Shudhbodh The way of Awareness

What is Ego or Ahankar?

In order to understand ego, one needs to dig deeper into his own life. Every sentient being lives his life centered on two thoughts; I and mine. From the moment these two thoughts originate in his consciousness till his very last breath, a person builds his entire life on these two premises, I and mine.

For ego, only these two words are sufficient; “I” and “Mine”. Such is the tragedy of the precious human life that a person splurges his entire lifetime running after and nourishing these two words. And in his very last moments does he realize that there is no such thing as “I” or “Mine”.

Let’s delve deeper into the origination of ego. When a person considers himself superior to all and with a view to uphold this sense of superiority, he starts running after myriad number of things. Under the influence of this megalomania, he starts indulging in immoral acts and slowly but steadily, he starts getting cloistered by thick walls of ego he builds himself. Such an ego driven person, in the pursuit of proving his might, distances himself from everyone. This marks the beginning of all sorts of mental disorders such as anxiety, depression, hypertension to mention a few and interestingly enough, such a person is very likely to suffer from lack of confidence. He grows bitter and gloomy from inside. He feels that he alone is the most correct and the most valid person in every sense possible. He might also end up feeling that no one understands him and his condition, thus he cuts off from the world in general and his descent into the abyss just never stops.

How to counter the ill effects of an unhealthy ego?

A person who realizes that he is an egoist or is slowly moving towards being one, this “realization” itself is the very first progressive step in the right direction. The opposite of it is equally true; unless one realizes that his ego is in an unhealthy state, one can never even think of treating it in the first place.

In a nutshell, how about a reality check! How about we reflect on the fact that so many ambition driven people have preceded us, such as the Alexander or Adolf Hitler, who tried their level best to impose their supremacy over others only ending up with nothing really! A person needs to first of all abandon this imaginary race and live his life peacefully. The only responsibility he has is the one he owes to this very moment, the present moment. And in order to live fully in the present moment, one needs to minutely understand the nature and the mechanism of his senses. A person should meditate regularly and he should execute every action with utmost mindfulness, be it having his meals or carrying out daily chores. This mindfulness brings him out of his head and in the moment.

The next step is to work towards developing an intimate relationship with nature. The closer one is to nature, the lesser he is likely to suffer from negative thinking; call it the magic or the healing powers of the mother nature. It is important to spend some time nurturing and looking after the other life forms such as plants and animals. And forming a close relationship with them goes a long way in healing the damage caused by an untamed ego; again the magical power of mother nature at play! You will notice that if you live such a resourceful life in sync with nature, nature will become your teacher in the most unexpected ways and it will teach you lessons no one else can teach. Invest your energy in serving or doing seva on a daily basis. But as you help others, make sure that you do so with an utmost humble attitude so that you don’t end up being the same egoistic person you were trying to run away from. Just serve others with a non-doer attitude and you will find that your awareness is setting itself free from the clutches of the ego.

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