What is Humility?

In the Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna declares humility as the foremost trait of a saint. Many people think that knowledge, power and status are related to high-handedness and arrogance. We think that if we are rich, famous and powerful, we need to be arrogant. Why is this so? It is because we identify with the material components that we possess. It is a fallacy to identify with our body, mind and intellect. All these components are susceptible to damage.

We Are All Gifted

So, from where should we get our true sense of identity. Definitely not from the changing material components listed above. If we identify with the mind, body and intellect and start comparing ourself with others, there are bound to be complexes, either superior or inferior. Some people are more good-looking and talented than us, while others may be less gifted. But, what cannot be denied is that each person is endowed with some gift and talent. We need to understand this and perform the best of our ability, without hankering for the fruits of our actions.

Humility in Hinduism

Hindus are taught to value the qualities of humility. In ancient India, artists did not sign their names on any of their works. Temple artists while creating idols leave an imperfection deliberately to indicate their inability to actually represent God.

We are Children of God

Humility can be cultivated by understanding correctly the world and its people. Our body can become weak and diseased any time. The mind and intellect are known to degenerate with disease and age. So, it is wise not to depend on these changing and fleeting material aspects. Look deeper and understand the inherent unchanging nature of our atman or soul. Such soul force would automatically instill humility in us as we would understand that we are just children of God, who guides our destiny as per our karma (deeds).

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