When people disagree on an issue, the disagreement sometimes degenerates into a war of egos, where the issues are pushed into the background. People obsess on proving that they are right, not on determining what is right. In such arguments, the winners often end up as bigger losers.

Those who lose such an argument may be seen by the world as losers. But in the long run, those people grow and flourish who are ready to revise their understanding when necessary, who have the humility to learn what is right. The Bhagavad-gita (13.08) indicates that humility is the first of the twenty characteristics of those in knowledge. This implies that humility is the doorway to knowledge – those who have humility learn and grow. Those who prove that they are right even when they aren’t, bang shut the door of humility. They lock themselves outside the house of knowledge, in the arena of illusion.

The notion that one can do no wrong, that one’s view is the right view, that one’s view is, in fact, the only right view – that is essentially the notion that one is God. Even if they don’t claim explicitly that they are God, that claim is implicit in their attempt to prove their rightness at the cost of the truth. And the notion that we are God is the foundational illusion that keeps us bound in material existence. Those who stay thus deluded are the biggest losers – they lose everything they have acquired at the time of death and go empty-handed to their next life, carrying the crushing burden of their karma and their ego. Thus, in the war of egos, the winner is the bigger loser.

  • So, when discussions start becoming ego issues, best to bow out and thus stay out of illusion.