Our purpose is to serve the Name, not to make a name
In life, what we do is important, but why we do it is equally, if not more, important. Intention is critical in religious activities, wherein the ego can sabotage the purpose.
We engage in religious activities to serve our Lord’s name by sharing his glories, broadcasting his message, and attracting people to his shelter. This service attitude nourishes our devotion and increases our attraction to him. If instead, we crave to make a name for ourselves – for example, be lauded as charitable for having built a temple – then our religious activities won’t nourish our devotion; they will feed our ego which suffocates our devotion. Pertinently, the Bhagavad-gita (16.17) reproaches godless people who use religious activities for self-promotion.
Most of us won’t be so brazen. Still, even when we do devotional activities to glorify Krishna, our ego may creep in, whispering: “Yes, God is great, but I, being his messenger, am also great.” If we let this shift go unchallenged, our devotional practices will nourish our ego more than our devotion. To prevent such misdirection, we need to conscientiously shift the spotlight back to Krishna, giving credit to him for whatever good we may have done, for having magnanimously used even an unworthy soul like us as his instrument.
Thankfully, Krishna is understanding. If some egoistic desire surfaces within us because of our past conditionings, he doesn’t hold it against us – provided we are fighting it, not feeding it. When that desire makes us hog the limelight, as soon as we realize what is happening, we can rectify ourselves, giving credit to Krishna and his representatives.
By such vigilance, we will please Krishna and, by his mercy, get an increased taste for his glories. Enriched with that taste, we will become more immune to the ego, ultimately transcending it.
To know more about this verse, please click on the image
Explanation of article: