Chapter 8: The Essence of Existence
Ramakrishna is right. How can bathing in the Ganges wash away your sins? Yes, the dirt and grime of the body will be washed off - although as soon as you come out the dust will be stirred up and settle on you again. But how can the Ganges clean the inside of you? The outer Ganges can clean away the outer dirt, but the inner Ganges will have to awaken in your inner consciousness. That water you will have to seek in your own sources.
You will have to die this death yourself, I cannot do it for you. If I could kill you, then anyone could reawaken you. If you can die this death yourself, then no one will be able to reverse it. Once someone has consciously awakened within and dispersed the ego, then there is no power in the whole world that can make him fall back into the trap of the ego.
So don’t say, “Kill me, O lord, kill me! Kill me, I crave death.”
No one dies by craving it. The one who is craving it is the one who has to die. Who is craving it?
When you are listening to what I am saying your ego feels, “I wish I could be a great yogi like Gorakh.” But this Gorakh is saying something disturbing, he is saying, “Die, only then you can be.”
“Okay, then I will die, but I must become a great yogi. I too want to be a realized one.” It is your ego that desires this, and it is this very ego that has to die. So the ego says, “Okay, then I will die. If that is the way to become self-realized then okay, I am ready even to die, but I must become a realized one.” And it is this craving for self-realization that hinders you from being one. This is the life-breath of the ego.
Where does the ego get its energy? The ego feeds off your desire to be something else. You are poor and you want to be rich - the ego is absorbing energy, its life-breath. You are ignorant and you want to become a wise one - the ego is absorbing energy. You are a wretched nobody and you want to become powerful - the ego is absorbing energy.
Understand the process of the ego. How does the ego live? The ego lives in the tension between what you are and what you want to be. A wants to be B - the ego is created out of this very tension. How does the ego die? The ego dies by you accepting what you are. That you say, “I am fine as I am, where I am is good. I will remain just as existence keeps me. Its will is my will.”
When you have dropped all the tension about the future - that I should become this and I should become that - the ego evaporates. The ego lives on a base of the past and the future. Understand this a little. The claims of the ego are of the past, “I did this, I did that” - it is all in the past. And the ego says, “I will definitely accomplish this, I will definitely show you that I can accomplish that.” That is all in the future. The ego simply does not exist in the present. If you come to the present, then the ego disappears. That is death to the ego. Coming to the present is the death of the ego.