Question: How can we be free of the ego?

Sri Chinmoy: Let us first of all consider the word 'ego'. In Sanskrit, the word is aham, which means the sense of 'I-ness'. The sense of I-ness means limitation. It is the limitation of our consciousness. Ego is something that binds us, that does not allow us to be free from the fetters of ignorance. I am sure most of you have heard the Sanskrit word maya. Maya is used to mean 'illusion', but actually maya means 'something that measures'. Wherever there is measurement, which is limitation, there is illusion, there is the presence of ego. 'My family', 'my country' and so forth all express the feeling of possession, which is limitation.

How can we get rid of this ego? There are two paths which we can follow in our lives. One is the path of desire, and the other is the path of aspiration. If we follow the path of desire, we can never free ourselves from the snares of ego. But if we walk along the path of aspiration, then sooner or later we will definitely free ourselves from the limitations of ego.

What are we aspiring for? We are aspiring for Infinity, Eternity and Immortality. When our earth-bound consciousness enters into the infinite, eternal and immortal Consciousness, naturally our ego has to leave us for good. If we practise meditation and self-discipline, and if we live the inner life, slowly, steadily and unerringly we can transform our ego. There is no other way to get rid of ego than to launch into the sea of spirituality.

Dive deep, deeper, deepest into the sea of spirituality. There, there alone, will you be able to discover your true self. When you discover yourself, you will see that self-discovery and God-discovery, self-realisation and God-realisation, are one and the same. In your self-discovery and God-realisation, ego, with all its limitations, cannot breathe. Ego will have to go somewhere else, and you will be free from it for Eternity.