Question from audience: If spiritual progress depends on overcoming the ego, are there definite steps one can take to accomplish this?
Daya Mata: Everyone has an ego; it is our sense of self, our individuality, as expressed through the instrumentality of a physical body. As seekers of the Divine, we want to transfer that sense of identity from the flawed human consciousness of the mortal body to the ever-perfect soul, God’s individualized image within each one of us. This spiritualises our individuality with soul qualities. Yoga, taught by both Bhagavan Krishna and Jesus Christ, is the science of achieving that goal, through purification of the self by meditation and right activity in daily life.
One can begin to overcome ego in countless ways. Every one should practice self- analysis every day. We should step back and impartially observe our behaviour during the day’s various events. This helps us to see in which direction our life is going. Without introspection, years may go by without being aware of whether the soul or the selfish ego is winning the battle of our life.
A good practice is to watch how often you use the word “I.” This is a deep matter to consider. For example, when you write a letter, see how many times you have used “I.” Some times it is necessary, of course; there is no need to make your speech stilted or unnatural. But merely becoming aware of your constant use of “I” helps to separate yourself from the consciousness of the little ego– to stop thinking “I, I, I,” all the time. Silently converse with God in this way: “Lord let not my will but let Thy will be done.”
Humility is the very foundation of the spiritual life. Read about this quality in inspiring books that help you to understand humility. It is very well given in Bhagavat Gita and The Mysticism of St. Franncis ofAssisi, one of the most inspiring books on the Christ like life.
With regular practice of KriyYoga meditation, the devotee gradually neutralizes his emotion- conditioned likes and dislikes. The body identified individual, limited to the five physical senses, depends on outer conditions for his happiness. He becomes upset or irritated or angry when things do not go the way he likes. But when we withdraw the energy from the five senses- reversing the direction of those outwardly focused searchlights– and take that energy up through the “tree of life,” the astral spinal column, we unite our consciousness with the omnipresent, omniscient one who dwells within our souls.When the individual becomes deeply immersed in that divine consciousness, nothing can make him irritated or upset.
Until you really go in deep meditation, you have no idea of its tremendous power. Meditation ia s divine dynamo that quickens the evolution of man’s consciousness.As your mind becomes increasingly absorbed in God, it becomes easier to control your moods, your habits, egoistic attachment to your likes and dislikes and prejudices.
The genuinely humble person behaves like Christ. He stands up for what is right, for God’s divine laws, whenever necessary. Christ showed his surpassing humility when he allowed himself to be tortured and crucified, and with unconditional love prayed for his persecutors, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” But he expressed himself strongly and firmly in defending God’s principles, as when he drove the money changers out of the temple.
A sure sign that you are overcoming ego and growing in humility is that uppermost in your consciousness is the desire to give to others. You want to do for others. You forget yourself in wanting to serve others. You lose yourself in thought and care for your family, your community, your church, others who need your help and encouragement. That is the way you learn, as Jesus taught, “to love thy neighbour as thyself”.
All of these points help to overcome ego— meditation; cultivating awareness of how we are thinking and behaving during the day; putting God first, others second , and self last.
To whomever crosses your path, be an ambassador of peace and goodwill. Whoever comes to you, let them go away feeling uplifted, encouraged by your empathy and understanding and kindness.That is how you transform the ego and remain in tune with the Divine.
By Sri Sri Daya Mata ( S.R.F)