It is understandable that they think this way because there are many
statements that one may misunderstand such as:
1. Thinking oneself lower than the straw in the street
2. The soul is one ten thousandth the tip of the hair in size
3. The individual soul is tiny
4. One should be selfless
Also we may come in contact with people who in the name of Krishna
consciousness authority denigrate us, telling us that we are useless,
hopeless, fallen, degraded, in maya, sense gratifiers, bhogis, etc.
In addition we may be reminded about our past "wonderful" (vikarmic)
activities in this world, and this remembrance will add to the negativity.
So, this negativity may culminate in a lack of self esteem and even self
hate. This can lead to depression at worst and also deflate our enthusiasm
to serve Krishna as we may be think that we are a "hopeless case."
I am writing about this subject matter because many devotees have contacted
or talked to me about this mental state. When I hear devotees talking like
this it causes tears to come to my eyes because I know that all the devotees
are very very dear to Krishna.
Even though ontologically we may be small-we are important to Krishna. We
are not small in Krishna's eyes.
Take the story of Gopa Kumar in the Brhad Bhagavatamrta for example. Krishna
was feeling so much love for Gopa Kumar and so much hankering for his
association in the spiritual world, that Krishna personally became Gopa
Kumar's spiritual master.
You may say that Gopa Kumar is a special devotee, and that is true. But, it
is a fact that Krishna personally is the Caitya Guru of all of us residing
in our hearts and personally takes the trouble to direct us to our spiritual
Even before we take to Krishna consciousness, Krishna is residing in the
heart waiting for us to realize that our real happiness is in relating to
Him rather than this external energy.
So, Krishna considers us significant, important, etc.
When Gopa Kumar finally goes back to Krishnaloka, Krishna faints in ecstacy
upon receiving him. Even Krishna's associates can not understand what is
Krishna feels the same way about us.
There is an interesting statement in the Isopanisad (Mantra 6):
"He who sees systematically everything in relation to the Supreme Lord, who
sees all living entities as His parts and parcels, and who sees the Supreme
Lord within everything never hates anything or any being."
So we are parts and parcels of Krishna. Therefore we should not hate
ourselves. On the other hand since we are supposed to love Krishna we should
love all his parts and parcels and that includes ourselves too!
What does that mean, to love oneself?
It means to picture or visualize or imagine how you want to be. Forget about
all the negativity; whether the negativity comes from yourself or from
If you think negatively that is what you are meditating on and those
thoughts will impede your spiritual life.
Here are some things you can think about:
1. Radha and Krishna love me and want me to be with Them in the
2. Taking care of my spiritual needs will not impede my spiritual
3. Taking care of my material needs will not impede my spiritual
4. I am an eternal soul, full of bliss and knowledge!
5. I have an eternal relationship with Radha and Krishna and will
realize this relationship.
And don't remain in a situation where others are denigrating you. You owe it
to yourself and to Krishna to reject situations that are unfavorable for
Krishna consciousness and accept favorable situations.
Have positive spiritual self-esteem!
H. H. Vir Krishna Goswami