Uprooting the Weeds of Ego

The false ego, also known as the ahankar, is the root of all the weeds in the forest of our hearts. Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu has explained that each of us are like the gardener of our own hearts.

The seed of bhakti, known as the bhakti lata bija, is within us and is awakened by the association of devotees. That seed is nourished through the water of our sadhana (spiritual practice), seva (service), and through satsang (relationships). This process of watering and tending to the seed of devotion in the heart fosters a gradual evolution of bhakti awakening within our hearts.

However, there are many weeds that crop up around that seed, and these weeds obscure us from being able to recognize the true purpose of our life. Based on our level of experience in bhakti, our seed may be in a sprouting stage or it may be in later stages of flowering and bearing fruits.

In either situation, there is a continuous need to take care against the effect of the weeds of selfish desire, anger, arrogance, envy, illusion, and their various counterparts that develop from them – the desire for personal prestige or greed.

For anyone who has done gardening, you will know that no matter how much you may cut away at weeds, they continue to grow back. Sometimes the more you cut weeds, the stronger they grow back. The only way to actually free yourself from these weeds is to pull them out at the root.

And the ultimate root of all weeds is the false ego which bewilders the soul into thinking that we ourselves are the doers of our activities, which are actually taking place under the laws of nature. Therefore, each of us has to deal with the root of our own weeds that hamper the growth of our bhakti lata bija in order for our bhakti to grow and flourish.