A friend wrote recently asking for advice about problems at work. His job is in a competitive environment where others disrupt the harmony, compete in unfair ways, and take credit for work they haven’t done themselves. While this was expressed as a personal problem, it is in fact a nearly universal experience, to be found in families, governments, and, indeed, in groups everywhere. I tried to answer his question on two levels, first from the level of ego, and then from the spiritual, soul level.

At the level of the ego, there will always be clashes of this sort. The less evolved people are spiritually—or, stated another way, the more attached they are to their egos—the more they will try to pump themselves up even at the expense of others. They are seeking to bolster their own worth, and will continue to do so as long as they feel the need to inflate their egos, which are inherently vulnerable.

Group dynamics get particularly tricky because, with people at different levels of maturity, the clashing of egos can get particularly turbulent. It is useless to expect others to be more mature than they are so that they fit better into the pattern of your own expectations. At the level of mass karma, such as nations have, generally the best we can do is to choose our battles and strictly monitor our own behavior to make sure it is righteous. Use common sense and do what seems appropriate, but don’t become overly attached to the results. If you base your well-being on unrealistic hopes, you are destined to trod a long, muddy road of frustration and anger.

Now, from the level of the soul: Spiritual progress might be defined as the soul becoming detached from the delusion of separation from God. We should embrace whatever helps us accomplish that goal even though it may feel unpleasant. God creates an enormously entrancing drama, with grand scenes of good and bad, victories and losses. Our job is to take the road less traveled: to choose resolutely that pathway which leads away from ego and toward soul freedom. Here are some tools:

1) Meditate: Without meditation, the soul continues to be caught by the outward, downward-pulling magnetism of the world.

2) Pray to God and Gurus to guide your reason, will, and actions to the right path in everything.

3) In a calm state, try to awaken your intuition, your soul’s intelligence. It is your surest guide. The longer and more deeply you can keep your focus at the spiritual eye, the more the right answers will come.

Sadhu Beware! by Swami Kriyananda

Swami Kriyananda at the Kumbha Mela in India, 1960.

4) Always act with complete sincerity and truthfulness. This will enlist the laws of dharma to empower your actions. If you are selfish, unkind, or adharmic you will lose this power.

5) Read Swami Kriyananda’s short book, Sadhu, Beware!, where he gives many helpful hints on overcoming the ego.

Finally, be content with your circumstances. Happiness or unhappiness is a series of choices that you make every day. If we understand, as Paramhansa Yogananda said, that “this world was made for our entertainment and education,” then we can see that everything is, in one way or another, an expression of God’s love.

In divine friendship,

Nayaswami Jyotish

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15 Comments

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  1. Thanks for this timely message. I am wondering If “Sadhu Beward” is something I should have in my “archives” or something I should purchase. In what year was this published?
    With Appreciation and Gratitude,
    Sending Love and Blessings,
    Vaishnavi

  2. Thank you Jyotish for the clarity of Divine Purpose to which I want to aspire (When Human Hopes…). God brings what we need at the time we need it. Namaste

  3. This is just what I needed to hear now in my life, I want to now in my life turn away from the world/ ego and walk a more spiritual path with those with the same intentions and similar beliefs.

  4. Dear Nayaswami Jyotish, Thank you for these profound words of wisdom which are so enriching as it is all so relative. I so agree that being true to ourselves and our path is a must ‘though it is only a part of the great jigsaw picture. Your blogs are a real guiding light as indeed are our beloved Masters. I also very much agree with Olga Hernandez’ sentiments for compassion etc. for all those who are less aware of the light and cause difficulties. As the late Dr Wayne Dyer said, ‘they are our greatest teachers’ and how true that is if and when we take the time to think about it!!! Love and Light and Blessings to all.

  5. Thank you and God bless you. Soo truth the situation mentioned. It happens at my job too, and thanks to our guru’steaching, Iam able to understand that the people causing the difficulties are just sleeping no awake in God’s grace and I instead feel for them becuase they are suffering.
    It is always a pleasure to read your messages.
    Thank you very much!!💖

  6. Pranam Ji

    Thank you for sharing, making one to Consciously spread, the Love of God.

    With Gratitude
    R Sundararajan

  7. Dear Nayaswami Jyotish JI,

    Sincere thanks for this blog , just at the right time 🙂
    Its profound and encouraging. Thank you

    Joy,
    Prem

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