Our individuality is defined not by what we wear, but by what we hold dear

We live in an age that urges us to ‘be yourself’. And such a call to affirm our individuality can be good, provided it is channeled constructively. Unfortunately, today’s culture often channels it destructively. Let’s understand how. 

Gita wisdom explains that we all are irreducibly individual. The Bhagavad-gita (15.07) states that we all are souls, who are parts of the ultimate reality, Krishna. Just as he is an individual, so are we. The more we link with him, the more our pure and potent individuality manifests. We grow to become who we are meant to be and contribute to the world according to our distinctive abilities and interests. 

However, we are presently covered by various impurities, which make us look outward for pleasure through our mind and senses. And today’s culture makes us believe that getting distinctive objects for worldly enjoyment defines our individuality. For example, we are told that we become special when we wear the most fashionable clothes. 

Undoubtedly, how we dress matters — it determines people’s first impression about us. But beyond that, we are defined by what we hold dear. The things we consider valuable determine our values and purposes, and we are defined by our values and purposes. If we have something meaningful to live for and to die for, that gives us a distinctive identity far deeper and more defining than our dress. 

Gita wisdom gives us the supremely meaningful purpose to live for. It explains that we can evolve toward lasting fulfillment by striving to love and serve Krishna with everything we have. When we strive to do our best for serving him through all areas of our life, our defining individuality manifests in a way that benefits us and benefits others too. 

Think it over:

  • How does today’s culture mislead our longing to affirm our individuality?
  • How can we affirm our individuality constructively?
  • How do you define your individuality? How can you spiritualize that self-definition?

***

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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