Accepting our smallness requires greatness

Megalomania, the illusion of imagining oneself to be far greater than what one actually is, afflicts all of us, to smaller or greater degrees.

In fact, most people consider trying to prove their greatness as a primary life-mission. At one level, seeking a sense of self-worth is natural in a world that reduces us to insignificance with its vastness and apparent non-existence by its morality. Still, at another level, knowing which battle is winnable and which isn’t is a matter of basic human intelligence – something that we all need to use to optimize our prospects in life.

Given our innate need for a worthwhile identity and the world’s inevitable sentence of insignificance and non-existence on us, what is the way out? Gita wisdom offers us that way by redirecting our search from the material level to the spiritual level. It explains that at our core we are souls and we are precious as indestructible spiritual beings, parts of an all-attractive God, Krishna, who loves us immortally.

However, to gain that sense of transcendental identity, we need to stop seeking that identity in matter and material things. Pertinently, the Bhagavad-gita (13.08) lists humility as the first of the qualities that contribute to knowledge.. What it means is that we connect the material with the transcendental by recognizing that everything is connected with the source and the center. By learning to love Krishna, we can fulfill our longing for self-worth. In fact, whatever it is that gives us our sense of self-worth even now – our intelligence, our talents, our resources – they all come from him.

Accepting our smallness in the sense of acknowledging that we are nothing separate from Krishna requires greatness because such an admission goes against the greatly powerful force of our false ego. Nonetheless, that is the way to attain fulfillment.

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