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Ego, the source of sin


56   Just as the source of all virtue is the real ‘I’, the source of the accumulation of sins is the false and deceitful ‘I’.


57   The ego, which is the very personification of evil, is a great ocean in which all sins dwell together.


58   Padam questions: ‘What sin will the ego – the thief who habituates one to the erroneous belief that one is the body – not commit?’


59   Since the ego stands as the accumulation of all sins, its destruction constitutes all that is virtuous.


Destruction of the ego


60   Only after the ego ‘I’ has been completely destroyed will Self-experience arise.


61   Unless you eradicate completely the obsession with the ego-mind, knowing it to be an extremely powerful poison, there will be no bliss in your heart.


62   For those who have attained the unique greatness of ego-loss, which is the greatest of all good fortunes, there is no other fortune to desire and attain.


63   Only the destruction of the false ego, which is a corruption of dharma, excels as the true Siva dharma.


64   True realisation is the assured state which has that steadfast strength that derives from the death of that source of forgetfulness, the deluding ego.


65   The moment you uproot and overthrow the mischievous ego, lordship over the world of liberation will flood your heart.


Killing the ego


66   ‘Kill me. If you do not, I will kill you now.’ Challenging in this way, the ego will rise.


67   Kill the cruel ego that rules tyrannically before it kills you.


Question: What is the best way of killing the ego?


Bhagavan: To each person that way is the best which appears easiest or appeals most. All the ways are equally good, as they lead to the same goal, which is the merging of the ego in the Self. What the bhakta calls surrender, the man who does vichara calls jnana. Both are trying only to take the ego back to the source from which it sprang and make it merge there.10


68   Unless you annihilate it completely, in such a way that it ceases to exist, you will not be able, in however small a measure, to experience the bliss of peace.


69   While it is alive, the ego is death; the death of the ego is life. This riddle is indeed difficult to understand.


70   The ego that has subsided and died in the Heart will attain the greatness of the Self and surge like a great ocean.


71   When the ego is destroyed, the truth of the Self will shine undivided, extending to the farthest extremities of the four quarters [of the universe].


72   Why abuse God instead of killing the misery-inducing ego, which is ignorant pride?




Chit-jada is a Sanskrit term that literally means ‘consciousness-inert’. Bhagavan frequently used it to describe the unreal bond or knot that ties or limits consciousness to the otherwise inert physical body. As such, chit-jada is co-extensive with the ego or the ‘I’-thought that, through false association, limits identity to a particular form.


73   The life of individualised existence, which is a combination of the two opposing entities [chit and jada], is just a manifestation of the mind [mano maya].


74   The chit-jada ego, which is neither sat [real] nor asat [unreal], remains in your Heart like an enemy masquerading as a friend.


75   That chid-jada ego known as ‘I’ is the founding ancestor of the lineage of the mind.


76   That which liberates, cutting asunder the shackle of chit-jada, is the enquiry that leads to knowledge of the truth of one’s real nature.


Question: While the one aim is to realise the unconditioned, pure being of the Self, which is in no way dependent on the ego, how can the enquiry pertaining to the ego in the form of aham-vritti [the ‘I’-thought] be of any use?


Bhagavan: From the functional point of view, the ego has one and only one characteristic. The ego functions as the knot between the Self, which is pure consciousness, and the physical body which is inert and insentient. The ego is therefore called chit-jada-granthi [the knot between consciousness and the inert body]. In your investigation into the source of aham-vritti, you take the essential chit [consciousness] aspect of the ego. For this reason the enquiry must lead to the realisation of pure consciousness of the Self.11


77   There exists no path other than that of separating [the knot that joins] spirit and body, that lowly state of existing as the body.


78   The true birth celebration is when ego dies through untying [of the chit-jada knot] and is born in Brahma-swarupa.


79   Unlike a blossoming lotus that closes [during the night], the Heart-lotus, which has blossomed after the untying of the ignoble knot, will never close again.


Guru Vachaka Kovai, verse 1124, Pozhippurai: If at any time in the past the chit-jada knot, the source of all other [bonds], has been severed, then one will never again be caught in the bondage of samsara. The state of God, the possession of power, and profound peacefulness – all these are in truth only this state of shining as swarupa.


Vilakkam: The three aspects of sat, chit and ananda – all of which belong to the One – are respectively described here as the state of God, the possession of power, and profound peacefulness.


The following commentary appears under verse one of Arunachala Pancharatna in Bhagavan’s Collected Works. I do not know who the author is, but it is not Bhagavan himself:


Just as the lotus bud, flourishing in marshy pools, blossoms at sunrise, so also the Heart, behind the soiled mind, shines forth by the grace of God who is the Self of all selves, and who is externally visible as Arunachala. But this sun, after rising up, never sets again and the Heart of the realised soul is in blossom once and for all.



The slide show comprises photos of Muruganar, the author of Padamalai.

David Godman Books


Books by David Godman on Ramana Maharshi, his devotees and his teachings

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