When pride masks itself as humility

Suppose we get an opportunity to serve Krishna, say, by speaking about him. We may think, “I am too fallen and impure. I’m not qualified to speak about Krishna.” We may positively contrast such an attitude with the proud and presumptuous attitude, “I want to speak about Krishna;. I am qualified to speak about Krishna.” 

We need to remember that the essence of our relationship with Krishna is service; and that service requires us to be less conscious of ourselves and be more conscious of Krishna. When we think we are qualified to serve Krishna, the ‘I’ becomes more prominent than Krishna, which is unhealthy. But if we think that because we are unqualified to serve Krishna, we shouldn’t serve him, then that disposition comes in the way of our constitutional position. The disposition of pride can interfere with our constitution position, as can the disposition of so-called humility. We need to focus on our innate position of service to Krishna, knowing that we are meant to serve him in whatever way presents itself. If we are called upon to do a service, then not doing it in the name of humility would be a distorted form of pride. Why pride? Because we are deeming our assessment of ourselves better than Krishna’s. If he has placed us in a situation where we are called upon to do a service, to think that we shouldn’t do it because of humility is pride masquerading as humility. 

Pertinently, at the end of the Bhagavad-gita, Arjuna exhibits humility in his readiness to do Krishna’s will (18.73). That eager, energetic willingness to serve is the essence of humility.

One-sentence summary: 

Thinking that we are qualified to serve Krishna is pride; so is thinking that we are unqualified to serve him — to just serve Krishna is the essence of humility. 

Think it over:

  • What is the essence of our relationship with Krishna?
  • How can pride mask itself as humility?
  • How can you focus on the essence of humility in your relationship with Krishna?


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