Srimad Bhagavatam 11.28.17 - Spiritual Master Sharpens the Sword of Knowledge (download mp3)
by Nanda Dulal Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty
amūlam etad bahu-rūpa-rūpitaṁ
cchittvā munir gāṁ vicaraty atṛṣṇaḥ
Although the false ego has no factual basis, it is perceived in many forms — as the functions of the mind, speech, life air and bodily faculties. But with the sword of transcendental knowledge, sharpened by worship of a bona fide spiritual master, a sober sage will cut off this false identification and live in this world free from all material attachment.
The word bahu-rūpa-rūpitam, “perceived in many forms,” also indicates that the false ego is manifest in the belief that one is a demigod, a great man, a beautiful lady, an oppressed worker, a tiger, a bird, an insect and so on. By the influence of false ego, the pure soul accepts some material covering to be his ultimate self, but such ignorance can be removed by the process described in this verse.