Sadhguru answers the question, what is ego? He also looks at this often misunderstood aspect. He explains how the ego is neither good nor bad unless one gets identified with it.
‘Ego’ is not something that you got because you did something well, or you became rich, or beautiful or anything else. When you started kicking in your mother’s womb, the ego was born. The very first mistake of getting identified with your physical body means the ego was born. It is a defence mechanism. You got identified with this little body. This little organism has to survive in this vast existence of which you have no perception to even know where it begins and where it ends. Just to survive, you have to project yourself like a big man. So the ego is born. It is a false reality you created just for the sake of survival. So what is ego? It is like your shadow. The moment you have a physical body, you have a shadow. The shadow itself is neither good nor bad. If the sun is up there, you have a little shadow. If the sun is down there, you have a mile-long shadow. Whichever way the outside situation demands, that is the kind of shadow you have. That is also the kind of ego you should have.
Wherever you are, you become a part of that, but nothing sticks to you. Only if you are like this, only if you are in a state of Vairag, then you will dare to explore all dimensions of life when you live here.
At a certain moment, whether you are beautiful or ugly, it is you, isn’t it? Keep it that way. Don’t create things which are not there–your ego, your atman, or something else.
Sadhguru is a yogi, mystic and founder of Isha Foundation, a non-profit organisation dedicated to addressing all aspects of human wellbeing through yoga programmes, and social and environmental initiatives.