How is humility a virtue


The word humility comes from Old High German and actually describes the willingness to serve, but ultimately also the awareness of never reaching the perfect, absolute divinity. Humility is a profound modesty, an unpretentiousness, a willingness to serve. Humility is inner devotion, often also deep surrender to God. Originally, humility is a religious feeling: before the omnipotence of God, the beauty of God, the grace of God, the spiritual aspirant has humility. Later on, humility also became a quality that a subordinate should have before his master.

Ramana Maharshi lived humility and humility

Nowadays, humility is a term used in psychology. Humility is a kind of silent love. One who rests in himself can have deeply felt humility. He doesn't need to inflate himself, he doesn't need to pretend to be something he isn't. Humility also means respect for the skills and contribution of others.

Humility - a virtue. What is humility Where does the word come from? What is humility good for? What are their limits? How can you cultivate it? What is the opposite of humility?

Swami Sivananda on humility

Excerpts from the book "Samadhi Yoga" by Swami Sivananda copyright by Divine Life Sciety

Humility is a bomb of infinite power and it alone can destroy the impregnable fortress of selfishness. Selfishness is harder than granite or steel. A thousand bombs can destroy a large city, even a country, but only the bomb of humility alone, which has more power than all the bombs in the world combined, can destroy egoism. Who has humility can conquer the three worlds. He can win the hearts of everyone. He who is humble is truly blessed. He is loved by God. Soon he will enter the realm of eternal peace.

Live in the company of saints and serve them. You will soon develop humility. The spirit of the Shrutis and the Upanishads cannot be grasped even in a hundred years by people who are conceited and who consider themselves very learned. Therefore, put aside all conceit and become humble. Having power intoxicates the mind. Whoever has power always abuses it. He wants to rule over others, control and dominate them. For this reason, Raja Yoga teaches its students to practice Yama and, initially, Niyama. Those who are anchored in Yama and Niyama cannot abuse their power. He cannot command others. He is humble. He has a spirit of service and self-surrender.

Fame and respect make one dependent on those who boast and respect. That brings down a student. It exudes the poison of pride and vanity in him, while humiliation and disrespect make his tapascharya grow. Get rid of pride and vanity. Develop humility and humility. Give up bad company. Subjugate lust, anger, and greed with constant effort. You will enjoy peace, joy and immortality. A mere outward humility is of no value. It is hypocrisy. A person may prostrate himself half a dozen times and yet speak badly of you and vilify you behind your back. What it calls for is true humility with no show to the outside world.

True humility is the result of fundamental spiritual advancement. Be obedient. Obedience is better than sacrifice. However, do not develop a gullibility slave mentality. If you have humility and obedience and are kind in your words, you can win all hearts for yourself, defeat everyone. A humble, gentle person, lives in great peace and his heart is calm. Humility is strength. A humble person is not a weak person.

Thousands of lives were destroyed in the recent earthquake. Many palace buildings and squares were razed to the ground in seconds. How insecure is life on the physical plane! How fleeting and quickly disappearing is sensual pleasure! How many of you have developed Vaiyagra so far? Have you not recognized the worthlessness of sensual things? How many of you are genuinely concerned with knowing the Self? Look to the mercy of God. The earthquake didn't shake poor people's huts very much. But it has ruthlessly destroyed the palaces and magnificent buildings of rich people. In the event of a flood, only the tall, selfish trees are uprooted. The humble, humble grass gets over the difficulties.

Even atheists shouted "Hey Ram" when they felt the tremor. If you have virtues, think that others have much greater virtues within them. This will help you develop humility. A worldly oriented person thinks too much of himself. He believes that no one can match him in beauty, intelligence and experience - and that creates vanity (dambha) and arrogance. He who is humble and considers all worldly titles and honors to be mere straw is truly a great person. He should be worshiped. Poverty has virtues of its own. It makes you strong, persistent and humble.

Knowing your weaknesses fills your heart with humility and forces you to equip yourself with strength and find suitable methods to overcome them. If you don't have true humility, at least pretend you're humble. What you think you become. This is how you will gain true humility over time.

The Indian sage and yoga master Swami Sivananda writes in his book "How to Cultivate Virtues and Eradicate Vice" about humility:

Even if you are a person of great learning, you must be very humble. A learned person with humility is greatly venerated by everyone. If you want to drink water from a faucet, you have to tilt. Even then, if you want to drink the divine spiritual potion of immortality, you have to bow down. You have to be meek and humble. Humility is the highest of all virtues. "Blessed are the meek, for they will possess the earth" (Matt. 5,51). You can destroy your selfishness just by developing this virtue. You can influence the whole world. You will become a magnet that attracts many people. Everything living is drawn towards you.

Humility must be sincere. Faked humility is fast moving. It cannot exist. God will only help you if you cultivate absolute humility. Therefore, develop this virtue to a considerable degree. Be an embodiment of humility. Be humility personified. There is no greater virtue than humility. It is through this virtue alone that you can receive salvation. Humility destroys egoism, brings Sama Bhava (equanimity), Atma Vasya (God-realization), inner peace, good sleep and relaxation, Atma Bhava (feeling that the self is everything) or Narayana Bhava (the divine essence of all living things in all living beings) and possibly self-knowledge or Vishnu Padam.

Copyright Divine Life Society

Humility as a helpful virtue

Excerpt from a lecture by Sukadev Bretz

Humility is an important virtue, an important quality for more happiness, but also for more contentment. Where does the word “humility” come from? There is courage in humility. Courage now has less to do with this courage, which is understood by it today, but courage comes from the mind. And humility means “a humble mind”. There is pride and there is humility.

And of course there is also courage and many other things. But what is humility good for and what does humility mean? Humility is closely related to humility. First of all, humility has something to do with it and it is also an inner attitude towards life. Humility is also the awareness that everything is not in our hands. It is good to have confidence, it is good to be assertive, it is good to be optimistic, it is good to have confidence, but to counteract this, it takes humility.

If you have no humility, then it becomes arrogance somewhere and megalomania somewhere, at least exaggeration. So it takes some humility. It is good to make yourself aware that the body has an end at some point and that is where it is important to be humble. Gratitude comes from humility. You know: "Yes, now I have a body that has a certain health, I have a certain energy, but I know that it will end at some point." When you know that, you have a certain humility. In the same way, you can do good, you can get involved and I always recommend doing something to bring your talents to the fore. To do things with courage, enthusiasm and enthusiasm, not to do things half-heartedly and bob them up somewhere in front of you.

Living intensely and enthusiastically is a good thing. But you also need humility, you cannot achieve everything, not everything is possible. I know, some readers think that is not true: “We set our own limits with our own thoughts.” But sometimes it is important to be humble, not everything is in our hands, we cannot achieve everything, it is important to be humble to be. Humility, even before our own abilities.

We can strive to change. And yes, I teach yoga, I teach meditation, I give seminars on personal development, I give seminars in positive thinking, I give seminars in Raja Yoga, the yoga of self-control, etc. And you can achieve a lot and people have many good suggestions in these seminars get, but sometimes you will also find that not everything is possible, not even when dealing with yourself. Sometimes one becomes humble, one realizes: “I can achieve some things, and also not others.” There it is important to have a certain humility.

Humility also towards life, towards the cosmos, towards God. We are not alone and we cannot do everything alone. We can do little against the cosmos, against God and against our fellow human beings. We are dependent on others, everything is interconnected. So it is also important to be humble. It is important to humbly acknowledge that we need others, we need nature, we are dependent on other people, ultimately we are dependent on God. This humility in turn leads to connectedness, the opposite of arrogance. Humility can also mean, look out the window and look at the expanse, look at the stars, look at the moon. Or go up a mountain and look into the distance, you feel humility and connection and lightness.

Or make yourself aware of how many positive traits other people have, then you will also become humble. Sometimes, especially those among the readers who may have already achieved a lot themselves, have been successful, they may have a tendency to arrogance. Learn to appreciate other people, humbly look at what so many people have. So, humility means on the one hand to be humble, in the sense of what you can do in yourself, to be humble as a small speck of dust in the cosmos, to be humble that you are dependent on others. All of this includes humility.

Humility is of course also something towards other people, in the sense of modesty. So, don't brag too much. It is also not good to make you too small. Jesus also said: "You should not give your light under a bushel, but shine and shine." That is also important. Especially those who tend to be too modest, maybe to be shy, it is important to have a little more courage and shine. But a little more humility would do others good. And especially important is humility as spiritual humility, humility as a feeling of being a servant of God, humility as someone who knows: "Ultimately, I do nothing, God does everything."

I was very fortunate to live with a great master, Swami Vishnudevananda, to see him. He did a lot of things with a lot of commitment, but he was humble. He had great energy, he had great charisma, he was worshiped by many people and there were also good reasons to worship him, but he always said: "Not I do it, what is good is what God is." caused by me. "

And what's not so good is ultimately my ego. ”And so he remained humble. And of course he had experienced some strokes of fate and he also knew that if God's blessing is not behind something, then it will not work either. And so sometimes strokes of fate come so that we can practice more humility. Sometimes you get involved with a lot of enthusiasm, optimism and a lot of personal strength, etc., so much goes well. And then it goes wrong. Maybe this will come as a lesson from fate, be humble. It is good to use yourself, but only if fate wants it, if God wants it, if the cosmos wants it, if it is to be so, then it will succeed. Hence, humility. Humility then also helps to deal with blows of fate.

Humility also helps deal with illness. Humility helps deal with loss. You know it's not all in your hands, but you assume that there is a higher intelligence, a higher power that stands behind everything. You don't understand, you can't understand everything, and the questions about why often don't help either. But you trust it, there will be reasons and I will understand the deeper wisdom behind it, full of humility. Think for yourself what humility can mean for you. You can think for yourself how you can implement humility even better in life. And you can also consider what limits there are to humility. Maybe sometimes you need to be a little braver, sometimes a little more self-confidence, sometimes a little more assertiveness and then again humility.


- Section from the book: Yoga of the Three Energies by James Swartz -

Humility arises from appreciating the glory of Īśvara and the equality of all beings.

Humility and other virtues

This Yoga Wiki describes over 1000 virtues and spiritual qualities. Here are some explanations of how one can see the quality of humility in relation to other virtues and spiritual qualities, as well as in relation to vice:

Similar qualities to humility

Properties similar to humility, i.e. synonyms for humility, are e.g. devotion, modesty, indulgence, undemanding.

Balancing properties

Any quality, any virtue that is exaggerated becomes a vice, a vice, an unhelpful quality. Excessive humility can degenerate into mistrust, shyness, anxiety, disbelief, indecision, anxiety, fear, nervousness, faint-heartedness. Therefore, as an opposite pole, humility needs the cultivation of self-confidence, courage and assertiveness.

Opposite of humility

There is an opposite to every property. Here are options for opposite of humility, antonym to humility:

Humility in the context of virtue groups, personality factors and temperaments

  • Humility belongs to virtue group 3 love, affection, helpfulness, empathy, generosity. The main virtues of this virtue group are love and empathy
  • In the context of the Big Five's personality model, humility belongs to the personality factor A1, compatibility high: cooperative, loving, friendly, compassionate, also E0 low extraversion: reserved, reserved, introverted
  • In the DISG personality model, humility is part of the basic behavioral tendency S - steadiness, compassion, ability to work in a team
  • In Ayurveda, humility is part of the Kapha temperament or Dosha.

Developing humility

Humility can be seen as a virtue, a positive quality. Maybe you want to let humility grow stronger in you. Here are a few tips:

  • Make a resolution to cultivate this quality of humility for a week. You cannot develop several virtues at once. But it is possible to grow a virtue, a quality, every week.
  • Make up your mind, "For the next week, I want to grow the virtue, the quality of cultivating humility, growing stronger. I look forward to being a more humble person in a week."
  • Make a goal of doing at least one act each day that expresses humility. Do something every day that you would not otherwise do but that expresses that virtue
  • When you wake up in the morning, say an affirmation, for example, "I am developing humility." You can find more options for affirmations below
  • During the day, repeat such an affirmation over and over again: "I am humble".

Affirmations on the subject of humility

There are different ways of affirmations for more humility. You can find out more about them under the keywords "Affirmation" and "Miracle Affirmations".

Classic autosuggestion for humility

Here is the classic autosuggestion:

In yoga, this is often combined with a mantra. Because a mantra makes the affirmation stronger:

  • I am humble. Om Om Om.
  • I'm a humble one, a humble one

Developmental affirmation for humility

Some people feel like hypocrites or hypocrites when they say "I am humble" - and they are not at all. Then a developmental affirmation helps: * I develop humility

  • I get humble
  • Every day I get more humble
  • By the grace of God, I develop more humility every day

Thank you affirmation for humility :

  • I thank you for getting more humble every day.

Miracle affirmations humility

You can also try the following affirmations, which Sukadev Volker Bretz calls miracle affirmations:

  • So far I am not very humble. And that is quite understandable, I have good reasons for it. But soon I will develop humility. Every day this virtue will grow stronger in me.
  • I look forward to being very humble soon.
  • I am someone who is humble.

Prayer for humility

Prayer is also a powerful means of cultivating a virtue. Here are a few ways to pray for humility:

  • Dear God, please give me more humility
  • Oh god i adore you I ask that I become a humble person
  • Dear Divine Mother, I thank you. I thank you for expressing the virtue of humility more and more every day

What would I have to do to develop humility?

You can also ask yourself:

  • What would I have to do to develop humility?
  • How can I get humble
  • Dear God, please show me the way to more humility
  • Assuming I want to be humble, how would I do that?
  • Suppose I were humble, how would that make itself felt?
  • Assuming a miracle happened and I cultivated humility tomorrow, what would have changed? How would i feel How would i think How would i act As a humble person, how would I react, communicate with others?

Lecture recording on humility - audio to listen to

Here you can listen to a lecture by Sukadev Bretz, founder of Yoga Vidya. This talk is the audio version of a video on humility, part of the Yoga Vidya Multimedia Lexicon of Virtues.

See also

Characteristics in the alphabet before humility

Characteristics in the alphabet according to humility


Web links


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