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Another example that Shri Nathji gave was the example of the Sun and the rays of its light. The Sun was God and the rays of light were the individual souls. The essence of the Sun was light, and the essence of each and every ray was also light. In their essence they were the same. But when the rays of light began thinking of themselves as “rays” –entities separate from the sun, they forgot their own reality. Each ray of light was filled with a separate ego of its own–its independent I. It was only when the rays realised that they were light and that the Sun, too, was light, that union with the Sun came about. This is self-realisation – for the soul to realise that its essence is the same as that of God, that it is Divine. It is only the I of its separate existence that masks its real essence. As soon as it annihilates its separate independent I it becomes one with God.
What is ego? It is associated with the human body, which says: I can do this, I can do that, I have done this, I have done that, I am this, I am that! It is the assertion of an independent will based on the human body and its relationships with the world. To annihilate the ego means to ascribe everything to God and to give up one’s own independent assertions. Shri Nathji explained this beautifully with the example of a zero. When man becomes like a zero before God, he has truly annihilated his ego. The Will of God then begins to work through him. It is like the zero coming before One and being made ten.