Meaning: noun: Egotism, pride.
ਹੇ ਜਨਮ ਮਰਣ ਮੂਲੰ ਅਹੰਕਾਰੰ ਪਾਪਾਤਮਾ॥
he janam maraṇ moolanǧ ahaňkaaranǧ paapaatamaa.
O root of birth and death, egotism! You are very soul of wrongdoing -Guru Arjan Sahib, Guru Granth Sahib, 1358
Message: Egotism or conceit makes human beings shallow. It causes them to behave meanly and cheaply.
Egotism is the most powerful vice. An over-inflated view of strengths can be a detriment. An unhealthy ego can have a harmful effect on relationships. Blinded by the evil influence of egotism, we turn friends into enemies as we prioritise our own self over relationships.
However, there is a positive side to pride. We are proud of our achievements and our children and their successes. All pride is not bad as long as we remain grateful and not show pride in a dysfunctional way.
We should be mindful of the fact that it is the Divine who gave us every gift we feel so proud of. We are mere instruments of the Creator. We should be humbled that He bestowed so many bounties and blessings on us.
Etymology: From Sanskrit ahaṁkaar (self-consciousness, egotism, pride) → Pali → Prakrit ahaṁkaar (egotism, pride).
Summary of the Week:
In the past, slaves used to have chains around their necks so that they do not escape their masters, but now, we gladly put chains around our own necks. Our vices or destructive emotions are strong invisible chains around our necks. They cause misery, unhappiness, and disharmony within us.
These vices are our ‘enemies’ and the virtues are our real friends. Our vices become stronger chains when we commit transgressions based on them.
The bad habits and our negative actions bind us in a tight grip and weigh us down because of the repercussions that follow. We sink lower and lower in the mire of distress, negativity, and harmful thoughts.
If we acquire virtues as our true friends, we could extinguish our vices and be free from the yoke of evil. Let’s embrace our real friends and pursue lasting inner happiness and rise towards a blissful state of living.
ਨਾਨਕ ਅਉਗੁਣ ਜੇਤੜੇ ਤੇਤੇ ਗਲੀ ਜੰਜੀਰ॥ ਜੇ ਗੁਣ ਹੋਨਿ ਤ ਕਟੀਅਨਿ ਸੇ ਭਾਈ ਸੇ ਵੀਰ॥
Nanak: As many as are the vices committed by one so many are the chains around one’s neck. Only if one has virtues, then these chains are cut off; the virtues are one’s true brothers and siblings. -Guru Nanak Sahib, Guru Granth Sahib, 595
Note: It is not the emotions themselves, but an excess of these emotions that is a vice. The key word is ‘in excess’. Anything excessive is and can be harmful if not checked or kept under control.