Question: Can the ego ever have purity?

Sri Chinmoy: Human ego can never have purity. Human ego wants only to bind: “I, my, mine — my brother, my father, my friend.” I am limited as an individual and I think of my mother and my father as limited. So when I am limited, and the world that I am claiming as my own is limited, how can there be purity? Purity is something vast, infinite, whereas ego makes us think that we are meant only for one or two or three. First ego says that we are meant only for ourselves; there is no world around us. We are our only world. Then ego says, “My mother, my father, my brother.” This is our only world. But this is all impurity. When we are binding someone or bound by someone, it is all ignorance. It is ignorance that makes us feel that only our immediate family is ours and that the rest of the world has nothing to do with us and we have nothing to do with them. Ignorance and impurity go together, whereas wisdom and purity go together. So this ego can never be pure.

But there is also another type of ego. We call it ego, but it is not actually ego. It is our identification, our feeling of oneness, with God. “I am God’s chosen daughter, so how can I do this? How can I tell a lie! How can I deceive someone! How can I waste my time! It is beneath my dignity. God-realisation is my birthright.” That kind of feeling is called total identification with God, but the mind may tell us that it is a form of ego. If we had to make a choice between calling ourselves God’s son and Satan’s son, would we not say that we are God’s son? Here also we have to make a choice between our little ego that says we belong to mother, father, brother, sister, and the big ego that says we belong to the Infinite, the Eternal, the Immortal. So that type of ego, which is actually our sense of identification with the Absolute, is most welcome. When we talk about ego, it is the little one, the little “I”. But when we think of God, immediately “I” goes away and becomes “we”. I represent “I”, you represent “I”, he represents “I”, everybody represents himself or herself. But God does not represent Himself, because God has created everyone; so God has to become “we”.

We always have to feel that the human ego is all impure. But the divine feeling of oneness — “I am God’s child, God-realisation is my birthright, God-manifestation is my birthright” — is divine ego, and that is extremely good.