Question 8 Print E-mail


Q  What is the difference between self-respect and ego?

A  From an absolute perspective, there is no difference between ego and self-respect. Ego is the assertion of the individuality against the totality. This then gets further established as an egoistic feeling of kartrtva bhavana and bhoktrtva bhavana – doership and enjoyership. This is normally referred to as egoistic. It also manifests as a feeling of possessiveness towards our possessions. And when this feeling of possessiveness is intruded upon, we get agitated. Self-respect is a milder version of ego. Respect is something that must be universal. We must respect everyone and every being for what they are.

We put too much value on ourselves. We always feel what we are thinking is right. We always feel ‘I know best’. But all of it is a manifestation of our egos. At the same time, there must be a sense of confidence in what we do. This comes when we act in accordance with our conscience. There is no greater strength than acting out of our conviction and conscience. The spiritual path is about overcoming ego & desires. And the way out is by the performing the three yogas of karma, bhakti and jnana.