Be too intelligent to fall for the hero business

Becoming a hero is the business of most people’s lives. And they frequently pursue this business by trying to become better than others, by becoming numero uno.

Of course, the urge to improve oneself is natural within us. And acting on it is often essential in today’s hyper-competitive world. Some people by their innate talent and sustained commitment rise to phenomenal levels of performance. The Bhagavad-gita (10.41) acknowledges the speciality of such extraordinary performers when it states that all attractive things manifest a spark of all-attractive Krishna’s infinite splendor. So, those who manifest such splendor deserve due respect.

Still, if such performers fall for the hero business, delighting in their own glory, they set themselves up for insecurity and misery. Sooner or later, someone will trump them, thereby reducing them to abject despondency, for they will have ended up losing the very thing that they had lived for.

Thankfully, the urge for self-improvement doesn’t have to meet this end. Gita wisdom explains that our abilities don’t come from us alone – they are gifts from a source greater than themselves. All achievers experience inspirations, moments of extraordinary lucidity that come from a source outside of themselves. The Bhagavad-gita (15.15) indicates that the source of such intelligence and inspiration is Krishna. And he wants to enrich all of us not just with some abilities that may bring some temporary glory – he wants to enrich us with the insights that can help us realize and relish our eternal glory. We are parts of the all-attractive Supreme and are meant to delight in that glory by developing spiritual love for him.

Those who are truly intelligent therefore give up the hero business or rather go beyond the hero business to focus on the supreme hero, Krishna, and delight eternally in his supreme heroism.

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