Question: I feel that I am always competing with others. How can I overcome this?

Sri Chinmoy: Try to feel your oneness with everybody. When you do, immediately you will expand your consciousness. If someone does something well, immediately you have to feel that it is you who have done it. He should also do the same when you do something significant. Whenever any individual does something very well, others have to feel that it is their conscious inspiration and aspiration that have enabled that individual to achieve this success. If we always have an attitude of teamwork, then we will be able to conquer the ego.

But the competitive ego should not be confused with divine pride. Sometimes we feel, "I am God's son, so how can I be so bad? How can I tell a lie? How can I be insincere? I am God's instrument, so how can I do this kind of thing?" This is also a type of ego, but this ego is not the challenging and destructive ego that makes us want to defeat everyone by hook or by crook and lord it over the whole world with our invincible superiority. The divine ego comes from our divinised consciousness, from our inner oneness with God. If we feel in a divine way that we are God's chosen instrument, then there can be no undivine ego in our life. First we have to feel this inwardly. Then in our actions we have to manifest it.

So whenever somebody else does something good, please feel that it is you who have done it. This is not wrong at all. You are not fooling yourself. Do not think, "Oh, I have not done it. My name is not so-and-so." Your name is the universal Consciousness. There is only one Being and that is the infinite and all-pervading "I". So when any inhabitant of the universe achieves something, you can easily and most legitimately claim that you have achieved it, if you can just identify yourself with the universal Consciousness.

My disciples accomplish many things on the physical plane which outwardly I have never done. But I immediately feel that it is I who have done these things, on the strength of my sincere and total identification with my disciples. When they do physical work or mental work, they accomplish so many things. At that time I give them credit. I appreciate them, I thank them and offer my heart's sincere gratitude to them. But in my inner being I immediately feel that it is I who have done it with an extended part of my consciousness. These are my spiritual children. Naturally, whatever my children have done is also my achievement. Then again, on the spiritual level, when I bring down Peace, Light and Bliss from above, my children have every right to feel it is with their conscious aspiration that I was able to bring these things down. It was not that they have nothing to do with it. They are not just passive recipients. They have to feel that together we have brought down this Peace, Light and Bliss.

Ego comes from separativity; therefore, how can there be any ego when we feel our true inner oneness? Where is the consciousness of "I" if, when I do something, you can claim it? Where is the consciousness of "you" if, when you do something, I can claim it? Where is the ego? It is gone — vanished within our mutual, divine and universal feeling of oneness.

So our ego is conquered in these two ways. When we identify ourselves with other human beings, at that time we feel our oneness with them and the competitive spirit disappears from our life. Then there can be no ego. And if we can feel that we have come from God, we are in God, we are for God and we are of God, that is another way to conquer human ego and transform it into divine pride.