Don’t waste time on the mind’s futile pastime: comparison
As soon as people enter our familiarity perimeter, our mind starts comparing us with them. Comparison is its favorite pastime.
However, unlike Krishna’s pastimes that lead to purification, inspiration and liberation, the comparison pastime leads only to contamination, depression and detention. Let’s see how:
- Contamination: If comparison makes us feel inferior to others, then we get victimized by an inferiority complex. If comparison makes us feel superior to others, then we get seduced by a superiority complex. Both these complexes contaminate our heart with self-centeredness.
- Depression: The media exploits our mind’s addiction to comparison by holding aloft the best specimens within any comparison category: individuals with the best bodily contours, the best IQ scores, the best luxury products, and the best life-partners. Regular comparison with such ideal or idealized specimens makes us depressed, no matter how much we have.
- Detention: Comparison may sometimes goad us to perform better, but that goading detains us at best in insecurity and at worst in futility. Even if we succeed in out-performing others, we remain insecure that someone may at any time out-perform us. And if we fail to out-perform others, then we feel that all our efforts have been futile.
The Bhagavad-gita (18.54) indicates that when we focus on our spiritual identity, “I am a soul whose happiness lies in loving and serving Krishna,” then we realize that nothing material matters for our ultimate destiny. That realization enables us to see the futility of comparison, and empowers us to see all living beings equally, as parts of Krishna. This equal vision frees us to relish wholeheartedly remembrance of Krishna and his pastimes.
“One who is thus transcendentally situated at once realizes the Supreme Brahman and becomes fully joyful. He never laments or desires to have anything. He is equally disposed toward every living entity. In that state he attains pure devotional service unto Me.”