What Is The Difference Between Pride And Ego?
In our day-to-day communication, we commonly use the words like ‘pride’ and ‘ego’ and often use them interchangeably. But are these words really interchangeable? Do they mean the same, particularly from a spiritual point of view? And if they don’t, why is it important to differentiate between them? Let us explore!
Ego means ahamkar. If we break down this word, we get aham which means ‘I’ and kar which is a suffix that suggests doership. So, ahamkar refers to the belief, ‘I am doing this’.
Let us understand this through an example. Suppose we want to make tea. We take the vessel, fill in the right amount of water, add tea leaves, sugar, milk, ginger, etc., put it on a flame till it gets to boil, we sieve and serve. Now, in this entire process, different resources play different roles. The vessel provides the necessary space for the tea to boil, the fire or flame provides heat, the ingredients add flavor and taste, and the human being does the role of bringing together all the other resources in the right way. Now, if we look at the process of making tea in this way, it is an egoless view – the human being, even while participating in this process, never claims to be the sole doer, but understands one’s self to be just one of the many factors that contribute towards the process. If, on the other hand, the person says, “I made the tea!,” then that is called the ego, that’s speaking.
While ego says, “I did”, the pride says, “I am so good at making tea. I am much better at it than others.” In other words, pride not only claims doership, it also ascribes an element of superiority to what was claimed to be done by the person. Pride encourages a person to judge, either by oneself or with the help of external measures, one’s self to be superior than others. It generates a feeling of superiority over others. It is this superior feeling that indicates the presence of pride, which may otherwise be present in a latent way in subtle form. Thus, ego can be without pride, but pride cannot be without ego.
For a spiritual aspirant, both pride and ego are to be discouraged. That is, not only should we free ourselves from the tendency to feel proud of ourselves over others, but also from the very idea that we are the doer of anything in the first place. Whatever we do, we must remain in the understanding of, ‘it is happening’, and not that of, ‘we are doing it.’ And this understanding can only remain if we do not identify with the mind, body, thought, speech or actions. All of these are external to our real self. Our real Self is the Pure Soul.
This knowledge of the real nature of the Self can only come after Self-Realization, and for that we need a Gnani – a guide who can show us the way to become completely free from ego. In this day and age, Akram Vignan provides a living link to such knowledge, which has the power to liberate us from the bondage of our ego and pride. So, why wait, go for it as soon as possible!
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