May 14, 1999
Friday Meeting

In the world, ego or ambition is often seen as a commodity, that for example, many CEOs and presidents use as a driving force for advancement and perseverance. Without ego, one would not even have the desire to pursue goals or aims. Take the example of Lee Iacocca, who turned the Chrysler Corporation around from almost having to file for bankruptcy. His autobiography discusses the success, indicating how ego can work in the real world and can even contribute to society.

The Bhagavat 4/8 gives the story of Dhruv, a five year old boy who was not allowed to sit on the lap of his father, King Uttanapad. (King Uttanapad had two wives, Suruchi and Suniti.) Dhruv saw Suruchi's son (Uttam) on the lap of the king, and so also desired to sit on his father's lap. Suruchi, who was the younger queen and the king's favorite, told Dhruv that in order to sit on King Uttanapad's lap, he had to be born to her. Hurt by the queen's words, despite Narad's advice, Dhruv said, "I want to occupy a position more exalted than any yet achieved within the three worlds by anyone, even by my fathers and grandfathers." By 6 months of devotional penance, Dhruv pleased Lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu appeared in front of Dhruv and blessed him with divine knowledge (by touching his forehead with the divine conchshell). Lord Vishnu then gave the benediction that Dhruv would magnificently rule the kingdom for 36 thousand years (and was also rewarded the eternal polestar). When Lord Vishnu left, however, Dhruv became saddened that instead of asking for God's devotional service, he remained fixed on material gains. Thus, though initially driven by ego, Dhruv became a great devotee who realized the futility of everything but God's devotion.

With this example, Dinkar Uncle explained that ego may be there in the beginning stages - but it is important that it does not result in seeing negative in others. Once a devotee is elevated, the ego is discarded because it does not allow one to form a perfect link with God and devotees.



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