The “Akincana” Principle
Feeling Oneself Helpless…
“Whenever we build our security or borrow strength from our possessions or our credentials, or from our appearance or our memberships in certain social cliques, or from status symbols or past achievements, or from someone else’s faith and testimony, what happens to us when these things change or are no longer there? Obviously we remain with our developed weaknesses, for these things are all external to man himself.
But when we borrow strength from divine sources and from eternal principles, the very nature of the borrowing demands our living better, and we thus build strength inside.” — Stephen Covey (Spiritual Roots of Human Relations)
This quote reminded me of one of the teachings by the great bhakti saint Queen Kunti.
She taught (in the Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 1.2.26) that if we hold onto the idea that we already know the answers, already have wealth, beauty, intelligence or other qualifications, then the container of our consciousness is full and sealed, and no longer has the capability of expanding.
Instead, she said one should be “akincana.” “Kincana” means something and “a-kincana” means not something. To be in “akincana” consciousness means to feel oneself empty. The more humble and helpless we feel, the more open we are to receiving all of the gifts and lessons that God presents to us to empower us to grow in our ability to serve as instruments of goodness.
It’s beautifully ironic that the more helpless we feel, the more empowered and capable we can actually become to make a substantial impact in the world. As Stephen Covey said, in this state of consciousness we can “borrow strength from our Divine Source”. And by borrowing from the eternal, infinite source of all strength we naturally and organically upgrade and expand the quality of our consciousness, and therefore lead stronger lives.