3 Types of Subtle Egos that can become Barriers to Spiritual Growth!  

Often, when on the real playground of life, we lose track of our original nature; it’s very likely to forget from time to time, and identify the self with this body, the mind, and the situations that surround us. Hence, the 3Ss are extremely important at BodhMarga Foundation which are –

  • Satsang – a communion in the presence of the Master & regular association with the Master
  • Seva – unconditional service to others
  • Sharing – to share experiences of Awakening with others


The 3S Rule at BodhMarga Foundation is a completely reliable, guaranteed system for maintaining our Awakening state. Albeit, if these 3Ss are executed in the presence of the subtle ego, it would most definitely hamper one’s spiritual growth. There can be times when the subtle ego could crop up without our awareness debilitating our Awakening and completely throwing us off the tracks of liberation, despite one practicing the 3S Rule.


We would like to classify these 3 kinds of Subtle Egos as The 3Ms in Hindi. It is very crucial to identify the 3Ms within us, for the 3Ss to prosper our Awakening.


  1. Maan Samman – (Respect & recognition) In spiritual organizations, doing Seva and offering your services to the Master or the Guru is the protocol. The more one serves, the stronger their Awakening grows. In the scriptures, Guru Seva is termed as the highest service of all mankind. But when in Seva, one needs to be aware of the reason behind their Seva. Are you doing Guru Seva for your unconditional love and devotion towards your Master, for sharing the humanity the gift of Awakening, or are you there for some other purpose really? For example – some people indulge in Seva of a great Master, but they carry around the Ego (Ahankaar) of their Service, their entire life. Their Ego doesn’t allow them to experience the dissolution of their Mind and ‘the doing’ aspect, because they righteously claim that “I have served my Master and stayed in his divine presence. ‘I’ have done it. I have done Seva and Satsang for _ number of years.” Here, ‘I’ becomes more prominent. But the purpose of 3Ss itself is dissolution of the ‘I’ness. Unfortunately, when we do Seva, Satsang, or Sharing for earning recognition, appreciation, and respect in society or for showing off to others, instead of feeding the Awakening, the 3Ss begin to feed the Ego. The more they feed the Ego, the more our Awakening drops. The Awakening is the greatest gift received in the presence of Gurus. It is important that Seva comes out of the seeker’s pure, unconditional love and surrenderance towards the Guru.


  1. Manmaani – (Arbitrary Manipulation) Some people use Satsang, Seva, and Sharing as tools to manipulate and operate their whims onto others. They either get into impressing or seeking attention, or they try to control others. This is a subtle ego that could really hamper one’s spiritual journey and Awakening.


  1. Manorajya – (Wishful thinking & Vested interests) Several follow a Guru or a spiritual organization only to present a business proposal. Their perception of looking at spirituality is limited to fulfilling their vested interests and incomplete desires such as – through politics, earning money, etc. It doesn’t mean doing business is bad. But doing business, collaborating with the organization, or keeping association with the Guru just to fulfill some inner desires and vested interests could be considered as poor practice. This could become a huge bondage and restriction in one’s spiritual growth. When you could be receiving 10 times more, you limit yourself by constraining the benefits to your vested interest. Please understand that fulfillment of desires isn’t bad, but letting go of the Awakening itself in order to complete certain desires could be disastrous in the long run. At BodhMarga Foundation after Awakening, contentment of desires automatically occurs. It is important for the seeker to completely surrender and have faith in the process.


Avoid these 3Ms while practicing the Sadhana of 3Ss for strengthening your Awakening. When in Bodh, it is very easy to be aware of our thoughts and intentions. We are sure that the awareness of the 3Ms will allow you to prosper consciously on this journey of Awakening to Liberation, from Bhoga to Bodha.


Jai Gurudev

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