Humility frees us from dependence on our own power and grants us access to God’s power

Some people think of humility as weakness, “If I am humble, people will walk all over me.”

Such an understanding arises from a misunderstanding of humility. Actual humility is not about looking down at ourselves but about looking up at something bigger than ourselves. 

When we face challenges in life, especially challenges that are beyond us to face on our own, we learn the power of humility. If we aren’t humble, we are left with nothing except our own inadequate power. But if we are humble, we can seek help from some power bigger than ourselves. The biggest such power is God, Krishna. And humility frees us from self-consciousness and empowers us to rise to God consciousness. 

At the start of the Bhagavad-gita, Arjuna  was trying to figure out the right course of action using his own intellectual power. And despite his many glorious abilities, he couldn’t decide; he ended up so confused that he cast aside his bow in discouragement (01.46).

Thankfully however, he had the humility to seek guidance from Krishna by surrendering to him (02.07). And then, he found an entire universe of meaning opening before him through the message of the Gita. When he used his intelligence to understand that message, the expanded perspective illumined and empowered him so much that he became free from all confusion (18.73) Thus, Arjuna’s example demonstrates the Gita’s teaching (13.08) that humility is the doorway to knowledge. 

We too have access to that knowledge not just by studying the Gita but also by connecting with Krishna within our heart by practicing bhakti-yoga and getting guidance from within (10.10).

To summarize, humility doesn’t take away whatever power we already have; it helps us use that power to access a far greater power that empowers us to face life’s challenges. 

Think it over:

  • What is actual humility?
  • How did humility empower Arjuna?
  • How can humility empower us?

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