The Best Birthday Gift: Ego

Letter from New Delhi

Your ego is an iceberg, only one-tenth is visible. To confront it, dissolve it and offer it as your gift to Osho for his birthday on 11 December is the best gift for him and you, writes Swami Anand Kul Bhushan.

Let go ego. These three small words are the most difficult – indeed, impossible! – to put into practice. Every one of us thinks that he/she has no ego. “Oh, I am the humblest and egoless person…” is the image we have of ourselves and want to project to others all the time.

Like an iceberg, only one-tenth of our ego is visible unless we happen to be really big headed. We hide nine-tenths of our ego with various devices like talking very softly, being extra polite and listening intently. This subtle ego presented with a humble smile is more devastating, sinister and lethal than the person who shouts it out loud and clear. These so-called ‘egoless’ people go to great lengths to hide their ego by saying things like, “I am nothing compared to you.”

Behind this ego is the will or will power that drives us all. Right from our childhood, we have been programmed to rise and fight against all odds. “Of course, you can do it!” we are told to struggle on in life. As we achieve our goals and sometimes surpass them, we become more confident that we have done it all by ourselves. When we pass milestone after milestone, it is all OUR will power. When we stumble and face roadblocks, it is ‘God’s will’. We have become very clever at deceiving ourselves while building our will power and ego.

“Drop your will, and surrender to God,” says Osho. “How can I survive if I surrender to God?” we object. Says Osho, “Willpower is a desire of the ego. You want to be strong and powerful and dominating, and a great leader of men – all foolishness. Just be ordinary and happy. Trees are happy without any willpower. Birds are happy without any willpower. What do you need willpower for? You should be happy it is weak. If you want to be unhappy, then willpower… then I can show you methods how to increase it, but then you will go to hell directly. That’s the path for hell. Drop this nonsense — just enjoy life.”

Melting that iceberg is not possible unless one becomes aware of oneself, observes and witnesses oneself all the time witnesses oneself all the time with full awareness. Our icebergs contain hard rocks of our guilt, fears, suppressed anger, laughter and crying. It is not easy to melt them unless one starts meditation seriously and regularly. Do you want to cling to your iceberg or melt it?

Dropping the ego is Osho’s core message. On Osho’s birthday, 11 December, what gift can you offer to him? Your ego, of course. But it’s not easy unless you strive to drop it or let go of ego. Why not make a start on his birthday? That’s the best celebration.


* Published in print edition on 7 December 2018

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