BY WHOM, consciousness (mind, senses and body) of the self has been conquered by the self, his consciousness is a friend, and for whom, who has not conquered the consciousness, his consciousness remains an enemy of the self”, says Bhagavad Gita. So what should one do?” One should deliver the self by the self; shouldn’t degrade the self, because a person is a friend of the self as well as an enemy of the self”. (Gita, 6.6&6.5)
But what do we generally see? Many persons reach high levels of excellence in different fields attain wealth, fame, power, etc, but succumb to temptations of flesh, pride, vengeance and so on. One famous example comes readily to the mind. Ravana was a very accomplished brahmin. It is said that Lord Shiva had personally honoured Ravana besides giving him an important boon. Ravana, however, became very proud, so much so that he decided to kindnap Sitaji. Later on he was advised by nearly all his near and dear ones, but he wouldn’t retract. We know what happened to him ultimately.
What is there to learn from this famous example? There are two parts in becoming successful. The first part is to put the necessary hard work, which many are able to do. The second part is the more difficult of the two, that is to stay on course. Any success, including in the spiritual field, gives the feeling of invincibility and a sense of superiority. No wonder Lord Krishna has warned in the Bhagavad-Gita, “Out of thousands, hardly anyone strives for perfection. Out of those striving, hardly anyone reaches perfection”. (7.3)
Why it is so? Because success, any success has the potency to make one proud to look down upon others, and in many cases in become revengeful; that is how one makes progress and spoils it. Why? Because one is deluded into believing that one is highly intelligent. “How else could such success have been achieved?” one thinks. Then one assumes that he or she can get away with such transgressions. Even pseudo- spiritualists do this.
So what should one do? Be like a tree which bears fruits: the more laden with fruits it is, the lower its branches will bend. Become humble and stay humble. And better still, surrendered to God. He shall be one’s guide. God promises such help. Lord Krishna has declared in the Bhagavad-Gita: “Those people who worship Me with undeviated attention meditating on Me, of those regular practitioners of yoga, I undertake attainment of what one does not have and security of what one has.