By HH Bir Krishna das Goswami
That‚Äôs an interesting title for a Krishna conscious blog-‚ÄĚLove Yourself.‚ÄĚ
Many devotees are under the impression that we should love Krishna and denigrate ourselves!
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 ‚Äúwonderful‚ÄĚ (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 ‚Äúhopeless case.‚ÄĚ
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‚Äôs 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‚Äôs 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 master.
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‚Äôs associates can not understand what is going on.
Krishna feels the same way about us.
There is an interesting statement in the Isopanisad (Mantra 6):
‚ÄúHe 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.‚ÄĚ 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 others.
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 spiritual world!
2. Taking care of my spiritual needs will not impede my spiritual progress
3. Taking care of my material needs will not impede my spiritual progress
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‚Äôt 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!