what does siddhartha mean by when he uses the word ego? as a shramanan he uses ascetics to leave ego and explore atman. From my understanding atman, to simply put it, is the soul. wikipedia discusses ego : “The spiritual goal of many traditions involves the dissolving of the ego, allowing self-knowledge of one’s own true nature to become experienced and enacted in the world. This is variously known as Enlightenment, Nirvana, Presence, and the “Here and Now”. what does that mean?