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Swami Bhoomananda Tirtha

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Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru.

I am wondering what to talk about. But something is in my mind. So, I will try to speak something about it. Subsequently, you may ask me for more details, finding a suitable time for the purpose.

Sumesh went this morning. After reaching home, he telephoned me “I have reached safely.” I said, “Very good”. Some, one or two days back he was telling me,”Swamiji, I spoke rudely and angrily to some people here. Generally it is not my nature, but I spoke that day in a very angry tone, loudly and all that. I am very sorry for it.”

I was wondering, what is all this about? Can we not do something better about it? See, I find there is a tendency to find fault with others, find fault with others, find fault with others. Okay, others have fault. If you can point out the fault in an effective manner, it is very good. Suppose you point it out in a very rough and tough manner, and the other party starts rebelling against it, and it ends up in a quarrel and exchange of bad and hot words, does it serve any purpose?

To be faulty is quite natural within the scheme of nature. And the man of fault will genuinely want to be faultless. It is also a fact. In spite of it, when the fault comes for a discussion, there will be always a flight of temper, impermissible words used. Is there not a better way of letting the person know about the fault and his being persuaded to correct it? I always feel that people have a tendency to be critical and finding fault with. When somebody is told, “Why did you do so? This is wrong”, immediately that person will say, “Oh, is it so? Let me think about it and I will correct it”. Instead of that, “Why are speaking about me? What about you?” Is this the way to talk? But generally people have a tendency to do so, let us agree.

When I discuss your fault, you turn to me back and then say, “You are also faulty”. So, nobody in this world is faulty. Therefore, no fault need be redressed. Is that the conclusion? I think one has to introspect over this point very seriously. Can we not evolve a way, a cultured way by which we can tell others about whatever is necessary without vitiating our temper and the other’s temper?

I sometimes tell wives who say “My husband is very intolerable. He doesn’t allow me to speak.”, and all that, I say, “I shall suggest you a method”. What is that? You go and tell your husband, “I have something very important to tell you. Let me know whether you are ready and willing to listen to. Now, if you are not ready, please let me know when you are ready and then I shall discuss”. You know, if you say like that, invariably the husbands will say, “Yes, yes, why don’t you speak right now?” This is one way of approaching the subject, making a psychological receptivity in the other party.

A person spoke very harshly. Very good, he spoke harshly. Now, his speaking harshly is wrong. But if you also counter him with harsher words, then he is the first criminal and you are the second criminal. I think in your case, the crime is double. While you don’t agree with his ways, you are reciprocating it with a double note. Tell me now, who is faulty and who is not faulty?

The success of any individual in interpersonal behavior consists in being able to put across whatever is necessary to the others in a manner that will be evoke the right response from them. Then what happens? Quarrel alone becomes their history. A and B, B starts “This A will never be alright.” A starts thinking, B is also. So, they become distanced and if at all they talk, it will be a retorting, retorting, hurting, hurting talk. I am wondering whether this is correct or not.

According to me in the spiritual way of life, this is the first point of refinement that we must be able to gain. In Bhagavad Gita, the second chapter, the last but one verse is:

विहाय कामान्य: सर्वान्पुमांश्चरति निस्पृह: ।
निर्ममो निरहङ्कार: स शान्तिमधिगच्छति ।।
vihāya kāmān-yaḥ sarvān pumāṁś-carati niḥspṛhaḥ |
nirmamo nirahaṅkāraḥ sa śāntim-adhigacchati ||
(Bhagavad Gita 2.71)

That person alone gains peace. Who? Vihāya kāmān-yaḥ sarvān pumāṁś-carati niḥspṛhaḥ, after abandoning all his desires, if he moves about desire-freely, that person will have shanti and trpthi. What further does he say?

Nirmamo nirahaṅkāraḥ. What is meant by nirmamah? Everybody has a possessiveness. Nirahaṅkāraḥ, and an ego also. So, what you must have is, abandon all your desires and be free of possessiveness and ego. Such a man attains peace. Don’t think that it is in Bhagavad Gita, second chapter alone. I quote this verse only to have a link for you. But this is the goal for everybody.

When somebody points something, why are you getting angry? Why do you feel like retorting, “No, no, you also have. You did the other day something still worse”. By retorting in this manner, are you benefitted or is he benefitted? Can you not think in this manner and make your temper better? Can you not have a better interpersonal behavior?

In human life, this interaction is the most important and crucial point. When I read Ramayana, not that I am a reader of Ramayana, whenever I want to read some portion to clear a doubt or to get fuller description etc. I find that Sri Rama, such an honored person who is worshipped even now, he also had lack of attention, premature thinking, suddenness in action etc. Valmiki has not concealed them. He has presented Rama in his full form.

So, in the behavioral and interactional front, we will always have a variety of occasions and compulsions to go into our own behavioral pattern, the response and the reaction of the mind to various instances and see that sublimity and enrichment are brought in greater and greater measures. I would like you to discuss and also reflect upon what I have said and then try to understand how to point out the faults of others, if at all, but in a loving manner.

“I have something to tell you. Shall I say? Will you be unhappy? I am telling you only because of my fondness”. Can you not discuss it in this way? If one is not effective in handling a situation, that is a failure, no doubt.

This is how our sastras say:

सत्यं ब्रूयात्प्रियं ब्रूयान्न ब्रूयात्सत्यमप्रियम्
Satyam bruyat priyam bruyat na bruyat satyam appriyam
(Manusmriti)

You should speak the truth. But you should speak the truth then and in a manner that will appear to be beloved to the listener. Na bruyat satyam appriyam, a truth which will upset and completely disbalance the listener, don’t say that. So, it is not enough, “Oh, I am an open speaker. I speak the truth”. Only rocks will hear him, perhaps trees also.

Understand that human nature is complex. To set it right is very difficult. Atleast to make people convinced of the need for correction, that also is very difficult. I wanted to correct a habit in me. I have written about it and spoken also. Even yesterday, I forgot to switch off the geyser. Why, what is the reason? Nobody has seen it. It is a fault. So, I am striving and striving to set right matters. Habits die hard, but they will die.

Please think over what I have said. It is a very important part of your behavior, behavior personality, especially interaction.

Harih Om Tat Sat Jai Guru.

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