Question: How do we get rid of vanity, ego and pride?

Sri Chinmoy: There are two ways. One way is by invoking Peace, Light and Bliss through prayer and meditation. You can bring down Peace, Light and Bliss from above and then illumine vanity, ego and pride. When Peace, Light and Bliss descend, vanity, pride and ego disappear. This is the spiritual approach.

There is also a practical approach which is quite effective on the ordinary human level, Suppose you are a good singer and you are very proud of your voice. Immediately ask yourself whether you are by far the best singer on earth. Your immediate answer will be no, there are many who sing far better than you do. If you have studied and have become a great scholar, you may feel you have every reason to be proud. But if you become sincere and ask yourself whether you are the greatest scholar on earth, your immediate sincere answer will be no. There are some people who far surpass you in knowledge and wisdom. No matter in which walk of life you are eminent, there is always someone who has far surpassed you. How can you be bloated with pride when you know that there is someone who has surpassed you in your field? We are proud of ourselves because we feel that we have achieved something which others have not achieved. But the moment we see that there are others who have far surpassed our capacity, immediately our achievement pales into insignificance and our pride has to die.

The difficulty with this approach is that this realisation may not last. It may last for five days or five months or five years: then we totally forget about others who have surpassed us in our field. Again we enter into ignorance and build up our ego, pride and vanity. Then after a while perhaps sincerity once more dawns. Nobody wants to fool himself all the time. Because we are spiritual people, sincerity wants to come to the fore in us. We see that there are others who have better qualities and capacities than we have, and then we try to compete with them and transcend our present capacity.

At this stage of development, for many people the spiritual process of trying to bring down Peace, Light and Bliss is simply impossible. So let us take the practical point of view and compare ourselves with others. With the spiritual approach of aspiring for Peace, Light and Bliss, there is no competition. If we get Peace, Light and Bliss, immediately we are satisfied. Also, if we have the feeling of oneness, at that time we don’t compete. My right eye does not compete with my left eye. My right arm, if it has a little more strength than the left arm, does not compete with the left arm. The right arm does not have a superior feeling, because it has accepted the left arm as its very own. When the right arm throws the shot-put, the left arm does not feel miserable. On the contrary, it feels that this is their mutual achievement and it shares the achievement with the right arm. The right arm also gladly shares the achievement, because the left arm and right arm feel their oneness. When we have brought down Peace, Light and Bliss we establish our feeling of oneness with everything and everyone. If another person has achieved something and we have not achieved that thing, on the strength of our inner oneness we feel that it is also our achievement. In oneness there is no competition, no competition whatsoever.

Sri Chinmoy, Canada aspires, Canada receives, Canada achieves, part 2.First published by Agni Press in 1974.

This is the 156th book that Sri Chinmoy has written since he came to the West, in 1964.

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by Sri Chinmoy
From the book Canada aspires, Canada receives, Canada achieves, part 2, made available to share under a Creative Commons license

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