Story of Vishwamitra and Vashishttha : Sublimation of Ego

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Story of Vishwamitra and Vashishttha : Sublimation of Ego

Postby s3g » Tue Jun 29, 2010 5:17 pm

Elenzi Mettam (American disciple) : Can ego go away completely?

Shri Shri Thakur : Everyone has ego. Without ego there cannot be any existence. However, it is desirable to have flexible ego. Rigid ego is not good. Flexible ego means bigger I. Its purpose is to make everyone bigger and not to suppress anyone. Rigid ego, on the other hand, belittles others by suppressing them, wants to grow bigger by denying them.

I have heard that once upon a time Vishwamitra started to do rigorous tapasya (ascetic practices) to acquire Brahmanhood. Then Brahma said to him that if Vashishttha did not accept him as Brahman, he would not be considered a Brahman. Here I understand Brahma as the common mind, i.e., the common people and Vashishttha means man of special wisdom and experience. He can discern who has achieved real greatness. So Vashishttha could realize that Vishwamitra did not attain the level of Brahmanhood at that time as he was still unable to overcome his rigid ego. So he could not accept him as Brahman. Vishwamitra became very angry at this. He started to give Vashishttha a lot of trouble. But Vashishttha remained compassionate and merciful towards him. However, he did not accept him as Brahman as he did not reach that state. At last Vishwamitra planned to perform Vashishttha-medh yagna (solemn rituals for sacrificing Vashishttha) and invited Vashishttha to preside over that. Vashishttha was ready even for that. The yagna started. Vashishttha proceeded to sacrifice himself, started approaching the sacrificial fire. At this point Vishwamitra felt repentant at his heart. He intensely started to plead before Vashishttha – ‘Please do not sacrifice yourself any further, I do not want Brahmanhood. You should stay alive so that I can live serving such a great man like you. I do not have any desire left for acquiring Brahmanhood.’ Uttering these words he doused off the fire and crying profusely fell on to the feet of Vashishttha. At that very moment Vashishttha accepted him as a Brahman. Brahman means Brahmagya (one who knows Brahma). When a man does not want to become God or for that matter he does not want anything other than loving Him without any obsession or expectation, only wants to sacrifice his life to serve Him, from that very moment God starts residing in him, his body becomes temple of God. When attachment to Vashishttha grew inside Vishwamitra without any reason and from the directive of that attachment he could forsake his dearest desire of acquiring Brahmanhood just like that, at that very moment he became a Brahman. The true Brahmanhood awakens only while surrendering at the feet of a real Brahman. Then the ego gets sublimated. No matter how big the status of a man, he continues to remain inferior if he does sadhna with inferiority.


[Ref: Alochona Prasange Vol.9, First Edition, 1964, , P111-113]

[Note : The original transcript is in Bengali and is translated here by Subrata Ghosh. The words, highlighted in bold are, however, originally used by Shri Shri Thakur Himself]
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