Forty Attributes of Arrogance from Mahabharata
Mahabharata, one of the greatest and oldest of the Vedic scriptures, states that the material world was created for arrogant people. People who compete with each other, who are full of material desires, and are always busy and never satisfied. We take pride in being independent not only from each other but also from the Creator.
Vedic scriptures proclaim the law saying that a living being can find true happiness only in relationship with other living beings, not in material things like wealth, reputation, or power. We need to learn to use material things and enjoy relationships with others although we try to enjoy material stuff and use other living beings.
According to Vedic knowledge, arrogance is the root of all sixteen types of dirt that is present in the human heart. In Sanskrit, arrogance is called sva-pratistha (the desire for fame or pride). All our weaknesses, such as jealousy, anger, lust, delusion, greed, and so on, are rooted in arrogance.
Arrogance leads to an enormous number of errors, causing suffering to ourselves and others. That is why the Vedas say that a living being should overcome this quality to get rid of all other imperfections originating from it. We need to cleanse the heart from all that binds us, what does not allow us to show the huge inner potential that is hidden under the thick layer of arrogance.
Here are the forty sings of arrogance within us.
- Conviction that I am always right
- Patronizing attitude towards others
- Sense of self-importance
- Deprecation of oneself and others
- The idea that I am better than others are – boasting
- The tendency to put an opponent at a disadvantage
- Desire to control the situation without taking responsibility for it
- Haughty attitude, vanity
- Flaunting of wealth, clothes, and other things
- Not allowing others to help
- Taking an impossible task
- Desire to attract attention
- Touchiness caused by desire to control
- Excessive talkativeness (See Prajalpa – Idle Talking that Destroys our Destiny)
- Excessive sensitivity or insensitivity
- Too much attention to oneself, constant looking in the mirror
- Worrying about what others are thinking or saying of you
- Intentional use of words that others do not know or do not understand
- Feeling of worthlessness
- Not forgiveness of self and others
- Desire to idealize oneself or others
- Different patterns of behavior with different people
- Ignoring “little” people
- Inattentiveness (when studying Holy Scriptures)
- Speaking daggers
- Raising voice in anger and annoyance
- Rebellion and criticism of authorities (God, Guru, Holy person or Holy Scriptures)
- Lack of self-esteem
- Recklessness and foolishness
- Unfairness towards oneself and others
- Inability to compromise
- The desire always to have the last word
- Unwillingness to share one’s knowledge in order to control the situation
- Inattention or excessive attention to the physical body
- The desire to solve other people’s problems (when they are not asking for it)
- Prejudging people by their appearance
- Excessive self-esteem
- Sarcasm, striving to make fun of others
The true deliverance from the quality of arrogance is possible after we find an answer to the questions: Who am I? What is the universe around me? What is my right position here? After realizing that we are neither creators nor controllers here, a true harmony with the world might be possible.