How is the ego to be destroyed?
A Devotee asked Maharshi: How is the ego to be destroyed?
M.: Hold the ego first and then ask how it is to be destroyed. Who asks this question? It is the ego. Can the ego ever agree to kill itself? This question is a sure way to cherish the ego and not to kill it. If you seek the ego you will find it does not exist. That is the way to destroy it.
In this connection I am often reminded of a funny incident which took place when I was living in the West Chitrai Street in Madura. A neighbour in an adjoining house anticipated the visit of a thief to his house. He took precautions to catch him. He posted policemen in mufti to guard the two ends of the lane, the entrance and the back-door to his own house.
The thief came as expected and the men rushed to catch him. He took in the situation at a glance and shouted “Hold him, hold him. There – he runs – there – there.” Saying so he made good his escape.
So it is with the ego. Look for it and it will not be found. That is the way to get rid of it.
Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi
24th January, 1939