Our fear of insignificance traps us in insignificance

“If I give up all my desires and just fulfill Krishna’s desires, won’t I be stripping myself of everything that makes me significant as a person?” Apprehensions like these may check us on the devotional path.

Surprisingly, Gita wisdom asserts that this fear of insignificance is what traps us in insignificance. Let’s see how.

The Gita begins by explaining that we are souls who are presently misidentifying with the body due to the insidious influence of the false ego. Under the spell of the false ego, we mistake its desires to be our own desires. This misjudgment makes casting those desires aside seem like giving up something very significant.

However, if we unsentimentally contemplate the false ego’s desires, we will realize that fulfilling them will yield insignificant results: we might at best get some fleeting pleasure that will keep us bound to material existence like countless other living entities. That’s why as long as we stay wedded to those desires, we sentence ourselves to obscurity in material existence and thereby seal our pact with insignificance.

To help us attain real significance, the Bhagavad-gita (18.58) urges us to harmonize our desires with Krishna’s desires and to put aside all other desires, recognizing them to be what they are: the false ego’s allurements. When we choose to apply this Gita injunction, we can endure the resulting temporary feelings of insignificance by philosophical conviction. Our bold choice and determined endurance will attract divine grace that will empower us to pass over all obstacles and render significant devotional service that will facilitate many other souls in coming closer to Krishna. Most importantly, it will deliver us to Krishna’s own abode, where we will delight forever in a life of ultimate significance: the life of everlasting love. 

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 18 Text 58

“If you become conscious of Me, you will pass over all the obstacles of conditioned life by My grace. If, however, you do not work in such consciousness but act through false ego, not hearing Me, you will be lost.”

 

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