January 2009

The day we rediscovered ourselves to be really something higher than our own ego, it is the beginning of a new era. – Chinmaya

Spirituality advises us only to cultivate right thinking. To know that we are not the ego but the Supreme Self of the nature of pure Existence – Consciousness – Bliss, is right thinking. This right thinking is absolutely unavoidable because all our sorrows and miseries are directly or indirectly linked to our wrong identification with the ego. It is a law that whenever wrong thoughts are entertained, the mind becomes disturbed. Hence the solution lies in setting our thinking right.

But how do we know that we are not this limited ego?

Logically when we analyse, we come to know that the ego is a non-existent entity. The body, mind and intellect (BMI) are inert. It is only because of the sentient Self that they appear sentient. This sentient Self wrongly identified with the inert BMI is ego. The ego borrows the sentiency from the Self and the identity from the BMI. Since a sentient entity can never combine with an insentient entity, their characteristics being absolutely opposite in nature, like darkness and light, the possibility of giving reality to the ego, which appears to be a combination of both, is entirely ruled out.

Now, what is our experience about ourselves? We clearly recognize ourselves not as an inert entity but a sentient one having the ability of being aware of the happenings within and without. Also, the entire inert body-mind complex is always an object of observation. Using the simple logic that the observer – the subject, can never be the observed – the object, we can deduce that we are the sentient Self ever detached from BMI, and hence not the ego.

Above all, the very same fact is emphatically declared by all our scriptures also. Thus all the three – the shruthi (scriptures), yukthi (logic) and anubhuti (experience) – are unanimous in their final conclusion. All our sufferings are only because of our giving reality to this false entity called ego. It is always observed that whenever we dilute the ego, peace and joy wells up within our heart. In deep sleep, we are peaceful only because the ego doesn’t exist there to torment us.

All scriptural practises are only to uproot and destroy the ego completely. In Upadesha Saram, Bhagawan Sri Ramana Maharshi says that the best tapas/sadhana is that by which one destroys one’s own ego and allow the Self to shine forth.

One devotee went to have the darshan of Bhagawan Ramana Maharshi. He saw that Bhagawan was reclining on his bed amidst the devotees who were squatting on the floor below. There was total silence and none spoke. Later a bell rang indicating the time for lunch. One by one all got up and went to the dining hall. At last, only Bhagawan and the devotee were left.

Making use of the opportunity, the devotee asked, “Bhagawan! Please give me some advice now that only I am left”.

Bhagawan replied gently, “Let that ‘i’ also go!”

“Die to Live” – Kill the ego and be reborn as the supremely blissful, eternal, infinite Self is the message of the Upanishads. May the effort in his direction be our resolve for the new year.

O   M         T   A   T         S   A   T

Posted in: Chintana

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