Looking out for number one or looking at Number One?

To look out for number one is a phrase that means to act for one’s own interest without caring for others. We tend to look out for number one when we believe we are existentially alone and won’t survive in the big, bad world if we aren’t self-centered. 

However, surviving alone doesn’t bring fulfillment; thriving does. And we thrive when we connect lovingly with others and contribute wholeheartedly to some cause bigger than ourselves. Among all such connections and contributions, the best is the one centered on the Divine, because we all are parts of the supreme divinity, Krishna (15.07). As he is the source of everything attractive (10.41) and thereby the source of all happiness, connecting with him provides us the greatest fulfillment. And as he is everyone’s benefactor (05.29), contributing in a mood of service to him enables us to do the greatest good for others and for ourselves too. 

For connecting with Krishna and contributing in the mood of service to him, we need to appreciate his glory as our all-attractive, all-benevolent Lord. Essentially, we need to appreciate Krishna as the eternal Number One. However, as long as we are looking out for number one, we can’t look at and focus on anyone else, certainly not Krishna. Though he too looks out for us, his protection is not always seen at the immediate material level, which is all that we perceive as long as we are looking out for number one. 

Nonetheless, if we study Gita wisdom, we can understand Krishna’s omnipotent position and benevolent disposition. Thereby, we can get the intellectual impetus to redirect our focus from ourselves to him and delight in devotional absorption in him.

One-sentence summary: 

To find fulfillment, we need to stop looking out for number one and start looking devotionally at the eternal  Number One. 

Think it over:

  • Why do we tend to look out for number one?
  • Why is Krishna the eternal Number One?
  • What stops us from looking at Krishna? How can we change that?


15.07: The living entities in this conditioned world are My eternal fragmental parts. Due to conditioned life, they are struggling very hard with the six senses, which include the mind.


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