Avoiding the Dangers of Ego-Aggrandisement in the Spiritual Development

There is always a risk or danger that as one begins to experience the power of the descent of the divine Shakti in one’s life, that the ego will try to take the opportunity to rise up and stake its own claim in the action. The increased clarity, power of action, insight, intuition that can accompany the descent of the Force certainly can provide food for the ego. Many have succumbed to the lure of the ego’s aggrandisement at some point in their spiritual pursuit, even to the extent of imagining that they are the “chosen” successor to a great prophet, teacher or religious leader, or that they are themselves singled out and “called” to deliver a new teaching or realisation to humanity, or even, in some cases, believing that they are the “return” of a great leader.

Another way the ego intervenes is in an attempt to take the incoming Force and apply it to self-serving benefits to the body, life or mind in some manner, whether to enhance personal power or prestige, to acquire physical comforts or luxuries, or to gain personal enjoyment in some form.

Sri Aurobindo addresses this risk: “While this transformatio is being done it is more than ever necessary to keep yourself free from all taint of the perversions of the ego. Let no demand or insistence creep in to stain the purity of the self-giving and the sacrifice. There must be no attachment to the work or the result, no laying down of conditions, no claim to possess the Power that should possess you, no pride of the instrument, no vanity or arrogance. Nothing int he mind or in the vital or physical parts should be suffered to distort to its own use or seize for its own personal and separate satisfaction the greatness of the forces that are acting through you. Let your faith, your sincerity, your purity of aspiration be absolute and pervasive of all the planes and layers of the being; then every disturbing element and distorting influence will progressively fall away from your nature.”

Sri Aurobindo,