People often want to rise to the top in their fields and delight in being high above everyone else. Even if they attain a lofty position like that of a king on a throne, that majesty often makes them lonely. They become suspicious of everyone as potential usurpers or exploiters of their glory. Over time, the thrill of the majesty wanes – what remains is the torment of loneliness.
The Bhagavad-gita (16.14) reproaches the ungodly mentality that makes people imagine that they are peerless, the mentality that makes them destroy their competitors, the mentality that makes them crave only for fans, not friends. The Gita deems such a mentality ignorant and deluded (16.15).
Then, should we not strive to rise to the top in our fields? That’s not the point. After all, the Gita’s student, Arjuna, endeavored and excelled in his field, becoming the foremost archer of his times. The Gita’s thrust is that we not let our positions overshadow our relationships. And among all our relationships, the most important relationship, the relationship that alone can offer lasting relief from loneliness, is our relationship with Krishna.
Gita wisdom reveals how Krishna reigns forever at the top, unchallenged and unchallengeable, as the source and summit of all talents. It helps us see our talents as gifts coming from him and meant for taking us closer to him. With this vision, we feel inspired to strive both for developing our relationship with him by practicing bhakti-yoga and by using our talents to contribute positively as a part of our devotional service. When working devotionally, even if we don’t rise to the top, our endeavor and whatever result emerges from it take us closer to Krishna.
Thus, word done in a mood of devotion, whether materially successful or not, enriches us with sweet proximity to our eternally majestic Lord.[ loneliness ]