ego its reality. Expose it for what it is, or rather, for what it isn't, and that will be the endof it.A dog wags its tail—the tail does not wag the dog. If the tail were to wag the dog, itwould be disastrous! The same is true with the mind. The mind, or the ego, should benothing more than a useful tool; a sadhaka [spiritual seeker] shouldn't let him- or herselfbe ruled by the whims and fancies of the mind.The ego consists of our thoughts and our mind. Our thoughts are our own creation. Wemake them real by cooperating with them. If we withdraw our support, they will dissolve.We simply have to observe our thoughts. The clouds in the sky assume differentshapes, and they change constantly. You may see clouds drifting by that look like facesof the gods or different animals or sailing ships. A small child may believe that theseshapes are real, but, of course, they areonly illusions. In the same way, our everchanging thoughts drift through the mind,which is the ego. They assume differentforms, but they are no more real than theshape of a cloud in the sky. If we simplywitness our thoughts as they drift by,they will no longer have any effect on usor influence us in any way.A lion made of sandalwood is real to achild, but to a grown-up it's a piece ofsandalwood. For the child, the wood isconcealed, revealing only the lion. Thegrown-up may also enjoy the lion, but heknows it is not real. For him, the wood isreal, not the lion. In the same way, to aSelf-realized soul, the entire universe isnothing but the essence, the "wood" thatcomprises everything, the AbsoluteBrahman or Consciousness.
What is ego death for the true seeker of moksha [liberation]?
MA: If the ego is unreal, what death are you talking about? We superimpose the unrealon the real. What really exists is Brahman. There is no discovery, only uncovering.
What are the signs of true ego transcendence?
MA: One who has gone beyond the ego becomes an offering to the world, like anincense stick that burns itself out while bestowing its fragrance to others. For such aperson there is no sense of otherness. It is difficult to say what a clear sign would be.People pretend or they imitate this and that quality—but for a real master, one who trulydoesn't identify with the ego, his or her entire being, and every action, is a pure