How can we overcome envy?
Transcriber: Keshavgopal Das
Question: How can we overcome envy?
Answer: We become envious when we feel that we are in competition with others. If in a college only few seats are available for admission, but number of applications are much more, then if other person gets a seat, it will impact us. At material level sources of happiness are limited but people vying for such happiness are much more. When we have such material definition of happiness, to a large extent, envy is unavoidable. Hence, we need to redefine happiness.
When we define happiness in terms of our bhakti for Krishna, then we understand that Krishna as God is unlimited. He is omnipresent. He can be present in my heart and fully available to me, he can be in your heart as well and fully available to you. The more we realize that spiritual happiness is not of a competitive nature, then we can stabilize in the fight against envy. Once we redirect our heart and eyes towards Krishna, then envy goes away substantially.
When we are in material world, we see that different people have different things both in terms of possessions or talents and abilities. Here what we need to focus on what we have rather than what others have. If in a feast everyone has something different than the other, we start to focus on what is there in other’s plate rather than looking at what we have. If we appreciate what we have in our plate and use it for our satisfaction, we will be happy.
Similarly, we all have gifts in form of possessions and talents. Some gifts might be hidden so we need to watch out for them. We need to have faith that whatever gifts we have are enough for our pursuit of happiness. Even from an objective point of view, if somebody has more ability than the other, we should understand that it is not the ability that define our happiness rather what we do with our ability defines our happiness.
To summarize, by focussing on Krishna and having this faith that whatever gifts we have are enough for my happiness if we use them properly, we can counter envy.
End of transcription.