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Place of ego- either at the Master's feet or in the Master's embrace || Acharya Prashant (2014)
Author Acharya Prashant
Acharya Prashant
8 min
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Questioner (Q): What should I do if something is clear, but the leg doesn't step up?

Acharya Prashant(AP): We had talked about the limitation of clarity. Clarity alone is not sufficient. You can be very clear that you are diseased, but unless you are also sure that you can be disease-free, that clarity will only give you pain.

You see, if I am told that I am suffering from a disease and that disease has no treatment, then what is the point in earning this knowledge? Till date, I do not know that I have a particular disease. I might be suffering, right? I have no clarity. I go to a doctor, he tells me, “You are carrying this disease.” And he does not tell me that there is a treatment possible. Then what will this information do to me? It will make me only depressed. Will it help me? Will this information help me?

Diagnosis without prognosis is of no help. If one just keeps telling you, “You are an idiot,” and you might also realize it, “That yes, I am an idiot.” If one just keeps telling you that you are caught in falseness, and it might be true that you are caught in falseness; and all this telling does not empower you to get rid of the falseness, then that telling is of no use. That so-called clarity is of no use. One needs that inner firmness that, “All right, I might be sick right now, but sickness is not my destiny. Sickness is not my nature. I can shake away the sickness. I can regain that health which is anyway always available to me.”

That firm faith has to be there, “That I might be in dumps, but being in dumps is not what I am here for. I can be reborn. There is so much dust over me, it’s all right. One shower, one shower is all that I require.” Otherwise, what will happen? You will know that there is dust all over your body, all over your mind, and you will still not move. And that’s such a troubling situation, that’s such a frustrating situation.

In fact, better than that is to not know at all. Better than that is the man who does not know. Yeah, in that sense ignorance is bliss. So, just having clarity and not having that sureness will only lead to self-torture. When you are clear, be a little more clear. Be a little more clear that the same source from where this clarity is coming, the one who is giving me this clarity, will help me. “I am not an orphan. When I will take that step, I will be helped. I need not feel abandoned. I am not on my own. There is an entire network of forces ready to help me. I am not on my own. I will be helped. I am in safe hands.”

And that requires a very pliant ego. That requires an ego that is not sitting on the top of your head and shouting, “I am the master. I am the master.” Yesterday, when we were having that 10:00 PM walk, we said that the ego must be shown its rightful place, which is either at the feet of the master or in a tight embrace. The ego has only two places—either at the feet of the Lord, make it sit there; or as a lover to the Lord.

A servant ego is good, and a lover ego is good. Any third variety will be problematic. Ego must be either in the servant's quarter. Any third place is problematic. Either have an ego that has totally surrendered. It has become like a servant.

Q: It's no more an ego then.

AP: It is still an ego, in the sense that till the time you are even remotely identified with the body, the sense of ‘I’ is there, so that is there. Ego is the sense of being, the sense of ‘I’. It is there till the time you exist as a body, but now it is a servant ego or let it be a lover ego. Only these two types of egos are good, auspicious—either a servant or a lover. The servant knows, “I am not on my own; the master will take care.” The lover also knows, “I am not on my own; the lover will take care.” Both are never frustrated.

But when your ego is neither a servant nor a lover but pretending to be a master, then you are in deep trouble. Deep, deep trouble. Because now you are on your own. Now you have to take care of your own business. Now the ego is burdened with doer-ship.

Q: Sir can we term this as an atheist, this kind of a variety?

AP: Yeah, atheist in the real sense is the man who thinks he is on his own. Who is an atheist? Who thinks that he is the one who has to manage his own affairs. The so-called individual is the biggest atheist. "I, me, myself, I have to take care of my own business. If I don't do it, it won't happen." He is the one who is really an atheist.

The one who refuses to see that there is help all along the way, the ones who refuses to see, and acknowledge, and bow their heads in gratitude that without all the help they have received, I couldn't have been here at all, he is an atheist.

Q: What about the confused variety, who is neither an atheist nor a theist?

AP: As good as, or as bad as an atheist. If I have received something, how can I be confused?

Q: Sir, because the person has not received anything, that's the reason he is confused.

AP: Is there anybody who has never received anything? How will you breathe if you don't receive that grace? How will you breathe? The very fact that you are able to listen to what I am saying and breathe, isn't it proof enough that you have already received so much?

Q: Sir, servant ego will have doer-ship?

AP: “I will do what my master commands me to do,” that's a servant ego. The servant ego says, "I will do what my master commands me to do." Remember what Jesus says, "I am your shepherd," that's a servant ego. "I will do, I am a sheep, and I will do what my shepherd exhorts me to do. I am my shepherd's sheep. I will do what he commands me to do." That's a servant ego.

So, it's still doing, that 'I' is there, but that 'I' says, “Nothing of my own. I will do what he tells me to do."

AP: See, there are two kinds of atheists. Understand this. First kind, who say, “There is no God.” Second kind, who say, “There is a God and I have captured him in my holy book.” The second kind of atheist is extremely dangerous. The first kind of atheist is an honest atheist, he says, “There is no God.”

The second kind says, “There is God and I know him. He is sitting in my holy book. He has sent his book, and he is sitting there.” The second kind of atheist is a terrible atheist, because he will never know God. Never, never. For the first kind, there is some possibility left. For the second kind, all doors are closed now. Never will he know God. He will only have beliefs.

This is the kind of servant who is trying to command the master. Who says, “You know, I am the servant ego.” And what kind of servant who tries to usurp the throne of the master? Have you not seen such servants? “I will not formally declare myself to be the master, but you know, informally, unofficially, I am the master. You may call yourself God, but actually, I will command things.”

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