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Ego Is Like A Bamboo Plant Which Has Five Defects

According to a spiritual tradition among the Sikhs, ego is like a bamboo plant which has five defects –

It thinks itself higher than everyone else, from all trees and shrubs.
It has knots all through—robbing it of all smoothness.
It has thorns, even if someone caresses it with love, it pricks them.
It looks very strong from outside but is empty inside
When one bamboo rubs against another bamboo, it erupts into fire. Forests
after forests are reduced to ashes.

Likewise, an egotist person also has five defects that keep him away from the grace of the Lord;

He thinks all others are lesser than him—no one is greater than him.
He has knots in his hearts; he says something but has something else in his heart. He may use good, noble words, but is full of poison within.
Even if someone comes to him with genuine love, he pricks them.
He displays strength outside but is full of insecurities and weaknesses within.

When he encounters another ego, he rubs against it hard, lighting up a fire that burns everything. It causes quarrels and conflicts and gives rise to violence and wars.

Source - The Vedanta Kesari - September 2014 issue