Once there was an ascetic who lived in a deserted place and worshiped the God for achieving the ultimate goal. He would do hard worship and abstain from all types of materialistic indulgences. He would daily go to the nearby river for bathing and sometimes he would find another ascetic at the river doing the same things. The two of them often exchanged courtesies and then they would take their own paths.
This kept on going and many years passed in this way and during this period of time, both the ascetics had developed a bond of affinity with each other since they were the only two people living in that area where no one would come, and both of them were doing worship of their respective Gods for the achievement of the ultimate.
15 years passed but the ascetic still felt far away from his goal which was to meet with God. He tried to worship as hard as he could but he still did not get to meet the God and he started feeling that he was still far away from his destination due to which he started becoming a bit restless at times. Whenever he met the other ascetic on the river, he would see that the other ascetic was very calm and composed all the times and he always seemed to be absorbed in something, which raised his curiosity day by day.
One day when both the ascetics were taking their bath in the river, the first ascetic asked the second one whether he had met the God by now or not, to which the second ascetic replied very simply that he had met his God about 7 years ago and now he often met him. Hearing this the first ascetic was surprised as he was also doing very hard worship for almost the same time but he had not met his God even once.
So he decided to take guidance from the second ascetic and he told him his problem of not being able to meet God despite his very hard worship over the past 15 years, and he asked the second ascetic to help him meet his God. On hearing this, the second ascetic asked him as to what did he do before becoming an ascetic and what type of worship was he doing now.
The first ascetic replied, ” I have come from a well to do family and I am doing worship of my God at this place since the past 15 years. During these 15 years I have not got involved in any type of materialistic pursuit and I have been practicing very strict discipline for my worship. I have isolated myself from everything around me in such a way that for the past 15 years, there is only Me and my God. ”
” And this is why you have not been able to meet your God as there are still two of you, You and your God. You will not be able to meet him, my friend, until there is only one and not two. So lose this Me and you will gain your God. “, said the second ascetic with a smile on his face.
Moral : Ego is the biggest obstacle in your way to liberation and as long as you do not get rid of this ego, there is no liberation….. I, Me, Mine and other such expressions are only the extensions of your ego and nothing else. If you want to reach the ultimate, you will need to leave all of these expressions behind and all you need to remember is YOU which is your God. A tiny drop cannot be called the Ocean until it is called the drop and once it becomes the ocean, it is not a drop anymore which means that if a drop wants be the ocean, it will have to stop being a drop which means it will have to lose its identity in order to be a part of the bigger identity.
The same moral can be extended to the sphere of relations also. As long as you do not lose yourself which means as long as you do not leave your ego, you will never be able to understand other people in a complete way and the moment you lose your ego, you will be able to understand and trust other people in a much better way which will lead to better, more enjoyable and stronger relations.