To think that we may become proud suggests that we may already be proud

Suppose we have some special talents by which we can excel in an important service. But we may hesitate to use those talents, fearing that doing so may make us proud.

Fear of pride is healthy for protecting our humility. However, that fear becomes unhealthy if it stops us from using for Krishna the special abilities that he has endowed us with.

The Bhagavad-gita (16.04) states that pride, arrogance and conceit are the inborn characteristics of the ungodly. As we are all born in an ungodly age, we probably have pride within us. The notion that we aren’t proud may well be pride’s deception to keep us from detecting its presence.

We become aware of lust hidden within us when we encounter a tempting sense object. Similarly, we become aware of pride hidden within us when we do something special and get an opportunity to bask in our glory. Our special accomplishment may act as such an opportunity – it may not make us proud; it may simply stimulate our dormant pride. And that dormant pride doesn’t quietly go away if we restrain ourselves from doing anything special; it comes out in an ugly form as envy towards others who are doing something special.

The healthy way to purge ourselves of pride is not suppression of talent but purification of intent. When we connect with Krishna by serving him according to our talents, that connection gives us a sublime happiness which renders the pleasure coming from pride pale in comparison. We realize that pride is not worth the price of being diverted from fulfilling absorption in Krishna. As this realization solidifies in our heart, our intent in serving gets purified – we do our best not to delight in pride, but to express and experience love for Krishna.

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