Archive for the ‘Hypocrisy’ Category


Question 1: Everyone in spiritual life talks about ego, and that it is the greatest impediment when it comes to attaining God. What, actually, is ego? How does it cause trouble to us?

Answer 1: “Ego… is the self-asserting principle…born of ignorance…It is the ego which has created the idea of separateness from God or the Atman, It is the ego which is the ROOT CAUSE of ALL human sufferings and births and deaths.” (pg. 44, Jnana Yoga by Swami Sivananda)

Question 2: How do we know whether we have ego? Or, whether we are acting out of egoistic tendencies? Are there are definite signs of the existence of ego?

Answer 2: “…ego identifies itself with the body, mind, prana, and the senses. Wherever there IS ego, there are mine-ness, SELFISHNESS, LIKES and DISLIKES, LUST, ANGER, greed, HYPOCRISY, PRIDE, JEALOUSY, delusion, arrogance, conceit, impertinence, vasanas (=tendencies), trishnas (=cravings)…”   (pg. 44, Jnana Yoga by Swami Sivananda)

Question 3: How do we get rid of this ego that causes so much trouble?

Answer 3: “…destrouction of thought, DESIRES, cravings, mineness, selfishness, JEALOUSY, PRIDE, LUST is really destruction of mind or egoism. Control of SENSES also is annihilation of the mind or egoism.” ( (pg. 44, Jnana Yoga by Swami Sivananda)

Question 4: Do people who are in spiritual life or who practise religions have ego?

Answer 4: “This egoism assumes a subtle form. The gross egoism is NOT so dangerous as the subtle egoism.”  (pg. 44, Jnana Yoga by Swami Sivananda)

Question 5: I have known people who claim that their religion is the truest and the rest are bogus, or they claim that their group, congregation, church, mosque or temple is genuine and the others, although they may belong to the same religion, do not belong to the true path of and to God. Are they actually working under the influence of ego?

Answer 5: “..Institutional egoism is a subtle form of egoism. The man identifies himself with the institution and gets ATTACHED to the institution or cult. He has no broadmindedness or catholicity.”  (pgs. 44-45, Jnana Yoga by Swami Sivananda)

Question 6: How to easily detect ego as it is so subtle and abstruse?

Answer 6: “The working of egoism is very mysterious. It is VERY difficult to detect its various ways of working. It NEEDS a SUBTLE and SHARP intellect to find out its operation. If you practise INTROSPECTION DAILY in silence, you WILL be able to find out its mysterious ways of working.”  (pg. 44, Jnana Yoga by Swami Sivananda)

Question 7: In your answer to Question 2 you said if we identify ourselves with the body, mind, senses, etc., it is an indication that we have that lurking ego in us. If this is so, what about our feelings regarding foreigners, strangers and people who do not belong to our society, culture, etc. Is that feeling of seeing the difference between us and others in terms of nationality, attainment, class, status, etc., the work of ego too?

Answer 7: “The seed of this ego is the differentiating intellect or Bheda Buddhi… This ego likes his own birth, place, and district, people of his district, own mother tongue, his own relations, and friends, his own ways of eating, mode of dressing. He has his own predilection and preferences, He dislikes others’ ways of eating, dressing, etc. (pgs. 44, 45 Jnana Yoga by Swami Sivananda).

Question 8: You see, I have spiritual friends—great spiritual friends, who are excellent advisers, guide and counsels. They have the little tendencies that you have described. Does it mean they too have the ego?

Answer 8: “It is the ego which has created the idea of separateness from God or the Atman… This ego wants to exercise POWER and INFLUENCE over others. He wants TITLES, prestige, STATUS, RESPECT, prosperity, house, wife, children. He wishes to domineer and rule over others. If anybody points out his defect his vanity feels offended. If anyone praises him he is elated. This ego says, ‘I know everything. He does not 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.”  (pgs. 44, 45 Jnana Yoga by Swami Sivananda)

Question 9: It, indeed, is subtle and dangerous. But how to destroy it?

Answer 9: “This ego lurks like a thief when you start introspection and self-analysis. It will ELUDE your grasp and understanding. You must be alert and vigilant. If you obtain the GRACE of the Lord through JAPA, kirtan, prayer and DEVOTION, you CAN EASILY kill this ego.”  (pg. 46, Jnana Yoga by Swami Sivananda) 

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Question: There are people who are good at giving spiritual advice to others but when their lives spiral into an abyss of pressure and turmoil or when they face crisis, they fumble, tumble and flip, not being able to practise what they preached. Why is that so?

Swami Dayananda: “Paying lip service to obligatory values is no more useful than the chorus of parrots in a tree, who were singing out, ‘Be careful of the hunter’s net!’ A wise old parrot had seen the hunter coming and had called our the warning. But the silly flock did not look at the ground to spot the hunter—to understand the fact of the situation—to establish a personal content for the words they had heard from the old bird. Instead, they continued to sit happily on the branches of the tree repeating the words which were empty of any real meaning for them: ‘Be careful of the hunter’s net!’ Even after the net had descended upon them, they wriggled and squirmed, caught in the web, screeching: ‘Be careful of the hunter’s net!’

“When I claim as my standards values in which I fail to see any personal gain for myself, I am in as risky a position, so far as expressing those values, as were the parrots in the tree, who mindlessly repeated the warning.”

(pg. 17, The Value of Values)


Swami Vivekananda: “80% of those who take to spiritual life become hypocrites; it easier to be a hypocrite, to make an outward show without changing inwardly, than to pass through all the troubles and difficulties of intense spiritual life.

15% become INSANE; those who are NOT pure enough but try to be in touch with the Cosmic Force come to grief. Many people ruin themselves that way. If we want to pass a high voltage of electricity through a weak wire, what will happen? We shall blow a fuse, and so there is great need for the practice of purity.

“Five percent of those who start spiritual life and steadily purify themselves moves towards the goal. One should learn the secret of keeping oneself perfectly under control.” (pgs. 28-29, Adventures of Spiritual Seekers by Swami Yatiswarananda)


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]

Commentary on Gita 16:04 by Swami Sivananda: “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, The Bhagavad Gita by Swami Sivananda [South African Edition])

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)

Srila Prabhupada: “There are many pretenders… such pretenders may also speak on dry philosophy in order to bluff sophisticated followers… But he who makes a show… is the greatest cheat, even though he sometimes speaks of philosophy. (Commentary on Gita 3:6)

Gita 3:6. “He who, restraining the organs of action, sits thinking of the sense-objects in mind, he, of deluded understanding, is called a hypocrite.” (Swami Sivananda Bhagavad Gita)

Commentary on Gita 3:6 by Swami Sivananda: “He who, restraining these organs, sits revolving in his mind thoughts regarding the objects of the senses, is a man of sinful conduct. He is self-deluded. He is a veritable hypocrite.