The root of the desire of public esteem and respect lies in vanity. It arises when the mind creates an impression of one’s own greatness. It is this vanity that stands between us and God and obscures Him. The remedy is complete surrender to the sadguru, implicit obedience to him, and whole-hearted performance of the sadhana prescribed by him. Further, it is important to perform the sadhana without any feeling of doership, to avoid the cropping up of vanity, which may be dormant but ever watchful for a chance to raise its head and become active. Indeed, even apparently innocent words like ‘I obey the master implicitly,’ ‘I scrupulously perform sadhana,’ ‘there is now not even a trace of vanity in me,’ or suchlike, are a sign of the presence of pride. Honestly speaking, what is it for which we may feel proud? Are there not others in this world who possess more money, or more strength, more intelligence, more authority, more celebrity, than us?
If we look into the genesis of this feeling of self-importance, the basic cause is seen as the identity one feels with the body. Consequently, we have to eradicate this ‘body-am-I’ conviction. Now if we want a tree to die, we must stop nourishing it with manure and furnishing it with water. To desire that others should not blame me or find fault with me, or that they should appreciate me or esteem and respect me, is like nourishing my basic pride. What we should do, therefore, is to ascribe all doership to Him; and to pass on to Him all the resultant fruit, good or bad, pleasant or unpleasant, without letting the mind be affected either way. The pragmatic world does, it is true, call for a little sense of doership, but it should be assumed only temporarily, for the purpose required. We can achieve this by submitting entirely, unreservedly, to the sadguru. We should at least force ourselves to do it until, eventually, it becomes ingrained in our nature. The sadguru will certainly eradicate the pride, or the ‘body-am-I’ feeling in course of time, without your being aware of it. To give up ‘I-ness’ and the pride which is its by-product, is true yajnya or sacrifice.
* * * * *