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Swami Bhoomananda Tirtha

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Suppose in your mind you have a feeling of deriding, condemnation, ridiculing, then you become more wicked than him. You don’t like wickedness, you don’t want to be wicked. He is wicked by virtue of his nature irresistibly; he cannot escape it. While you condemn it, what are you doing? By condemning wickedness, I think you are more wicked than him. You are not wicked but still you have the audacity to ridicule the other person; knowing that to be wicked is wrong, you are condemning the wickedness. That condemnation arises from your mind and that contaminates you much more than wickedness itself.

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Harih Om Tat Sat. Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru.

I have mentioned this earlier also sometimes but I think it has to be mentioned again. When I think of my young days, I had always one problem. What was the problem? What shall I do when I don’t have anything to think about? To brood over matters and to worry apparently was not in my habit. There was always a problem, as a young boy studying, what can I think after all? Not much. So what shall I do when I don’t have anything to be concerned about or think about? This was a problem; and the only answer is think about God, chant some name or have some kind of a stotra or something like that.

I don’t know whether the two are related but I started learning a number of verses. When you learn some verse, it remains in your memory; it is unlike reading hundreds and hundreds of prose pages. When you read so many sentences, prose sentences, I don’t think any sentence or a paragraph will cling to you. But poetry by its very nature is to be learned and memorized. So every poem that you learn will always be imprinted in your mind and will come to you. Some of the verses which I had learnt in my very, very young days are even now coming to my mind. I am using them sometimes also.

Why I am saying this? Unless all of you who are sadhakas develop a habit of thinking fruitfully, usefully, nicely, in a beneficial manner, you mind will never be under control. Everyone is thinking unnecessarily for quite a number of hours a day. You should be able to avoid this unnecessary thinking. How can you do it? By occupying the mind with a necessary and a benevolent auspicious thought. In fact, the chanting of the nāma and chanting of a mantra have come about in this manner. It is to avoid the unnecessary thoughts and occupy the mind with something very good and beneficial, auspicious.

‘S’ told me something and it has gone very deep into my mind. Whenever you find something wrong, derogatory or even sinful and wicked in any other person, you must know how to look at it and respond to it. Here is somebody who is doing something very wicked, he is wicked but you cannot be wicked. If he is wicked by his nature, by his action, you are wicked by virtue of your vision or assessment about him.

The world will always have some bad people along with the good people. We cannot totally avoid them. Even in one’s own family, it may be there. So we must know how to see the wickedness, how to react and respond to it, but in a manner that we will not be wicked. What is the way? ‘See, out of ignorance and delusion he is acting so, what shall we do? If I were ignorant and I were deluded, I would also have been doing like that. Thank God that I am not like him.’ But that is not sufficient. ‘If I am alright and many other people are not alright, do you think I can be happy? No. So let me sympathize with his wickedness and evil.’ When you develop a note of sympathy and feeling for that person, your reaction becomes noble, it elevates you.

Suppose in your mind you have a feeling of deriding, condemnation, ridiculing, then you become more wicked than him. You don’t like wickedness, you don’t want to be wicked. He is wicked by virtue of his nature irresistibly; he cannot escape it. While you condemn it, what are you doing? By condemning wickedness, I think you are more wicked than him. You are not wicked but still you have the audacity to ridicule the other person; knowing that to be wicked is wrong, you are condemning the wickedness. That condemnation arises from your mind and that contaminates you much more than wickedness itself. If I can put the two in a balance, a man, poor fellow, helplessly he becomes wicked. You know that wickedness is bad and you don’t like it. Disliking it, you start condemning him. That condemnation of the wicked people is far more wickedness than being wicked.

My dear children, you have to learn to reason. The entire spirituality is the handicraft of intelligence, the best display and skill of intelligence. Every situation, the intelligence tries to interpret. I often quote the instance of Rāma leaving Ayodhya and Daśaratha calling ‘Rāma, Rāma..’ and dying. Right then he fell dead. The way I look at it is Daśaratha should have thought differently. “My son is going to the forest to fulfil a promise which I had given to his stepmother. Normally such a son is rare to find. He is going. Though I have the pangs of separation caused by his departure, I must be able to compliment him and encourage him. My pangs should be lesser and my feeling of appreciation and compliment should be more. I am greatly fortunate that I have such a son though he is going to be away.” Daśaratha was not able to sublimate his reaction whereas the innocent Kausalya, initially she cried. After having a little dialogue with the son, she suddenly recouped and said, “I am very sorry. You are the best and noble son. There cannot be a different decision from you. I appreciate it, please go, you have my blessings.” Here is a mother who bore Rāma in her womb and she reconciled with it in a matter of moments. And here is a father who only had an indirect role to play in the whole birth and growth; he falls dead.

Can you imagine how much the mind caused damage? It can cause the death of its possessor. Why should Daśaratha die? Even now I am asking that old man, why did he die, for what reason? What went wrong? Kaikeyi has done something wrong, therefore what? Let Kaikeyi grieve. Rāma did something greater than the great and he should have been very happy about it. Even now Rāma is honoured, valued, worshipped, esteemed and emulated only because of his tyāga which he had done. Suppose he has said, “My dear stepmother, I will not go. I will somehow wake up my father and make him perform my coronation and I will remain here.” If he had said it, do you think anybody would have honoured that man; Valmiki would have written a Rāmāyaṇam on him? Certainty not!

So my dear boy, you have to understand to activate your intelligence, activate your mind in a very, very beautiful, enriching manner in every situation. The seeking should be what - “Whenever I see wicked people, whenever I see wrong doers, I am getting upset. Swamiji what is the way?”. To think so that even while you are seeing such uncomfortable scenes, the mind will still be noble. This is what Krishna says in Bhagavad Gita,

अशोच्यानन्वशोचस्त्वं |
aśocyān-anvaśocas-tvaṁ |
(Bhagavad Gita 2.11)

Arjuna was grieving and Krishna made that grief itself as a point of spiritual enquiry and he says “You are grieving over those who should be grieved at.” So the very grieving was given a twist, was given an elevating touch. After all, what Krishna preached was spiritual wisdom, the soul wisdom. He preached it in such a manner that it was absolutely related to the grievance of Arjuna.

So when you see uncomfortable and wrong scenes, never feel a note of condemnation. People are ignorant, they are deluded. We are also deluded, that is why we are not able to look at and have the necessary sympathy and noble feeling in place of condemnation. So we are also suffering from ignorance, delusion. Let us be conscious of it and try to remove it. Always look for the right line of wise thinking with regard to anything in your life.

Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru.

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