Swamiji says …
“‘Pride, arrogance, an inflated ego… ‘I’ ‘me’ , ‘myself’… A superior attitude…’Who can be better than me?’ ‘I am the best !’ ‘There are none compared to me.’ One can sing these words of self – glorification for hours on end. Yet these same words – that look good printed on paper, and sound complimentary to the ears- if fed on regularly like a diet of supplements, can prove to be one’s nemesis. These traits, if possessed in abundance, can turn one into a narcissist. The magnetic power of these words captivates you. The more you experience them, the stronger the stranglehold that they have on you. You are mesmerized and start believing in the hypnotic sounds of these words which create an illusion around you, one in which you see yourself as ‘better than the best’ and ‘mightier than the rest’!”
“Is it extremely essential to live the emotions that these words release within us? Does one really have to gratify them? Does one have to be proud on being blessed with an incredibly high IQ or on being breathtakingly beautiful? Should your academic or professional brilliance propel you to develop an inflated ego?
The thought that you can never make an error, that you are perfect and faultless, that your high standard of work has always been applauded; and that it would be blasphemous for anyone to point mistakes in your work and draw your attention to them – are all signs of arrogance and conceit. The lap of luxury in which you have been raised; your wealthy family background; your affluent social status, your ever-increasing bank account, your coveted degrees from world renowned universities – all these highly treasured ‘positive’ points, can easily go to your head and affect you in the most ‘negative’ manner, unless you remember to keep yourself grounded.
Is the constant chest thumping, the warranted or unwarranted recognition and accolades being showered on you, turning you into a demanding, shrewd person, forever looking to retain that top slot?
Do the consequences not scare you? The fact that you are becoming a stranger to yourself – impatient, selfish, averse to criticism, manipulative, aggressive…is staring at you!
Are you willingly sinking to the most volatile and dangerous levels of ‘self-destruction’ while being churned in a tide of these undesirable emotions? Are you functioning in this manner for the satisfaction of your ‘soul’ or is it to satisfy your ‘ego’? Don’t let the insincerity of these delusionary words give you a sense of false strength.”
“Let us envisage a similar scenario, wherein a spiritual aspirant has evolved spiritually, manifold, under his guru’s guidance. Now, the moment this devotee starts entertaining self-fabricated thoughts in his head – that he has the greatest access to his guru; is most devoted to his guru and is closest to his guru – his ego balloons up , and his brain starts transmitting messages of ‘You’, ‘Your’, ‘Yourself’ and he receives them happily as this is what he wants to hear. Such a person will start developing a sense of false pride in himself – that he alone is the beneficiary of his guru’s Grace and is the true recipient of ‘guru gyan’. This misplaced confidence can prove to be detrimental and regressive, and his all-pervading ego might stall his further spiritual progress. Complacency at receiving enlightening knowledge from the guru might make him think of doing the unthinkable. He might think twice about the necessity of bowing his head before his guru, as he starts feeling that he has acquired greater mystical and spiritual powers than his ‘guru’.”
“In comparison, a humble devotee will always thank God for ear- marking him as the Chosen One and for considering him worthy enough to allow him to sit at his guru’s Lotus Feet. He will make an earnest attempt to seek True Knowledge as his soul benefits from it. He will want to utilize every living moment in remembering God and his Guru; and ensure that his acts are selfless and aimed for the betterment of everyone. He is devoid of ego, pride and arrogance. Everything that he does is done solely with the divine purpose of making his true ‘self’ happy. No temptation will distract and deviate him from leading a life of self – respect, self -pride and self -esteem. He seeks recognition only from His guru and God, as only they matter to him. He is aware that it is their Grace alone that will enable him to open his Third Eye on the day chosen by them.”