Ego - An impediment to Happiness

By Ravi Valluri

Narender (name changed) was born into an opulent family and bestowed all the bounties by his indulgent parents. His father was a civil servant, who served the government in various capacities and his mother had the pedigree which the hoi-polloi, the flotsam and jetsam were envious of and would always aspire to acquire.

Her parents and the luxuriant, deluxe family virtually owned a quarter of the wealth of the state they hailed from. The petite woman was trained to be a classical dancer and a singer of remarkable repute. She honed these skill sets diligently. To sleep well in life, she whetted her appetite and was to strop the aesthetic skills to an optimal level. She grasped these nuances from the Maharani- her mother pretty early in life and that provided her with a head start over her compatriots.

Narender, blessed with this extraction and bloodline was naturally expected by the ménage to expand the family fortunes. While still in the cradle, it was decreed that the child would be educated in estimable and illustrious schools and colleges. The family was suffused with jollity and animated exuberance. The world of the cock-a-hoop and airy family came crashing when it was detected the child was suffering from dyslexia. ‘He is mentally retarded,’ over-reacted the distraught father. The danseuse-songstress was aghast.

It was as if lightning had struck the family and happiness was swiftly supplanted by an eerie silence of disconsolance. Why were they engulfed and subsumed by negative emotions and feelings?

Exalted expectations tend to diminish joy when humans begin linking and conjoining happiness with events, situations and individuals. Normally, the human mind is wont to postpone happiness and the propertied family had advanced this state of mind.

Invariably, humans postpone happiness by not living in the present moment, deferring happiness. For instance, a child arrives on planet earth and it is widely expected that upon completion of educational edification he would be ensconced in a reputable job, then get married and procreate. The unabated cycle would be continued ………and perhaps in the winter of his life the child, now a grandfather would finally attempt the pursuit of happiness.

This indeed was the state of mind of Narender’s parents and the Sakya king Suddhodhana. The Sakya king fervently and passionately expected young prince Siddhartha to ascend the throne after him. But Siddhartha was in search of expression of joy and the ultimate reality. He cast the princely garments to adorn ochre robes. The father was dismayed and rendered speechless.

Living in the present moment is the genuine expression of joy and happiness and this is nothing but achieving enlightenment.

The mental state of ego can be closely examined at the coattails of happiness.  At a cursory level the word ego means- amor propre, self-conceit or self-importance.

However, psycho
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