Question: How can I conquer ego?Sri Chinmoy: Feel that your ego is a thief inside you. When you see a thief, what do you do? You chase him. Feel that a thief has entered into you, into your room of aspiration, start chasing your ego, the thief, early in the morning. In the evening you will be able to catch it. If you can really feel that your ego is a thief, a day will come when you will be able to catch it. It may not come all at once, but if you know that something is stolen and you have seen the thief, you will continue searching. Your search is bound to be rewarded one day. When you catch the ego, what will happen? Your sword of universal oneness will transform it.
Ego is separativity and individuality. Separativity and human individuality cannot live in the sea of oneness and universality. If we want to maintain our separate individuality, our life will end in destruction. A drop, before entering the ocean, says, "Here is the mighty ocean, the vast ocean. When I enter into it, I will be totally lost; I will be totally destroyed; I will have no existence!" But this is the wrong way of thinking. The drop should be spiritually wise. It should feel, "When I enter into this vast sea, my existence will merge with it inseparably. Then I will be able to claim the infinite ocean as part of myself." Who can deny this? The moment the drop enters into the ocean, it becomes one with the ocean; it becomes the ocean itself. At that time who can separate the consciousness of the drop from the consciousness of the entire vast ocean?
The human ego is constantly bothering us. But if we have the divine ego which makes us feel, "I am God's son, I am God's daughter," we will not tend to separate our existence from the rest of God's creation. God is omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent. If He is all. He is everywhere and if I am His son, how can I be limited to one particular place? This divine ego or divine pride is absolutely necessary. "I cannot wallow in the pleasures of ignorance. I am God's child. To realise Him to discover Him in myself and in everyone is my birthright. He is my Father. If He can be so divine, then what is wrong with me? I came from Him, from the Absolute, from the Supreme; therefore, I should be divine too. This kind of divine pride has to come forward. The ordinary ego that binds us constantly has to be transformed. The divine ego, the divine pride which claims the universe as its very own, should be our only choice.
The ego deals only with the person and his possessions. If we deal with the universal Consciousness, we become the entire universe. In this consciousness we do not act like a tiny individual who can only claim himself and feel, "This is my property. This is my capacity. This is my achievement." No, at that time we will say, "All achievements are mine. There is nothing that I cannot claim as my very own."
In the spiritual life the easiest way to conquer ego is to offer gratitude to God for five minutes daily. Then you will feel that inside you a sweet, fragrant and beautiful flower is growing. That is the flower of humility. When you offer Him your gratitude, God gives you something most beautiful, which is humility. Once it has seen the flower of humility, the ego goes away because it feels that it can become something better: universal oneness.
The more we give, the more we are appreciated. Think of a growing tree. A tree has flowers, fruits, leaves, branches and a trunk. But the tree gets real satisfaction not by possessing its capacity but by offering its capacity. Only in self-giving does it get satisfaction. When it offers its fruit to the world, it bows down with utmost humility. When it offers shade or protection it offers them to everyone without regard for wealth or rank or capacity. We also get real satisfaction by self-giving and not by keeping everything for our own use.
The ego always tries to possess things for itself. But when we transcend ego, we try to give everything for God's Satisfaction, for the world's satisfaction and for our soul's satisfaction. On the human level the ego tries to get satisfaction by using things for its own purpose. In the spiritual life, we transcend the human ego and then we use those things for a divine purpose, for the satisfaction of the entire world.