Spiritual Questions and Answers with Radhanath Swami

Are we inherently selfish?

By on February 4, 2014 in Life with 38 Comments

EgoQuestion to Radhanath Swami: The caring attitude is pleasing to everyone, but generally the default attitude in this world is one always thinks selfishly. So is it an inbuilt script of the mind that makes one think selfishly?

Radhanath Swami Answers: The false ego misconceives: “I am this body, I am this mind, I am the controller, I am the proprietor, and I am the selfish enjoyer.”  This is foundational to all material complications; it impels us to put ourselves above others and act selfishly. And when we continue to act in that way, it becomes a habit. And according to how we habituate ourselves by making those wrong choices we become more and more engrained in that way of thinking.

That is the way any habit works. For example, if you smoke a lot of cigarettes you become addicted, and the more you smoke the more you become addicted. The habit becomes a craving, and then it is very difficult to do anything without feeding your habit. When you are in the middle of it, you cannot really understand the effect of what you are doing because you are so much a slave of the habit. So that is exactly the way the ego works. Our selfishness, our arrogance, our greed, our selfish passions, our anger, and our envy – as we make choices to feed these habits, they become stronger and stronger and stronger.

But when we associate with saintly people we began to understand what we really want in life and what our condition is. And then we will take the medicine and the way of life by which we can become liberated from these habits of egotism. Chanting of the holy names is the simple medicine that will cure one from all the symptoms of ego, ignorance and selfishness.

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  • NSP

    Excellent explanation by HH Radhanath Swami Maharaj on how we are conditioned to act selfishly!

  • Kalpana Kulkarni

    Very true! Basically all of us are very selfish. It is only by good association and chanting of the holy names of the Lord that we can overcome our ego and selfish nature.

  • Ravi Garg

    Thanks for your wonderful guidance Swamiji. This question is in everyone’s mind which you have very expertly cleared.

  • Sumit Sharma

    Very nice answer by HH Radhanath Swami Maharaj! He has wonderfully described the chain reaction here.

  • Indresh Mishra

    Thank you mahraj, for telling how this ego is also habitual.

  • Gokul Sundari Devi Dasi

    Great Answer ..Jai Gurudev!!!

  • Ravi

    Wonderful reply.

  • Balaram Acharya Das

    Wonderful realization. Thank you Gurudev !!

  • champaklatapriya devi dasi

    Thank you maharaj for telling us the simple solution for egotism, selfishness. Also it shows the importance of chanting the holy name.

  • Anurag Agarwal

    Very wonderful and deep explanation. I understood for forst time that false ego is the underlying problem and chanting Holy Names is the solution. Thank you!

  • Anurag Agarwal

    Very wonderful and deep explanation. I understood for first time that false ego is the underlying problem and chanting Holy Names is the solution. Thank you!

  • Gokul Sundari Devi Dasi

    Superb explanation. Thank you Gurudev!!

  • Rasasindhu

    Brilliant answer.

  • amit

    Thank you for sharing such a wonderful article :).

  • Anurag Agarwal

    “according to how we habituate ourselves by making those wrong choices we become more and more engrained in that way of thinking.” Amazing and to the point answer to solution. Thank oyu Radhanath Swami Maharaj for ths answer.

  • Milind M Churi

    Yes in this age of Kali,chanting Holy Names of the God is the only and perfect medicine.As the time in Kali Yuga progresses false ego of individuals in this mortal world will also increase.There is no material solution to this problem and if one is sincere then he or she can take shelter of bonafide spiritual authority to make one’s life perfect.

  • Balaram Acharya Das

    Great answer. Thank you so much Gurudev for wonderful realization.

  • Aishwarya

    Thanks for sharing.

  • Kuldeep Sonii

    Very nicely explained how ego works and how we can overcome to this disease by simply taking shelter of the Holy name.

  • Kalpana Kulkarni

    Yes we are all selfish. it is only by associating with saintly people and chanting the holy names of the Lord that we can overcome this trait.

  • Gokul Sundari Devi Dasi

    Superb explanation ..Thank you Gurudev..

  • Dinesh Alwani

    All glories to HH Radhanath Swami Maharaj!!

  • Kalpana Kulkarni

    We are conditioned to make our choices, but we should be intelligent enough to make the right ones.

  • amit

    Thank you very much for sharing this wonderful article

  • suresh

    very nice article…,

  • navin poojary

    yes! E will GO, if I GO and associate with saints 🙂

  • Gokul Sundari Devi Dasi

    Gurudev explains so nicely the concept of false ego and real ego.

  • I am genuinely grateful to the owner of this web site who has shared this wonderful piece of writing at at this time.

  • Balaram Acharya Das

    Wonderful answer. All glories to Gurudev !!

  • Gokul Sundari Devi Dasi

    Superb explanation..Jai Gurudev !!

  • Arun Desshmukh

    Chanting of the holy names is the simple medicine that will cure one from all the symptoms of ego, ignorance and selfishness… Chant and be happy

  • Gokul Sundari Devi Dasi

    Thank you Gurudev for wonderful explanation

  • vidya karekar

    nice explaination !

  • Aishwarya

    Nice explanation of comparing evils to smoking addiction.

  • Can chanting of holyname be compared to mantra meditation. Are the both similar???

  • Kaushik

    Radhanath Swami has touched the root cause of the problem here.

  • Rahul Gupta

    Beautiful. Some people say that we are inherently selfish, and some way we are inherently divine. But Radhanath Swami gave a complete understanding.

  • Keshav Kishor Das

    Very helpful answer…….! Thank You Maharaj.

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