Ego means the self or atma – the individual spirit soul who is temporarily residing within a material mind and body. The ego is who we are eternally - our pure identity that stays the same regardless of the various material forms we take on birth after birth. There is no question of destroying the ego. It is what is there when anything that can be removed is removed. It is the spirit soul in a completely purified, natural state. Ego cannot be altered or destroyed - but it can be covered.
The false ego is what covers us when we take on a material form. It is the misconception that we actually are the material mind and body that we are temporarily wearing. When we take birth in a particular material form, we experience ourselves through the lens of that form. If we are born in a human female form, we think I am a girl or a woman. I am a particular age, ethnicity, nationality, economic and social status, religion, mentality. We think I am this or that – all referring to the material mind and body that we are wearing.
But in actuality, we are none of these things – we are the pure spirit soul who is wearing these mental and physical “clothes.” False ego is the mistaken belief that we are the material clothes. Real ego is fully knowing that I am the eternal spirit soul who is wearing the clothes.
Spiritual life involves purifying our consciousness of misconceptions about who we are. When we know who we truly are – eternally are – we can be true to our self. We no longer mistake our self for our body. Thus, we can live in a way that is in harmony with our true nature, even while we are still wearing this physical body. Living in this deep level of integrity, we are naturally happy, peaceful, fulfilled.
In the yoga scriptures, the recommended method of purification for this day and age is mantra meditation (which includes kirtan). A true mantra is the Absolute Truth in sound vibration. This spiritual sound vibration descends from the spiritual platform to the material world without losing any of its potency. In mantra meditation, a person hears and chants or sings this spiritual sound and thus puts themselves in the direct presence of the Supreme. This has a profound purifying effect on our consciousness. With regular practice, we are gradually purified of all that is artificial and thus we experience our true loving and joyful nature.
Of the different types of recommended mantra meditation, kirtan meditation tends to be the easiest for people to practice. We invite you experience the joy of Kirtan for yourself every Sunday at Bhakti Yoga Shack in Anahola on the beautiful island of Kauai. Contact us for details or visit us on Facebook, Google, You Tube, or our website: bhaktiyogashack.com