We all know that ego is the root cause of most of the problems of the present age. When a person succeeds, he gives full credit to his intelligence, as if there is no one else in this world who is more deserving than him. And if he fails, then naturally the basket of guilt falls on others and again satisfies one’s own ego. Ego is the main reason behind the race or hunger of position, prestige, money and power in the society. Because through the attainment of all these, a person wants to prove himself unique and superior to others. Even we are much more conscious regarding routine apparels just to look different from others. The only concern behind all these is nothing but satisfaction of ego.
The egoistic human being perceives himself as separate from others and separates himself from the entire entity which causes his power to wane. Just think that what will happen to a drop of water if it separates itself from ocean. We all know that the power of a drop of water is very high if it is not separated from ocean but after separation it will become weak or powerless in the same way ego alienates a person from everything as well as from supreme soul which causes him to face disappointments and failures. But we do not understand that our pride is at the root of every misery in life. The ego is not an independent entity but a shadow. That is why this shadow disappears with the destruction (death) of a person. But if a person releases this shadow from himself in his lifetime, he will be freed from every pain of life. That is why the scriptures advise to get rid of ego.
To get rid of such ego, it is necessary to understand where it comes from. So that it becomes easy to get rid of it. Because one can get rid of anything only when one has information or knowledge about it. There are seven such doors of ego from where ego enters in human beings which are as follows.
1) Concept of self (this body) – the concept of ‘self’ is the first most important door of ego, actually no one is born with the concept of ‘self’, it develops later.
2) Self-identification: – When man learns his own name, as he recognises his image in the mirror, he realises that this is me or ‘I’. And in this way ego with “I” comes into him.
3) Self-esteem: – human being does a lot in life to show that he can do something special, he works tirelessly for this purpose only. The effort to attract people towards him is nothing but a matter of self-esteem. And with such an honour, his ego is nourished.
4) Self-image: – Self-image usually arises from good or bad, praise or criticism. For the emergence of self-image, a person is constantly doing something good or bad. Saints and sinners are born this way only.
5) Self-expansion: – The area of “me and mine” is actually person’s life. It is from this only the spirit like raga-DWESHA is born (that is liking and disliking) we start believing that “Me” and “mine” are all good and the others are wrong and unworthy. Thus with such self-expansion the ego transcends its limits and creates many vices or evils.
6) Discretion: – Through education, understanding, degree as well as intelligent arguments, a person establishes himself in the world and gradually begins to consider others as inferior or weak.
7) AUCHITYA (justification or rightness): – AUCHITYA means to justified himself or prove rightness of himself during his efforts of achieving the goal of life.
Through constant planning for the future at the last a person tries to become immortal by doing something special, here his ego cross all the limits.
To get rid of the ego that creates constant pain, despair and problem in human life, one should start from the last door and gradually reach the first, that is, the carnal nature, where one realises that this body is not me. I am completely different and special from this body. The following efforts have to be made for that.
1) Cultivate the desire to live as a Nobody.
2) Not wanting to prove oneself by any kind of argument or academic degree because this is how the ego is nurtured.
3) Maintaining a state of steadfastness or stable conscious that is STHITPRAGNATA in praise or criticism means not being inflated by praise or being disappointed by criticism.
4) Avoid all “me” and “my” area. In entire entity (universe) you are nothing. We cannot do anything, whatever happened it is by the will and power of God so do not try for gaining respect from people or try to be noticeable because it is meaningless. We all know that a person who speaks well today about you can criticise you tomorrow. If you are happy in praise today, you will be definitely sad in criticism tomorrow.
5) Just be ready to be absorbed in the giant that is VIRAT means whole existence instinctively. Don’t even try for it because we didn’t learn to breathe with birth, we never tried it or practice in advance. Life is not a drama that needs to be rehearsed in advance. Accept and live as it comes.
6) Opened up your subconscious mind so that selfless activity can take place. Pray to understand God’s creation. Try to understand co-existence that everything in the universe is interconnected. Alone is of no importance. So never make the mistake of thinking of yourself as superior or different from others.
7) Openly and neutrally listen and understand the opinions of others, to accept our own shortcomings, to show readiness to change, to help or serve others. Understand the situation of others and be kind.
8) Always be ready for spiritual knowledge. Everyone’s spiritual level is different. Understand that, not to form an opinion about anyone and to help in the spiritual development of others, always accept the advice of a wise and trustworthy person and finally in the end, to dedicate everything to God.
In my opinion, these are the main ways to overcome our ego and become humble which is not possible without understanding seven doors of ego.
Shilpa shah, director in-charge, HKBBA College