What Does It Really Mean To Let Go Of Your Ego And How Does It Help?
Letting go of the ego is called freedom.
Things in our life run much more smoothly thereafter. It’s the ego that always gets in the way and disturbs the smooth flow of things. Whenever we interfere in any matter, be it merely through our opinion even, it’s actually our ego at play, and that’s what disturbs the natural flow of things; and consequently we upset the outcome as well. And to top it all, when things go wrong, it’s the natural tendency of the ego and the intellect to place the blame onto others that it’s due to some person or a thing or situation that things went haywire.
Actually, as a human being, our duty is to put in our best efforts in the role we’ve been assigned, and then accept the outcome, be it good or bad, remaining equanimous in every circumstance. But our ego does not let this happen. And that’s where all types of miseries begin.
At the bottom of our heart, we all know that it is this ego that is the cause of all our suffering, pain and bondage. It is this ego from where all the damaging emotions ranging from pride, anger, jealousy, hatred, etc. arise. We highly detest this ego when we see it in others, but when it comes to our own ego, even when we know how very ugly it is, we allow ourselves to protect it and further nurture it, no matter how much pain and suffering it may be causing to others.
It is only when one happens to come in the company of high order saints or spiritually elevated Enlightened beings, one realizes the adverse effects of causing hurt and harm to others through ego. And from there crops up a desire to get rid of the ego. We then think, try and discuss various ways and means to let go of the ego, remove or completely dissolve the ego, become permanently free of ego, but with little success.
We can only be free from the ego when we realise our true identity. Whilst we continue to believe that this is my name and body, the ego continues to thrive. It’s because to believe, ‘I am John (please insert your name here)’ itself is called ego. Our real identity is, ‘I am a pure Soul’; but we have not yet experienced it. Therefore, we are trapped in the cycle of pain and suffering.
So how does the ego depart? The ego can only depart by realising ‘who am I’ from an Enlightened being (Gnani Purush). Gnani is One without ego.
When we attain the experiential knowledge of our true Self from a living Gnani, two things happen:
The wrong belief of, ‘I am this body and name’ is fractured and the right belief of, ‘I am pure Soul’ sets in.
We realise ‘who is the real doer’ in this world. To complete any task/job, so many circumstantial evidences come together, only then does any job get accomplished. For example, if we want to prepare a cup of tea, in addition to us, water, tea leaves, milk, sugar, gas/electricity supply, a vessel to make the tea, a cup, a place where tea is prepared, a strainer, kettle and many more things come together; only then the task of preparing tea is fulfilled; not otherwise. When the time is right, Nature brings all the circumstances together, and the work gets done. Hence where comes the question of our ego boasting of itself? As this understanding begins to prevail within us, we are able to let go of our ego.
The body is doing the action, the body’s spare parts are doing the action, and the egoism simply does the egoism of, ‘I did’! A sweet taste of the juice of subtle pride arises from this ‘I did’, and one thrives on the basis of it. The one who becomes free from this subtle pride is liberated. We’ve been tasting the juice of this subtle pride for infinite lives. And it is because we’ve never got to taste the sweetness of the Soul, which is our real Self.
During Self-realisation, Gnani graces us with the right belief of, ‘I am a pure Soul’, we get to experience the nature of the Soul. And on the other hand, we also understand who is the real doer, how things actually happen in this world.
Thus, where holding onto the ego was binding us, letting the ego go through Self-realisation frees us forever.
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