The Heart of a Vaishnava –Exploring the power of humility and honesty
The practice of humility has tremendous ramifications on our spiritual advancement and personal relationships, as well as on the culture of our movement.
What is the place of humility in the life of a devotee? Manu says:
“A Brahmin should ever shrink from honor as from poison, and should always be desirous of disrespect as if of ambrosia.” (Laws of Manu 2.162)
You will discover how your degree of humility affects your:
- Relationships and ability to cooperate with others;
- Tendency to either see the good or faults in others;
- Ability to handle and benefit from criticism against you;
- Awareness of your own shortcomings and anarthas;
- Desire to seek or enjoy honor;
- The image you project to others;
- Taste for chanting and service;
- Your relationship with guru and Krsna.
The paradox of humility is explained by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta.
“The best of all persons deems himself to be less than all others. Such is the great dictum. One who serves Lord Hari counts himself as the least of all entities. One is lifted to the highest order of the Vaiñëavas when one can feel himself the least of all.”
The course materials, exercises and tools will help you:
- Better understand the essential importance of humility in the practice of bhakti.
- Discover subtle ways pride motivates your actions.
- Gain a greater desire to both practice and experience humility.
The Harinama Cintamani states that humility is the ornament of prema. The Brhad Bhagavatamrita sasys that humility is non-different than prema.
The workshop involves:
- Learning what sastra and our acaryas say about humility and fault finding;
- Hearing how great devotees practically manifest humility in their lives;
- Reflecting on how these teachings and stories apply to your life;
- Participating in self-exploratory exercises that reveal subtle aspects of pride and false ego that motivate your actions – and how this affects your bhakti;
- Learning how to handle, appreciate and benefit from criticism against you’
- Discovering ways in which you can manifest greater levels of humility both internally and externally.
“We have to become more tolerant than a tree, and more humble than a blade of grass. If we can just cultivate these two qualities, then we can advance in Krsna consciousness.” ~ Srila Prabhupada
This workshop is the result of years of personal study and reflection on the topics of humility and pride, appreciation and fault-finding, and self-honesty and false ego, and how these qualities affect our relationship with ourselves, devotees and with Krsna.
We also explore the subject of pretense, how we may act in ways to get others to believe certain things about us and how this topic relates to duplicity and straightforwardness.
This is a highly self-reflective – and challenging – workshop that allows devotees to more deeply look at how their motivations may be influenced by the need to control, be right, be honored, or to impress others.