Guiding Light by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Eradicating ego

Ego is simply being unnatural, pretension, showing something that you are not. Ego is — “I intelligent, I am stupid, I like this, I don’t like that, I am ugly, I am beautiful, I am”. Ego should be there when there is challenge and creativity. In success, drop your ego but in failure, hold on to it. When you think you are failing, the ego says, come on what is this, nothing can touch me.

The “I” or ego is a tiny atom. When this atom, the ego, identifies with the body, it becomes miserable. But when it is associated with the spirit, the Self, it becomes shakti (energy). In a huge atomic reactor, it is just one atom that has exploded. In the same way, in our whole body there is just one atom of “I.” And when this “I” explodes, it becomes the light of the Self.

In‘Giridhari’ (Krishna’s name), Giri means mountain, which is ego. Ego is like the stone. The stone is not hollow and empty; it is solid. And Giridhari lifted the whole mountain with his little finger. This means that even though the ego is like a mountain but with a little bit of love, you can lift it. Everyone is made up of love. Knowledge is an aid to develop this innermost state in you. A seed has a shell over it and when you soak it in water, it sprouts and the covering drops. In a similar manner, ego is a necessary unnaturalness that develops in you. Knowledge uncovers the shell over you and makes you like a child again — natural, simple and innocent. Ego is essential till a certain stage of growth, but then it must be transcended.
Like a caterpillar. The intention of a caterpillar is to fly high, but it winds itself into a cocoon; it does just the opposite of flying. But then, it comes out of the cocoon as a butterfly and flies high. In the same way, at the age of two, you get into a shell of Ego, and you grow in it.

So, be in unconditional love and then ego automatically disappears. Then you wake up and see that there is nothing to be proven and nothing to possess.

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