Does a fallen soul have to be depressed?

June 30th, 2010

June 30, 2010

Does a fallen soul have to be depressed?

A saintly soul prays in the mood of dhainya, utter humility:

“For my own pleasure I never fear to commit any sin. I am devoid of pity and full of selfishness; I’m sorry at others’ happiness and am an inveterate liar. Indeed, I take delight in others’ miseries.” Amara Jivana – Bhaktivinoda Thakur

If the great devotees feel like this, shouldn’t the actually fallen practitioner of bhakti feel depressed and ridden with guilt?

Remorse is certainly healthy, but does the sincere and weak need to feel shame? I don’t think so. I found a reference to support this.

“Having awakened faith in the narrations of My glories, being disgusted with all material activities, knowing that all sense gratification leads to misery, but still being unable to renounce all sense enjoyment, My devotee should remain happy and worship Me with great faith and conviction. Even though he is sometimes engaged in sense enjoyment, My devotee knows that all sense gratification leads to a miserable result, and he sincerely repents such activities.” [emphasis mine] (Bhag. 11.20.27-28)

I like the balance. We do need to be humble and repent if we cannot maintain our practices. We shouldn’t, however, embrace the type of shame and excess guilt that is depressive and lowers self esteem, that makes the adoption of spiritual life miserable and debilitating.


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