26 February 2008

A Lesson on Filipino Crab Mentality

Below is a story I read on the blog of Kurma Dasa.

I found it to be very insightful and significant, one that really strikes to the heart of the matter.

Read it carefully, for I find that the tale, tall or true as it may be, is one of the best justifications for the Filipino to shed its innate crab mentality all but ingrained into its fiber. Though many feel that this trait is nothing more than that, one that is not harmful or destructive. I beg to disagree, as you will see how much this story below reflects crab mentality in its truest and most common form.

The Brahmana and the Prostitute

Once, near the peaceful village of Vrndavana, the transcendental place where Krsna manifested His pastimes on earth, there lived a scholarly brahmana (priest) and servant of Krsna. Opposite his home, there lived a prostitute.

As a daily observance, the brahmana would sit in his doorway and recite the Gita and Srimad Bhagavatam, then cook offering for the Deities in the Temple. His cooking abilities were famous throughout the land. Meanwhile, across the street, the prostitute would tend to her business.

As the years passed, the brahmana grew ever more disturbed by the prostitute.
'Just see how lowly and disgusting she is. How can such a low life ever leave her disgraceful body near the beautiful land of Vrndavana!' He would proudly and arrogantly think this to himself, then continue with his recitation while cooking various preparations.

It so happened that both the brahmana and the prostitute died at the same time. To the brahmana's surprise, the Vishnudutas (the Lord of Vaikuntha's messengers) came to deliver the prostitute while the Yamadutas (the Lord of Death's messengers) came for him.

'What is this'? he protested to the Yamadutas. 'There must be some mistake!'

The Yamadutas replied, 'My dear brahmana, there is no mistake. While you were busy meditating on the lowly activities of the prostitute, she listened to you recite the Gita and prayed that she could one day elevate herself to your position.

In this way the prostitute achieved liberation while you only degraded yourself to take birth on a planet of prostitutes.'

So, my friends, it is very clear as to what extent our ill trait affects each of us, especially on the spiritual level. May this serve as a reminder that all our actions and thoughts DO somehow form what we are and determine what becomes of us in Death.
Let us not look far, for even in the Holy Bible, Jesus Christ saw the same Light in Mary Madalene. So as we look at the people around us, we must see God in each and everyone, lest we fall into the realm of crabs and take birth as one.


Zang Caesar said...

it's really sad that many Filipinos are still exhibiting this mad "crab mentality". i must admit i do it too at times but I am now more keen to control this and finally put a stop to it.

Ang Kuwago said...

Don't fret. It seems that this trait is hardwired to our race, although I wouldn't single us out, as many other races could likely display the same characteristics.

I think the thing to do is to consciously halt ourselves from even thinking along those lines. After reading the article above, I hope that its lessons prove to be a constant reminder of why we should cease to think ill of our fellowman: because it actually affects us more than them.

Thanks for dropping by!


Hazel Chua said...

The story is so much like the Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector (Luke 18:9-14).
Yes, it is human nature to look at the sin of others and not see ourselves... May the story and Luke 18:9-14 change that.

Ang Kuwago said...

Thanks for dropping by, Hazel, and I will look up that parable, and hopefully gain additional insights from it.

Pedestrian Observer GB said...

This is a good post that shows that crab mentality is not the exclusive domain of Filipinos.

Looking from within instead of looking at others while finding fault does not help in personal development as an individual.

Anyway, I linked this post to my entry Crab Mentality, Self-Flagellation, & Pacquiao, go check it out.

Ang Kuwago said...

Great insight, and thanks for the link, P.O. GB!

All the Best,


Jai Gopal das said...


By Divine Providence I read your blog and it so happen that Im a member of the Hare Krishna movement. I have those sacred Books of the Bhagavad Gita and Srimad Bhagavatam. These Sacred Scriptures are considered the Mother of all Scriptures and I encourage you to go to our center for a free discussions on it, located at:

9105 Banuyo Street, San Antonio Village, Makati City, Philippines
(+632)890-1947 Mobile 0917-8378176

I hope this meets you well.

Your servant,

Jai Gopal das SGM

Ang Kuwago said...


I come by the Makati Center now and then. Thank you for reminding me that I have not visited in quite a while. I do get to see some of the Olongapo devotees ocassionally.

Hare Krishna!

Please send my regards to Prabhu Baladev

Ang Kuwago

Anonymous said...

Opulently I agree but I think the list inform should have more info then it has.

Anonymous said...

Very shorts, simple and easy to understand, bet some more comments from your side would be great

Anonymous said...

Thank you, that was extremely valuable and interesting...I will be back again to read more on this topic.

Cristina said...

Hi Kuwago,

I came across your blog after trying to find more sources of vedic happenings in the PI.
I'm a follower of sanatana dharma myself and half-filipino. I'm in the process of writing a vegetarian filipino cookbook.
Nice to meet you :)
Cristina - www.chefveggie.com