Following is an excerpt from a samvaad (dialogue) session with Acharya Prashant.
Question: Sir, why do I have ego?
Acharya Prashant: Do not ask, “Why does the will-o-wisp, or the ego, or your personal center still exist?” If you ask, “Why does it exist?,” the answer is — your birth.
It exists because, you do.
When was the ego born?
When ‘I’ was born.
As long as you keep taking yourself as the born one, as the one who took birth one day and who would die one day, the ego is definitely going to remain.
So, if Parmeshwari (the questioner) asks that why do ‘I’ have ego, do you see what comes before the ‘ego’?
AP: What is the question? “Why do ‘I’ have the ego?” ‘I’ doesn’t even need to have the ego, the ‘I’ is the ego. Till there is Parmeshwari (the questioner), there is bound to remain the ego.
Don’t you see what ‘Parmeshwari (the questioner)’ means? A body that is separate from the universe. That is ego — as someone who is localised, temporally, and spatially. Parmeshwari is in this hall at Twelve noon. Had she been the Truth, she would have continued wherever she was. But at 3 p.m. she would be at the banks of river Ganga, not here. So she is localised in time. Similarly, spatially — at Twelve noon because she is here, so cannot be at the banks of Ganga at the sae time.
This is what is ego — a thing of time and space.
A thing that is severely limited by time and space.
And therefore it suffers.
And is therefore debilitated.
Even if you want to, you cannot be at the banks at this very time. And that you see is at the center of a lot of your suffering. Were you not limited in time, you would have immediately gone back to the past and corrected it. But you are limited in time.
If you are here, you can neither be in the past nor in the future. If you were not limited in space, then you would have controlled the entire universe, by being present wherever you wanted to. Or maybe by being present everywhere in the universe and therefore, being the universe itself. But you cannot do that. And therefore, you suffer.