take for a shadow to arise in the light of the Sun? When anything comes in front of a mirror, how long does it take for a reflection to arise? How does this happen? This process is natural. In the same way, when the two elements, matter and Soul, come together, an extra result arises in the form of a false belief that ‘I am this body’. Thus, wrong belief arises over the real Self. One wrongly believes:
- I am this body and the name, given to identify the body.
- I am the doer. Doership arises, when in reality everything is in control of nature.
Because of the false belief of doership, one charges karmas, which result in a continuous cycle of birth and rebirth.
Because of Ego:
- Anger, pride, deceit, and greed exist.
- Conflicts, disagreements, and opinions arise.
- ‘I am right and others are wrong’ gets established in our mind.
- One worries and gets tensed
- One lacks spiritual progress.
- One Sees faults in others and hides one’s own mistakes.
- There is a lack of unity and oneness with all mankind.
- One always conducts himself in a manner that it does not appear bad in society.
- Fear and suspicion are born.
- One feels happiness and suffering.
- There is internal suffering.
Ego is what we are not! When karma unfolds, while one experiences it, he wrongly believes, ‘it is happening to me’, when in truth, it is happening to the body. Thus, one generates a future birth.
Why does one like having an ego?
Due to the false belief, one thinks this is me, meaning I am the name, body and mind. Thus, one holds onto the ego. Ego makes one feel important and valued. Ego is the reason why one is trapped in a perpetual cycle of birth and death. The ego does not know one’s true Self. Consequently, it dwells in the illusion of ‘doership’ and believing, ‘I am this body and name’ commits loads of mistakes.
“There are two things in the world: either feeding the ego or else, shattering it. In this world, everyone’s ego is either being fed or being shattered. Nothing else happens apart from these two”, says Param Pujya Dada Bhagwan.
How can one come into one’s real Self?
By attaining the knowledge of the Self, one acquires the right understanding of one’s real Self. During the Self-realisation process, the demarcation between the body and the Soul are established. As the understanding of one’s real Self becomes firm, so does one’s inner happiness and understanding. The extra result (ego) which had arisen is then removed.
Thus, the world has arisen because of ego, and ego stops after attaining knowledge of the real Self, as it realizes that, ‘Oh! I am a Pure Soul, an abode of eternal bliss!’.