Guiding Light by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: The luminous self behind the veil of the ego

Ego is a sense of separateness, a sense of identity. There are three ways to see the ego.
1. Ego is identity. ‘I am this.’
2. Ego is also “I am not this.”
3. Ego is also “I am separate from others.”

Suppose you are a major or colonel in the military, and if you behave with your family in the same role, then you are stuck in your ego of being an army officer. Your one identity is that you are a colonel, but you are a father/mother with your children, you are a husband/wife with your spouse, you are a son/daughter with your parents and so many.When you balance all these identities in your life giving equal importance to all these, that is the way you dissolve your ego.

Ego is getting stuck with any one identity. I would say that the simple way to counter your ego is to be natural. Ego makes you feel uncomfortable, unnatural and separate. Egolessness, or expanded ego or transformed ego is being at home, being natural with everyone in every circumstance. Rather, it is being like a child. I would say just be like a child.

When people laugh at you, just relax. Smile and accept it. A mother has no ego. Whatever the children say, she accepts. If they kick, does the mother get perturbed? If you are unperturbed, you have conquered the ego. Ego is just a feeling of having a wall between you and others. There is no wall. You belong to me and I belong to you. You are accepted the way you are.
Naturalness is the antidote for you. Be spontaneous! The ego cannot stand spontaneity. Ego wants to present everything properly and prepare beforehand. Children are so spontaneous. They make mistakes. Never mind making mistakes. Just be like a child. Anybody can say anything about you.

The Upanishad has also declared that once you get a glimpse of that unchanging aspect in you, the very central aspect of you, then everything else is futile. Knowing this, everything becomes glorified. When you are centred, the ego becomes all-encompassing, the body glows, the intellect becomes sharp, the memory becomes sharp. All layers of existence simply glow when the Self is realised.

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