Five People I Am Envious Of

[Krishna and Arjuna]“The Supreme Lord said: My dear Arjuna, because you are never envious of Me, I shall impart to you this most secret wisdom, knowing which you shall be relieved of the miseries of material existence.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 9.1)

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श्री-भगवान् उवाच
इदं तु ते गुह्यतमं
प्रवक्ष्याम्य् अनसूयवे
ज्ञानं विज्ञान-सहितं
यज् ज्ञात्वा मोक्ष्यसे ऽशुभात्

śrī-bhagavān uvāca
idaṁ tu te guhyatamaṁ
pravakṣyāmy anasūyave
jñānaṁ vijñāna-sahitaṁ
yaj jñātvā mokṣyase ‘śubhāt

1. My brother

“Why is he getting a toy? Where is mine? That is not fair. He already has so much. He gets away with everything. You are always punishing me. I am the one getting in trouble. He just sits there, all quiet, pretending to be innocent. Why don’t you ever yell at him?”

2. My father

“There he goes again. Off to have fun with his friends. When is he going to give attention to us kids? He has so much money. He barely spends it on us. Even if we yell at him and call him names, that doesn’t change his behavior. It is like he is without emotion. Our happiness should come before his. That is the way nature works.”

3. My child

“Just look at them. All happy. Playing around in the backyard. Not a care in the world. They have it so easy. Back in my day, we were struggling. We had nothing at home. We got into fights at school. We had to be tough in order to survive. These kids don’t have to worry about any of that. The parents will take care of everything, and they don’t even appreciate us.”

4. My friend

“When my phone rings and I see their name displayed on the screen, I have to prepare myself. They will certainly start talking about their day at work. They earn so much money now. They just got a huge bonus. I can barely keep our house together, and they are talking renovations. It really is the worst. Why do they have to constantly remind me how bad my life is?”

5. The Supreme Personality of Godhead

His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada says that this is the reason for birth in the material world. It is more like a placement, resembling being traded while in a professional sports organization. The living being is actually aja, or without birth. On the other side, there is no such thing as death. The visible shifts relate only to the type of body inhabited; the nature of the association with the material energy.

न जायते म्रियते वा कदाचिन्
नायं भूत्वा भविता वा न भूयः
अजो नित्यः शाश्वतो ऽयं पुराणो
न हन्यते हन्यमाने शरीरे

na jāyate mriyate vā kadācin
nāyaṁ bhūtvā bhavitā vā na bhūyaḥ
ajo nityaḥ śāśvato ‘yaṁ purāṇo
na hanyate hanyamāne śarīre

“For the soul there is never birth nor death. Nor, having once been, does he ever cease to be. He is unborn, eternal, ever-existing, undying and primeval. He is not slain when the body is slain.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 2.20)

The teaching is that since we are envious of the Supreme Lord, we get to play in a land conducive to forgetfulness. The energy will be so powerful that we will intentionally throw aside intelligence, rational thinking, and common sense in the futile pursuit to enjoy perpetually.

We know that everyone else eventually passes. If we see a picture from more than one hundred years ago of a gathering of people, we know that none of those people are around anymore. It is like time was just waiting to attack. If someone is vulnerable to time, which is undefeated, then how can they ever enjoy to the level of the one who is above the material nature?

I might have a difficult time coming to terms with the reality. Am I really envious of God? How is that even possible? If I don’t know Him, where is the envy? How do I get rid of it? What is the process?

From the review described above, we see that there is envy everywhere. Over the smallest issues. Over something trivial like money, stature, and temporary happiness. The envy is not logical, as every person is flawed. Every person inherits the four principal defects: imperfect senses, committing mistakes, cheating, and being easily illusioned.

[Krishna and Arjuna]From Bhagavad-gita, we see that the disciple named Arjuna is worthy of receiving transcendental and confidential information of the highest value due precisely to his lack of envy. Arjuna is anasuyave. The information transfer will be worth it. Arjuna will extract the highest benefit from knowing how the universe operates.

“Generally the commentators, even if they are highly scholarly, are all envious of Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Even the most erudite scholars write on Bhagavad-gita very inaccurately. Because they are envious of Krishna, their commentaries are useless. The commentaries given by devotees of the Lord are bona fide. No one can explain Bhagavad-gita, or give perfect knowledge of Krishna if he is envious. One who criticizes the character of Krishna without knowing Him is a fool.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Bhagavad-gita, 9.1 Purport)

The stipulation is important because this highlights our way out. We can only understand Krishna through the lens of someone who is without envy, in the way of Arjuna. Otherwise, we will be victimized by cheating, by misinterpretation, by faulty speculation, and by incorrect conclusions about the nature of living.

At the end of the day, there is nothing to be envious of. Shri Krishna is not a competing God. He is not the Supreme Lord for only a select few. The image of Krishna merely provides details to the otherwise abstract and blurry picture. Krishna is the beautiful face to the concept of the origin. He is the cause of all causes, sarva-karana-karanam.

[Shri Krishna]As soon as we remove the envy, after careful and honest deliberation, we are back on the right track. We are in the path of transcendence, which has an auspicious destination in the afterlife and a rescuing nature prior to that. We can live transcendence in the very moment, despite our residence in the material world.

In Closing:

Thinking that better than me,
Supremely envious to be.

Even towards children found,
How so peaceful and sound?

The original problem to reflect,
Towards Krishna the first defect.

From knowledge tossing aside,
And with most merciful to reside.

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