The West, is known for its sense of Individuality and the sense of Individual freedom. My stay in the west for a brief period, revealed this aspect of existence. The India, in which I grew up, did not have this approach towards living. Individuality and the sense of Individual freedom has its own pros and cons. The pros are of course; freedom to do what one wants and the freedom to choose from a range of options. You have the freedom to be your own Master. India today is vastly changing, I will not dare to say that it is for the good. It is a matter of opinion and consensus. India is known more so, as the land of the Gods, the land of Vedas and the land of Spirituality.
Humility in approach is an aspect of Indian spirituality. It is, at the core of all Vedic teachings. The stories of Gods, as the west calls it; the Puranas, are full of anecdotes which highlight the buoyant behavior of Devatas (the Gods). Devatas often do not learn their lessons and become arrogant. They try to enjoy the pleasures of their land, the Devaloka or Svarga, as it is called. The Demons or Danavas, take advantage of this situation and attack Svarga and drive away its original inhabitants, the Devatas. This happens over and over again. The Devatas, become humble temporarily, they take the refuge of the One God and seek His help. The Supreme Lord accepts the prayers of the Devatas and reinstates the position of the Devatas in Svarga by reinstating His undying power into the Devatas. The Devatas win the war against the demons and regain their lost position. But alas, the cycle simply continues unabatedly.
To what do these Pauranic anecdotes allude to? There is a higher principle referred to in these stories. Man by nature has a host of great qualities within himself, just as the Devatas in Svarga. But he is also heavily deficient in one aspect. The moment man starts getting, he loses perspective. He becomes arrogant and takes his gains for granted. He does not delve deep into the primary causes of his gain. He develops innumerable blind-spots because arrogance , by its very nature, clouds vision and intelligence. One tries to find innumerable reasons for his success and feels that he has hit upon the formula for power and success. Now strangely, all his formulas for success, whatever it could be are grossly misled and even false. Well, Maya is the nature of this world. Maya is, that which is not. This is the stuff with which all our senses are clouded. In Sanskrit, senses themselves are referred to as Maya. Then how can it be possible that with these fallible senses one is able to fathom reasons for success? Yet, there is another positive angle to this and one can succeed for good. If one takes a subservient position, to that which is the “SEER” of all things, that which science calls consciousness or which believers know as God, success can become eternal. It can become our very nature, in fact it is.
Humility is this very quality. Many people take humility to being nice or as just being humble to other humans. This is perhaps, the most misunderstood concept, even in religion, today. Humility, when awakened deeply, is towards the Supreme alone. Even if one may not be apparently humble to other humans, it shall remain humility. Once humility develops in the real sense, the Supreme Being decides whether one should outwardly take a position of humility or not. True humility is only recognized by the Supreme Being. Humility of an individual cannot be truly detected by mortals. A truly humble man can seem seethingly arrogant, but this is only apparent. A humble man is one who is able to see things as they are. He is directed by the Supreme Being at all times. One need not be confounded about one’s behavior with others. One need not “take” a humble position. If one realizes one’s truest position as nothing more than a speck in this vast cosmos, at all times, such a person shall certainly have the Grace of the Supreme. He is humble at his very core.