If God had wanted you to be someone else, he would have made someone else
One of our greatest mental energy wasters is the craving to be someone else, “If only I was like that person who has better looks, greater memory, more wealth …”
This craving stems largely from society’s disproportionate glamorization of certain material vocations and positions – a glamorization that impels us to seek achievements even if we aren’t endowed for them. The Bhagavad-gita (18.47) disapproves such indiscriminate pursuits when it urges us to act according to our sva-dharma (natural duty), not adopt others’ sva-dharma. In the social system of varnashrama recommended in the Gita (04.13), our sva-dharma is determined by our abilities and activities, thereby ensuring that it harmonizes with our nature and provides inner satisfaction, irrespective of outer position.
The material hierarchy that society accords to different vocations can cause dissatisfaction, but only as long as our material vocation stays divorced from a unifying and universal spiritual purpose – to activate our relationship with Krishna. Gita wisdom assures us that we all are eternal souls who have an individual unique relationship with Krishna. That relationship is the source of life’s highest fulfillment. And it can be activated by doing whatever is our natural inclination, if we just do it in a mood of devotion, as the Gita (09.27) assures.
Ultimately, there is a divine plan that underlies what we are presently. If Krishna had wanted someone else to love and serve him, he would have made someone else. He wants you and he wants me – and that’s the reason you are you and I am I. Of course, we both need to improve ourselves so that our relationship with him can deepen. But that improvement is centered on inner purification, not outer imitation. We don’t have to become someone else – we simply have to realize and relish who we actually are.
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