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Ahankara cannot be abolished. Ahankara will be there, but ahankara has to be cleansed. Therefore bhakti-marga, the path of bhakti-yoga, is the cleansing process, clearing process

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"Ahankara cannot be abolished. Ahankara will be there, but ahankara has to be cleansed. Therefore bhakti-marga, the path of bhakti-yoga, is the cleansing process, clearing process"

Lectures

Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures

Ahaṅkāra cannot be abolished. Ahaṅkāra will be there, but ahaṅkāra has to be cleansed.
Lecture on BG 7.4 -- Vrndavana, August 10, 1974:

So Kṛṣṇa says that ahaṅkāra itīyaṁ me bhinnā prakṛtir aṣṭa... Everything is finer. Just like the earth is grosser than the water. Water, finer. Earth you cannot move, but water can move. Therefore it is finer. And finer than the earth is the fire, and finer than the fire is air, and finer than the air is ether, and finer than the ether is the mind, and finer than the mind is intelligence, and finer than intelligence is my identity, ahaṅkāra. And finer than the ahaṅkāra is the soul. You have to study soul—finer, finer, finer, finer, finer. It is also stated in the Bhagavad-gītā in another place that indriyāṇi parāṇy āhur indriyebhyaḥ paraṁ manaḥ, manasas tu parā buddhiḥ... (BG 3.42). In this, say, finer, finer. And the soul is very small magnitude finer. Keśāgra-śata-bhāgasya śatadhā kalpitasya ca (CC Madhya 19.140). So everything is explained in the Śrīmad Bhagavad-gītā. If we accept, then we get full knowledge. The beginning of the Bhagavad-gītā... In this chapter, Kṛṣṇa says, asaṁśayaṁ samagraṁ māṁ yathā jñāsyasi tac chṛṇu: (BG 7.1) "Without any doubt and in full, as you can understand Me, I am going to explain."

So these five elements, gross elements, bhūmir āpo 'nalo vāyuḥ kham..., kham. And finer than..., manaḥ, buddhiḥ, ahaṅkāraḥ, mind, intelligence and false ego. False ego means I am identifying with this matter, which I am not. Therefore ahaṅkāra. This ahaṅkāra is false ahaṅkāra, which I am not. I am accepting that I am this body, but actually I am not. Therefore I am saying, it is false ego. Real ahaṅkāra is ahaṁ brahmāsmi. There is also ahaṅkāra. Ahaṅkāra cannot be abolished. Ahaṅkāra will be there, but ahaṅkāra has to be cleansed. Therefore bhakti-mārga, the path of bhakti-yoga, is the cleansing process, clearing process. Ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanam (CC Antya 20.12). Everything is there, but it has to be cleansed. That is Caitanya Mahāprabhu's mission. By chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, you'll be able to cleanse your misconception of life. Misconception of life is that "I am this matter." This is ahaṅkāra, false ahaṅkāra. But I am actually not this matter; I am spirit soul. Therefore pure ahaṅkāra is ahaṁ brahmāsmi, a spirit soul. That is the beginning of understanding. Ahaṁ brahmāsmi, that is also explained in the Bhagavad-gītā that brahma-bhūtaḥ prasannātmā na śocati na kāṅkṣati (BG 18.54). If one understands this fact, that "I am not this material body; I am a spirit soul," that is called brahma-bhūta (SB 4.30.20).

So gradually, by understanding the teachings of Bhagavad-gītā and practicing it in life, we shall very easily understand the ātma-tattvam. That is the real business of human life. Unfortunately, we are not interested in the matter of understanding ātma-tattvam. Śrotavyādīni rājendra nṛṇāṁ santi sahasraśaḥ (SB 2.1.2). Śukadeva Gosvāmī says, "My dear King..." He was speaking to Mahārāja Parīkṣit that "For ordinary men there are many subject matter of hearing." Śrotavyādīni. Śrotavya means the subject matter for hearing. So Śukadeva Gosvāmī says, "For the ordinary man..." Who is that ordinary man? Apaśyatām ātma-tattvam (SB 2.1.2). Apaśyatām, one who has no interest to see what he is. Everyone is under this contemplation that he is this body and his bodily interest is the prime interest. But nobody sees the ātma-tattvam. Therefore Śukadeva Gosvāmī says, śrotavyādīni rājendra nṛṇāṁ santi sahasraśaḥ (SB 2.1.2). We have got so many books, so many newspapers, so many magazines. We hear and read. But we are not interested in hearing Bhagavad-gītā or Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, where ātma-tattvam, the science of soul, is described.