Significance of the Feeling of Insignificance

Souls in the material world feel important, very important, or most important. It is a root cause of all strife in the world. What about the feeling of insignificance, or humility? Is that significant?

Most of us consider ourselves highly significant. I am not immune to this either. But when I put my own life in context with the world around me, the other souls, especially in relation with God, I begin to feel insignificant.

But then, in many of my personal interactions, I begin to find this feeling of super-significance show itself again. It manifests itself as pride, arrogance, impatience, intolerance, condescension, holier-than-thou, or obnoxious bossy behaviour. Most people can’t stand it when they see it in someone else. But most of us carefully cultivate the root cause of those traits.

Of course, it’s easy to think that we’re super-significant, after all, we came out of the spiritual world to feel that way, and the material world is designed to make us feel that way too.

It all started with the envy of God. Envy, not jealousy. What is the difference, one may ask. One very advanced spiritualist, Chakri Dasa, a disciple of Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada made it very clear in a class in Durban, South Africa, many years ago… He said “Jealousy means you don’t like that someone has what they have”, he continued “But Envy, that is different, it means, I don’t like that you have what you have. I wish that I had what you have. I wish that you didn’t have it, I wish you were dead and I could have that instead”.

So, envy of God means that we want God to be subservient to us (or dead), and instead that we would rather be God. This is actually the “Original Sin”.

This is why the spirit soul comes to the material world. God says, “well, you are you, and I am Me, but if you want, I can send you to a place where you can think that you are God”. And reluctantly He makes arrangements for us to come here, but comes along with us as the Super-Soul or Paramatma!

Therefore, we have the unfortunate situation where everyone in material consciousness is trying to dominate one another.

Is it any wonder then, that as a recovering atheist, I still have these feelings of super-significance! I came here to be God in the first place! 🙂

By now I know that I am not God, but this tendency to try to lord it over the material world, and all others stubbornly persists.

But what is incredible, truly incredible, is that God Himself does not consider Himself very significant, whereas He sees service done unto Him as highly valuable! I found that amazing, and thought you might too.

किञ्चित्करोत्युर्वपि यत् स्वदत्तं
सुहृत्कृतं फल्ग्वपि भूरिकारी ।
मयोपनीतं पृथुकैकमुष्टिं
प्रत्यग्रहीत् प्रीतियुतो महात्मा ॥ ३५ ॥ kiñcit karoty urv api yat sva-dattaṁ
suhṛt-kṛtaṁ phalgv api bhūri-kārī
mayopaṇītaṁ pṛthukaika-muṣṭiṁ
pratyagrahīt prīti-yuto mahātmā

The Lord considers even His greatest benedictions to be insignificant, while He magnifies even a small service rendered to Him by His well-wishing devotee. Thus with pleasure the Supreme Soul accepted a single palmful of the flat rice I brought Him.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/10/81/35/

In this chapter (and the previous one) of the Bhagavatam, there is an account of a saintly gentleman by the name of Sudama, who was a boyhood school friend of Krishna, in the school of Sandipani Muni.

While Krishna, as the husband of the Goddess of Fortune is Supremely Opulent, Sudama, as a simple spiritualist, was satisfied with whatever came of its own accord. When his wife, frustrated by the extreme poverty (bony bodies, torn clothes, starvation), persuaded Sudama to seek a favour from Krishna, his boyhood Friend, he reluctantly agreed, more joyful for the opportunity to meet Krishna than to ask for some benediction.

He joyfully went to see Krishna, taking a humble gift of 4 handfuls of flattened rice, begged by his wife from a neighbour. But when he saw the opulence of Krishna’s palace, he was too ashamed to give Krishna the humble gift.

He also forgot to ask Krishna for anything at all! He was just so happy to see Krishna, reminisce, etc.

Krishna of course, being the All-knowing Super Soul dwelling in everyone’s heart, knew everything, snatched the rag-parcel of flattened rice, and in return gave Sudama opulence equal to that of the king of heaven.

Sudama felt insignificant in front of Krishna. Krishna felt His gift of opulence insignificant in front of Sudama’s love.

अहो ब्रह्मण्यदेवस्य द‍ृष्टा ब्रह्मण्यता मया ।
यद् दरिद्रतमो लक्ष्मीमाश्लिष्टो बिभ्रतोरसि ॥ १५ ॥ aho brahmaṇya-devasya
dṛṣṭā brahmaṇyatā mayā
yad daridratamo lakṣmīm
āśliṣṭo bibhratorasi

[Sudāmā thought:] Lord Kṛṣṇa is known to be devoted to the brāhmaṇas, and now I have personally seen this devotion. Indeed, He who carries the goddess of fortune on His chest has embraced the poorest beggar.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/10/81/15/

It is not possible for a person in material consciousness to feel that kind of humility. It is impossible to feign. Only a soul in pure spiritual consciousness, pure Allah/Christ/Yahweh/Adonai/Buddha/Krishna, consciousness can feel such deep humility…

Humility is a precious gift, and true humility comes from knowing and being in one’s own constitutional position as an infinitesimal fragmental part-and-parcel of our glorious emanator.

Oh! When will I feel the genuine insignificance felt by the pure spiritualist? When will I be free of my false pride? When will I actually recover from this horrible atheism I am afflicted with? Oh! My dear Krishna, how and why did I ever allow this horrible poisonous envy enter my heart?

Love, not Fear

Why “Fear of God”? Why not “Love of God”? Why fear when you can love instead? How can we transform fear to love?

It’s a fact that many religious systems are based on fear, “do this or you will go to hell”, “listen to me or eternal damnation”, “believe this or the unending eternal fires for you”.

Some are less dire, more business-like “If you displease God, then God will punish you for your sins”. Quid pro quo.

But God is not a bully. God is not insecure. God is not a sadist. God is not even a business-person!

God is Full of Knowledge, Full of Bliss, and is Eternal. No person who has those qualities can be petty, shortsighted, or vindictive.

īśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ
sac-cid-ānanda-vigrahaḥ
anādir ādir govindaḥ
sarva-kāraṇa-kāraṇam

Kṛṣṇa who is known as Govinda is the Supreme Godhead. He has an eternal blissful spiritual body. He is the origin of all. He has no other origin and He is the prime cause of all causes.

https://www.vedabase.com/en/bs/5/1

God is also our emanator, which makes Him our caretaker practically. Which parent wants their offspring to suffer eternally?

ईश्वर: सर्वभूतानां हृद्देशेऽर्जुन तिष्ठति ।

भ्रामयन्सर्वभूतानि यन्‍त्रारूढानि मायया ॥ ६१ ॥

īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānāṁ

hṛd-deśe ’rjuna tiṣṭhati

bhrāmayan sarva-bhūtāni

yantrārūḍhāni māyayā

The Supreme Lord is situated in everyone’s heart, O Arjuna, and is directing the wanderings of all living entities, who are seated as on a machine, made of the material energy.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/18/61/

Schools and Universities give additional attempts, more chances to students who failed to make the grade. The judicial systems of many countries grant bail, parole, or pardon, in other words, a chance to live life inspite of having made mistakes.

So why on earth do most religious systems and their adherents relate to God in fear? Why are people “God-fearing”? Why are they not “God-loving”?

It is in part because most people know what is sinful and yet do not stop committing that sin. That is like a criminal who knows what they are doing is wrong but persists.

Yes, God is powerful, and God is practically distant, unknown even, to a materially conditioned soul. So, it may be somehow natural to fear this entity that has power over life and death. But remember, the jaws of a cat are death only to a mouse, they are happy and safe and comforting to her kitten.

To a criminal, the Police are to be feared. To an ordinary law-abiding citizen, the Police are no cause for fear. To many, the Police are even a cause of reassurance and/or relief.

God is Loving, and God is not very happy when the relationship is based on awe and reverence.

itīdṛk sva-līlābhir ānanda-kuṇḍe 

sva-ghoṣaṁ nimajjantam ākhyāpayantam 

tadīyeṣita-jñeṣu bhaktair jitatvaṁ 

punaḥ prematas taṁ śatāvṛtti vande

By such childhood pastimes as this He is drowning the inhabitants of Gokula in pools of ecstasy, and is revealing to those devotees who are absorbed in knowledge of His supreme majesty and opulence that He is only conquered by devotees whose pure love is imbued with intimacy and is free from all conceptions of awe and reverence. With great love I again offer my obeisances to Lord Damodara hundreds and hundreds of times.

Sri Damodarashtakam, Verse 3 (Padma Purana, spoken by Satyavrata Muni)

The origin of fear is in lust actually, because fear is an unavoidable factor of life in the material world, or more specifically, life in material consciousness.

It is lust that has brought us into this material nightmare and lust that keeps us here. When we can transform that lust into pure love we become liberated from the pangs of this material existence.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari, Transforming Lust into Love

Lust means we want, gimme, gimme, gimme. What do we do when we really love someone? We serve them. And we don’t badger them for this, that, and the other. Instead, we just love them, cherish them, and serve them.

Yes, God is Great, but He is also incredibly Sweet and Loving. What can we do to actually Love God?

NO FEAR!

Quicker Awareness of Dormant Love for God

Sunil, 9th August 2011

Respected Devotees and Disciples
Please accept my humble obeisances

Is it true that , Lord Krishna brings a person who sincerely tries not to misuse his or her independence and repents of past misuses of independence , in awareness of devotional service quicker than a person who does not try to stop misusing independence and does not repent for past misuses of independence

Sunil

Sanjay gupta, 9th August 2011

A person who sacrifice the fruit of his KARMAS can only be able to go krishna`s DHAM according to gita it is called KARMYOG..

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 9th August, 2011

Dear Sunil Prabhu,

Please accept my humble obeisances.
All glories to Srila Gurudeva.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Yes, it is correct, but not because Krishna is unfair, but because the person is refusing to accept Krishna’s mercy. In fact, a person who does not try to stop misusing one’s independence is willingly requesting Krishna to keep one under the material energy, so Krishna, being the kind Father, obliges.

ye yathā māḿ prapadyante

tāḿs tathaiva bhajāmy aham

mama vartmānuvartante

manuṣyāḥ pārtha sarvaśaḥ

As all surrender unto Me, I reward them accordingly. Everyone follows My path in all respects, O son of Pṛthā. BG 4.11

In other words, a person misusing one’s independence is choosing to surrender to Krishna’s external potency, therefore Krishna reciprocates accordingly.

A person who knows that past material activities were not so conducive to one’s own welfare or the welfare of others does not repeat them, of course, one is advised not to dwell on this all the time being paralyzed by the knowledge of what one may have done knowingly or unknowingly, it was all in ignorance. To dwell on the past or live in the world of the future is both to live in a dream, both are understood to be in the mode of ignorance, according to Bhagavad Gita. (Sunil Prabhu, please find that verse from BG and quote it along with the translation, this is a treasure hunt especially for you).

Mere repentance is not sufficient though… one is aware that a certain set of people go to the house of God every Sunday to repent and confess, but they come out and do it all over again. In fact, this is not limited to that one community. A certain community of people go to holy places, take bath in the Ganges, and then come back and carry on the same nonsense as before. Same thing with yet another set of people who go on pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina, come back and resume the original nonsense they were doing.

Such rituals of repentance and atonement, or “praayaschitta” are there in the Vedic scriptures, but the bottom line is that such repentance and atonement does not remove, from the core of the heart, the desire to commit sinful activities.

That is the unique beauty of the process of Bhakti… simply performing devotional service, the very core of the root of the desire to misuse one’s independence is uprooted. Of course, this takes time, but the process works, and we can see gradual progress and advancement if we sincerely stick to the orders of the bona fide spiritual master. But this is not simply a sentiment…

bhaktiḥ pareśānubhavo viraktir

anyatra caiṣa trika eka-kālaḥ

prapadyamānasya yathāśnataḥ syus

tuṣṭiḥ puṣṭiḥ kṣud-apāyo ‘nu-ghāsam

 

“Devotion, direct experience of the Supreme Lord, and detachment from other things — these three occur simultaneously for one who has taken shelter of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, in the same way that pleasure, nourishment and relief from hunger come simultaneously and increasingly, with each bite, for a person engaged in eating.” SB 11.2.42

I made a certain part of that bold, hopefully you will see what I am trying to say here.

Your servant,
Mahabhagavat Das

Tirtharaja Dasa, 9th August 2011

Hare Krishna,  All glories to Srila Prabhupada. May you all please accept my humble obeisances.

Yes, Krishna is also known as Hridayananda or the lord of the heart and one who gives eternal bliss to the heart. There has to be a concerted effort towards repentance and utter disgust to the sin so that it is not indulged in again. The human heart is filled with evil and thus needs cleansing.  Its not an issue of great mercy falling from the sky and making everyone’s heart pure merely by some sound vibration or activity on our part. The only requirement and the essence of all sadhana bhakti is to make our selves fine tuned and recipients of the lords service hence the offenceless, undeviated and consciencious  chanting of hare krishna maha mantra which SrilaPrabhupada compares to the earnest supplication of a child to the supreme to please engage him in His service. Gaura Hari bol.

Lowly servant,
 Tirtharaja Dasa.

Sunil,12th August 2011

Respected Mahabhagavat Das

Please accept my humble obeisances

I tried the treasure hunt. I found the following:

Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Srimad Bhagavatam 4.29.2b

adṛṣṭaḿ dṛṣṭavan nańkṣed

bhūtaḿ svapnavad anyathā

bhūtaḿ bhavad bhaviṣyac ca

suptaḿ sarva-raho-rahaḥ

 

SYNONYMS

adṛṣṭam — future happiness; dṛṣṭa-vat — like direct experience; nańkṣet — becomes vanquished; bhūtam — the material existence; svapnavat — like a dream; anyathā — otherwise; bhūtam — which happened in the past; bhavat — present; bhaviṣyat — future; ca — also; suptam — a dream; sarva — of all; rahaḥ-rahaḥ — the secret conclusion.

TRANSLATION

Everything happening within time, which consists of past, present and future, is merely a dream. That is the secret understanding in all Vedic literature.

Mahabhagavat Das SDA,13th August 2011

Hare Krishna Sunil Prabhu,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

That is brilliant! Very good work!

I was thinking about this verse below Prabhu, but your find is very nice also, very pleasantly unexpected also. Thank you very much!

yayā svapnaḿ bhayaḿ śokaḿ

viṣādaḿ madam eva ca

na vimuñcati durmedhā

dhṛtiḥ sā pārtha tāmasī

 

And that determination which cannot go beyond dreaming, fearfulness, lamentation, moroseness and illusion — such unintelligent determination, O son of Pṛthā, is in the mode of darkness. BG 18.35

Your servant,

Mahabhagavat Das

Ashutosh, 13thAugust 2011

Hare Krishna!

All Glories to Srila Prabhupad

In this context the conversation between Vishnupriya and Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu… clearly mentions the reality of this worldly constitution….”All you see in this material world is false and simply a dream. Nothing other than Lord Krsna and Vaishnavas is real in this world”

This conversation is exceptionally dictates the need to attain the constitutional position for all Jiva…

Ys

Ashutosh

Quicker Awareness of Dormant Love for God

Sunil,9th August 2011

Respected Devotees and Disciples

Please accept my humble obeisances

Is it true that ,  Lord Krishna brings a person who sincerely tries not to misuse his or

her independence and repents of past misuses of independence , in awareness of

devotional service quicker than a person who does not try to stop misusing

independence and does not repent for past misuses of independence

Sunil

Sanjay gupta,9th August 2011

A person who sacrifice the fruit of his KARMAS can only be able to go krishna`s DHAM according to gita it is called KARMYOG..

Mahabhagavat Das SDA,9th August,2011

Dear Sunil Prabhu,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Gurudeva.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Yes, it is correct, but not because Krishna is unfair, but because the person is refusing to accept Krishna’s mercy. In fact, a person who does not try to stop misusing one’s independence is willingly requesting Krishna to keep one under the material energy, so Krishna, being the kind Father, obliges.

ye yathā māḿ prapadyante

tāḿs tathaiva bhajāmy aham

mama vartmānuvartante

manuṣyāḥ pārtha sarvaśaḥ

As all surrender unto Me, I reward them accordingly. Everyone follows My path in all respects, O son of Pṛthā. BG 4.11

In other words, a person misusing one’s independence is choosing to surrender to Krishna’s external potency, therefore Krishna reciprocates accordingly.

A person who knows that past material activities were not so conducive to one’s own welfare or the welfare of others does not repeat them, of course, one is advised not to dwell on this all the time being paralyzed by the knowledge of what one may have done knowingly or unknowingly, it was all in ignorance. To dwell on the past or live in the world of the future is both to live in a dream, both are understood to be in the mode of ignorance, according to Bhagavad Gita. (Sunil Prabhu, please find that verse from BG and quote it along with the translation, this is a treasure hunt especially for you).

Mere repentance is not sufficient though… one is aware that a certain set of people go to the house of God every Sunday to repent and confess, but they come out and do it all over again. In fact, this is not limited to that one community. A certain community of people go to holy places, take bath in the Ganges, and then come back and carry on the same nonsense as before. Same thing with yet another set of people who go on pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina, come back and resume the original nonsense they were doing.

Such rituals of repentance and atonement, or “praayaschitta” are there in the Vedic scriptures, but the bottom line is that such repentance and atonement does not remove, from the core of the heart, the desire to commit sinful activities.

That is the unique beauty of the process of Bhakti… simply performing devotional service, the very core of the root of the desire to misuse one’s independence is uprooted. Of course, this takes time, but the process works, and we can see gradual progress and advancement if we sincerely stick to the orders of the bona fide spiritual master. But this is not simply a sentiment…

bhaktiḥ pareśānubhavo viraktir

anyatra caiṣa trika eka-kālaḥ

prapadyamānasya yathāśnataḥ syus

tuṣṭiḥ puṣṭiḥ kṣud-apāyo ‘nu-ghāsam

“Devotion, direct experience of the Supreme Lord, and detachment from other things — these three occur simultaneously for one who has taken shelter of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, in the same way that pleasure, nourishment and relief from hunger come simultaneously and increasingly, with each bite, for a person engaged in eating.” SB  11.2.42

I made a certain part of that bold, hopefully you will see what I am trying to say here.

Your servant,

Mahabhagavat Das

Tirtharaja Dasa,9thAugust 2011

Hare Krishna,  All glories to Srila Prabhupada. May you all please accept my humble obeisances.
Yes, Krishna is also known as Hridayananda or the lord of the heart and one who gives eternal bliss to the heart. There has to be a concerted effort towards repentance and utter disgust to the sin so that it is not indulged in again. The human heart is filled with evil and thus needs cleansing.  Its not an issue of great mercy falling from the sky and making everyone’s heart pure merely by some sound vibration or activity on our part. The only requirement and the essence of all sadhana bhakti is to make our selves fine tuned and recipients of the lords service hence the offenceless, undeviated and consciencious  chanting of hare krishna maha mantra which Srila Prabhupada compares to the earnest supplication of a child to the supreme to please engage him in His service. Gaura Hari bol.
Lowly servant,
Tirtharaja Dasa.

Sunil,12th August 2011

Respected Mahabhagavat Das

Please accept my humble obeisances

I tried the treasure hunt. I found the following:

Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 4.29.2b

adṛṣṭaḿ dṛṣṭavan nańkṣed

bhūtaḿ svapnavad anyathā

bhūtaḿ bhavad bhaviṣyac ca

suptaḿ sarva-raho-rahaḥ

SYNONYMS

adṛṣṭam — future happiness; dṛṣṭa-vat — like direct experience; nańkṣet — becomes vanquished; bhūtam — the material existence; svapnavat — like a dream; anyathā — otherwise; bhūtam — which happened in the past; bhavat — present; bhaviṣyat — future; ca — also; suptam — a dream; sarva — of all; rahaḥ-rahaḥ — the secret conclusion.

TRANSLATION

Everything happening within time, which consists of past, present and future, is merely a dream. That is the secret understanding in all Vedic literature.

Mahabhagavat Das SDA,13th August 2011

Hare Krishna Sunil Prabhu,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

That is brilliant! Very good work!

I was thinking about this verse below Prabhu, but your find is very nice also, very pleasantly unexpected also. Thank you very much!

yayā svapnaḿ bhayaḿ śokaḿ

viṣādaḿ madam eva ca

na vimuñcati durmedhā

dhṛtiḥ sā pārtha tāmasī

And that determination which cannot go beyond dreaming, fearfulness, lamentation, moroseness and illusion — such unintelligent determination, O son of Pṛthā, is in the mode of darkness. BG 18.35

Your servant,

Mahabhagavat Das

Ashutosh,13thAugust,2011

Hare Krishna!

All Glories to Srila Prabhupad

In this context the conversation between Vishnupriya and Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu… clearly mentions the reality of this worldly constitution….”All you see in this material world is false and simply a dream. Nothing other than Lord Krsna and Vaishnavas is real in this world”

This conversation is exceptionally dictates the need to attain the constitutional position for all Jiva…

Ys

Ashutosh