Our false identity — ego, the root cause of miseries

Published: 08th June 2016 04:20 AM  |   Last Updated: 08th June 2016 04:20 AM   |  A+A-

CHENNAI: Man is ever in search of happiness. We do not want sorrow or death. Why do we always want to go beyond sorrow?   Sorrows arise only when we have problems. Problems arise only from events that relate to us personally. Thus, analysing who the real ‘I’ is and understanding  how to relate to events in life could present the solution to all our problems. Advaita Vedanta clearly says that our real nature is the ‘Atma’ and that it is identification with our body, mind and intellect that gives us the false identity, the ego, which is the hero of all our miseries in life.

Our.jpgThe identification with the false happen out of ignorance of the real. Just as darkness can be removed only by light, ignorance can be removed only by right knowledge. Thus, right knowledge is not one of the options in removing sorrow. Rather it is an inevitable necessity to gain absolute happiness, to go beyond death and all limitations. The fourth chapter of the Bhagvad Gita states that anyone through right knowledge can renounce their false identification. This chapter is also unique as the Lord, for the first time, shows his true nature as the Lord of the Universe. 

Having elaborated the secret of selfless action in the third chapter, the Lord coaxes Arjuna to recognise the doership in him itself is a result of false identification. The ‘Atma’ is actionless and the action is only by the physical instruments, which is not him in reality. Hence, the Lord persuades Arjuna to identify the ‘Atman’ and thus become the witness as the actionless one in all actions.  The Lord prescribes to Arjuna many ways of self purification.  The Lord uses the word ‘Jnana Yagna’, which Swami Chinmayananda has been carrying on throughout the 43 years of his missionary life.

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