Might my own thing not be my own thing?

Many people reject discipline: “I want to be free to do my own thing.”

Our aspiration to be free is natural and laudable. But we need to consider: is my own thing actually my own thing?

What we call ‘my own thing’ usually comes not from us, but from the world. The current materialistic culture parades before us an array of fashions – hairstyles, dress-styles and lifestyles, for example. Some of these catch our fancy, and we anoint them as ‘my own thing’. Over time their charm fades and we transfer the title ‘my own thing’ to some other things from society’s unending gallery of glamor. Thus the purported freedom to do ‘my own thing’ ends up as slavish capitulation to the culture’s dictation.

All of us are unique – spiritually and materially. Spiritually, we are all distinct parts of the all-attractive Supreme Being Krishna. And materially we all have distinctive blends of attitudes and aptitudes that make us who we are. If we distance ourselves from the culture’s infatuating propaganda, we get the reprieve to observe ourselves.

When we complement our own introspection with disciplined devotional service to Krishna, he gives us special intelligence, as the Bhagavad-gita (10.10) indicates. This intelligence illumines our inner terrain and helps us understand that the devotional fulfillment we occasionally relish is a precursor of the everlasting fulfillment that awaits us ahead. This devotional service and the concomitant happiness is our eternal ‘my own thing’.

Additionally, the Krishna-given intelligence also illumines our particular psychophysical nature, revealing the specific talents and temperaments that comprise our material ‘my own thing.’ This enables us to better harmonize our material ambitions with our material nature – and thereby achieve more and contribute better. 

Thus does the scriptural discipline of devotional service free us to do ‘my own thing’.

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 10 Text 10

"To those who are constantly devoted to serving Me with love, I give the understanding by which they can come to Me."

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  1. hare krsna. thank you pr ji for bringing forth the true and real meaning of ” my thing “.

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  2. hare krsna. pr ji, the length, breadth and depth of you writings are eternal and cannot be measured materially.

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  3. Hk…thnk u for such a beautiful n clear analogy..

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  4. i pray to radharani that she keep on showering her blessings on u to propogate the message of chaitanya mahaprabhu and take the mission of shrila prabhupada a long way

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  5. Thank you pr for sharing this article very nicely, material exposure is more of show off business…,

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  6. Very enlightening Article, Prabhu Ji , hare Krishna

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  7. thank you for giving both the philosophical truth/ideal and the practical application in our conditioned nature.

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  8. Here Krishna! Thanks for this beauty full article.We are all parts and parcels of Krishna so every thing belongs to Krishna is the fact , we should be aware of.

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  9. This stamping something as “my own thing” tendency, which is based on imitating the ideals, whom we cherish in this world, displays one thing very strongly. how we are constitutionally followers of authority. so to stop this embarrassing situation of changing one fashion to other, we should accept at once this supreme authority of Shri Krishna, who is permanent Master of both this world.

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