False ego is when we identify ourselves with this body. And expanded version of this is, I am Engineer, Indian, father, mother etc…

The chief function of the false ego is godlessness. The constitutional position of a person is being a subordinate to the Supreme Lord, When a person forgets his constitutional position and wants to be happy independently, he functions mainly in two ways.

  1. He first attempts to act fruitively for personal gain or sense gratification, and after attempting such fruitive activities for a considerable time,
  2. when he is frustrated he becomes a philosophical speculator and thinks himself to be on the same level as God.

This false idea of becoming one with the Lord is the last snare of the illusory energy, which traps a living entity
into the bondage of forgetfulness under the spell of false ego.

reference: Srimad Bhagavadam SB 3.5.31