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Steer clear of delusion

CHENNAI: : There are many hurdles in the path to God realisation, the greatest being the sense of "I" and "mine". A towering presence within human consciousness, this is the cause of "ego", and its hold on the individual cannot be underestimated. In a discourse, Sri Navalpakkam Narasimhan pointed out that when even great devotees and sages have succumbed to the sway of ego, it is not surprising that lesser mortals should believe that it is their effort that is the cause of their success. They fail to acknowledge the ultimate power that is responsible for their respective (human) power.

Arjuna, a great devotee and friend of Lord Krishna, became a victim of ego after the Pandavas emerged victorious at the Kurukshetra war that raged for 18 days. Arjuna could not help feeling elated at the mighty prowess he had exhibited and a sense of pride at his achievement. For a moment Arjuna's ego took hold and he wished to alight from the chariot after Lord Krishna (the charioteer) got down. But since the Lord insisted that Arjuna get down first, he had to concede. After Lord Krishna alighted, the chariot burst into flames. Lord Krishna then told Arjuna that the chariot had borne the brunt of the many powerful astras including the Brahmastra. It was through the sheer power of Lord Krishna that it was held intact. Had Krishna got down first, Arjuna would have been burnt up. Arjuna then realised that the heady feeling of victory had puffed his ego. He begged forgiveness of Lord Krishna.

It requires a great sense of discrimination to understand the force behind this powerful drive in us. Deep within one's consciousness one has to be honestly convinced of the greater power of God that is responsible for each and every force in this universe.

It is tempting to take pride in whatever individual endowments one possesses. Only when one is freed from this delusion can one truly feel humble in the awe-inspiring presence and power of the Supreme Being. The lives and teachings of seers and saints who have realised the greatness of God through devotion are more than signposts for those in search of the path to God realisation. Having tasted the greatness of God, their devout souls are immersed in thoughts of God, with no room for ego.

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