Practicing Humbleness in the world

Hare Krishna dear devotees! 


I write to ask for a practical advice for the following:

1. Practicing Spirituality and devotion intends is to make humble and submissive to Krishna and in the world in general. As they say that one should be humbler than a blade of grass! Very powerful. But I feel that in the material world, especially at your work amidst all the corporate word, one is required to be Assertive in their dealings in order to do their jobs effectively and to avoid others taking advantage of you or walking over you. So it is always alternating between being Submissive and being Assertive. Can anybody give a practical advice ? 

2. My second question is How does one balance Spirituality and Ambition? Is it healthy to have ambition in life ? Was Arjuna ambitious when he titelessly worked on improving his archery skills in the Mahabharata, enen at night ? Can we learn anything from his example, especially in the current competitive scenario where as a profession you need to be updated in your skills else it will affect your job/work ? 

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  • Hare Krishna, prabhuji,

    1. Given the situation we are all in right right now, it is better to take responsibility for our own actions and give credit where credit is due.
    Doing so constantly remind us we are part of the whole - a team player and all the successes we have achieved so far are not our doings alone but which includes our parents which gave us our existence, teachers which gave us knowledge, guides, ,friends, well wishers which inspired us and multitude of other people taking care of multitude of things, like farmers, janitors etc. which frees us from worrying about it and above all Krishna without which none of us will have that privilege.

    Also on the flipside, if we have made a mistake, we shouldn't be too hard on ourselves. There are a lot of factors involved which led us into that regrettable decision. No doubt, we played the vital part of acting on our free will but it will be wrong to oversimplify and languish ourselves in guilt and shame, or even worse, blame others. What we can do is understand that people have limitations, that we are all conditioned & bombarded by karmic reactions, understand that it is better to reroute, learned from our mistakes and take action to better ourselves. This is the start of humility.

    Submissiveness and assertiveness is not pride but rather tools which we can use for both pride and humility. Where is this assertiveness or submissiveness coming from is that matters. If you care about the company and its well being you should be assertive when it is required. The test is when our assertion will save the company or the project but sour relations with our colleagues or bosses or vice versa. Whether cost outweigh the benefit or benefit outweigh the cost has always been a practical guide. Also, being polite always helps.

    But in the end, humility comes with purity. It is a divine quality. No wonder it is so hard to acquire or shall we say re-acquire our long lost humility through purity or even understand it!
    Purity, because it frees us from false ego which is the seat of all material vices - lust, greed, pride, anger etc. on which much of our actions is based upon. When we are free from it all of our actions comes from the "true ego" or the "true self" with love, compassion and the big picture of Krishna & Guru in our hearts and mind. It is an organic process which eventually comes after much grace, devotion & wisdom.

    2. If you want to spiritualized personal ambition try to connect it with spiritual activity such as donations, lending your skills to serve Krishna or His devotees. However, don't let it devolve into an obsession where it begins to cloud your judgement mistaking the tools for the purpose and when it takes you further and further away from Krishna. That's where you can draw the line.

    I hope my humble attempt will be of some help.

  • Hare Krishna,
    Do you know what was the mistake of Bhishma Pitamah.? He was also devotee of Lord he was very humble. But his humblessness was limiting him to even say a word against the Rulers of Hastinapura ...even when Draupadi was getting disrobed. One must be humble and at the same time fight when then there is any fall in dharma.
    Whenever there is exploitation of humble people is being done one must raise voice against it.
    Once there was a Brahmin one day he was busy doing Sandhya Vandanam a cow ran towards him in haste being chased by a butcher with a big knife in his hands.. The brahmin could have saved the cow from the butcher...But he didn't raise his voice neither stop the butcher he simply performed his pooja .. and this led him have next birth ......the brahmin became a butcher in the next life. Whenever there is fall in dharma we must raise voice against it be assertive and straightforward.
    No one can be In Satva mode 24/7. One must know to strike a balance between the 3 Gunas.
    Too much of Satva guna makes a person not see the bad in anything and will even start thinking Ravana and duryodhana, Hiranyakashayap also could be Gods. They cannot see bad in anything.
    Too much Rajasik tattva makes you over ambitious ....... One who works for getting a certain status in the society along with it he also adds Some amount of Ego and selfishness to his cap. So,, it doesn't mean you should stop being ambitious ...One must have a balance in everything. Overly ambitious person only become selfish , greedy and jealous. SEE.. Arjuna even though a great archer was jealous of Karna and was always trying to beat him.. Even though he has the support of Lord Krishna he always was jealous and overly ambitious.
    Did you know why Arjuna fell off from the path to heaven while they were climbing the mountain to go towards Swarga? Arjuna become proud of his skills. The person who heard Gita from the mouth of Lord how can he fall into the clutches of this Pride and jealousy???? IT is normal becoz we are human beings .. None of us can maintain humbleness or Satva Guna 24/7 365 days.

    One must work always for the benefit of the society, humanity or God after he gains a certain profit for his own living. The person who just become overly ambitious.....he wont even enjoy the fruits of his own labor also..
    One should have a balance of Rajo guna also. An Ambitious person cannot become submissive becoz he at one stage of life will definitely start Self- Praising.
    " DO you remember after the entire Mahabharat war was over..... Arjuna started to self- praise himself and asked Krishna to get off the chariot and hold the reigns of the horses so that he can get down.. Krishna understood the mind of Arjuna by then--he replied if I get off the chariot first this chariot will collapse... as I am still on it is still standing withstanding all the blows of so many arrows and is standing still.
    >>Mind you even when you are ambitious you should never become proud of your own talents.
    Next important point is
    When you become ambitious you start developing selfishness, greediness to increase more and more.....grow higher and also you treat ur colleagues bad because you start to feel jealous also as they are now not ur best friends they are now ur competitors only. Healthy competition is must for growth.....BUT you must know when these Vikaras are creeping within you and cut them off at right time. Well... It is not so easy in Kaliyuga. To become a sage like and maintain balance between TRIGUNAS.
    Not even Indra or Brahma could strike a balance between gunas they also fell off from their positions when pride, ego, jealousy and selfishness came up. WHAT ARE WE before them.
    Ya....Surrendering to Krishna and thinking all that is happening and all that you are gaining is all Krishna's mercy and being humble accepting that you are nothing but a part of Krishna is must ...Krishna should be your center always in this way only one can get rid of the dominating gunas and try to strike a balance between the gunas.
    Hare Krishna
  • Sevak
    Hare Krsna

    1. It is possible to humbly assertive. Srila Prabhupada was very humble but very assertive. One need not be disrespectful or proud. Being humble doesn't mean one has to agree to everything or with everyone. At work, family life there will be disagreements, conflicts etc. But one can be assertive but still be humble at heart. It is not easy and has to be developed over a period of time while being careful of our own attitude and motivations.
    Also being humble doesn't mean being servant and servant of everyone in workplace and letting everyone take advantage. That would be stupidity.
    Even if you are required to layoff someone at work it can be done humbly telling them the situation, performance and justifying the removal. One need not be arrogant and demeaning while doing the same. One way is before saying something we could think how best to put it so that other person is not undermined even if the subject of communication is not pleasant.

    2. By keeping Sri Krsna as the center of our ambition. Arjuna, Hanuman were very ambitious but it was for Sri Krsna , Sri Rama. Please read the Translation of Purport to Bhagavad Gita 11.55 Srila Prabhupada gives very practical examples and guidance. The beneficiary of our ambition should be Sri Krsna

    Hare Krsna
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