Ego- does it go?

Ego- does it go?

Joining the meditation Mission was a sequence of events in my life; everything, from the first 3 sittings to attending the satsangh; Bhandara fell into my lap in a very tailor made, comfortable way for me. The complete name of the Mission, its lineage nothing was known to me when I joined this system. I was in need of a respite and in search; I received this as a divine blessing. I accepted it gratefully, followed it dutifully and read voraciously to learn more and familiarize myself with the method the Guru and the tenets of the Mission.

Being a very dedicated and disciplined student I received many compliments from my preceptor and also had wonderful experiences during meditation the first few months. I was desperate to meet Master, my Guru about who I had only read for the last one month or so.

So, within a month I visited Chennai ashram wanting to see Master in person. My seeing Master in person is also a very strange sequence of events. I had gone to Chennai with big pipe dreams, armed with the permission letter from the zonal in charge; I also had brother Bhatter’s number for reference; push and pull. I was also told by everyone that new abhyaasi need not stand in any queue. Master simply goes up to them and meets them! I was kind of envisioning a state where Master would immediately call me, I would fall at his feet, seek his blessings and Lo, Behold! I would be a transformed person! I think my feet never touched the ground, I was high up somewhere in my own self created world where Master would come to me. I was the best abhyaasi, new abhyaasi, well educated too; Master would be more than happy to meet me!

The irony of the word Ego is that it has the word ‘go’ in it and yet it never goes. It only grows and the more one lives in this illusion of ‘I’ the more predominant is the Ego.  Such was my unfortunate state of mind when I went to meet my Guru for the first time.

The verity hit me rather badly; two days down the line, I was yet to get a glimpse of Master. I had spent the whole day sitting in front of the cottage. I sent in 3 chits or more I am not sure, and I had in my own urgency and desperation made calls to brother Bhatter, brother Satbir and to Shalini too! The children were getting weary and asking me to take them out, so I had packed them off to my cousin’s place and spent the whole day in front of the cottage, sitting patiently waiting for Master to call me in.  By lunch time my thoughts took a plunge from the lofty ‘calling me in to personally meet me’ to a least let Him come out and I could have a glimpse of Him! That also I think was too much or too undeserving because Master did not venture out for two whole days! Which was rather unusual was what everyone voiced. The despondency of not being able to see him for 2 days; and I was to leave that very evening, I was a bag of mixed emotions. The other abhyasis waiting outside Master’s cottage kept telling me, “tell them you are a new abhyaasi, Master immediately calls in new abhyasis.”  Shalini gave me brother Bhatter’s number, asked me to speak to him, so that he can get me permission to go inside and see Master. I think, no; I am sure, I tried all my gimmicks and stunts that I could perceive and was told by everyone else. Nothing worked, He did not want to call me inside and I never got to meet Him in person. That is it, the sad truth.  So much for my lofty thoughts and bloated ego; got punctured and guttered in a flash. Master could not be bothered by people like me.

The evening I was to leave I began to despair; ‘Master, come out once, please, I beg of you. I will not run after you, bother you, talk to you, nothing, I just want to see you in person once’.  I did not want any personal introductions, I simply wanted a glimpse of that person about whom I had been reading for the last few months and who my Guru, my spiritual Guru is;  the guide who will light my path and show me the way. I was near tears, praying fervently, sitting in front of the cottage with a singular plea, ‘Master, please come out, just for a second, please.’

Finally, He did come out in the evening; He was on his golf cart being escorted to the medical center for His regular check up. The minute the cart exited the gate we were asked to queue up on either side of the road and greet Him or seek His blessings. I did what I was asked to do and my heart swelled up with many unspoken emotions. He barely glanced at me, not even a glance really and I involuntarily ran behind the golf cart following Him all the way to the medical center. Maybe when he comes out He will look at me properly, I can wish Him, I don’t know, many thoughts went and came and I just stood there in the crowd, waiting for Him to come out. On his return trip to the cottage also I ran behind the cart with the kids in tow, introducing the children to Him! He simply looked at me and blessed the children. He said nothing to me, He smiled at the kids blessed them with his walking stick, nothing for me, not even a glance or an acknowledgement, nothing at all! I was still happy that He has seen the kids and blessed them; that fleeting glance He threw in my direction was all that was my share and I had to do much better to be able to meet Him in person. I have never been able to meet Him or get a chance to speak to me up close till date, this is a wish unfulfilled till date.

I don’t know how to put it in exact terms because I don’t have the words to correctly describe my feelings. Even that small interlude with My Master and I was happy, relieved. I had grand dreams of personal audience and a VIP treatment for the much awaited new abhyaasi; and here I was thankful that I had seen Him. My Guru is seeing me always, am I able to see Him though? My bloated ego was so full of me then; and in the years to come I realized that I never ‘saw’ Him for a very long time.  That oft repeated statement of Babuji’s, ‘Many come to see me, but no one really sees Me.’ started to make sense to me after three years in the Mission.

The mission has helped me battle my ego and keep it in check to a great extent. The mission and the method show us the mirror everyday and give chances for self improvement.  I am sure it has not gone totally; E-go will go only when I-go. My prayer to My Master is to help me use this for my good and betterment as strength.



We were taught Kabir’s Dohe somewhere in eighth or the ninth grade, when we were probably 13-14 years old. How much we understood then may very well be limited to the literal meaning as explained and illustrated by the teacher, at least such was my case. But, all of us invariably remember one or two couplets of this Great Saint till today and suddenly the true meaning or essence of the couplet seems to dawn. The simplicity of every couplet is so striking; stilling the mind totally to be able to see through, look deep inside one self and seek the meaning and answers from within. The meaning always eludes the person and seems to come only at the right time, till then the couplet makes and on and off appearance in the person’s life tantalizing the person to seek the truth, go deeper, probe further and seek. This one below came to light when spirituality and this journey of self- discovery began for me:

“jin dhunda tin payiya, gahire pani paith;

            mai bauri duban dari, rahi kinare baith.”

जिन ढूंड़ा तिन पयियाँ , गहरे पानी पैठ ,

मै भैरी डूबन डरी, रही किनारे बैठ ||


Those who searched, by diving into the deep water, found the treasure.

I foolishly feared drowning and remained sitting on the shore.


One who wants to get some pearls has to dive deeply into the ocean. The person who fears drowning will not get anything. In the same way, he who wants God realization has to dive deeply in meditation, and merge completely into God’s love.


The above lines made sense after I joined meditation, and one year down the line I was still uneasy about myself. The fact that the system could bring no visible change in me and I was still the same egotistic, angry woman I was when I joined meditation was bothering me. This contemplative train of thought resulted in my eureka moment when this couplet popped up in my head with me as the brainless girl; I realised that I was still that scared girl, sitting on the banks of the river, afraid of drowning and yet I was expecting realisation, change and answers to my question of life, its meaning and purpose! How was this possible when I was still sitting on the shore?! If I did seek answers to a change in nature, tendencies making a U-turn; how fruitful and evolving have prayer and meditation been, how close to God Realization I am, and what is the true goal of human life; I needed to dive deep into the ocean. If there is a true craving for God realization then one has to dive deep in meditation and merge with Him in totality. Become Him and be one With Him, no dual Identity, because;


Prem gali ati sankari, tamein dou na samai
Jab mein tha tab hari nahi, ab hari hai mein naahi”

प्रेमगली अतिसंकरी, तामें दाऊ न समाई |
जब मैं था तब हरी नहीं, अब हरी है मैं नाहीं ||
The street of love is very narrow, two can’t pass through it at the same time
When I was, there was no God (Hari), now there is God but I am not

To attain true love, one has to give up his ego. When the ego disappears, God appears. So the devotee must give up his ego to realize God.

Here it came again, the true meaning and essence of this couplet. My Identity was separate from His the minute I was born. When I was with Him I had no Identity at all and the second I strayed apart, ego developed and a separate identity was born. But true love is only one and in that there is no room for true identities! What separated me from Him was my Ego. This ego is at the root of all my emotions, positive or negative; He knows nothing, sees nothing but love and oneness. So to be one with Him I need to meditate, love Him. When ego disappears, God appears!


Like the drop that gets separated from the cloud and falls on the earth, the cloud changes to a drop of rain, it touches the earth and attains a new identity, muddied and brown it becomes a waterfall, a stream, a river, at times a pool or a puddle of stagnated water, and again is reborn as a rain drop, becoming a river and making its way to become one with the ocean, lose its identity and merge with its original parent.

Same is the case with us; we have to go back whence we came from, Him. We are born out of Him and need to merge with Him, today or tomorrow or probably many births later. And this merger is possible only through love, true eternal love for Him.

What was taught in the ninth grade finally began to crystallise bit by bit and the fog of the mind got cleaned in stages. Dive deep into the ocean of the heart, let the heart open itself wide and mute the noises of the mind and world outside. The silence of the heart shows the beloved within and love for Him grows. Meditate. Contemplate on the Divine within, love him like none else, because the road to His abode is very narrow, sinuous and tedious too. To attaint true love one cannot sit on the shore and feel scared, one has to dive deep into the ocean and seek Him. Love him, forget one self, one’s existence and merge with the Divine in complete surrender and loss of all identity.





Realisation Through Meditation

The final goal or desire of every spiritual aspirant is Liberation. Intense longing to be free from the bondage of delusion and ignorance by seeking self – knowledge is the ardent desire of every true seeker.

Verse #82 of Vivekachudami states thus:

Sanskrit verse:

मोक्षस्य कान्क्षा यदि वै तवास्ति

त्यजात्तिदूराद्विषयान्विषं यथा


प्रशान्तिदान्तीर्भज नित्यमादरात् ॥


English conversion:

mokShasya kaankShaa yadi vai tavaasti

tyajaattidUraadviShayaanviShaM yathaa


prashaanthidaantIrbhaja nityamaadaraat ||


Word meaning:

मोक्षस्य of liberation कान्क्षा desire यदि if वै indeed तव yours अस्ति exists/is

त्यज give upअत्तिदूरात् from a god distance विषयान् sense objects विषं poison यथा like

पीयूषवत् like nectar तोष contentment दया compassionक्षमा forgiveness आर्जवं straight forwardness

प्रशान्तिः calmness/serenity दान्तिः Self- control भज cultivate नित्यम् daily आदरात् religiously

The meaning is:

If indeed you have a craving for liberation, avoid sense-objects from a distance as if they were poison; and with respectful reverence, daily cultivate the nectarine virtues of contentment, compassion, forgiveness, straightforwardness, calmness, and self-control.

The first word or the beginning of the verse itself is with an ‘if’ questioning the true intent of the aspirant.  This makes it amply clear that the goal is very person dependent and the intensity to achieve the goal also varies accordingly. If one is content with life and the material possessions one is surrounded by then this short lived happiness linked with the wealth amassed will be good enough and the aspiration for anything further, deeper and long lasting happiness will never arise. For such a person self– realization or liberation will be a mere whim or a myth; unattainable in this life time. Thus, they will never venture on such a futile struggle nor believe in aiming for this so called goal of liberation. They will continue to pray, perform rituals and be content living the day to day life amidst the roller coaster ride of emotions, relations and ephemeral pains, pleasures of life. Hence, the operative word for self-realisation is ‘if’ the seeker so desires.  As a corollary we can also say the absence of the desire for self- realisation keeps the aspirant in the vicious circle of rituals and at the kinder garden level of spiritual path. God is a mere means to an end and incessant prayers are made and boons are sought unto death. In such a phase God becomes a means to achieving the worldly pleasures and possessions; this is not wrong at all, yet the true seeker needs to out-grow this phase and move above the kinder garden level.

The present state of the universe verily proves that most of us go through this phase only and are content living and leaving this worldly life desiring nothing more.  At times a seeker grows restless; fathoms that everything worldly either phases out or inevitably leads to pain. The inquisitive mind of such a person grows further longing to seek the permanent happiness or a state of constancy.  The true nature of everything external is that whatever comes has to depart; becomes clear to such inquisitive aspirant and the search for a permanent object leading to lasting happiness begins. The leaning towards God is now treating God as the End and He becomes the object of permanent happiness. It also becomes evident that at His feet alone can happiness be attained and that too if He so wills, by His grace alone can this happen.  This can be treated as the second phase or the under graduate school level on the spiritual path.

Gradually with time and better understanding the student learns to look beyond all this or look within for everything. The realisation that God is one, and God is in everyone begins to dawn. The Hindu philosophy says: ‘There is only God’. Look in any direction or look within, one sees God and God alone. Thus, the student now is eager to become one with Him or understanding the simple truth that God alone is, the aspirant has finally enrolled for the doctorate course on the spiritual adventure.

Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa was once asked which stage were the best and what a seeker should aspire for to which he lucidly explained thus:  “The levels are accepted by the human mind according to the stages of development and its progress….. Finally, when the man reaches the ultimate limit of spiritual progress with the help of sadhana, he experiences the Nirguna nature of the Divine Mother and remains in oneness with Her. All the ideas, such as you and I, subject and object, bondage and liberation, vice and virtue, merit and demerit are then all merged in the One” (Tattvabodh: Insights into Vedanta)

Swami Vivekananda concludes the experiences of Sri Ramakrishna in this manner: “We have seen that it began with the Personal, the extra – cosmic god. It went from the external to the internal cosmic body, God immanent in the universe, and ended in identifying the soul itself with that God, and making one Soul, a unit of all these various manifestations in the universe. This is the last word of the Vedas. It begins with dualism, goes through a qualified monism and ends in perfect monism.”

Thus, self -realization remains the most cherished yet the most elusive real goal of human life. Look within and see Him who is inside; waiting with bated breath for the aspirant to open the doors of the heart and listen to the meek voice of the soul.   Meditation is one simple way which enables the seeker to silence the clamour on the outside and listen to oneself.  Meditation silences the outside noise, stills the mind; closes the physical eyes and opens the heart to merge with the One Divine who has been waiting patiently in the innermost recess of our heart.

Meditation is usually sought only by a seeker who has crossed the kinder garden phase explained above and so the glitter of the outside world holds little or no charm for such an aspirant who wishes to seriously practice meditation.  Having crossed the first stage the keenness to reach for the ultimate truth and realise oneself is strong and sadhana is taken up earnestly and zestfully.

Let us elucidate the advantages of constant practice of meditation and see how it inches the seeker closer to the real goal of self-realisation.  The most practical and common advantage seen with continued practice of meditation is better focus and increased concentration.  This is one key reason why meditation is being advocated in schools and colleges too nowadays. The end result of meditation for students is more focus, fewer distractions thus work less but work smart and come out with flying colours.  Continuous abhyaas or practice of meditation increases the alertness or awareness of the person.

Amongst the five sense organs, eyes play the maximum mischief and make the mind wander. The other senses seek the help of eyes and augment the sensation or the essence of the emotion attached to the sensory objects on the outside world. The fundamental change that happens with practising mediation is we close our eyes! So the outside world plays havoc only to the extent the imaginations runs riot, after that the mind is forced to look deep inside and seek what is within. With practice even the mind stills itself and begins to seek answers from the heart. The thoughts soon are like a wedding procession and the mind watches them go by, not following them or reacting to them. So they are forced to leave and fail to disturb the mind over a period of time.

Meditation done at the same time and same place daily attunes the mind and prepares it to still itself even before the online casino australia person actually sits for meditation. It is like preparing for prayer and ritualistic Puja, where the person gears up and prepares for puja. We bathe, pluck flowers, prepare the Prasad to offer to the Lord, pour oil, and place the wick to light the lamp and finally chant our daily prayers with a heart full of love and devotion. Similarly, same place and same time help the mind to prepare itself to connect with the heart, treat thoughts as uninvited guests and listen to what the heart or the Divine one within is trying to say.

Meditation practiced religiously clear the cobwebs of the mind and enables clearer thinking and discrimination. Mind is like the spider caught in its own web and the more it tries to escape the web of thoughts and confusions the more tightly it seems to get gripped in these malicious, detrimental thoughts and wishes. Meditation clears these cobwebs every day, the spidery mind is not given a chance to give strength to its web of thoughts and thinking becomes clear, practical and dispassionate over a period of time.

Meditation helps rein the cantering mind and forces it to still, observe and in a way learn to be the observer. This third party attitude imbibed over a period of time helps in becoming the seer of one self too.  The mind dispassionately sees and discriminates the right conduct and thinking of the very individual.  This develops ‘viveka’ or wisdom and the right path, action and words all begin to come naturally. Meditation begins like walking uphill through a dense fog and persistent abhyaas results in clearing the fog with the sun piercing through, spreading light enabling clear vision.

This whirlpool like mind twirls ceaselessly and drags it through unwanted mires and tendencies; glossing the heart with layers of grime and weeds entangled mercilessly. Meditation helps cut through these weeds, and still the raging ocean of thoughts and tendencies and the inner core of the heart become visible to the aspirant. The true nature can be seen and work towards change and betterment begins. Thus self- awareness starts and self-realization becomes the true goal of the seeker.

To become true individuals we practice meditation and the first step in this direction is approaching a Guru. Without mentioning the role and need for Guru the whole understanding of this spiritual quest will be incomplete. Self-Realization is impossible without the Blessings of a realized Guru. Swami Vivekananda sought umbrage under Shri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and never had to look elsewhere.  His guru steered him through the path that leads to enlightenment and merger with God. For self -Realisation one has to approach a Guru, because a Guru is the gateway to God. Saint Kabir himself was a realized soul at the tender age of 12, yet he needed the guidance and blessings of Guru Ramdas to finally merge with God. Self- realisation is like a Himalayan climb full of avalanches and pitfalls a slippery, sinuous and tedious uphill adventure.

Guru is the guide or Sherpa who leads you up to the summit and then let goes of your hand so that you can follow your heart and make your own road through the last leg of the journey. A Sherpa takes the mountaineer through lesser dangerous terrain, leading the way and also removing the hurdles and road blocks. When the summit comes within sight the Sherpa hands over the torch to the mountaineer and he/she has to reach the top alone. Similar is the role of a Guru in the life of a spiritual aspirant.  Every spiritual aspirant is like an unlit candle with the potential to exude light. The guru lights the candle of wisdom, dispels the darkness in the life of the aspirant, encouraging ‘viveka’ or discrimination.

During the initial stages or the formative years the guru holds the hand and leads the aspirant; spoon feeding the student. With time the seed is nurtured and as strong roots develop the tree is soon ready to stand strong on its own and also become a fruit bearing tree. Until such a time comes the presence of the Guru is imperative in the aspirant’s life.

To conclude, the willingness has to be the aspirant’s; the ardent desire to seek the inner truth and connect with oneself has to come from the aspirant. When the desire is true and strong the Guru appears automatically, lights the lamp of wisdom and leads the aspirant towards ‘viveka’ through meditation and inner search. Thus with time, diligent practice and Guru’s blessings Self – realisation becomes a verity within reach and attainable by the aspirant.
















If HE let go

If HE let go

Ramayana is a very familiar scripture for every Hindu and we all have read it since our childhood, in the form of Amar Chitra Katha colored comic strip to the voluminous Ram Charitra Manas in Sanskrit and its English transliteration. I will narrate a small story which escaped me all these years even though I too have read The Ramayana many times before.

The whole army was building a bridge to cross the ocean, so that they could wage a war against Ravana and bring Seeta Devi back home to Lord Rama. Every single monkey and man would lift a small boulder to a huge rock and say aloud, ‘Jai Shree Ram!’ and throw the stone into the ocean. The stone would float and fall in place next to the previous stone and a bridge was gradually getting formed.

Lord Rama watched the proceedings for a while and with the thought of helping and speeding the process of completing the bridge he also picked a small pebble and threw it in to the ocean. To his dismay the stone simply sank into the depths of the ocean. He looked around furtively to check if anyone had seen and meekly picked another stone to give it another shot. He tried to throw the stone again and was received with the same result; the stone promptly disappeared into the depths of the ocean! This began to trouble him and he again looked around to see if anyone was watching.

Hanuman was watching the whole proceeding and smiling to himself seeing his Lord facing such a predicament. Lord Rama asked Hanuman, ‘Did you see what happened?’

Hanuman smiled and nodded.

Lord Rama, ‘How come? The rest of them are picking huge boulders and throwing them and they seem to float fall in place. Here I tried throwing this small pebble and it sinks, why Hanuman?’

Hanuman, ‘My Lord, We all are surviving or succeeding because you are with us. If you let go then what will be possible? Look at the army; each one is first saying your name and with that chant and faith that the rock will float, they throw it with all their might. You are there in each word, action and result too. Did you chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’ when you threw the stone? No; then how can it float My Lord, it was fated to sink!’

Because the Lord is holding our little finger and leading us we survive and prosper. If He lets go, then what fate do we have in store? I do not think any one of us can conceive such a situation.


How much time do we have?

How much time do we have?

A saint, begging for alms, landed at the doorstep of a shop which looked very unkempt and asking for major repairs. Despite his poverty the poor shopkeeper warmly welcomed the saint and invited him to stay for the night at the shop keeper’s residence which was close by. The Saint looked at the shop’s condition and wondered what the shop keeper could offer him, after a bit of deliberation; decided to stay for the night.

The house was also in an equally bad shape and yet the shop keeper offered hot food, simple food freshly prepared, and treated the saint with great reverence; to the best of his abilities. The saint was pleased with the shop keeper’s hospitality and wanted to do something, help the shop keeper in some way. And the shopkeeper also wistfully wished for a boon from the saint so that he could say good bye to his bad days.

Thus the next morning just before leaving the saint thanked the host for his benevolence and said, ‘I am very pleased with your service and I really wish to do something fruitful for you. But I myself am so poor that I do not have anything to give you, so what do I offer you in return for your services?’

Shop keeper, ‘My service to you was of my own accord sir; I could do with a boon or two to be able to get rid of my poverty though.’

The saint pulled out a small gold coin from his rag bag and handing it over to the shop keeper said, ‘Okay, this is all I have. This is a magical coin. Any lead / iron substance brought in contact with this turns to Gold. I will come back after 3 months and retrieve my coin. Till then you use it and try to alleviate your poverty.’

The poor guy was overjoyed and profusely thanked the saint. He immediately set off to the largest iron foundry to test the gold coin and thus change his luck. He asked for the cost of a ton!

The price was Rs. 40/ton, the shop keeper felt the price to be beyond his reach and decided to come and check after a few days, maybe by then the price would have dipped. He came back a week later and to his dismay found that the price had further gone up and he again returned disappointed. This continued for a month and then second month also there was no change and the third month went by in the same pattern; the shop keeper was yet to use his magic coin.

On the completion of the appointed tenure the saint was again standing at the doorstep of the shop- keeper. But to his surprise he saw no betterment; rather a further dejected cloud was cast all over the shop. He walked down to the house to check the condition there and to his dismay the house also was further dilapidated and in need of urgent repairs. He began to worry thinking, ‘My magic coin failed to help the poor guy! Did it not work?’ and he called out to the shop keeper.

The shop keeper narrated the whole sequence of the last 3 months and thus his inability to use the coin or rather waiting for an opportune time to use the coin.

The saint put a hand to his head and said, ‘It is destiny that you were not able to use the coin dear. You had 3 months time to change your luck, life and build a fortune for yourself. You did not give it a chance and continued to wait for a better opportunity at an unknown future date. Time and tide wait for no man, you knew I would reclaim the coin in 3 months, yet you failed to put it to good use. Sadly, I will be unable to extend the period for you and I need my coin back’.

Needless to say what the shop keeper felt and it was too late for his realization. Time had slipped through his fingers like grains of sand and he was left in position worse than before.

Opportunity knocks only once in the life of man, the life of a human being itself is a rare gift from God. Human life is given only to those elevated souls who have a craving to realize their true goal and wish to go back to their original abode! One never knows when ‘Yama’ The Lord of Death will come and whisk away the soul from your body, that moment is a mystery to everyone. Today or the present is all we have to learn to live a balanced life and walk towards our true goal, be prepared, fearless when death does come knocking because life’s goal is accomplished and nothing is wanting still.

All the training and education we receive throughout our lives are to sharpen the mind and learn skills to earn more or progress financially. Unfortunately this is only one wing on which life is flying; the other wing is the spiritual wing which belongs to the soul, the seat of the Divine. Parmahamsa Ramakrishna used to say and Swami Vivekananda has often repeated, said “God gave us intelligence to fly high with both wings, to satisfy the goals of life, the material and the spiritual. Use the mind and see the Lord seated in your heart.”  It is a known fact that spiritually wealthy souls are wealthy materially too whereas wealthy souls are always craving for more wealth or die hankering, unhappy and poor.