Ego

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Remembrance is what makes us human and it is probably for this reason that we consider elephant to be an auspicious animal. Ganesha has an elephant head signifying wisdom and effortlessness (gyan shakti and karma shakti). Cultivating remembrance is therefore advocated very strongly by spiritual practitioners.

Yet, it is this remembrance that is the cause of our bondage. We never forget any wrong done to us. We remember our pleasures and pains and want them repeated over and over again. Both these give rise to the Ego and no wonder the deity Indra which could also mean the controller of our senses (Indriyas) rides a white elephant Airavatha.

Ego thus as a controlling centre uses remembrance (Memory) to navigate through life and in its ignorance either constricts the freedom by not allowing spontaneity or squanders away energy in wild living which is pursuit of pleasure. However, the ego cannot forget the pain and misery for it depends on memory and all its ways though ingenious they may be, do not lead us to freedom.