Archive for the ‘Hypocrite’ 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) 


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.


Mata Amritanandamayi: “This is not an easy path, and there is pain involved….Faith and self-surrender Have become limited to words. More speaking and less doing is the policy of the modern age, and the tendencies of the mind are stronger than before. No one wants to be disciplined. Everyone wants to keep their ego, it is so precious to them. People think that the ego is an embellishment; it is not considered to be a burden anymore. People do not feel the heaviness of their ego. They feel comfortable inside its small, hard shell. They feel afraid and insecure to come out of it. They think that they are well protected where they are. For them, what lies beyond the shell of their ego is frightening, it is unknown, and therefore, unsafe…

“Surrendering to a Master is not easy. It needs courage. It is like jumping into a flowing river. The Master is the flowing river. Once you jump in, the current will inexorably take you to the sea. There is no escape. You may struggle and try to swim against the current, but the river is so strong that it is bound to take you to the ocean — to God or the Self —that is your real dwelling place. To jump in is to surrender. It needs a courageous mind, because it can be compared to the death of your body and mind.

“You may not take the plunge now, because you are not yet ready to jump into the Deep waters of the river. For the time being, you may want to remain standing on the river bank enjoying the beauty of the river. You may want to enjoy the cool gentle breeze, the constant chatter of the running water, the power and charm of the river. That is fine. The river is not going to force you to jump in, and you can stand there for as long as you like, because it won’t send you away. It is not going to say, ‘Enough is enough! Go away! There is a long waiting list!’ Nor is it going to say, ‘Okay the time has come! You either jump into me right now, or I will force you!’ No, nothing of the sort. It is all up to you. You can either jump in or stay on the shore. The river is simply there. It is always willing to accept and to cleanse you.

“The river of the Master does not have an ego. It does not think, ‘I am flowing, I am powerful and beautiful. I have the power to take you to the ocean. In fact, I am the ocean. See how many people bathe and swim in me, and how they find delight in me!’ No, the river of the Master has no such feelings. It just flows because its nature is to do so.

“But once you dive in, the current is such that you will become almost like a corpse. You will find yourself so powerless that you have no other choice but to simply be still and let the river carry you wherever it wants. You have the freedom to choose. You can either remain on the shore, or dive in. But once you take the leap, you do not have a choice anymore; you will lose your individuality, you will have to give up your ego. At that point, you disappear, and you find that you are floating in pure consciousness.

“So, you are free to stay on the shore. But for how long? Sooner or later, you will either have to turn and go back to the world, or you will have to jump. Even if you return to the world, the beauty and charm of the river is so enchanting and so tempting that you will keep on coming back. The day will come when you will be tempted to take that final leap, and finally you will dive in — it has to happen.

“While standing on the shore, you may have many things to say about the river. You will sing its praises, you will describe its beauty, you will have many opinions about it, and you have unending stories to tell about the river, and its history. But you are describing the river, and telling stories about it without having taken a dip in it even once. And whatever you may say about the greatness of the river without having gone into it, is Simply meaningless. Once you finally dive in, once you surrender to the River of Existence – the Perfect Master – you will be silent. You will have nothing to say.

“Surrender makes you silent. Surrender destroys the ego, and helps you to experience your nothingness and God’s omniscience. Once you know that you are nothing, that you are totally ignorant, then you have nothing to say. You have only unconditional and undivided faith; you can only bow down in utmost humility. In order to really know, one should be humble. The ego and real knowledge are not compatible. Humility is a sign of true knowledge.

“There are people who are good speakers. They tend to have big egos. There are exceptions, but the general tendency is to speak more and do less. Why? Because they haven’t surrendered to a higher reality, to the higher values of life. They have not really accepted God’s all-powerful nature, and become aware of their own nothingness, even though they may speak about it.Such people may do a lot of good for the world, but they also do a lot of harm…

“When you surrender to a higher consciousness, you give up all your claims; you Release your grip from everything that you’ve been holding on to. Whether you gain or lose, it doesn’t matter now. You don’t want to be something any longer. You long to be nothing, absolutely nothing. So you dive into the River of Existence.

“The ego, or the mind, is that which makes you feel that you are something. Unless it is eliminated, you cannot dive deep into your own consciousness. you have to become nothing. Not even a trace of, ‘I am something’ should remain. If you are something, there is no entry into the realm of pure consciousness.”

(pgs. 159-163, Awaken, Children! Vol 7)


Swami Prajnanapada: “We can help others only to the extent of trying to secure for them those material things we desire for ourselves. One should realise that the same desires, the same needs are common to all. We can, therefore, help only in securing those things for them. In matters of knowledge, however, there is no helping until one is enlightened oneself. Any attempt to guide others before one has become enlightened himself will only result in misleading others.

Eswar Chander Vidyasagar was once requested to tender advice to a friend in distress. He replied that he was not prepared for another thrashing, and therefore, begged to be excused. The meaning is that he was not really in a position to guide and might probably misguide, which may lead to the thrashing. The blind should not try to lead the blind. They should first see light themselves, and, after they have it will be time enough to help.

This does not mean that you must necessarily wait until you get complete enlightenment to be of help to those in need, and who deserve the help. But the man who seeks help must have felt the imperative need for assistance. He must have tried his best to solve his problems and, not having solved them, comes to you for help. You may avail of such opportunities for help, making sure to stand on your own firm ground at the same time. You should never be carried away by sweet flattering words. Under these conditions, you may tell what you know. Your advice should be based on certain knowledge, solidified by experience. For, to know is to be. Without being there is no knowing. And to be able to help others, one must be a helper first, that is to say, one must acquire the ability and technique to help.

Advice should not be wasted on people for whom the need has not arisen. One must first satisfy himself that the other is ready to receive and follow the advice. The teacher must wait until a question is asked, until a doubt has arisen in the pupil’s mind. Doubt, doubt, doubt must first make its appearance. That is the criterion for the need for help. When will the doubt come? Only after going through the experience. So, encourage everyone to go through actions. When he faces difficulties or disappointments, doubts will arise and that is the opportune time to render help. Genuine doubt must first make its appearance. A casual enquiry or mere curiosity will not do. But to help, you must first equip yourself.

How did Krishna become an engineer? He went to an engineering college to equip himself as an engineer. He leanrt both the theory and practice of engineering and came to Tatas to practise it. If one wants to dance, one must be a dancer first. If I give you a good surgical knife, can you straightaway go and operate? No, you have to become a surgeon first, that is, join a medical college, learn both the theory and practice of surgery and then you can operate safely.

Mere theory will not do. So, to be of help to another, you must be a helper first, that is you must equip yourself with the ability to help. You must learn the technique of helping. You must make sure that you are competent to help. Your mind must be clear first. If you are yourself in doubt, you can hardly dispel another man’s doubts. If you feel confident, then, you can talk.

To talk to another, you must first understand him and deal with him at his own level. Otherwise, there will be no communications. When you talk to another, the very first idea that you should hear in mind is that he is different, and so you will have to adjust your way of talking to suit him. That is what is called talking ‘to’ him. You cannot have your own way for everyone.

Different individuals need different advice. What is suitable for one may not suit the other. Your advice should also be appropriate to his need. You should never impose yourself on him or impose an ideal on him, as that will create conflict. Nor should your advice be beyond his reach. The advice given should be practical. He must not find much difficulty in implementing it. It should be slightly difficult, so that it calls forth his effort, and these efforts culminate in success. For, success breeds success, and nothing succeeds like success. This will help him to build up his self-confidence.

You should then see if the recipient is fit to receive the advice. He should be eager, sincere and receptive. Then only will the advice stick. He must put his questions in the proper manner, and be ready to serve the guru in all the ways he can. That is the proper person to whom advice may be tendered.

The pupil should,on his part, never swallow the words of the guru. He must examine them, experiment with them and satisfy himself that they are sound. He must ponder over them from all angles, and make sure that the advice is correct. Then, he must turn them over in his mind repeatedly, so that they become his own. And, finally, he must put them into practice. Practice will make him perfect in due time.

Before tendering advice, first hear him fully and patiently,. Then, if you have a clear idea about it, you may express yourself. You may, or rather, you have the right to say only when you know the truth about it. Be sure of your ground and then talk. Otherwise, lend your ear to everybody.

In guiding, one is merely to place facts before the other and not opinions or conclusions. Let him, through the facts, form his own opinions, and draw his own conclusions. You may explain as much as you like but you must leave the decision to him. If the decision is wrong, he will learn by experience. You should encourage him to walk independently. And, always remember, that advice is for action. It shiould not be treated as a pastime, nor a debate. If you are not prepared to act, you may as well save the trouble of going in for the advice.

Having got the advice, you must make it your own by turning it over in your mind repeatedly and viewing it from all angles. Then, you will be convinced of the soundness of the advice. But conviction alone is not enough. By repetition and pondering over it frequently you must develop the strength of conviction. Then, this conviction will become irresistible and it will be translated into action. That is being.

(pgs. 109-112, Talks with Swami Prajnanapada)

Note: Swami Prajnanapada (1891–1974) was a traditional Hindu swamiji who taught Advaitic Vedanta. He was a direct disciple of Niralamba Swami (1877-1930), a friend and contemporary of Swamiji Sri Aurobindo.