To grow in humility, stay rooted in reality
Most of us have met egomaniacs who think that others have nothing better to do than hear them expound their glories.
Such hubris stems from selective self-awareness. As long as we are aware only of how we are good at some things, not how we are poor at other things, that blinkered self-awareness fosters arrogance.
Significantly, the same selective self-awareness that gives rise to hubris also gives rise at the other extreme to inferiority complex. Therein, we morbidly obsess over our deficiencies. In fact, some people may conceal their inner insecurity under a façade of hubris.
Between these two extremes of hubris and inferiority complex is self-confidence, the faith that we can make constructive contributions using our God-given abilities. Such healthy self-confidence is boosted by holistic self-awareness. By introspective exercises such as a SWOT (Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities Threats) analysis of ourselves, we can become more aware of what we are good at and what we had best avoid.
Gita wisdom takes our self-awareness deeper, beyond what we can or can’t do, to who we essentially are: we are souls, parts of the all-attractive supreme, Krishna. He loves us eternally; and in loving and serving him, we can find lasting fulfillment.
By practicing bhakti-yoga diligently, we can fix our consciousness on Krishna, the whole whose parts we are eternally. In such devotional self-awareness, we increasingly relish security and serenity, worry less about the world’s appreciation, and focus more on doing our part in a mood of service to him.
The Bhagavad-gita (13.08-12) outlines twenty qualities that comprise knowledge, with the first being humility. This virtue naturally awakens within us when we cultivate self-awareness.
When our humility is thus boosted by awareness of the reality of our identity, bhakti-yoga propels us to the supreme reality of the spiritual world for life eternal with Krishna.
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