It is a pleasure to be able to share with you again this week yet another exciting blog. I am really glad to have this unique opportunity to discuss deep topics on such a platform. On that note I’ll say once again that I am even more excited to countdown the release date of my new book, due for the 3rd of November.
I had an amazing weekend at a Kirtan (congregational chanting and singing of the Holy name of God) festival, in an amazing Eco village in Pennsylvania. Every now and then it is good to have one’s spiritual batteries charged up. The entire singing and dancing went on for about 14hours, and in that time frame the only thing that mattered was how to full immerse myself in the chant. For that time frame, no one cared if you looked a certain way, spoke a certain way, and dressed a certain way etc. all that mattered was how much you were contributing in the glorification of the holy name. In brief it was amazing.
This week I’ll continue from where we left off last time and try to give real life scenarios of how the false ego can be misconstrued. Have you ever been told that you have false ego? Funny yet interesting question. I’ll share with you all a real life experience.
Once I was engaged in doing some service, when a devotee approached me and started to share with me what he described as “his honest opinion of me”. I appreciated his genuine effort to come to me in person instead of saying things behind me and I patiently heard all he had to say. I tried to answer any question he had about my personality and tried to alleviate his doubts on those things he didn’t understand about me. However I noticed his intention wasn’t to dialogue but to start a verbal confrontation. In the course of his “speech” he said something which I felt was funny but he thought was rather an attack. He told me “You know, I think you have false ego.” For those not conversant with the lingo, this phrase is a “polite” way of telling someone I think you are proud, in the Gaudiya circle.
I laughed so hard and what he thought was an insult to me became an embarrassment for him. I replied “did you just know?” He was shocked. The usual response would have been a defense or a retort. He looked at me eyes wide open. I smiled and said again “I know I have false ego”. Now he was really confused and asked what do you mean? At this point it is interesting to note that, he was now asking me a question about a statement he just made. Had I responded the way he was expecting by retorting or defending myself, the whole discussion would have degenerated into something messy. Now seeing he was in a more receptive mood, rather confused now than hostile, I asked him “you don’t know the meaning of what you just said?” He replied saying he did but he didn’t expect that answer.
I then proceeded to explain certain facts about the statement that he had just made. “First and foremost I know I have false ego, which If you define that by saying I identify with my body, you are absolutely right. If I didn’t have any false go, I wouldn’t be here in the material world with a material body. The mere fact that I am here in this world subjected to the threefold miseries and the dualities of a material body means I indeed have false ego. It means my misidentification of the body as the self has put me in such a situation. “
Seeing that this was rather too philosophical for him to grasp and probably not what he meant I then went on to address the second probable meaning. “If you however want to say that I am proud and have used the polite phrase of saying I have false ego, then you are also right. I have no difficulty admitting this, if you see this fault in me. Anyhow I am in a nice process of cleansing theses faults and if I take proper advantage of the process I should be able to get rid of them soon.” Let’s just say that was the last time he ever spoke to me again.
One interesting thing about people trying to label others as been proud or egocentric is that often times it is a subtle reflection of their true self. More so, the phrase “you have false ego” could be used as a means to shut people off, especially when there seems to be a subtle attack on our shortcomings. Sometimes when we ask people a genuine question that seems to challenge their belief system or that brings out their shortcomings, then this phrase is used as an indirect way to dissuade us from inquiring further and making it look as if we are the ones who have an issue. The phrase could also be an indirect way of telling people not to have mind of their own and not to think for themselves.
The whole idea of self-realization is not to become “woke” on a metaphysical level but to also become awakened even on the physical platform. For if the awakening doesn’t start from the physical to the metaphysical then sometimes it could be sentimental. So for all spiritual practitioners who are on the journey of self-realization, do not despair. Sometimes we are put to test in many ways just to see if our resolve to become enlightened is real or just a farce. As we strive for perfection in our endeavors let us try to remember that before we can become self-realized souls, we have to indeed become human beings first, complete with all good qualities of love, compassion, truthful, peacefulness etc. Only after imbibing these qualities in full can we aspire to become more.
Till next week do read, share and follow for more.