Vanity thought #126. Give me a little maya.

For the past few days I was struggling with “trinad api sunichena” verse. It just doesn’t compute in my brain.

I do sort of accept the attitude but I don’t feel it whatsoever. I might force my mind into respecting people but this respect is only artificial, it doesn’t come from the heart. Occasionally I catch myself treating people with supreme disdain, and not only because I am a “devotee”, most often because of some material considerations.

Altogether I can’t describe by real attitude as anything else but condescending.

If I was approaching Krishna in any sense it would have felt completely opposite.

Hmm, that’s not entirely true, I take it back, as a kanishtha adhikari it’s entirely natural to feel superiority towards others.

That admission, however, opens another can of worms – I expect myself to be on a slightly more advanced platform after all these years. It’s too hard to accept that I haven’t progressed very far, if at all.

Next line, “taror iva sahishnuna”, is completely incomprehensible. What does tolerance mean in practice? Is it about chanting in a hot car without complains? I sort of understand how a tree would behave there, but there’s certainly more to it. A tree, in addition to not complaining about anything, also provides shade to the person who is going to chop it down in a minute.

How to translate that into practice? How to cultivate this attitude? Total mystery.

Maybe it means not feeling animosity to people who attack us in any way. Yeah, occasionally I can do that, but, I bet the key to being a tree is to NEVER snap. The success in being a tree is not in how long I keep patience but in never ever snapping. If I snap – I’m not a tree at all. Every outburst of anger resets me back to square one. Then I start all over again, there’s no other choice, it’s completely natural and it’s all very logical.

The demand of the verse, however, is to maintain the “taror iva sahishuna” always, and also chant the Holy Names at the same time. Without it very no progress. Evidently.

Then there’s “amanina” – no desire for respect from others. I find that totally impossible. Absolutely. No way. Even pretending doesn’t work for any period of time.

Finally there’s “manadena” – offering respect to others. It’s probably the easiest, we, including me, offer respects all the time to all kinds of people even outside of the devotional circles. Judging by how the previous three demands go I think I don’t even understand what offering respect means, it’s highly unlikely that I’m so successful with it, relatively speaking.

Okay, I understand that point – my large ego gets in the way. The real problem is that I don’t actually see it. Whenever I do some remotely devotional service see my own insignificance. Whenever I observe any degree of success I realize that it is only possible by Krishna’s grace and for His own pleasure, too. Whenever I try to do something I realize that I have no qualifications and it’s only by Krishna’s arrangement that anything ever happens.

The result is – I don’t see my ego anymore. But it’s still there.

So one day I thought it would be good to pray to the Lord to relieve me from the burden of my ego. I prayed to Krishna to show me my real position so that I would become humbler, false ego comes from imperfect knowledge, from the lack of real vision. By Krishna’s mercy that can be corrected.

So far I’ve got only half of the blessing.

By Krishna’s mercy I’ve been shown the size of the thing, now I know how big my ego is, at least I have an estimate – too big for me to handle. Maybe even bigger than that.

The problem is – I can’t do anything with the ego of this size tied to my chest – my hands can’t reach anything, I can’t see the path in front of me – it is a very very inconvenient thing to carry.

What now? How is it any better?

When I didn’t know how big my ego was I could go anywhere and do anything, there were literally no limits. Want to start another blog and even call it “FakeKrishna” – no problem, I’ll just pray to the Lord and He will help.

With a huge ego I can’t even pray anymore. No sound comes out of my heart at all.

When I didn’t know my ego was so big I could whip up a long post here anytime anywhere. With the full weight of it bearing on my heart I can’t find any inspiration at all, my heart is suffocating.

Whatever comes into my mind I now perceive as insincere.

Technically, I just became more aware and more sensitive about the sphere of my interests. Every little bump or prick sends my mind into a frenzy.

This post, in the meantime, is getting just as long as any other and it should be the proof that I’m wrong but my intention today was to write about Krishna, not about my wounded pride, but that’s all I can talk about, I’ve even chanted extra four or five rounds before sitting down – nothing about Krishna at all.

Now I’m aware of my problem but it’s only half the job – I expected the problem to become smaller.

What is the use of this half blessing, what is the use of this knowledge if it can’t cut my ego to a manageable size? And isn’t it better to wade in ignorance instead? Seriously, ISKCON had years of spectacular growth led by people who, later turned out, were not as advanced in their Krishna consciousness as expect. When they were opening one temple after another and bringing new devotees by thousands they just didn’t know that only a few years later they would be doing something else, it was completely unthinkable at the time yet their efforts were still very effective. Would they have done the same things with the same enthusiasm if they knew what was going to happen to them? What kind of effect it could have had on their faith?

Does it mean little maya here and there might actually be useful?

Isn’t it better to avoid wounding my ego in order for me to achieve anything at all? I always assumed that regularly punching my ego is good for me, keeps me in place, keeps me humble. At this moment, however, it keeps me bleeding and requiring sutures and rest. Is it making me humbler? I don’t see how.

I’d like to chant my rounds without thinking about my problems but that seems to be impossible.

Krishna, please send you maya back.

Or, at least, I need an explanation and assurances that this pain is not in vain.

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