RENTING ASUNDER THE VEIL OF EGO!
The Gita, the Gurubani, and the Upanisads
“1. The teacher said: If you think you know IT well, then you only know a small portion of its limitless form. Therefore Brahman, limitless Awareness, is worthy of inquiry.
2. The disciple said: I think I know Awareness. I don’t think I know It well, but I don’t think I don’t know It either. The one who says, ‘neither do I know nor do I not know It, knows It.
3. The one who doesn’t know It, knows It: the one who knows It, knows It not.
4. To say you know it you must know it in every state of mind. To know it is to realize that you are immortal. By virtue of Awareness one gains life but one gains immortality by knowing It.
5. If a person knows the Self, eternal Awareness, the true goal of life is achieved. Suffering awaits those who do not know. Knowing It the wise let go of worldly things and enjoy deathlessness.”
Grace Notes: Verse # 3 above underscores the importance of “humility” in one’s seeking; humility which is not just “desirable” but an “utter necessity” to avoid the slippery slope of the hydra-headed ahamkaara–the only thin film that separates us from the Divine that residers inside and outside, unencumbered.
Sri Krishna when He listed the 20 marks of higher knowledge (gyaana key saadhan) in chapter 13 of the Bhagavad Gita, verses 7-11, He lists the very first mark as “humility” and absence of “unpretentiousness” as the second and “also absence of egotism” as the 10th mark of true knowledge. Note that the word “also” “eva” (ahamkara “eva” ca) is only mentioned in the context of ego.
Now this humility is not a conscious development or a “put-on;” rather it is a natural, sahaja, development born of what Shakespeare calls certain “ripeness”–like a ripe fruit falls from the branch of the tree on its own, under its own happy weight. Similarly the “ripe” ego falls off spontaneously when the seeker truly progresses Homeward.
“Haumein” (egotism) has been called chronic disease (deeraga roga) in Gurbani and Kabir saheb sings “Ghunghat ke pat khol re, tohe piya milenge“–Lift up the veil (of egotism); you will meet the Beloved.” And Bulleh Shah says, Ghoonghat Chuk O Sajna Hun Sharma kahnu rakhiyaan.. Lift up the veil now, O Beloved, why this coyness now?!
Another Persian Sufi poet, Hafiz, says: “Tu khud hijaab-e-khudi Hafiz; dar miyan bar khej.” You yourself are the barrier o Hafiz; rise from within it.”
And finally, Guru Teg Bahadur ji says, “Kehey Nanak binn aapaa chinney, mitey na bharam ki kaaee.” Without self-realization, the dark film of delusion does not get dispelled. In a very rare verse in Gurbani, the Gurusaheb clarify: Ekey ghat dau basey, which haumein parda payaa: In the self-same cave of the heart, the two live–the temporal and the Divine. Only the ego is the separating element between the two.
This “ghoonghat” is nothing but the false delusion of a separate self who is seeking its own salvation. Hence, when the Gita has described the meditation on Brahman (12.5) it has taken care to mention “sarva bhuta hitae ratah” –“delightlfully enganged in the service of the One in all” as an important concomitant.
May we all be so fortunate!