Humility is the pathway to Krishna, not the password to position in a power structure

Some people are humble and submissive in front of their seniors, but haughty and abusive with their juniors.

Why are they two-faced? Because their humility is just a façade, a password to power in hierarchical organizations. In such organizations, only by showing subordination to one’s seniors can one gain position. So, power-hungry people act humble in front of their seniors. But with their juniors, they deem humility dispensable; they delight in exhibiting and exercising their power.

When such people come to a spiritual organization, they may grow externally in position, but they won’t grow internally in devotion. Why not? Because devotional growth requires raising our vision from material reality to spiritual reality.

Gita wisdom reveals spiritual reality: we are souls on a multi-life journey of spiritual evolution towards the all-attractive Supreme, Krishna. Our eternal position is that we are his servants, meant to delight in endless love for him. Presently however, we are caught in a world of illusion. Herein, at any moment, our positions can be taken away, either by tribulations that dispossess us or by temptations that delude us. When we understand how existentially vulnerable we are, we naturally become humble; we see our relative superiority over others as temporary and insubstantial. Our only lasting security is in our relationship with Krishna – a relationship that requires a humble service attitude. Therefore, we cultivate humility not as a tool to power, but as a virtue to approach our Lord. Pertinently, the Bhagavad-gita (13.08) states that humility is a primary characteristic of knowledge.

Infused with such humility, we re-envision all our relationships, even with our juniors, as opportunities to serve Krishna. With Krishna as our life’s goal, we seek pleasure not in dominating others, but in humbly helping them progress towards him while also determinedly progressing ourselves.

Think it over:

  1. Why are some people humble towards seniors but domineering towards juniors?
  2. How does spiritual knowledge foster humility?
  3. How can we infuse all our relationships with humility?


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