“Humility means that you are convinced beyond any doubt that there is nothing in this world, absolutely nothing in this world, not your money, not your family, not your fame, not your gun, not your education, nothing that will save you except the mercy of Kṛṣṇa. When you are convinced like this, then you are humble.”
— Śrīla Prabhupāda (as recalled by Hari Vilāsa dāsa)
Diary entry dated 20th November 2019:
Every day, I am very much aware of my lack of humility and how it is preventing me from making significant progress in my spiritual life. Today, two little incidents occurred which were no doubt arranged by Kṛṣṇa to help me develop some humility.
In the morning, I was asked to sing the maṅgala-ārati prayers. When I got to the second half of the first verse, I somehow forgot the words, even though I had my temple song book open in front of me! The same thing happened when I got to the second half of the second verse. In Bhagavad-gītā 15.15, Kṛṣṇa says, mattaḥ smṛtir jñānam apohanaṁ ca. This means that He is the source of remembrance, knowledge, and forgetfulness. My talent for singing has caused me to become prideful, so I suspect that Kṛṣṇa arranged for me to forget the words in order to humble me.
Then, in the afternoon, I went to the kitchen to set aside some prasādam for the Mind Body Soul programme that would be taking place later. One of the cooks was taking some rice out of a tray, and I noticed that they dropped a handful of rice on the floor as they did so. Not realising what had happened, they turned their attention to other things.
After I had taken some rice for the evening programme, the same cook returned and, pointing to the rice on the floor, said that I had made a mess and needed to clear it up. At first, I protested, saying that I hadn’t dropped the rice, but they didn’t believe me. Realising that blaming them would be the wrong thing to do, I silently picked up the fallen grains of rice and went on my way. I had no choice but to take a humble position and accept the blame for something that hadn’t been my fault. Again, I am certain that the whole incident had been arranged by Kṛṣṇa.
I feel very grateful that the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the Lord of all the universes, is taking a close, personal interest in the life of this foolish and prideful soul!