"Let not world-objects be your mind’s master. Let them be, if at all, subservient to the mind. To be spiritual is not to look for one’s delight and fulfillment in the objects of the world. The mind that causes delight through any object can also provide delight without such an object. Delight in reality belongs to the mind alone. It is verily mind’s own gift."

The Guiding force of Narayanashrama Tapovanam & Center for Inner Resources Development

Swami Bhoomananda Tirtha

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Question:

Swamiji,

I've some doubts regarding spiritual knowledge and realization. The more I read the literature the more they seem to contradict themselves.

My very first doubt is about the aim of spirituality itself. All spiritual texts which I read suggests that sublimation of the ego is the first step to realization, yet what I couldn’t understand is that the very quest comes from the ego, or from the thought that “I’m not complete and so I need to be complete.” Hence with this “I” omitted there seems to be no meaning in seeking.

So in my limited knowledge the aim itself contradicts the path. I’ll be really grateful to you, if you could kindly give an explanation.

 

SincerelyAV

 

Poojya Swamiji's Reply:

 

Dear and blessed AV:

My dear son, the question that you have raised is the last question. It gives rise to a number of crisscross thoughts, and the basis of all these thoughts is the ego.

Do you know what is ego? It is a mark of distinction. What do I mean? ‘I’ is a referral point. Like ‘You’, ‘He’, ‘She’, ‘It’ and ‘They’. I call myself ‘I’, but somebody in my front will say ‘Swamiji, you’. So am I ‘I’ or ‘You’? A third person will refer to me as ‘He’. So the same person becomes ‘I’ ‘You’ and ‘He’. Tell me what am I? Which part of the statement do you call the ego?

Ego-effacement is said to be the super pedestal of spirituality. In reality it means that any kind of resistance arising in you towards anything is wrong. Continue to live in this word without any like or dislike, preference or prejudice. Like a flowing river that does not have any preference so far as its flow is concerned.

In the same manner your birth was unknown to you, death also remains unknowable. Then how do you propose to control and fully regulate everything, or anything, including your saadhana? The best will be to surrender. Have a surrendering note and accept whatever comes, leave whatever goes. Do not have any preference or prejudice. Live like the wind blows, the water flows, the sun shines, the trees bear and the clouds shed.

If you are able to do this, they say this is ego-effacement. To de-recognize seeking and therefore not want to get rid of it and therefore not be concerned about the world impacts from time to time. This lofty zero position is the highest in spirituality.