Slave not to get worldly recognition; strive to give Krishna recognition
We all feel sometimes that our abilities are not adequately recognized, that we are underappreciated.
Most people spend their entire lives trying to correct this by slaving for worldly recognition. Sadly however, the recognition doesn’t come. Or if it comes, it doesn’t come enough. Or if it comes enough, it doesn’t last long enough. After all, our abilities don’t stay with us always. Sometimes we are able to deliver and sometimes not. Overall, the craving for worldly recognition sentences us to perpetual dissatisfaction.
The Bhagavad-gita (07.08) indicates that our abilities come from Krishna, in fact, are Krishna manifesting himself. It isn’t too difficult to realize that the abilities that we have are not actually our own. If the abilities were entirely one’s own, then why would one not be able to deploy them constantly?
For example, even the best cricketers who can bat with effortless grace sometimes flop. We tend to downplay it as the player “being out of form.” But no one wants to be out of form. Then what makes them go out of form?
Acknowledging that the abilities we have are not ours might seem even more depriving and hurting than not being appreciated for those abilities. But actually it can be the way to becoming healed and fulfilled.
Whatever abilities we have, we use them not to slave for worldly recognition, but to give Krishna recognition. That is, we remember that it is Krishna who has kindly given us these abilities and whatever we are able to achieve is by his mercy. Thus our abilities become impetus for us to devotionally connect with Krishna – a connection that is the source of lasting fulfillment. Even when our achievements and our abilities don’t last, that devotional connection lasts and fulfills forever.
"O son of Kunti, I am the taste of water, the light of the sun and the moon, the syllable om in the Vedic mantras; I am the sound in ether and ability in man."