13.08 – How humility boosts our self-esteem…

by Chaitanya Charan dasDecember 4, 2012

We often feel under-recognized by the world. We frequently think that we have far more talents and much greater potential than what others credit us.

Does such self-perception symptomize unhealthy pride or healthy self-esteem?

It may be either, but more important, Gita wisdom informs us, is that our self-perception be based on true knowledge.

The Bhagavad-gita (13.08) indicates that true knowledge begins with pridelessness, which essentially implies freedom from the unrealizable expectation that the world devote itself to praising us.

Gita wisdom explains that all of us are souls, parts of Krishna. We get real spiritual happiness by loving and serving Krishna. A central part of such love and service is glorification. When we glorify Krishna, we relish a far greater and richer fulfillment than what we experience in hearing others glorify us. Why is that? Because hearing our own glories titillates our ego, whereas speaking Krishna’s glories satisfies our heart. As the ego is superfluous to our true identity, so is the pleasure that comes from its titillation.

Internalization of this truth is liberating for our self-esteem. We no longer feel dependent for our self-identity on the world’s validation and glorification. Irrespective of whether others value us or not, we stay rooted in a mission that is intrinsically valuable: glorifying Krishna. As our self-esteem thus becomes freed from the insecurities induced by externals, we utilize our talents more effectively and actualize our potentials more fully. This naturally leads to our getting more attention and appreciation. But because we are no longer craving for it, we don’t become infatuated by it. Instead, we see it as Krishna’s indication that he is accepting our service. So, that appreciation instead of building our ego breaks through the ego and animates us with the desire to glorify Krishna more.

Thus does humility boost our self-esteem.

 

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Chaitanya Charan das
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