Boastful Believers?

Pride is a sin in world religions, to varying degrees.


The concept of pride is similar in many religions. Most view it as focusing too much on the self, and not enough on God. Often, doing away with the ego is considered a prerequisite for true belief in God. Choose one of the five major religons below to explore more about each faith's teachings on pride.


Buddhism stresses the importance of shedding the ego, the sense of a self-identity. Pride is seen as not letting go of this sense of self.

The Diamond Sutra explains that one cannot reach enlightenment without letting go of this sense of self and pride. "'Subhuti, what do you think? Does a holy one say within himself, 'I have obtained Perfective Enlightenment?''" Subhuti replied, 'No, World-honored One...If a holy one of Perfective Enlightenment said to himself, 'Such am I,' he would necessarily partake of the idea of an ego-identity, a personality, a being, a separated individuality.'"

Buddhism also warns against not taking pride in one's learning or one's advances on the road to enlightenment. This kind of pride causes one to expect special status and homage. As the Dhammapada states, "Only for his ruin does renown come to the fool. It ravages his bright fortune & rips his head apart. He would want unwarranted status, preeminence among monks, authority among monasteries, homage from lay families."

The Sutta Nipata tells a similar story: "A questioner asked the Buddha: 'I would like to know about the state of peace, the state of solitude and of quiet detachment. How does a person become calm, independent, and not wanting to grasp at anything?'

"'A person does this,' replied the Buddha, 'by eradicating the delusion of 'I am.' By being alert and attentive, he begins to let go of cravings as they arise. But whatever he begins to accomplish, he should beware of inner pride. He must avoid thinking of himself as better than another, or worse or equal, for that is all comparison and emphasizes the self.'"

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