12.13 – Are we praying for others or preying on others?
Our feelings about others are pointers not just to who they are but also to who we are. When we feel irritated by others’ faults, that feeling may be induced by their faults or by our own insecurity or, most commonly, a combination of both.
Whatever the cause, our response to others’ faults is a good barometer for us to check how far we have progressed on our spiritual journey.
Often we feel insecure because of our own inadequacies. Such feelings become aggravated when we see those endowed with qualities and abilities. At such times, we try to compensate for our insecurity by searching for faults in others. Mentally, we become like predators who prey on others’ faults. Thus, faultfinding becomes the painkiller that dulls the nagging pain of our own insecurity. Though faultfinding may make us feel better temporary, it never makes us better. It inspires neither us nor others to improve.
The Bhagavad-gita (12.13) recommends that devotees be non-envious of all living beings (adveshta sarva-bhutanam). Far from having bad feelings towards others, they are friendly and even compassionate (maitrah karuna).
Why are devotees so amicably disposed?
Because they are secure in their relationships with Krishna and want to share that security with others.
Gita wisdom frees us from the need for such feelings of pseudo-security. When we understand and practice devotional service to Krishna, we gradually realize that no matter what our past or even our present, Krishna loves us always. Realizing this frees us from comparing and competing with others while interacting with them. We understand that their qualities and abilities are not a threat to us in our spiritual identity and glory. Wanting them to share the inner security that Krishna consciousness has provided us, we pray for them, not prey on them.
One who is not envious but is a kind friend to all living entities… – such a devotee of Mine is very dear to Me.