Quotes by Swami B.G. Narasingha Maharaja on the topic of Pride. These are quotes and excerpts that have been extracted from articles, lectures and letters by Swami B.G. Narasingha.

WE DON’T HAVE THAT PROBLEM!

O

nce there was a godbrother of mine who was born in a brāhmaṇa family from Kashmir. We were very good friends. So one day Śrīla Prabhupāda commented that, “He is born in a pure brāhmaṇa family and he is born pure.”

One day he told me, “Prabhupāda said I was born pure.”

And I said, “Yes Mahārāja, I know Prabhupāda said that – but we don’t have that problem!”

He said, “No, no, no. Born pure! Prabhupāda told I am born pure.”

And I said, “Yes Mahārāja, I understand you are born pure, but see – we are foreigners, we don’t have that problem.”

And he said, “Problem? Not problem! I am born pure!”

I said, “Yes Mahārāja, that’s the problem! We don’t have this pride by birth that we are born anything but the lowest of the low, and you have got this problem of false pride according to your birth.”

DON’T BECOME A PROUD BRĀHMAṆA

Guard yourself from the intellectual approach to Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Don’t be an idiot, but don’t become a scholar either. Scholarship is also nowhere. We see so many of our ācāryas, they were great scholars – that’s secondary. They are scholars second and they are bhaktas first. First we want pure devotion, then scholarship which follows that is real scholarship. But just book-learning and that level? No. That may just lead to so much false pride. Then you become a dambika-brāhmaṇa (a proud brāhmaṇa). In the time of Prabhupāda some devotees thought they knew more than him and they rejected him. Now we find those people twenty-five years later just working somewhere, smoking cigarettes, and going to the movies.

THE STOOLS OF PRIDE AND MISCONCEPTION

Remember, its always better to have a little correct understanding and serve the higher Vaiṣṇavas than it is to falsely pose one’s self as an advanced devotee, while at the same time rolling around like a pig in the stools of pride and misconception.

YOU HAVE TO PROVE YOURSELF!

There are some devotees – not all, but some, who are born in devotee families who get this idea that they are pure devotees, just because they are born in a Vaiṣṇava family. I’ve heard them say things like, “Oh, we’re special, we’re fallen demigods!” Well, that may be so, but the emphasis is on ‘fallen’ – not ‘demigod!!!’

You may be fortunate to be born in a devotee family, and it may be due to previous sukṛti, but so many things have to be taken into account. How serious is that ‘devotee family’ you were born in? Are they fully surrendered Vaiṣṇavas who are chanting the holy name regularly, and fully engaged in service? Or are they just ‘Sunday-feast devotees’ who go to the temple now and then, but are totally immersed in māyā most the time? Even if you are born in a good devotee family, it doesn’t mean that’s it! This is your last birth. No! You have to prove yourself as a Vaiṣṇava and develop the qualities of a Vaiṣṇava.

THE DEFECT OF INDIANS

One time, Aurobindo said, “Indians have forgotten how to think!” I agree! The Vedas, Mahābhārata, Purāṇas all came from India, from the minds of the greatest thinkers ever – and now? Due to too many material desires, too many misconceptions, their minds have become dull, yet they still maintain so much pride, “I know , I know! I am Indian! This is my culture! You can’t tell me – you are foreign!” Yes, yes – you know everything and follow nothing!

THE DEFECT OF WESTERNERS

P

erhaps our greatest defect as westerners is that we come to deal with the highest conceptions of divinity, with the Supreme Lord and His dearest devotees, but we bring with us our mundane pride and our arrogance.