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Archive for July 27th, 2011

I Also Have Ego

Date: Wed, 27 Jul 2011 19:45:36 -0000
To: am-global@earthlink.net
From:
Subject: I Also Have Ego

Baba

“Shun’echi tumi dayalu, ka’je keno anya dekhi…” (P.S. 2125)

Purport:

O’ Parama Purusa, I have heard that You are the merciful one– why
then by Your work and by Your action do I see something different.
For You my eyes are showering; my days are passing in calling and
longing for You.

Baba You know that I love You. Although I am meagre but even then
I am Your atom. The pain of the unit is the pain of the Universal;
the pain of the atom is the pain of the Cosmic. Don’t You understand
this simple truth.

O’ Dearmost, please go on doing according to Your desire. Only my
request is that You keep me along with You. The pain and grief of my
heart cannot be covered. The suffering of my heart will not listen to
Your various justifications and excuses; it cannot be appeased by the
mere jugglery of words. Baba, I want Your proximity and closeness.

Baba, in the scriptures and by seeing Your glory, I heard from other
devotees that You are love personified and merciful. And that You are
caring for others. So many good attributions You have. But when dealing
with me I see something totally different. Here I am crying in longing,
and You do not care. Why like this? Please grace me and come close…

== I ALSO HAVE EGO ==

Namaskar,
This letter briefly details some of the phases of my sadhaka life and
how I always thought I was ego-free, and then how I gradually came to
realise that I was quite dominated by my crude ego. I am writing this to
help cure my problem and because I thought this might be a useful tool
for others.

IN THE PAST I THOUGHT: ‘I AM EGO-LESS’

For years and years I was always thinking I do not have any ego– or I
was thinking that my ego was just something ‘minuscule’, if not
‘non-existent’. In a superficial way I thought that, ‘I do not care
about my own greatness, I am not like those kings and monarchs who
always tout themselves. I am just a regular person’. And in that way–
in that skin-deep approach– I was foolishly believing that I was
completely ego-less. That was how I was thinking about myself, and this
went on for years and years– for most of my life as a sadhaka.

HOW IT DAWNED ON ME THAT I HAVE A BIG EGO

However, after reading Baba’s various discourses about ego (ahamkara)
and vanity (mada), then slowly, slowly it dawned on me what ego is. I
realised that one need not be a king or queen to have an inflated ego.

Unfortunately, having an over-inflated ego is quite a common ailment on
most any street– it is the ailment of the common man, though in some
lands more than others. But, previously I was blind about this, so I
thought I was ‘ego-free’. Until Baba’s discourses slowly shined the
light on me and I began to understand.

I really came how when discussing Baba’s discourses & teachings with
good sadhakas. Then I became more aware about what ego is, and how it
expresses. By this point, it really began to dawn on me that indeed I do
have an inflated ego.

DANGER XXX!! ~ DANGER XXX!!

And the danger about it all is that when one has an inflated ego then
one cannot do proper sadhana– and that was my problem.

COMMON SIGNS OF AN INFLATED EGO

Here then are some common signs and signals about whether one has a
bigger type of ego or not. Everyone can read these criteria and decide
for themselves if they suffer from this malady or not. ‘Do I have an
inflated ego?’, that is the question of the hour.

(A) When I did anything, then I used to have an underlying feeling that
others should recognise, praise, or appreciate my efforts. This was my
inner urge. I was thinking that I had done some great things and I
wanted to hear a ‘thank you’ or some words of praise. And if this did
not happen, then I would become disappointed, dejected, slightly
depressed, or even furious. To the degree one suffers from this, it
means they have ego. And that ego will impede one’s sadhana.

Of course, Baba is the real Doer– He inspires us to act and graces us
to be able to do something– so really there is nothing for us to be
egotistical about. It is all Him. But even then the unit ego likes to
relish in the idea that ‘I am great’. And I had / have this problem.

Now here is another situation that helps determine if one has a big ego
or not.

(B) When walking into a room or arriving at a place or when meeting
someone, I would always think that the next person should greet me
first. I was thinking that others should serve me– either they should
take my coat, or bring me my food, or something. This was my
expectation. So that was all the disease of my own ego, nothing else. I
was thinking that due to my talents or seniority or for any reason, that
others should greet me first and pay their salutations and honor me.
They did not have to garland me– I was not that obvious– but I was
feeling that something big or small should be done to distinguish my
standing from theirs. That was my cheap anticipation and expectation.
And if it did not happen then I would feel uncomfortable, sad, or even
miserable. So this was all the expression or disease of my inflated ego.

This is another way to recognise if one has an over-active ego like I
had / have.

When in truth one should be unconcerned & unaffected about how one is
received by others. Rather one should be ever-ready to greet others
first, which leads us to the next situation.

(C) The next expression of ego is if one does not like to give respect
or recognition to others. That is another sure sign that one’s own ego
is too big. I was thinking that their presence or their actions pale in
comparison to mine– in that case why should I recognise them, rather
they should appreciate me. This also was or is my problem.

Of course the answer is that we must see all as the expression of Parama
Purusa and one must not think that ‘I am I and the next person is Joe or
Shyam’. Rather we are to think that all are Parama Purusa. That is the
only cure. Then one will be anxious and ready to greet each and every
entity in this manifested universe.

But my habit was not to do like this. I was constantly measuring myself
up to others and calculating if I was better than them or not, in which
case I would not recognise them but would wait for them to recognise me.
This led to so many complexes– like superiority or inferiority etc. All
of which is a result of having too much ego. So this was / is also my
problem.

(D) Then in this next scenario– this may have been the worst of all
because it was all happening internally. Listen to this: Even when I was
all alone, when I performed any action, or did something ‘good’, then I
was reassuring myself and thinking that I am the doer of many great
works. I was petting my own ego that I did a particular work etc. In
fact, this was how I made it through all my days. I would constantly
stroke or pet my own ego– subtlety telling myself that I was great. It
was all happening within. And that type of harmful disease made my
second lesson non-existent– along with all my other lessons. I could
not see Baba in anything because my own ego was always dominating. And
when sitting in sadhana, it was even worse. This was my horrible problem
and still I am addressing this fault.

The real answer, which we all know, is that in reality He gives us all
our energy and our duty is to serve Him. That is how we are to view our
actions in this world. But because of my defective egoistic thinking, I
could never ideate in this way and my practice of brahmacarya was gone.

(E) So the above are ways in which ego expresses itself. And it is not
always so blatant or glaring. It can be done in a small or almost
unreognisable, so one has to be careful and perfectly honest with
oneself. Otherwise you will not be able to identify the problem, yet it
will hamper your sadhana. So one must never harbour any type of feeling
that others are low, or that I did this or that, or that I am better, or
that others should recognise me. These are all crude expressions of
one’s own unit and petty ego.

So indeed, I was and remain a victim of my own ego– and worst of all it
impedes my sadhana.

Though now, by Baba’s grace on my good days, I feel that He is allowing
and enabling me to do everything. And I try to cultivate this idea more
and more. Sometimes it comes naturally and on other days I have to
impose it.

THE GREAT IRONY OF IT ALL

As one Dada once told me, the ironic thing about the ego is that most
think that they have no ego. That’s because people do not understand
what are the manifestations of having an ego. When in fact having a big
ego is one of the most common maladies on this earth. One need not be a
king, sports hero, president, or movie star to have a big ego. Many have
this problem and it deteriorates their well-being.

Because of the dominance of one’s ego, people get sad or depressed,
suffer from inferiority or superiority complex, and cannot do proper
sadhana.

Because in sadhana their mind just spins around their own unit existence
and cannot swim in the vast ocean of cosmic consciousness. If one thinks
all day about their own unit glories then they cannot do sadhana. And
that happened to me.

But in that predicament, one cannot overtly recognise why they cannot do
sadhana. One will just think that sadhana is impossible or that Baba is
not gracing me. One will not think that their own ego is the stumbling
block– the real impediment.

In that case, the only way out is to do honest introspection and really
ask yourself if any of the above egotistical situations apply to you. Do
I expect praise from others; do I have feelings that I did something; do
I want others to recognise me etc etc. One must be totally honest in
this regard. That is way back onto the path of sadhana.

Even then that will not cure the problem entirely; that is only the
beginning. Ultimately, one must cultivate the idea that Baba is doing
everything. To gain success in this, we must surrender unto Him and ask
for His divine compassion, otherwise we are a sinking ship– drowned by
our own ego.

That is how it has been explained to me and I agree with that
assessment. And that is why I am sharing this with all of you today.

BABA’S SPECIAL TEACHING

Here is also one teaching from our Beloved Guru that is especially
helpful for curing an over-sized ego like I had.

Baba says, “Bear in mind that you have a duty towards – indeed, you owe
a debt to – every creature of this universe, but towards you, no one has
any duty; from others, nothing is due.” (CC-2, chapter 1, point #3)

By Baba’s grace, this type of teaching is enough to get one going onto
the right path of ego-less service. But saying it is not enough, it must
become embedded deep within one’s psyche. And this can happen by
sadhana, as we have all experienced. Because only sadhana transforms and
cleanses the mind deep inside.

BE AWARE!! DO NOT GO AWAY FROM PARAMA PURUSA

The greatest tragedy of a big ego is that one will go away from Parama
Purusa. Because when ideating on one’s own unit self or ego, then cannot
even think about Parama Purusa– let alone feel His presence. Rather one
will just be involved in their own name, fame, and prestige, and then
that mind will not flow towards Parama Purusa. That is why the ego is
very bad and can destroy one’s life as a sadhaka. This is my personal
experience.

BABA’S BLESSING

By Baba’s grace, He has given us the best way to overcome the bindings
of the unit ego. In various Prabhat Samgiitas, Baba has given us this
golden teaching– this beautiful way to think.

‘O my Lord, due to the trappings of my own ego and unit existence and I
cannot get close to You. That is the painful truth of my life. So Baba I
request You to please grace me and remove my ego. On my own I cannot
solve the problem. So please shower me with Your divine compassion such
that I should never ideate on my own unit things, but rather always
focus on Your lotus feet. O’ Baba, please be gracious. I am completely
depending on You. You are my Savoir and You have have accepted me as
Your disciple and if I remain dirty then it will not be Your glory. In
this way, take mercy on me– on this poor and helpless soul– and
cleanse me of all egoistic feelings and make me Yours. O’ my Baba,
please be gracious…’

Namaskar,
Mukunda

Note 1: TWO FLOWS OF MIND

The physical body flows in one direction– each and every day it grows
older and moves closer to one’s death.

But the mental body flows in two directions. It can go up or down. Like
a river, it is easiest for the mind to flow downstream– into the depths
of hell. But with sadhana, the mind can also flow upstream to the top of
the mountain– to the height of human glory. But to reach that divine
stance it takes energy and effort.

And what is that effort? Sadhana. Only by this way can one overcome
petty feelings of their own self and make the mind bigger and bigger.

Here the point is that human life is most often like a river flowing
downstream in that the unit ego will just involve in itself because that
is easy– yet ultimately making the mind smaller and smaller.

But, by His grace, when doing sadhana, then the mind will grow in
magnitude and become God-centered. Then and only then can the mind flow
upstream and reach that divine abode. So we must put forth effort and
then by His grace the mind will magically flow in this direction until
we attain Him.

This is Baba’s special teaching.

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To: AM-GLOBAL
From: Cinmay Deva
Subject: Re: Unique Disease Growing in USA
Date: Wed, 27 Jul 2011 12:08:17 -0400

Baba

== RE: UNIQUE DISEASE GROWING IN USA ==

~ Part 3 ~

Namaskar,
With great interest I have been following this thread about hoarding. I see this a lot in my area.

As we all know from the earlier letters on this topic, hoarding is a disease of the materialist, i.e. those trying to derive unlimited happiness from finite objects. We should help cure such people with proper spiritual practice & Baba’s teachings.

That said, here is one trick employed by the business community in cahoots with doctors in order to ensure that people keep on purchasing new products. They try to stigmatize “hoarders” so consumers will throw away old items and purchase new ones.
See how the entire cycle works.

1. At the outset, companies pay huge money to create advertisements that encourage common people to purchase more and more of their products – promising that this will bring satiation and contentment. In turn, those common people buy the products.

2. At the same time those big business executives know that if the people buy and buy and accumulate more and more then the people will not have space to purchase new products.

Now see the trick that those corporations do.

3. Those companies give psychologists and doctors large sums of money (i.e. payoffs) to research and conclude that those who keep all their old things are diseased – they are “hoarders”. The companies do this to stigmatize such persons – then people will be less inclined to keep older products, in which case they will have more space in their house for purchasing new items. This is the trick that is played.

4. Drug companies also get involved in this scam. Their aim is to name or create a new diseases for those who “suffer from the over-accumulation of products”, i.e. hoarding. The drug companies want doctors to formally label this as a disease so then they (the pharmaceutical companies) can sell drugs for this disease and make a profit. Is it any wonder then that each and so many “new mental illnesses and diseases” are discovered and identified each year. One report mentioned that 250 new psychiatric illnesses were identified last year – some or more of which are related with hoarding.

When in fact we know that the real disease behind hoarding is materialism itself. With a proper mental outlook people will not purchase so many things which they can never even use in this lifetime like 400 pairs of pants, 75 pairs of sandals, etc.

5. So see the irony or cheating tactic: Those wealthy people who purchase new products and throw away their old ones are deemed as being fine and ok by the medical world. They do not suffer from any psychic disease – so say the doctors and the psychologists. Why? Because they have space to buy more products.

In comparison, those less wealthy people, who accumulate and hold onto their old products, are termed as “hoarders” and are labeled as mentally ill. Why? Because they do not have space to purchase more products. For this reason companies do not like them. So such poorer people are branded as being “diseased” by the medical field. When in fact their mental condition is no different from those who are purchasing new items and throwing old ones. The only superficial difference is that the business corporations want to glorify those who have space to buy new items and stigmatize those who hold onto old items and do not have space for new ones.

6. So the whole thing is one big scam to stigmatize hoarders and convince others to purchase new and throw away old. Those who purchase new and throw away old are “OK”. Psychologists do not have any problem with the ultra wealthy for buying more than they can use, whether it be 500 shoes, 2000 sariis, 100 cars, etc. So long as they are buying and supporting those capitalist companeis, they do not suffer from any disease.

7. Of course we all know that anyone looking for peace in the external plane by constantly buying new things is a hoarder. The root cause of their problem is materialism, not how messy or organised their house is, nor how often they throw things away. Buying more products than one can use in order to satisfy mental longing is the definition of a hoarder, and their disease is materialism. Until we show such persons the path of santosa, aparigraha and sadhana, they will continue to try to fulfill their infinite desires by mundane avenues like accumulating material possessions. But their approach will be futile and they will suffer.

8. Below is Baba’s wonderfully humorous and satirical story that is related with this entire topic of hoarding. That is followed by links to the earlier postings on this topic.

Namaskar,
Cinmay

Note 1: BABA’S STORY ABOUT WEALTHY HOARDERS

In Baba’s remarkable story – from “In the Land of Hattamala” – He is grossly pointing out the disease and crude ways of the hoarder / materialist. The villain of the story is one witch who just wastes her money and time accumulating things. She is a real hoarder who collects saris and other items for her so-called psychic satisfaction. You can say that Baba’s below story is a hilarious satire on hoarding / materialism.

[In this story the witch has a stutter or stammer so when she says her servants name, she says, Bo-Bo-Bo-Bodha, when in fact the name is simply Bodha.]

Here then is Baba’s story:

The witch said to Bo-Bo-Bo-Bodha Mukherjee: “Today, I’m going to Dhaka. I shall board the plane wearing my sky-blue, saffron and violet coloured sari. When I get off the plane I shall wear my cream, green and red coloured sari. Bo-Bo-Bo-Bodha Mukherjee, is it clear?”

Bo-Bo-Bo-Bodha Mukherjee said, “M’Lady, as soon as I got word of your intended trip to Dhaka, I went and purchased 700 different types of sari from the boutique. Your 7,32,432 saris in the cupboard will remain untouched.”

Madhumita listened in utter amazement. One person needs so many saris? She asked Bo-Bo-Bo-Bodha Mukherjee: “Hey, brother, how can someone possibly need such a large quantity of saris? Where do they all come from?”

Bo-Bo-Bo-Bodha Mukherjee said: “Every year 20 million rupees are budgeted for purchasing saris.

“There are muslin saris from Bishnupur, grey-coloured saris from Burdwan; close knit, wide red bordered saris from Contai; finely woven saris from Antpur; finely striped saris from Phorashdanga; 500 kinds of old-fashioned saris from Dhonekhali made of cotton interwoven with silk; cotton saris from Santipur with wide silver and golden coloured borders; 100 kinds of Santipur saris for casual wear; fully embroidered saris from Murshidabad with traditional multi-patterned designs; the Baluchor varieties of heavy silk saris, all kinds of saris from Dhaka, saris from Bajitpur, 2000 kinds of saris from Tangail. Besides all these there are pure silk saris from Murshidabad; coloured, pure silk saris from the loom; saris with very bright borders from Boshoa-Bishnupur; the best kind of silk sari from Bankura-Bishnupur; raw silk saris from Tatipara. And besides all these there are the most modern saris which earthly beings have yet to see.”

Madhumita asked Bo-Bo-Bo-Bodha Mukherjee: “What sorts of saris are those, brother?”

Bo-Bo-Bo-Bodha Mukherjee said: “For example, one sort is Ding-Dong sari? Do you know what it is?”

Madhumita replied: “Of course I don’t.”

Bo-Bo-Bo-Bodha Mukherjee said: “That sari, when worn by the witch, makes a ‘ding… dong…’ sound just as if someone is striking a bell. There are also cymbal saris which when worn, sound just as if someone is playing the cymbals in accompaniment to a kiirtan 34 song. And there are also sitar saris, asraj saris, tampura 35 saris, and so many more I could tell you about! ”

Madhumita listened in astonishment. Bo-Bo-Bo-Bodha Mukherjee further added: “The latest discovery of them all is the cricket sari. We bought one only yesterday. While this sari is worn the musical sound as that produced by crickets is constantly heard.”

Madhumita asked: “Where are all those saris kept, brother.”

Bo-Bo-Bo-Bodha Mukherjee said: “In a huge cupboard whose top scrapes the very sky itself.”

Madhumita asked: “What do you do when you want to take a sari out of the cupboard?

Bo-Bo-Bo-Bodha Mukherjee said: “We use a ladder. We have 3 or 4 mile-long ladders for the purpose.”

Madhumita asked: “Doesn’t the witch ever give a sari to anyone as a gift?”

Bo-Bo-Bo-Bodha Mukheriee said “If anyone goes to ask her for one, the old witch screams out ‘Kak… kak… kak…’ just like a jackal. She says: ‘I need every single sari. Some for wearing when I go to Dhaka, others for wearing to London, some for wearing during my evening strolls, and some for wearing when I go down to Hell to give a lecture.’ If anyone comes to get a sari from her she says: ‘Since you don’t possess any saris and come from a poor family why don’t you go and drown yourself in the River Ganges? These days there’s plenty of water in the Ganges at Calcutta.’”

(From “In the Land of Hattamala”, Part 1)

Note 2: EARLIER POSTINGS ON THIS TOPIC

http://am-global-01.blogspot.com/2011/07/unique-disease-growing-in-usa.html

http://am-global-01.blogspot.com/2011/07/re-unique-disease-growing-in-usa.html

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