The most dangerous type of ego is spiritual ego. Every person on a spiritual path has to be very careful about developing it. After many years of spiritual practice or reading many spiritual books, or sometimes even after reading one book, we start feeling that we are a level above everyone else. We generate an attitude of ‘I know better’ or ‘What does he know!’ But we must understand that spirituality begins with awareness. We have to keep a very careful watch on ourselves about feeling greater than others.

When I first met my Guru Shri Dadashriji, after many years of being on the path, he told me: “Come to me only with a clean slate. Forget about your entire spiritual journey and what you have learnt, otherwise I have nothing to offer you. I am going to make you start from scratch.” A person with spiritual ego holds on to his knowledge and will always make it a point to add his bit. I have experienced many such people in my workshops. They come with the intention to run me down with their spiritual gyan.

We once had a meeting with my Guru. He asked for a handful of us to come and meet him. We all felt extremely thrilled to be the selected few. As we all went in and settled down, the first thing he told us was to stop feeling so special. He said that the older you are into spirituality, the more baggage you have. He also said, “If you are close to him, it is only because you are unique cases and need more guidance.”

This gave me the answer to my question, which bothered me for years as to why some big temples have money launderers as trustees. Why would God select such a terrible lot to be so close to him? It is only because they need help the most.

I’ve met so many spiritual people who do not share but exhibit their knowledge and experiences. They feel they have the answers to everything. Unfortunately, such people, under the pretext of spirituality, blind themselves from actual God realisation. They never accept another Guru’s teachings. They block themselves out, thinking what they have learnt and what their Guru has taught them is the ultimate.

You have to realise there is no competition in spirituality. With one-upmanship comes the struggle to prove superiority. It is very stressful to be on the edge all the time. Jealousy, insecurity, inferiority and other negative emotions are tagged along with a spiritual ego.

Many don’t understand that there is always more to learn. If you are very knowledgeable, there’s no harm in listening to what the other has to say and brush up on your information. Spirituality is a never-ending journey and you are always a learner. It should only make you humble.

Smita Jayakar, a veteran actress and theatre personality, is also a well-known spiritual healer.

(Excerpted from the book How to Create Miracles in Our Daily Life, edited by Oswald Pereira and published by Vitasta Publishing Private Limited)