Question: Could you please speak about ego and pride?

Sri Chinmoy: There is human ego and divine ego. Human ego is something that binds us. Human ego is always saying 'my' and 'mine'. The moment we identify with a particular part of our existence, we become that part. When we identify with the body, we feel that the vital, mind, heart and soul are all our enemies. When we identify with the vital, at that time the heart and soul become foreigners or strangers. The human ego identifies only with our limited human self.

Again, there is divine ego, which is actually not ego at all but divine authority. We identify not with our limited self but with our enlarged, expanded self, which is the whole of humanity. Divine ego feels its oneness not only with our physical body but with the entire universe. When we feel that we are everywhere, then who can bind us? Divine ego is our feeling of omnipresence, our feeling of oneness with the divine Reality, our Source. This feeling can only come when we pray and meditate. Without prayer and meditation, we can never claim that realisation as our own; we will only be fooling ourselves. The Christ said, "I and my Father are one" on the strength of his highest realisation. It is true, in essence, that we are all God's children. But if we say the same thing that Christ said without having the inner realisation, then people will only laugh at us.

Just as there is human ego and divine ego, so also there is human pride and divine pride. My human pride makes me feel that I am one inch above you. With my human pride I can insult you or lord it over you. Human pride only breaks the cosmic rhythm of life. Like human ego, it comes from our feeling of separativity, from the feeling that we do not belong to others and that they do not belong to us. Because I feel separate from you, naturally I feel proud when I do something that you cannot do. But when I feel my oneness with you, there can never be any sense of superiority or pride.

I use my right hand to throw the shot-put because my right hand is stronger than the left. But my right hand will not lord it over my left; both hands feel their integral oneness with one another. My head never thinks that it is superior to my feet. That would be sheer stupidity. My head only says, "If I had no feet, then how would I walk?" My head has more light than my feet because it has the mind, but it does not feel proud. My mind lets me read and write, but I also need my feet to take me to school. Each has its own role to play.

Everything is necessary. This moment God is using my head to do something, the next moment God is using my feet to do something. How can my head feel superior when it knows perfectly well that God also uses my feet? Similarly, this moment God is giving me the opportunity to be His instrument and the next moment He will operate in and through someone else. The actual Doer is God. Today He needs my existence to do something for Him; tomorrow He will need your existence to do something. Pride comes only when I can do something that you cannot do, or if somebody is using me and not using you. Since God uses everyone, there can be no pride.

Again, divine pride is different. Divine pride makes us feel, "How can I mix with ignorance if my Source is God? If He is my all, and if I am with Him, in Him and for Him, then how can I not be good and divine?" This kind of pride, which makes us aware of what we truly are, is a great benefit.

From divine pride we get a feeling of divine confidence. Divine confidence says, "I can conquer ignorance because God is within me." It is like a child who feels confident of his wealth because he knows that his parents are rich. Here, our money is our spiritual wealth. We feel that God, who is our Mother and Father, has infinite Peace, Light and Bliss. When we feel His infinite Light, infinite Peace and infinite Bliss within us, we feel that we can easily defeat ignorance.