Week 3 Sanga

Sanga 3: Amānitva (Humility )

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The Gita begins and ends with humility, a virtue which is seen in behavior but which rests on understanding. Arjuna asks for help, and Krishna leaves choice to him. Humility is a defining characteristic of their relationship. The Gita's humility is dependent on our vision of what is real, on who we are, and on what we consider the goal of life. It is the most attractive quality we can possess.

Without humility it is very difficult for us to conduct meaningful relationships with others. At times we need to be independent, dependent, and interdependent, and humility gives us the vision of discernment. In practical dealing it helps us cooperate, create connections, and achieve balance. It is the essence of inclusion, trust, and respect. It perfumes our communication; is the jewel of the broadminded; and is the key to a spiritual life.

Practical Discussion Questions: 

  • Whenever I try and act humble - I give in to others requests (by putting them before me) and people end up using me. I then begin to resent them, the exact opposite of what I intended to do at the start. Has this ever happened to you? What are practical ways of being humble? Is it really being humble to be used by others? Does humility only count with your friends who won’t use you? Should you only be humble with them?  

Philosophical Discussion Questions: 

  • How is humility different from low-self-esteem?
  • How is humility supposed to help me? If I want to be the best, shouldn’t I act like the best? Fake it till you make it?
  • There is no place for humility where I work - it’s everyone trying to reach the top and if I let others take my opportunities or think of them first - I won’t ever get anywhere. How should I be humble when I have my basic needs to think about? Is this a naive way to look at humility?


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