In my last article “Ignorance: The Root of All Suffering,” we discussed the first of Rishi Patanjali’s Five Afflictions (Pancha Kleshas) of Mind. Patanjali, who showed the world the path of Yoga, talks about these five afflictions as the root of all pains in life: Avidya(ignorance), Asmita (ego), Raga (attachment), Devesha (aversion), and Abhinivesha (fear of death).  Humanity has lost its vision due to this clouded state of mind brought about by these five afflictions. Understanding them as the most significant aspect of Yoga can help us find our way through our current jungle state of mind.

 

The Second Affliction: Ego, or Asmita

 

The second klesha, or affliction, that Patanjali talks about is asmita, derived from the Sanskrit root of ashm meaning “I am.” Asmita, or ego, is born the moment our undivided pure consciousness falls from its pure state and we forget (avidya) our true divine nature. Maya or illusion takes over in the form of a veil or mask, covering the face of our pure consciousness and as a result asmita, or ego, is born. 

 

The Need for Ego or Asmita

 

Asmita is vast and needs a lot of meditative contemplation. In its grossest form, it is just the ego, which always tries to catch attention, find recognition, be appreciated, and be loved. But let us not underestimate the need for asmita for the entire creative process. Imagine if there is no avidya (self-forgetfulness); there would be no step down from the absolute state of pure consciousness that results in all the creations or manifestations of this glorious universe and cosmos. This is the positive side of the story, that because we have avidya we have this world, our body, our mind, our thoughts, and all the beauty of continual celebrative creations.

 

Obviously then asmita, being born out of avidya, even though it can prove problematic on the surface as “ego,” has a great role to play in our lives. Just imagine the world without egotistical persons! The urge to create, to prove, to excel, to innovate, to prosper, to play, all comes from that one source, the shadow self that is asmita, or ego.

 

The Downside of Ego Is Pain

 

What is the downside of ego? Self-respect and self-esteem are positive parts of a strong character. But ego is not. Watch the difference. While one lifts us, the other destroys us. How do we know it is ego working? When we are hankering for attention and recognition, even when we do charity or help those who are in need. We do “good,” but our tricky minds may be silently fishing for compliments. If we are not appreciated we may become depressed! We do so much good. But earn so little! Ego cannot earn! It can only spend.

 

Ego is a separate identity from the state of absolute purity. With ego the pure soul now identifies with the body and thinks “I am this body.” The identifications deepen with the mind and intellect. Now the body-mind identified soul creates his or her own opinions, ideas, thoughts, philosophies, beliefs, and concepts as if they are possessions. The deep bondage of “me” and “mine” spreads its branches all over; the identification, which started with the body and mind, now extends to everything that the person starts to possess, own, and control. The pains follow. 

 

Breaking from the Bondage of Me and Mine

 

Ego thrives on problems. It takes its food to survive problems and stress. The more we struggle to remove all problems, the more problems cling to us. To have a peaceful life, we need to stop fanning the ego and its cravings. Ego creates and sustains problems through its survival instincts!

 

Therefore we need to be watchful of our thoughts and words. They are creating our destiny every moment. By watching, screening, and distilling, we empower our thoughts and words and win without ego winning. As we empower ourselves we see the dormant potentials of our real self manifest and we become dynamic outside, and calm and passive inside.

 

Any identity we create for the world is from our ego-self, our shadow-self. Our true identity is hidden in the recess of our hearts. How can we be happy with our shadow identity? How long can we be happy to wear a mask called personality? When will we shed the false persona and know that we are the children of eternal light, that we have come to this transient world only to dive within to know who we truly are?

 

Millenniums have passed; civilizations have come and gone, so much has happened, yet the relevance of Pantanjali’s insights is beyond question.  Once we know the cause of pain in our lives it becomes easy, then we can work with focused attention to heal our pains for good. With asmita or ego, we must accept it as it is. Then through prayer, mindfulness, and meditation, we begin to consciously move from an ego-centered life to a soul-centered life, for only soul-centered life can uplift us to calm and peace, for that is what Soul is all about!

 

Bodhi (Shuddhaanandaa Brahmachari, India) is a globally acclaimed spiritual  teacher with 40 years of meditation experience, author, and visionary social advocate; founded Lokenath Divine Life Mission serving thousands of poverty-stricken individuals. Received Lifetime Achievement Award, House of Lords, UK, 2015. Author: Living with My Himalayan Master. YouTube Channel: Bodhi Shuddhaanandaa. 

www.courseinmindfulness.com

Views: 45

Comment

You need to be a member of OMTimes Writer's Community to add comments!

Join OMTimes Writer's Community

OM Times Magazine is a Holistic Green eZine with a Spiritual Self-growth Perspective for the Conscious Community.

Members


Forum

OMTimes Community May Newsletter

Started by Omtimes Media. Last reply by Darity Wesley Jun 7. 4 Replies

Community Call Tomorrow June 9th

Started by Omtimes Media. Last reply by Maureen Keefe Jun 21, 2021. 7 Replies

Credibility and Reputation

Join our group of authors on Goodreads: http://ow.ly/tUyAM


Google+
Alterative Medicine Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory
Blogarama - Spirituality Blogs
Follow me on Blogarama
follow us in feedly

Help Support Us In Our Work and Keep OM-Times Magazine Free For All!!!




Where to find us

Google+

Contextual Links

Free Web Directory - Add Your Link

The Little Web Directory
web-ref.org

mondotimes

Find Local News Worldwide

mediaowners

Who Owns The American Media

Follow Me on Pinterest
Merchant Processing Service
web directories
Submit Your Site To The Web's Top 50 Search Engines for Free!
PullDirectory.com - Add free links and articles.

Ciford Web Directory

alarmg4s
SubmissionMonster.com

© 2022   Created by Omtimes Media.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service

Omtimes writer's community