Saturday, 9 June 2018

Spiritual and Religious Hypocrites

Question: Can a so-called "spiritual" or "religious" person, who prays, chants and does spiritual practices, be egoistic? It seems remarkably strange that someone who reads and talks about God and spiritual living could act and behave with so much self-importance. Aren't spirituality and egotistical conduct polar opposites? If someone IS "spiritual" yet egotistical, then, he is a hypocrite. Right?


Answer: "...egoism assumes a SUBTLE form. The GROSS ego is NOT as dangerous as the subtle egoism... The working of egoism is VERY mysterious. It is VERY difficult to detect it's VARIOUS ways of working. It needs SUBTLE and SHARP INTELLECT to find out its operation... (The) ego wants to exercise POWER and influence over OTHERS. He wants titles, prestige, STATUS, RESPECT, prosperity, house, wife, children. He wants self-aggrandisement. He wishes to domineer and rule over others. If anybody points out his DEFECTS, his vanity feels offended. If anyone PRAISES him, he is elated. This ego says, 'I know everything. He doesn't know anything. What I say is quite correct. What he says is quite incorrect. He is inferior to me. I am superior to him.' He FORCES others to follow his ways and views." (pg. 84, Conquest of Mind by Swami Sivananda)

Mata Amritanandamayi: "...it may happen that a spiritual person learns to hide his ego and PRETENDS to be very humble.... acts and behaves like a spiritually mature person... A person who wears the FALSE mask of a spiritually advanced person does not know what terrible HARM he is doing. He is MISLEADING others, and also paving the way for his OWN destruction. (pgs. 185, 186, 187, 188, Awaken, Children Vol. 7)

HYPOCRISY in the garb of religion is CRIME." (pg. 273, Voice of the Himalayas by Swami Sivananda)

"Hypocrisy, arrogance, self-conceit, anger and also harshness and ignorance, belong to one who is born in a demoniacal state, O Arjuna!" [Gita 16:04]

"Religious hypocrisy is the WORST form. Hypocrisy is a mixture of deceit and falsehood. Asuras are those who have waged war and who are still waging war with the gods in heaven. Those who are endowed with Asuric tendencies or evil qualities are Asuras or demons. They exist in abundance in this Iron Age." (pg. 426, Commentary on Gita 16:04 by Swami Sivananda [South African Edition])

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