Devotion to the greatest soul makes the small soul a great soul
We usually long to prove our greatness to the world.
At first sight, Gita wisdom seems to repress this ambition for greatness; it informs us that we as souls are immeasurably small and are eternally servants of Krishna. If we are less than microscopic and are always servitors, how can we ever become great?
Curiously, the same Bhagavad-gita that declares the soul to be tiny also addresses (09.13) some souls as great souls (mahatma). As the soul doesn’t morph like a size-adjustable computer-generated image, how do small souls become great souls?
The answer is found in the next line: these great souls live sheltered by the divine nature (daivim prakrtim ashritah). This divine nature is the grace of Krishna, manifested as Shrimati Radharani, the supreme mediatrix. By bestowing devotion, she enables the small soul to connect with the greatest soul, Krishna, and thereby become great – not in size, but in influence.
Krishna uses the souls devoted to him as his instruments. Through them, his infinite power, wisdom and compassion appears and acts in this world. Being thus divinely empowered, these devoted souls perform great deeds helping everyone attain life’s supreme treasure of eternal love and happiness. Thus, they engage in the highest spiritual welfare for all living beings. Due to their great deeds, the Gita rightly acclaims them as great souls.
Significantly though, these great souls never think that they are great. Why? Because they live constantly in the light of the supreme greatness of Krishna and find therein a fulfillment far greater than that obtained by dwelling on their own greatness.
Thus, Gita wisdom doesn’t repress our ambition for greatness, but redirects it spiritually. It thereby enables us to ultimately transcend that ambition, while also productively utilizing it for the service of Krishna and all his children.
“O son of Prtha, those who are not deluded, the great souls, are under the protection of the divine nature. They are fully engaged in devotional service because they know Me as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, original and inexhaustible.”