13.08: Hubris is the recipe for debris.

by June 26, 2012

Debris usually doesn’t need a recipe. It results from a violent enough force that reduces an attractive structure to an unattractive mess.

A recipe, on the other hand, is a careful, meticulous process that converts raw edible items into nutritious and delicious food.

The process of bhakti-yoga is a recipe for refining our consciousness so as to make it attractive for Krishna. Central to this metaphorical cooking of our consciousness is the careful cultivation of humility, a virtue that the Bhagavad-gita (13.8) lists first among the virtues that comprise wisdom.

The polar opposite of humility is hubris. This overbearing pride originates from obsessive self-absorption and terminates in obnoxious megalomania. This self-absorption is noxious, even poisonous, for our ability to absorb our consciousness in Krishna. Hubris makes us full of ourselves: our abilities, our achievements, our aspirations. Even if these are within the perimeter of devotional service, still they can become the enemies of our devotion if they inflate our ego. Hubris prevents us from calling the names of Krishna fervently, leave alone enthroning him as the Lord of our heart.

Worse still, hubris makes us imagine that, just because we are more materially talented than others, we are better than them, even when they are actually more spiritually advanced than us.
This distorted imagination impels us to disrespect, even offend, great souls, thereby releasing destructive forces that reduce our devotional attainments to debris. Of course, our devotional assets are indestructible, but offenses can make them inaccessible to us till we make amends. And during that period the external forms of those assets may factually be reduced to debris.

Thus, hubris is indeed a recipe for debris. By contemplating regularly on its inbuilt destructiveness, we can prevent hubris from gaining a foothold in our heart.


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