Satisfaction comes by knowing ourselves, not by making ourselves known
Suppose we see someone who turns head wherever they go. We may naturally want to be similarly well known. This feeling can be accentuated by the world’s hugeness and crowdedness, which can make us feel insignificant and worthless – unless we do something that makes us known.
Consequently, we long for some special talent or some special break – anything – that will give us our shot at fame. Most of us struggle through life, never becoming famous. Some of us, however, discover a talent, get a break and become somewhat famous. But the urge to be known is like an insatiable fire – no matter how much it is fuelled, it keeps burning more, making us crave to be known even more.
And if we do become hugely famous, we face a poignant irony. That very fame often becomes the cause of annoyance, even distress. Celebrities often crave anonymity, struggling to do some normal human activities like go out for a walk without attracting unwanted attention and getting mobbed.
A healthier way to satisfaction is by knowing ourselves. Knowing ourselves means to understand that there are many layers to our being and that we exist not just as our physical bodies or our subtle minds, but essentially as souls. We are characterized by pure consciousness that radiates through us and is meant to connect with the all-attractive supreme, Krishna.
The Bhagavad-gita (06.20) declares that when we restrain the outward frantic wandering of our consciousness in search for pleasure and when our consciousness turns inward by the practice of yoga. By such practice, we perceive ourselves to be parts of the divine, with the potential to contribute in the world according to our individual capacities and to thereby learn to connect with Krishna. And this self-knowledge and self-perception becomes our pathway to enduring satisfaction.
Think it over:
- Why do we long to be famous?
- Why does the longing for fame not lead to happiness?
- How can knowing ourselves lead to happiness?
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