Asmita the hindrance of Pride and the ego
We are pondering the Kleshas in the Relax and Revive class this term, these are the 5 very human hindrances that hold us back in our yoga journey. This week we are looking at Asmita which translates as Pride, or Ego. Here are some thoughts on that...
Asmita happens when you identify with those things in your life that can change, for example your job, or the possesions that you own, a fancy car or wonderful home. It may even be your health or bodily appearance. But we age, the economy changes and jobs can be lost.. Everything changes, so we must look inside to cultivate what we call our Witness or Higher Self. We have all had glimses of that inner wisdom that rests within but can be so easily obscured by want or desire.
When the ego is pre-eminent we see ourselves as seperate, apart from other people, separated from them because we are superior. We live in a nice home, they live on the street. We have an interesting job, they sweep the streets. Our culture has history, amazing architecture, they live in teepees and mud huts. When we come to see our culture or life style as superior to others that is a form of mass Egoism and the stuff that has begun wars.
Modern science is telling us that we are all interconnected. We have come to learn that what we do, what we buy, effects the enviroment. I am sure the amount of hairspray I used back in the 80's is directly responsible for a large part of the Ozone layer depletion!
The opposite of pride is humilty, and cultivating that is a vital step in the diminishment of the ego. The word humility is derived from the latin word humus or grounded. Being grounded and stable is what we strive for in our yoga practice.
This is a wonderful video clip made by the American Museum of Natural History. It is an awesome, (in the original sense of the word, ie. inspiring awe, wonder or fear) clip. The astronomy involved in mapping the universe is quite amazing. This certainly puts life into perspective and shows us that we are not the centre of the Universe.
When you see the face of anger
look behind it
and you will see the face of pride.
Bring anger and pride
under your feet, turn them into a ladder
and climb higher.
There is no peace until you become
Let go of anger, it may taste sweet
but it kills.
Don't become its victim.
You need humility to climb to freedom.