Self-aggrandizement is Not Krishna Consciousness
By Pusta Krishna das
Somewhere along the line, the boundary between Krishna Consciousness and narcissism has become blurred. This is not very surprising because we live in the material world with a desire to occupy the lofty and unique position of Sri Krishna Himself. Krishna, however, is ajita, undefeatable, being the Summum Bonum, the Creator of all, and the only true Enjoyer with his creation as His property.
There are many posts in the world with position or pratishtha that is recognized. One may be merely a parent, a boss, a manager, or a guru. Any time that one occupies a post, even if it is not acknowledged by others, one’s feeling of self importance may occupy the consciousness and give one a feeling of power and self-worth. It is, of course, an illusory position. Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu rejected all designations as extraneous except one: to be imbibed with the sense that one is the servant of the servant of the servant of the Lord. Desire for wealth, following, sense enjoyment or poetic license has been condemned by Mahaprabhu. That is our true position, and is connected with Sambandha Jnana, knowledge of the relationships that are real.
Dhruva Maharaj, who felt slighted because he did not inherit the kingdom of his father, performed penances to attract Lord Vishnu who would be able to rectify that oversight by his royal father. When Lord Vishna, appreciating the dedication of Dhruva approached the young boy to fulfill his desire, then Dhruva was ecstatically overwhelmed by the beauty of and love for Lord Vishnu. He realized how paltry his desire had been, comparing the kingdom as some broken pieces of glass, while the darshan of the Lord was the most valuable gem. It has been recommended that those who are without desire, those with desire for liberation, and those with all material desires should approach the Lord because He alone can grant all wishes. Ultimately, after many, many lifetimes of sukriti or piety, one may, if fortunate, be blessed by a true vaishnava to become a bhakta.
The point: one will never be fully satisfied announcing one’s own greatness, whether material or spiritual. The greatest satisfaction is with glorification of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. We are very fortunate to have been introduced to the process of Nama Sankirtan through Lord Chaitanya’s genuine representatives, especially His Divine Grace AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupad. I personally witnessed how Srila Prabhupad did not desire any worship for himself. He accepted service on behalf of his Gurudeva and Krishna, but it genuinely disturbed his mood of service to be followed about as celebrities are by the paparazzi. We need to have a sound intention in what we are doing in order to please Sri Guru and Sri Krishna. Krishna is the Supreme Controller and we have so much experience of Krishna pulling the rug out from under insincere or deceitful individuals. Everyone is susceptible… everyone.
So, do not misconstrue that recognition by others is the same as being recognized by Krishna. It is Krishna’s attention that we are hoping for, that He might hear our sincere prayers. The six goswamis of Vrindaban, Lord Chaitanya’s confidential disciples, were constantly seeking Krishna. Even they know the Truth, know Krishna, they cannot bear the separation from Krishna. That urgency is what genuine vaishnava-acharyas are promoting, and certainly not themselves. Think on these points, as your comments are welcomed. Sankirtan is the march, together, to the supreme destination.