Please enjoy the following talk by Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi, founder of Sahaja Yoga. This talk took place on the 22nd October 1979 in London.
“And this ego business is so much prevalent in our society now, with all due apologies I am talking about the Western society, when it comes to India I talk to them, but now I’m talking to you, and think that I am also a Western person, so I can say certain things as a Western personality, and don’t feel bad about it. For in the so-called, certain traditions that we have, today only I was discussing you see; like on the table we have to sit for dinner, alright? Simple thing it is, to sit on the table for dinner, now dinner is there because God has been gracious to us; for our well-being, for our friendship, we are all going to sit down. But go to any formal dinner, or you arrange a formal dinner, people would sit down ten times discussing “where is the seat of ‘X’ and the seat of ‘Y’, and the seat of ‘Z’.” But if there is a slightest mistake, in placing the people according to their date of birth, their face color, their head color, their height, their noses, their length, their upper lips, any difference is there found in the “Who’s who” book, you see, that somebody was placed little higher in M.A.D. degree, then you’ve had it. All the good wishes of entertaining people, of doing, some good friendship of having, creating something very, very great, is all lost. All the effort is lost and you are left wondering, “Now what have I done? I did consult all the dictionaries and the ‘Who’s who’, I mean this ‘Who’s who’ is another ego pampering you know. But despite that there was a mistake somehow and the person has taken a very big objection that Mr. X who is one day junior to him has been made to sit ahead of him, is the greatest calamity to his ego. The poor chairs do not know what happens for their different shapes, you see. How much we fight over all such things, pampering our ego.
So on and so forth we have so many things, but if I say “scrap all this nonsense” why don’t you scrap it? Why to have all this, protocols, this, that? What is the need to have this seat for this gentleman, that seat, after all if there are ten people for dinner they can find their seats, there won’t be a chaos for ten people. Even for twenty, even for three hundred. Why should there be seat allotted if you have invited three hundred people, alright, they’ll all sit down. If they are remaining they’ll sit down for the second one or for the third one. What is the… such a hurry of having that program? All together, or in such a systematic way that everybody feels unsystematic after that. Everybody feels disturbed and upset after the program is over? With all the system, with all the corrections and with all the great planning we do, ultimately we find all have become nitwits, there must be something wrong about it. And it becomes a frenzy with mob-like behavior people have, you see, everybody will come out with very big faces, “Oh, what a mismanagement you know, they did this!” What was it? One cannot even understand what is the value of all these things. That’s why we have to be like small children, to them it does not matter where they sit. And so we are grown up and matured, supposed to be mature people also. While children are still innocent and still ignorant and still they have to grow. We are supposed to be up-grown, what has grown within us is nothing but this Mr. Ego, not you.
When this happens, when this happens in the worst possible way, you know, in today’s paper I was reading about this ripper [Yorkshire ripper]. Now the conclusion is reached that he’s not a psychopath… but he is on a ego trip. He’s doing all this for his ego satisfaction, because he telephones to the police, he sends a, what you call… a tape to the police, that he should be caught. He tells them “you’ll meet me here”, and still they cannot catch him so he thinks oh he’s such a great person, that nobody can catch him. The greatest thief ever born who could not be caught. So that is… what you call, is not a psychopath, but I don’t know what name will you give to such a man? I mean to an egoist like this, the one who lives by ego tries to satisfy his ego, and if his ego is not satisfied by something he doesn’t feel satisfied, I don’t know what should you call him?
Now how to overcome this ego, because people start seeing, gradually this, it happens. They start seeing Mr. Ego, “oh very great, you see it’s coming up, giving me ideas, alright”. You feel sometimes very depressed with the idea that this is Mr. Ego I was identified with. Alright? You see your ego. Then when you see your ego, then what do you do with it? Or if somebody says “Better watch your ego” then what happens? You start fighting it. You say “No… I will not say anything, I will just keep quiet! Let them say anything whatever they like”. Then you become another type. You become a person who is suffering from super-ego. So you are left with desires but do not act, and you’d say that “let others aggress me, I’m not going to aggress anyone, I’ll be very careful about not-aggression.” But by this kind of a thing, what happens that when you raise the left side, I mean left side which goes up on the right hand side – super-ego, it presses the ego down but again is bounced back and there’s a kind of a bouncing going on. By this behavior when you fight your ego the ego sits on your head much more. The more you try to fight ego it sits on your head. You are not to fight it. Supposing you take a balloon and start hitting it, it will hit you back further. Go on hitting it, it will go on hitting. Now which is the way to deflate this ego? How do we deflate a balloon? In the same manner, take a pin and give it a prick. You just look at yourself, say “Alright Mr. ‘So and So’, now, how do you do?” and you laugh at yourself, you say “Oh you were very unhappy you see when you saw that you were not placed very much, alright, now have a pin from me!” And that’s how you deflate it, by seeing it by all the time making fun of it, yourself, and piercing a pin into it. Not by deflating, in the way people say that you deflate the whole thing by pushing it down, or by killing it, but actually just, making a hole in it, in the same way if you start looking at yourself… and make fun.
Human beings only know very well how to make fun of themselves, no animals know that. If you learn how to make fun of yourself your ego will go down, otherwise this ego will suggest “Whatever you are doing is the best, this has to be done, that has to be done, I am the best, I am doing everything good”, and you might be torturing someone, aggressing someone, you might be just playing into the hands of ego like a madcap, and you might be a real madcap but you don’t know that you are. Because with ego a person becomes successful so-called, he becomes very brilliant, shines out, in competition he comes up, and nobody dare say a word to him otherwise he’ll have punch on the nose, you see. So also he becomes very mighty and powerful, and everybody hankers after such a behavior and such a thing. But, a time comes when he realizes that “I was hanging in the air. I forgot my basis, and now I have to come down”, like Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall and they had a great fall. Such a beautiful ryhme this thing is, written long time back. And all the Kings horses and all the men, could not put Humpty Dumpty back again, into it’s own shape you see? So don’t be Humpty Dumpties, and don’t live with that idea of being a Humpty Dumpty, is a simple thing to fight your ego and that happens very often in Sahaja Yoga, is a very common happening in Sahaja Yoga, where your Kundalini itself, you see, creates such situations, that you are flabbergasted at your ego.”
HH Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi