Satsang with Ma: Kundalini and the Ego
Devotee: What is the relationship of ego to Kundalini?
Shri Anandi Ma: There are two aspects to ego. You need a certain aspect of ego in order to function. When you say, “I want to go meditate,” that is a functional level of ego. When you say, “I want to attain self-realization,” that is also a positive aspect. Then there are other basic things like, “I want to go to work,” “I want to go visit my friends,” “I want to go shopping,” or whatever. As long as you remain in the body this aspect of ego is going to remain, because that energy or guiding force is going to keep you active, functioning and performing.
When there is so much association that you say, “I am doing this,” or “I am in control,” and you are not acknowledging that you are simply an instrument for some higher force or higher energy working through you, that level of ego creates a block in your spiritual evolution.
But the dark ego, the ‘I am’, the big ‘I’, is a block, not only in Kundalini Yoga but on any spiritual path. When there is so much association that you say, “I am doing this,” or “I am in control,” and you are not acknowledging that you are simply an instrument for some higher force or higher energy working through you, that level of ego creates a block in your spiritual evolution.
So many times in life, when everything is going right, when you do something major and are very successful, you forget God very easily. You say, “I did it. I am successful.” That aspect of the ego jumps out very strongly. But when you are unsuccessful or things go wrong, when you feel you are absolutely not in control and you see the ego failing, there is a tendency to hold on and blame others or even God for ruining your life. Then the ego is dominant, rather than receding, and the Kundalini energy is not allowed to work freely.
As a part of spiritual growth, you should be conscious externally and not allow the ego to become a restricting force in your evolution. It’s going to be difficult, because over years or lifetimes you have allowed the mind to do whatever it wants. It starts in childhood, when the child wants to dictate its needs to the parents. It’s a very natural and common human tendency, but over time you have to learn to allow that to merge with the will of God. The Kundalini will help you to dissolve that level of ego in the soul. That’s the whole process.
According to the Indian texts, the mind is just one aspect of our thinking. The other aspects are the ego and the intellect: intellect, not in terms of academics, but in terms of discrimination – what is right and what is wrong. The intelligent person is the person who can really tell the two apart without any shades of gray. These are all functions of the mind—the ego, the mind and the intellect—and they all have to be combined and go back into the soul. This is called laya, or merging back.
Over time, as the Kundalini goes deeper, the mind, intellect and ego will merge back into the Source, which is the soul. The only barrier between you and God, between the individual soul and the Supreme is the mind, ego, and intellect. If those are merged back into the soul, then you have a crystal clear image of the Lord right in front of you.