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Ego-awareness

Kamlesh Kamal. Normally every human being does possess some sort of ‘EGO’. Which type of ego do you have? How ego emerges and how it behaves??

We use the term ‘Ego’ so often that we seldom ponder over what actually this ‘Ego’ is and what are its types, respective tendencies and cascading effects. For a common man, “EGO is EGO” and it has negative connotations. That’s it.

Though, in simplistic terms, EGO can be taken as an acronym for ‘edging godliness out’; if dug deep into vedas and upanishads, it emerges as a quite complex entity that needs keen mindedness and equipoisedness of mind to comprehend. Moreover, awareness of it, also wide opens the door to egolessness.

Sankhya Darshan, an important branch of Indian philosophy can help us immensely in this journey of Ego awareness.

Sankhya Darshan, in essence, sees, deals and depicts in detail about the real nature of anything, be it any object, soul, its nature or even the supreme soul, for that purpose.

Normally, ‘Ego’ can be of three types : 1. ‘Tamas ego’ 2. ‘Rajas ego’ and 3 ‘Sattva ego’. This classification is based on the ‘three Gunas’ in human nature.

Tamas ego wants a work to be done all by others but it lacks in action. Rajas ego focuses only on action for completion of a work but not on means. Sattva ego focusses on right means also, but wants soul superiority and aura for his Noble deeds. Egolessness wants nothing.

Now, if we go into detail we can see the cause and effects of every EGO. Tamas ego dominates when the awakening is dormant, and soul consciousness is almost zero. In this case, proper knowledge of vices and their negative impacts remain missing.

Like the qualities of Tamas Guna, I.e. lethargy, sluggishness, sleepiness, haughtiness etc; the ego related to it comes into foray, when one is lethargic, inactive, peevish or snobbish.

A person may be very dull, inactive or incompetent. in such a state, his self esteem remains at nadir (lowest level) but his wants and greeds do remain at a very higher pitch. He expects everything, but does nothing. He expects a royal treatment but behaves like a parasite. For example, an unemployed husband may expect his wife to earn livelihood, cook a variety of spicy meals and do household chores with perfection and punctuality.

In such a mental state, he himself remains inactive, but expects others to fulfill his wants and desires. This tendency is known as selfishness.

Now, this selfishness can cause two types of effects- if it is clubbed with inferiority complex (due to poor self esteem of the man concerned); the manifestation is greed. it results in dependence on others. Even if, it gets fulfilled, he wants more and more. The greed augments itself.

Now, suppose, his wants at some level is not fulfilled. If greedy person is damn sure that all his tactics have failed and now his wants will not be fulfilled, he will become angry.

It is important to note that a person with Tamas EGO, can’t be simple. He will use fear tactics, pressure tactics, crookedness and wicked manipulations to get what he aimed for.

The worst part of this Tamas EGO : its manifestations become repetitive and cyclic which becomes a trap. There is no way out.

We know that we gain expertise in the field we do focus upon. Definitely, we can’t be a master in all fields, but we get better in any field, we incessantly practice. In sanatan sanskriti, it is said that we accumulate sanskaras in the field we pursue.

Now, there may be some souls who become depressed by seeing the expertise of others in any field. They do forget the cause of it, i.e ‘hetu'(as Kapil Muni says it). In other words, he forgets that the successful person might have toiled hard for what he have achieved.

Now, comes the second type of Ego – Rajas Ego. We have seen that the Tamas ego wants a work to be done without any active participation in the actual endeavor. Rajas ego on the other side does focus on action.

A person with Rajas ego doesn’t want the work to be done all by others, rather he remains active and toils hard. But, he wants it to be done by any means or at any cost. He thinks in the dichotomy of victory and defeat. Aim is all important for him. He wants to excel and achieve glory at any coast. This is the reason of several wars in the past. It was not that Kings (rajas) used to attack other territory for taxes, rather it was more for the greed of glory.
Rajas ego doesn’t have any inferiority complex.

A person with Rajas ego will be hard working. Though, he may also feel sorrow if his expectations from others are not fulfilled but he will not resort to theft, pilferage, loot or killing. Even if there is a killing involved, it will be not his main purpose and will be done by some tamas ego-driven person for him. Politicians (Rajnetas), bureaucrats, top businessmen are generally rajas-ego-driven people.

The third Ego, i.e. Sattva Ego is the best of all. The person will ensure that he achieves his goal by right means only. He may be less ‘hard working’ than a rajas-ego driven person, but he will be more peaceful. He will also help others for achieving their goals. The only weakness is that he wants good fame, soul superiority and an aura around.

They are good but not ultimate. The ultimate virtue is egolessness. The person with egolessness will not want anything. He will do his Noble duties and want nothing in return. If he will donate 100 ceiling fans to some trust, he will not want his name to be written by paint on each of them.

Egolessness doesn’t want fame. It believes in helping mankind and it works for the upliftment of mankind without advertising on television.

In a nutshell, Egolessness is the culmination of journey. In tamas ego, there is brutal demand of action from others for own benefit. Rajas ego is action centric. Sattva ego ensures good means and is also not totally ego-driven action but still it has some craving for name, fame, popularity etc. Egolessness is what is ultimate : consciousness driven action for the welfare of all.

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