Bhagwan Sri Ramakrishna On 'Ego'
Sri Ramakrishna: What is my ego? Ponder deeply, and you will know that there is no such thing as "I". As you peel off the skin of an onion, you find it consists only of skin; you cannot find any kernel in it. So too on analyzing the ego, you will find that there is no real entity that you can call "I". Such an analysis of the ego convinces one that the ultimate substance is God alone. When egotism drops away, Divinity manifests Itself.
TRAILOKYA: "It is very difficult to get rid of the ego. People only think they are free from it."
Sri Ramakrishna: "Gauri would not refer to himself as 'I' lest he should feel egotistic. He would say 'this' instead. I followed his example and would refer to myself as 'this' instead of 'I'. Instead of saying, 'I have eaten,' I would say, 'This has eaten.'
Mathur noticed it and said one day: 'what is this, revered father? Why should you talk that way? Let them talk that way. They have their egotism. You are free from it; you don't have to talk like them.'
Sri Ramakrishna: "I said to Keshab, 'Since the ego cannot be given up, let it remain as the servant, the servant of God.' Prahlada had two moods. Sometimes he would feel that he was God. In that mood he would say, 'Thou art verily I, and I am verily Thou.' But when he was conscious of his ego, he felt that God was the Master and he was His servant. After a man is firmly established in the ideal of 'I am He', he can live as God's servant. He may then think of himself as the servant of God.