16.04 – Obsession with fame deprives us of prema
Most people get a rush of exhilaration when they go to a new place and find recognition and admiration for them in the eyes of others. And some people make this fame as their supreme source of enjoyment, their primary purpose of life.
The Bhagavad-gita (16.04 – darpo abhimash) indicates that such obsession with fame characterizes the ungodly. And the next verse (16.05) states that such ungodly mentality drags people away from Krishna and liberation, and into illusion and bondage.
We are social beings and naturally need relationships. So there’s nothing wrong with seeking reciprocations wherever we go. But we don’t have to make ourselves the center of those reciprocations. Gita wisdom offers us a far more satisfying center – Krishna. Let’s understand why this divine center is preferable.
When we seek pleasure in our own glories, we sentence ourselves to perpetual insecurity. Because we don’t have too many praiseworthy qualities and abilities; because we can’t always translate whatever qualities and abilities we do have into laudable actions; and because we can’t ensure that others will notice and appreciate whatever we do achieve. Most detrimentally, our obsession with ourselves blinds us to others’ good qualities and even to the glories of Krishna. When we don’t even notice Krishna’s glories, we obviously can’t relish them and so we can’t develop prema, pure spiritual love for Krishna.
The process of devotional service helps us shift our center of attention from ourselves to Krishna. When we seek to delight in Krishna’s glories, we become forever free from insecurity and filled with gaiety. That’s because Krishna’s glories are unlimited and eternal – they never get exhausted. Once we get a taste for glorifying Krishna, then we never run out of material for relishing.
Why then should we let obsession with fame deprive us of prema?
16.04 – Pride, arrogance, conceit, anger, harshness and ignorance – these qualities belong to those of demoniac nature, O son of Pritha.