The Sanskrit word for arrogance is "Darpa". Arrogance is undue assumption of importance. Arrogance is claiming proudly and unduly. It is a mixture of Rajasa-tamasic egoism, insolence, rudeness, overbearing nature and impertinence or impudence. It is a modification of egoism. It is Ahankara itself. It is born of ignorance. Maya keeps her Lila or play through the arrogance of the deluded souls.
A man behaves insolently with an elderly man, treats him with contempt, sneers at him and speaks disrespectful words. This is arrogance.
Another man throws a book or a notebook in front of a person in anger and utters vulgar words. This is arrogance.
Another person says to another man in anger, "Don't you know who I am? I will break your jaw. I will break your skull. I will break your teeth. I will drink your blood." This is arrogance.
Another man says, "I cannot be dictated by anybody. I have my own ways. Nobody can question me anything. I cannot dance before him. Why should I go to him? Why should I follow his instruction? Is he more learned than me? Who is he, after all? Who are you to order me? Who are you to question me?" This is arrogance.
Generally a thoughtless man who is not practising introspection and self-analysis says, "I have no arrogance at all. I am humble, gentle and kind." But when the test comes, he hopelessly and miserably fails a thousand and one times. Such is the force and strength of arrogance.
A Sadhaka is very good. He is very intelligent. He is a learned man. He delivers lectures. He meditates silently in a solitary room for hours together. And yet he is not free from arrogance. When a man goes against his sweet will or wish, when a man speaks ill of him or criticises, when he is not respected he becomes arrogant and behaves very rudely.
Arrogance assumes various forms. One man may be arrogant on account of his great physical strength. He may say, "I will neck you out now. Get thee gone." Another man may be arrogant on account of his wealth, position and power. Another man may be arrogant on account of his secular learning. Another man may be arrogant owing to his scriptural erudition. Another man may be arrogant owing to his psychic Siddhis, moral virtues, spiritual progress, Sannyasihood, Mahantship etc.
A man may renounce his wife, children, property, position, wealth etc. He may renounce the world and live in a cave in the Himalayas for several years, practising Yoga and yet he finds it difficult to renounce arrogance. When he become impulsive he is overpowered by arrogance. He does not what he is exactly doing. He repents afterwards. Impulse is a motive force to make one arrogant.
Watch your thoughts, words and actions very carefully. Know the power of words, and use them cautiously. Respect all. Speak sweet measured words. Be kind. Cultivate patience, love, humility. Enquire. Observe Mouna, or the vow of silence. Again and again think, This world is unreal. What will I gain by being arrogant. Think of the immense benefits of the opposite virtue, Humility.
You may fail hundred times. But again stand up and strengthen your resolves, "I have failed yesterday. I will be humble, kind and patient today." Gradually your will-force will develop and you will conquer arrogance-the enemy of your peace, devotion and wisdom.
With all your care and vigilance, arrogance will hiss and raise its hood several times daily. Raise the rod of Viveka, discrimination and sword of humility and chop its head. Arrogance is a myriad-headed monster, or Asura like the Raktabeeja who fought with Devi. He will again develop more heads. Continue the battle with more vigour, force and strength. Use combined methods, prayer, meditation, enquiry, Brahmacharya, self-restraint, Japa, Kirtan, Pranayama. Take recourse to the Yoga of synthesis. He will be burnt in toto and reduced to ashes.
If an arrogant man remains in a cave or in the room, there is no scope for him to eradicate this Vritti. It will lurk in his mind and harass him. An aspirant must mix with persons of different mentality and temperaments and watch his thoughts, when he is ill-treated, disrespected and persecuted. If he is calm, serene and humble even under worst trying conditions, know that he has eradicated this terrible foe.
The more the learning, the more the arrogance. The bigger the position, the greater the arrogance. The more the wealth, the more the arrogance.
May you all be free from this evil trait. May you all conquer this demon through humility, patience, kindness and love, and enjoy eternal bliss and immortality.