Egotism = Haumai…
We routinely hear about egotism (Haumai). At the same time, we also hear that we need to eradicate egotism (Haumai) to Realize God.
But, how can someone know if one has egotism (Haumai) in the first place? Second, how can someone know how much egotism one has? Answers to these questions are not to be found readily, except in the Gurbani.
Before we get into the Gurbani’s answers, first, let’s find out why is it important to know these answers? Baabaa Nanak says:
- ਹਉਮੈ ਬੂਝੈ ਤਾ ਦਰੁ ਸੂਝੈ ॥: Haumai boojhai taa daru soojhai: When (one) understands ego (Haumai), then (one) knows the (Tenth or God’s) Gate. (sggs 466).
In other words, without the ਸੂਝ-ਬੂਝ (Understanding, etc.) of the egotism, we cannot hope to link with our Mool (Source, Truth…).
Thus comes the need or importance of knowing : “Do I have ego?”. “If I do have ego, then how much, that is, how dense it is”?As mentioned before, the Gurbani provides us with the answers.
Sometime the “effect” (ਪਰਿਣਾਮ) of a “cause” (ਕਾਰਣ) can give us information about the cause itself.
For example, as indicated by the Gurbani, the “effect” of the “cause” (i.e., ego or Haumai) can give us understanding of the ego itself. Now, what is the “effect” of the ego?
The effect of ego is “worry” (ਚਿੰਤਾ, anxiety, etc.). To say it otherwise, ego is the “cause” of the worry. That is to say, if one worries in life, then be assured that that person is also suffering from the chronic disease of ego (“ਹਉਮੈ ਦੀਰਘ ਰੋਗੁ ਹੈ”).
Next, how much? More worries mean more ego. Less worries mean less ego. No worries mean no ego.
- ਚਿੰਤਾ ਜਾਇ ਮਿਟੈ ਅਹੰਕਾਰੁ ॥: Chintaa jaai mitai ahankaar: Worry departs, and ego is eliminated. (sggs 293).
The Gurbani does not stop here – It also reveals to us as to how to eradicate both “ego” and “worry” – cause and effect . We can eradicate both (ego and worry by abiding in the Naam: Shabad-Vichaar, Aatm-Giaan, True Wisdom, ਸਚ ਦਾ ਗਿਆਨ, etc).
- ਚਿੰਤਾ ਰੋਗੁ ਗਈ ਹਉ ਪੀੜਾ ਆਪਿ ਕਰੇ ਪ੍ਰਤਿਪਾਲਾ ਜੀਉ ॥: Chintaa rogu gayee haou peerraa aapi kare pratipaalaa jeeou: (Through the Naam – Aatma-Giaan, True Giaan, ਸਚ ਦਾ ਗਿਆਨ, etc.) The disease of worry and the suffering of ego are cured; He Himself protects me (from worry, egotism, etc.) (sggs 99).