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Worshipping With Pride Only Feeds The Ego

When waves of passion such as desire, lust or fear arise, either try to duck beneath them by self-attention, or else reflect on their uselessness and avoid them by viveka (discrimination) and vairagya (dispassion). If the waves continue to come more strongly and none of these methods help, pray to Bhagavan. Prayer coming from an agonised heart has its own power. Whenever we feel helpless, prayer is our best weapon. Bhagavan is always ready to help the helpless if their prayer is sincere.

Meritorious actions done with desire for personal benefit do not purify the mind. Actions done without desire for personal benefit purify the mind.

Unless worship and prayer are done with an attitude of ego abasement, they will not purify the mind. Worshipping with pride only feeds the ego.

As Sankara says in Vivekachudamani (verse 364), a hundred times better than hearing or studying is reflecting on holy teachings, but a hundred thousand times better than reflection is contemplation.

Self-attention is the most effective means of purifying the mind. The more you try to attend to self and the more you thereby experience the happiness of self-abidance, the more clearly you will understand and be firmly convinced that all happiness comes only from self, and that rising as ‘I’ is misery. Thus your vairagya (desirelessness) will increase and your attachments to things will become less.

What is this ego-life? Now I take this body to be ‘I’ and this world to be real. I feel attachment to things, people and circumstances, but I have only experienced this life for a certain number of years, and some years from now I will cease experiencing it forever. Therefore why should I take interest in or be ambitious for this transient and futile life? All these things seem to exist only because I exist, so should I not try to find out the truth behind this ‘I’?’ The more you reflect in such a way, the more you will lose interest in your life and the more you will wish to remain just as ‘I am’.