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Thus Awakens the Awakened One

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Part 5: Shun the Ego

  • When we get irritated or annoyed in the midst of work, for any reason, it is to be taken as a caution that our personality has entered into it, and the ‘unselfishness’ of the work has been adulterated with that undesirable and vitiating factor, the ego. When the work is ‘not mine’, there is no reason for internal disturbance.
  • If the hydrogen and oxygen that are in the entire atmosphere get mixed up in the proportion of H20, what will happen to us? And why should it not happen? Who controls the atmosphere and prevents such a combination? What is this mystery and this precariousness of life? Where then is the need for man to be proud of his powers?
  • It is futile on the part of a sadhaka to attempt at sense-control when he or she is in the vicinity of objects of enjoyment. It is necessary that one should be wary of this truth of sadhana, a truth which most people do not recognise due to vanity and foolishness.
  • There are ups and downs in spiritual life, even if one might have reached a high stage of development. The prominent hurdles are lust and ego. There has not been one who could overcome both these forces completely. Whatever caution we may exercise in this regard, we will find, when the time comes, that it is insufficient.
  • “Man proposes; God disposes,” says an old adage. It does not mean that God is perpetually opposing whatever man does. What really happens is that when man exerts through his egoism in a manner which violates the eternal law of God, he naturally feels frustrated, being beaten back by the law of Truth.
  • It is difficult to live in society with mental peace, because it is difficult to be charitable in nature. Charity of things is of less consequence than possession of charitable feelings, and resorting to charitable speech, charitable demeanour, and charitable actions through a general charitable temperament. This is, in short, what is called self-sacrifice, for it involves parting with some part of the delights of the ego.
  • The notion of oneself being identical with the body is the cause of egoism. It is this egoism that entangles all judgments of value in the preconception that knowledge is acquired through the senses and the mind or the intellect. This prejudice of egoism is Samsara, the persistent idea that all knowledge is in terms of space, time and externality.
  • What ‘happens’ is done by God. What is ‘initiated’ is done by the jiva. We should be able to distinguish between what happens without our interference and what is done with it.
  • One’s life-span, actions, wealth, education and death are all determined even while in the womb of the mother. The Omniscience of God is proof enough of the predetermination of everything. Human effort is a part of the way in which the universal plan works. Any egoism of man is thus sheer vanity.