eSpiritual: Ego in Mythology


Dr KK Aggarwal    14 May 2018

For spirituality, one needs to control two things, firstly, lust and lastly, the ego. In Kaama, Krodha, Lobha, Moha and Ahankara, ego and lust both are slow poisons and do not allow one to be spiritual healthy. There are many examples of how to control ego in mythology. Fundamentally, it is said that one should learn to kill ego of oneself and never hurt the ego of others.

Ego in Ramayana is equated to Ravana and in Krishna’s era to Kans. One should learn to kills the ego. In Ramayana, Kumbhkarana is Tamas killed by the self i.e. Rama, Meghnath is Rajas and is killed by the mind i.e. Lakshman and ego, the Ravana, is killed again by self i.e. Rama. In Krishna’s Yuga Kans is killed by consciousness or Lord Krishna.

Mythology also teaches us to keep our ego under control.

  1. The door of any temple is always low in height so that nobody can enter without bending. Bending is sign of humility. Most temples have caves which have the same significance. Older the temple longer will be the cave and smaller will be the entry gate.
  2. Ego in mythology is depicted by Sheshnaaga or Cobra snake with its hood directed inwards indicating keeping your ego under control. The Sheshnaaga over Vishnu when he is resting indicates the same. In Krishna’s birth also, the snake represents controlled ego and protects Krishna when Vasu dev takes him out in the rain.
  3. Lord Shiva is also shown wearing a snake in his neck with hood directed inwards. Shiva is also said to have a blue neck or Neelkanth indicating that to control anger one should neutralize the anger continuously (matted hairs) with cool mind ( Moon) using positive flow of thoughts(ganga) with ego controlled ( naag)
  4. In Hanuman ki Lanka Yatra, Sursa snake is handled by Hanuman with humility. Sursa, the ego, went on increasing in size when Hanuman increases his size.
  5. No Hindu marriage is complete without Varmala, which again indicates the need to bow in front of each other.

(Disclaimer: The views expressed in this write up are my own).

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