Replacing addiction to sinfulness with addiction to self-righteousness is not progress

When we start practicing bhakti, we often experience amazing transformation – even without much effort on our part, sinful habits to which we may have been attached, even addicted, fall away.

Such purification is testimony to the potency of bhakti in connecting us with all-pure Krishna. Reciprocating with our devotion, he streams his supreme purity into our heart, driving away impurities.

However, the forces of illusion don’t quit so easily; they attack us with a different illusion. Whereas earlier we may have been captivated by lust or greed or anger, now we find ourselves captivated by pride, feeling tempted to see our purity as testimony to our own greatness. Such pride makes us self-righteous, viewing others as fallen and ourselves as elevated.

Even if we are engaged in spiritual practices externally, the more we succumb to pride in our purity, the more our consciousness becomes disconnected from Krishna, the source of all-pleasure. As we need pleasure, if we don’t get it in our Krishna-connection, we seek it in self-righteousness and end up becoming addicted to it. Craving to delight in our moral superiority over others, we can’t but find faults with them. Because nobody likes to be looked down upon, our condescending attitude drives people away from Krishna. And our obsession with faultfinding keeps us too away from him, even if we appear devotionally situated.

Pertinently, the Bhagavad-gita (16.02) states that the godly are averse to fault-finding. If we want to make authentic spiritual progress, not just change the brand of illusion captivating us, we need to focus on Krishna, remembering that our purity is due to our connection with him. The more we cherish and cultivate our Krishna-connection and the more we help others develop their Krishna-connection, the more we relish devotional fulfillment and progress swiftly towards him.

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  1. A KRISHNA BHAKTA is always away from all addictions

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