The cure is simple but not easy to practice: respect others and serve them. Reverence is the most potent antidote to envy and service is best offered through sharing Prasad-sanctified food- with others. In traditional Indian communities, serving food and celebrating festivals where others are honored, is an everyday affair. Our ancestors knew the art of happiness- it’s in abundance mentality; to give back happily and gratefully. One who’s envious, however, is busy counting other people’s blessings, rather unhappily, than his own.
On his morning walks, Srila Prabhupada greeted strangers with a broad smile and a ‘Good morning.’ A devotee asked him if it wasn’t better to chant Hare Krishna instead. Srila Prabhupada replied that the person responded to a secular greeting and also felt respected. In that state of consciousness it’s more likely he’d also respect devotees, and thus a culture of non-enviousness would prevail. Srila Prabhupada also emphasized on serving Prasad to whoever visited him- whether it was the hippies or scientists or ordinary men and women- he lovingly insisted they honor the food that was offered to Lord Krishna. He personally cooked huge feasts and served young boys and girls as he began his Krishna consciousness movement in New York in 1966.
Srila Prabhupada’s father, Gaur Mohan had a cloth shop where every night he kept food for the rats. The satisfied mice would then not destroy his merchandise. When Srila Prabhupada stayed with Dr. Mishra, they argued on their philosophical differences. Still, Srila Prabhupada showed respect by cooking and serving delicious Prasad. The love shower of Srila Prabhupada revived Dr. Mishra’s health.
Often the best secrets of success and happiness are simple and obvious, and so are the causes of our failure, yet we are blind to the elephant of envy in the room of our lives. Let’s dive deeper into these truths: respect and sharing of Prasad- and derive freedom from the deadly cancer of envy.
Let’s also learn from the bumblebee and make our lives auspicious.