Saturday, 3 January 2015

The Sweetness of Rectifying ourselves...

Swami Vivekananda advises: "Never show temper,or harbour jealousy, or backbite another in secret. It would be  the height of cruelty and hard-heartedness to take note of others' shortcomings instead of rectifying one's own." 

Jesus Christ said: "Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgement ye judge, ye shall be judged; and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again".

Holy mother Sarada Devi have said: "It is in the mind alone that one feels pure or impure. A man first makes his own mind guilty and then sees another's fault. Can you injure anybody by enumerating his faults ? You only injure yourself."

We have a wide-ranging inclination to tittle-tattle, to disparage and judge others, why do we have such bad inclinations? It is because it puffs up our own sense of self image.

At the back of our censure we have the sentiment that we don't have this flaw.

We are superior to others. As a rule, the fault we seem to notice in another person stay alive only in our own polluted thoughts. How many of us can in truth look into the rock bottom of another human being and see all the motives which are prompting him to take steps in a fussy way? Yet we are raring to go to judge and implicate wicked intention!

Harmfulness of gossip: - Backbite is the other name of gossip. Gossip may appear very blameless; nevertheless it causes mammoth injury in human social order, and predominantly to those who indulge in it.

Those who dwell on the faults of others build up the same faults themselves; for in the psyche of every personage both good and bad impressions and tendencies are stored up, and if we condemnanother person for a certain blunder, and go no criticising, similar tendencies which are hidden in our subconscious mind are released and turn out to be lively. When a man sees defects in others his own mind gets polluted. What does he gain by finding faults in others ? He only hurts himself by that.

As you think, so you act. As thoughts of love help in expanding the self, so do thoughts of anger, jealousy lead to its contraction.

Gossip is a deadly poison. A backbiter cannot bear others welfare and happiness. His heart breaks to see others progressing.

Sweetness of Rectifying:-

If we make seeing the good in others, a habit our own good tendencies are released and strengthened. So for our own sake as well as for the sake of others we must criticize, gossip or judge.

Holy mother Sarada Devi said : "If you want peace of mind, do not find fault with others, learn to make the whole world your own. No one is a stranger; this whole world is yours.

The fly sits on filth as well as on honey, but the bee seeks only honey and avoids filth. Therefore we should take a vow to follow the example of the bee, not that of the fly.

As we progress in our habit of seeing good in others, we learn to have love, sympathy and compassion for all. Real good men have that attitude in life. If they see the least bit of goodness in anybody, they see an ocean of goodness with that drop.

We consider a person sinful today, but tomorrow by the grace of God he becomes a saint tomorrow. Heaps of cotton can be burnt with one matchstick; similarly, one gracious glance from God can wipe out mountains of sin. Therefore, we must make our life sweet by rectifying our nature of backbites.

Ways to rectify our nature of backbites:-

Jesus and other great teachers of the world ask us to correct our own defects before we try to correct others. We are hypocrites as long as we rationalise our weakness and find others worthy of forgiveness, yet we remain unwilling to bear with our brothers imperfections. Sri Ramakrishna gives the illustration of a sword made of steel, which is touched by the philosophers stone and turned into gold. The sword retain its form but with that sword of Gold no harm can be done. just as the quality of the sword changes, so also the quality of our body and mind changes. That is what we find when  we practice not finding fault with others.

We must all be aware of the pitfalls of a fault finding nature, and strive to transform our character which results in moral purity and strength, thus preparing ourselves for higher life.

Human personality consistes of both good and evil. The evil is to be eliminated step by step and the good fostered.

If we can think of God, we will be able to stop backbiting. Let the strong wind of dispassion rise in our minds, that the trees of desire be uprooted. Then even as birds fly from the shelter of trees before a strong wind, will the ignorance of selfishness, jealousy, hatred and egoism take flight from our hearts. Then shall peace follow and fill our lives, even calm follows the storm.

Normally, when someone speaks ill of us or tries to harm us, we instinctively want to appease our ego rather than please God; and so we feel the urge to retaliate.
But if we give in to this urge, we hurt not only someone else, but ourselves as well; for when we are angry and resentful, we cut ourselves off from the thought of God.

Therefore all the great spiritual teachers have taught us, as Christ did, not to retaliate, not to resist evil, but to pray for those who revile and persecute us.

-Swami Sudarshanananda

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