|[ Excerpt from The Science of Yoga, page 342 ]
Do not confuse self-confidence with arrogance. The yogi is self-confident. He knows that what he says is true because he knows what the Truth is. But he does not crave recognition, appreciation, or any special credit because of this fact.
Conversely, the arrogant person inflates his/her self-importance. Their worth is defined by their importance in the eyes of others. Prideful image, selfish gain, power and control are their motivations.
The one who proceeds in life with arrogance, in fact has the least to be proud about. Their inflation of the ego only shows their superior ignorance of the True Self. It demonstrates a further separation in the mind from the sense of 'Universal Oneness'.
They see their 'I' as a real, separate, isolated thing, with its own needs, its own ability to act independently and its own ability to possess. It is the highest state of ignorance that can befall man/woman. Meenakshi Devi Bhavanani, in her article published in Yoga Life Magazine, Dec/2006 describes this ahamkara (ego self):
"Ahamkara -- ego, the sense that 'I am doing, I am feeling, I am thinking', is a relatively high level of existence... One has climbed quite a distance up the evolutionary ladder to even possess an ego! Therefore, it is nothing to be ashamed of.
[But] the ego, like everything else, must not be misused. Misuse of the ego is when ignorance [of one's higher, unified nature] causes the ego to try to bring everyone and everything around it under its control... This is the lower 'I', the 'impure I', which normally perceives as the petty sense of self, limited and conditioned by heredity and environment, the sense of [or identification with] the personality and individuality. Then there is the 'Pure' or 'Higher I' -- the Universality"...
NOTE: This yoga article is an excerpt from The Science of Yoga, an online yoga training program with streaming yoga videos and 600 pages of step-by-step yoga instruction.
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