I’m feeling low because I haven’t really accomplished much. People around me are winning competitions and shows and winning all-expense-paid trips… and all I won in the last two years (and probably in the last-my-entire-life) was a marketing strategy competition. It wasn’t even inter-college. Just amongst our class. My team was the winning team and the company designated came to present us with certificates and recommendation letters. It was nice. I’m grateful that I was one of the winners. But when I see others achieving a lot more than I am, it really puts me down… Why can’t I be up there on stage, winning an award, getting some acknowledgment for my work, getting some recognition, something.
Is this envy of those who win and achieve more than I do?
“My dear sons, you should not envy any living entity — be he moving or nonmoving. Knowing that I am situated in them, you should offer respect to all of them at every moment. In this way, you offer respect to Me.”
– Srimad Bhagavatam 5.5.26
“Peacefulness, self-control, austerity, purity, tolerance, honesty, wisdom, knowledge, and religiousness–these are the qualities by which the brahmanas work.”
– Bhagavad Gita As It Is 18.42
“Generally when you have opulences you become proud. But there is one opulence that attracts Krishna, humility. All other opulences only attract Krishna when they are offered with humility.”
– H.H. Radhanatha Swami
“One who is humbler than a blade of grass, more forbearing than a tree who gives due honour to others without desiring honour for himself is qualified to always chant the Holy Name of Krishna.”
– Siksastakam Verse 3
“A faithful man who is dedicated to transcendental knowledge and who subdues his senses is eligible to achieve such knowledge, and having achieved it he quickly attains the supreme spiritual peace.”
– Bhagavad Gita 4.39
“The humble sage, by virtue of true knowledge, sees with equal vision a learned and gentle brahmana, a cow, an elephant, a dog and a dog-eater [outcaste].”
– Bhagavad Gita 5.18
So, we mustn’t envy. We mustn’t run after fame and recognition, shouldn’t desire praise. We mustn’t run after material things. Ambition is okay. That is healthy. But it shouldn’t take control of us to the extent that we lose ourselves. We must, however, be able to leave these things behind at the sound of Krishna’s flute calling us and run after Him. Our highest ambition must be this. To be detached from this world and attached to Krishna.
So what are Krishna’s recommendations in such situations?
“Everything that can be achieved by fruitive activities, penance, knowledge, detachment, mystic yoga, charity, religious duties, and all other means of perfecting life is easily achieved by My devotee through loving service unto Me. If somehow or other My devotee desires promotion to heaven, liberation, or residence in My abode, he easily achieves such benedictions.”
– Srimad Bhagavatam 11.20.32-33
“‘And of all yogis, the one with great faith who always abides in Me, thinks of Me within himself, and renders transcendental loving service to Me – he is the most intimately united with Me in yoga and is the highest of all. That is My opinion.’”
– Bhagavad Gita 6.47
“For one who worships Me, giving up all his activities unto Me and being devoted to Me without deviation, engaged in devotional service and always meditating upon Me, who has fixed his mind upon Me, O son of Pritha. for him I am the swift deliverer from the ocean of birth and death.”
– Bhagavad Gita 12. 6-7
“Always think of Me and become My devotee. Worship Me and offer your homage unto Me. Thus you will come to Me without fail. I promise you this because you are My very dear friend.”
– Bhagavad Gita 18.65
“Harer nama harer nama harer namaiva kevalam
kalau nasty eva nasti eva nasti eva gatir anyatha.”
“In this age of Kali, there is no alternative, there is no alternative, there is no alternative for spiritual progress other than the chanting of the holy name, the chanting of the holy name, the chanting of the holy name of the Lord”
– Brhan-naradiya Purana
Just chant. It will cleanse this muck that is materialism. Muck. Not dust. Thick, thick muck. But chant with heart and soul. Krishna will do the rest.
Ishavasya means everything belongs to the Lord. Nothing is ours to rule over, to own. Everything belongs to Krishna and he is the Supreme Enjoyer of everything. So let’s try not to claim possession over things that belong to Krishna. Let’s try not to feel envious of his possessions. Let’s be good children, who throw our lives into His hands in a heartbeat. All it takes is some dedication. And a lot of the mercy of Holy Name.