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I would like to know how to destroy ego, fear and negative thoughts? I am not asking this question from a personality development perspective, instead in Hinduism there are some mantras, rituals related to destroying of several evils. What are those?

Do we have to meditate like the saints for longer time to destroy all of those or are there any other ways?

  • I think this should be closed as opinion-based, but let's wait and see what others think. – Keshav Srinivasan Nov 9 '14 at 5:41
  • The scriptures tell of several ways to do this. But how to do exactly varies from individual to individual. The one who knows the way for you personally is your teacher, your guru. If the student is truly desirous, the guru will not be wanting. – Swami Vishwananda Nov 9 '14 at 7:13
  • Just as a rope appears to be a snake when there is lack of light, our mind imagines things which are not really there! The moment a little light enters and the rope is identified to be a rope and not a snake, all fears vanish. Similarly the moment the Self is realized, all fears vanish, for there is nothing that can harm Thou, who art the immortal Soul. You are neither the body, which is subject to physical harm, nor are you the mind, which is subject to mental harm. You are the Soul. You are That. This kind of self-inquiry is the key to dispelling ignorance and fear. (Adding to other answers) – Sai Nov 10 '14 at 17:13
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All these are a result of being entangled in the material modes, primarliy rajas and tamas. While there are multiple ways the best means that Vyasadeva gave us is Srimadbhagavatam. It is the purest form of literature and a natural summary and commentary of Vedas/Vedantasutra as mentioned in the scripture itself. There in it is said:

SB 1.7.5 — Due to this external energy, the living entity, although transcendental to the three modes of material nature, thinks of himself as a material product and thus undergoes the reactions of material miseries.

SB 1.7.6 — The material miseries of the living entity, which are superfluous to him, can be directly mitigated by the linking process of devotional service. But the mass of people do not know this, and therefore the learned Vyasadeva compiled this Vedic literature, which is in relation to the Supreme Truth.

SB 1.7.7 — Simply by giving aural reception to this Vedic literature, the feeling for loving devotional service to Lord Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, sprouts up at once to extinguish the fire of lamentation, illusion and fearfulness.

So by reading the scripture bhagavatam under proper guidance and following/applying the instructions and begging for the mercy of the Lord is the best way. Other methods may give temporary relief but the permanent freedom from modes is attained only by surrendering to the Supreme Lord as stated in the bhagavad gita 7.14:

BG 7.14 - This divine energy of Mine, consisting of the three modes of material nature, is difficult to overcome. But those who have surrendered unto Me can easily cross beyond it.

Note: Citations are from the translations of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

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General View

Probably the best and easiest way to kill ego is to practice devotion. It is because as long as you do anything else in someway or other it will indirectly affect your ego. But in devotion one considers himself as a mere servant of God and hence egoistic feelings will gradually decrease.

Devotion
Ego is very difficult to overcome as it arises from the "I" consciousness. Hence it will always be there no matter what even though in a subtle amount as long as the jiva is alive. For example, when one will overcome desire, greed, etc. he will think I overcame desire, greed, anger etc. and the feeling of personal superiority or personal achievement will subconsciously boost the ego. So ego is very difficult and last to go. But in devotion, one practices to be humble and tolerant just like a grass and tree (trnad api su-nicena taror iva sahisnuna). A devotee feels himself as the lowest of all just like the grass, so the ego feeling is checked and he advances in spiritual practice.

Even though there can be many paths to get rid of negative thoughts, devotion is the only way to obtain the purity of mind. Only when tears of emotion flow from the eye that the mind is truly purified from negative feelings. So the scripture says:

kathaṁ vinā roma-harṣaṁ dravatā cetasā vinā
vinānandāśru-kalayā śudhyed bhaktyā vināśayaḥ
[SB - 11.14.23]

Meaning
If one’s hairs do not stand on end, how can the heart melt? And if the heart does not melt, how can tears of love flow from the eyes? If one does not cry in spiritual happiness, how can one render loving service to the Lord? And without such service, how can the consciousness be purified?

Association
But apart from practicing devotion one common way to overcome ego is to know or associate with people who are better than you about which you have the egoistic feeling. For example, if one has ego about his wealth, then he should know or find the people who are richer than him. If one is proud of knowledge he should come in contact with people who are more intelligent than him. The simple knowledge that there are people out there who are better than oneself will certainly help a person to keep a check on his ego. To give a practical example, I have come across two personalities in my life who are just omniscient. One can tell you every single verse of any scripture you name and the other knows past, present and the future of anything and everything. Some years back I felt a bit proud about myself that I know so many things, but after coming in contact with them I can never ever have even an iota of ego no matter how much things I know.

Regarding fear, it is true that there are mantras that can help one overcome fear of certain things like snakes, ghosts, untimely death, etc. but I think those are better to be learnt from a teacher. Some mantras like the Mrutyunjaya mantra you already know which helps one overcome the fear of death.

Deeper Analysis

If we analyse deeper, then we will find that fear and ego are the product of duality. Only then when the feeling and notion of others exist in the mind that any feelings of ego and fear can arise. But when through practice of devotion or practice of knowledge the non dual feeling that there exists nothing but only one supreme Brahman arises in the mind, the feelings of ego and fear automatically decrease. When there is nothing else but Me, whom to fear? When there is no one else but Me, who is superior or inferior? Thus the realization of non duality will also remove fear and ego. Hence, the scripture says in this regard:

yasmin sarvāṇi bhūtāny ātmaivābhūd vijānataḥ
tatra ko mohaḥ kaḥ śoka ekatvam anupaśyataḥ
[Iso Up. -7]

Meaning
One who always sees all living entities as spiritual sparks, in quality one with the Lord, becomes a true knower of things. What, then, can be illusion or anxiety for him?

  • I have faith in the Mrutyunjaya mantra and I never felt the fear of death, but I am frightened about the Lord's maya, whether that could bring me sorrow. I am a devotee but still.. – user12458 Nov 9 '14 at 13:01
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    @JavaTechnical A devotee who constantly remembers God has nothing to worry or fear about maya. Because He Himself has declared openly in Gita that whoever surrenders to Him, gets across maya easily (vedabase.com/en/bg/7/14). With God in charge can anything go wrong? Whatever will happen, will happen for good as per His wish. So there is nothing to fear. Maya is God's personal power, it may test devotees, but it will never bring them sorrow. Moreover, sorrow arising from material things is nothing but an aid to remember God more. – Be Happy Nov 10 '14 at 2:26
  • But remembering his name constantly will make me forget about my family and relations which I don't want, I am just frightened about it. – user12458 Nov 10 '14 at 10:27
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    @JavaTechnical Remembering Him constantly means, having the feeling and awareness that He is watching and noting all your thoughts and actions. We get so busy in life that we forget there is someone who is noting down all our actions. We just need to practice remembering His presence gradually from hourly, half hourly, every few minutes and thus Gods name and form will settle in our consciousness. It's easy and one will not forget about family. But to be frank, true remembrance of God is forgetting everything else. – Be Happy Nov 12 '14 at 3:27
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    @JavaTechnical It may be due to some previous karma if somehow you have subconscious guilt or repentance for something; because as you start worshiping and believing God you feel that there is someone supreme and worry about what if you do something wrong or did something wrong. But as you practice devotion the faith in God will strengthen and you will have the feeling that there is nothing to worry or fear about with God in charge, whatever will happen, will happen for good. From my side I would say, don't fear anything, do good and ask God for the strength to face any challenge. – Be Happy Nov 16 '14 at 3:00
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The only way to kill ego and fear is to realize Brahman. To realize Brahman you need a guru. The Mundaka Upanishad (I. ii. 12) says: "A Brahmana should resort to renunciation after examining the worlds acquired through karma, with the help of this maxim: 'There is nothing (here) that is not the result of karma; so what is the need of (performing) karma?' For knowing that Reality he should go, with sacrificial faggots in hand, only to a teacher versed in the Vedas and absorbed in Brahman."

"only to a teacher" implies not to seek independently; thus according to Shankaracharya - "Even though well-versed in the scriptures, one should not independently seek the Knowledge of Brahman."

Ramakrishna Paramhamsa said: "So I say that one must get instruction from a teacher...It is Satchidananda that comes to us in the form of the guru. If a man is initiated by a human guru he will not achieve anything if he regards his guru as a mere man. The guru should be regarded as the direct manifestation of God. Only then can the disciple have faith in the mantra given by the guru. Once a man has faith he has all...One attains God by following in the guru's instructions step by step. It is like reaching an object by following the trail of a thread."

  • Very Good Answer. I think this is the actual, perfect answer "Faith in your Guru removes ego and fear" – Mr. P Nov 10 '14 at 8:22
  • How to find a guru then? Do you know anyone who is worth to be a guru in India? Like in the cadre of 'Adi Sankaracharya'? – user12458 Nov 11 '14 at 15:00
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    When you meet a true guru, your true guru, he will appear to you as powerful as Adi Shankaracharya. There are those living now that are can lead you to Brahman. Most saints hide themselves, it is only given to a few like Shankaracharya that have a special mission to have become well known. Pray to God with a sincere heart and God will come running to you. Ramakrishna said that a mother doesn't bother with her child as long as the child is entertained with it's toys. When the child puts down the toys and cries for it's mother, the mother comes running. – Swami Vishwananda Nov 12 '14 at 13:48
  • What about considering Lord Siva himself as guru? – user12458 Nov 15 '14 at 17:46
  • @moonstar2001 Pray to God sincerely with a pure heart and your true Guru will find you. – Swami Vishwananda Dec 27 '14 at 7:58
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chatter om namo shivay. this mantra is very helpful for killing ego, fear and negative thoughts. for personality development tips, you can have some tips here- http://sapfullform.com/personality-development-tips-for-students-in-hindi-language-pdf-download/

  • I guess the first part of your post is ok, but you should support it with proper ref. from Hindu scriptures. For example: where it is mentioned that chanting om namah shivay help killing ego. And remove the personality development link as this site is about the Hinduism and personal development tips etc. are off topic here. – AADHinduism Jul 2 '16 at 14:07

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