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Harih Om Tat Sat. Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.
People sometimes come and ask me, “Swamiji, if you have anything to point to me, if there are any defects or otherwise, please let me know. I want to correct.” Not all; maybe one or two in a hundred. I don’t think you are hearing, are you? Not many will ask like this but maybe one in a hundred or two hundred.
So I would say, “How can I make any observation because I don’t know how you talk, how you conduct, how you interact with people. All these are taking place away from me in your house, in your office, professional front and maybe in the society at large.” Unless I get an opportunity to observe them directly or at least get reports from the others as to what they feel, how can I give you any suggestion or correction? But unlike that situation, here our inmates are inmates of the Ashram; they interact between themselves, they interact with me and the others also. They interact with Mā, interact with Nutan Swamiji, interact with Namrata, then Vinaya, between themselves. So they also come and discuss these things with us. So I get an opportunity to know how each person is. Then I can think of making comments, evaluations and corrections.
So it was such a very important session where I wanted to discuss whatever I have in my mind and where their thinking becomes wrong and they try to evaluate matters or evaluate people and thereby as Srimad Bhāgavata puts it,
Do not go on praising and condemning the actions of the others, characters of the others. By so doing, you slip from your own ideal and goal of life. So we had a very good session.
I think I will have something more to say provided they had picked up whatever was discussed yesterday and they found it to be useful and pleasant. I don’t want people to simply feel bad or even weep when some corrections are pointed out. Do you think anybody will improve with smiles and laughter alone? There will be tears; there are some grave mistakes done by people.
Now one important factor. Why is it that we are trying to find fault with others and why is it that we get distanced from the people? “’X’, I don’t like. ‘Y’, I like.” Do not do anything in excess measure because of your liking for somebody and equally so do not go to an excess extent in the matter of disliking another. All of you are living under the same roof and each person is a pillar or a limb of the Ashram body. Everybody is fulfilling a certain function. Each may not be fitting in with all functions and all may not be fitting in with one function. Variety is the very core of nature.
So whenever a person is fit and good to do a particular job, appreciate it, encourage it, seek that person’s help to do the job in his field and appreciate it. But instead of that, what happens is mind is overtaken by jealousy and intolerance. I was asking them, not all people can be around me to assist me. If somebody is there, one or two who can assist, others should be happy that at least one or two people are there who can assist Swamiji. But the mind starts thinking, “They are assisting. I am not getting an opportunity.” Who knows if you are given an opportunity, you will be able to do it well? Do you want to be discredited then? I don’t think such thoughts are necessary. We are all looking for people who can be trusted, particularly for doing important items of work. And in a way I am impatient in the matter of picking up people, finding people and giving them responsible jobs.
When that feeling is there in you, readiness is there in you, plus ability, competence, efficiency etc. automatically the jobs will come to you. I don’t think there is any necessity to feel competition, jealousy or intolerance. On the other hand, these should be eliminated from the mind. But this is something very very difficult. Interpersonal relationship seems to be a very very complex item. When we see four or five people, we somehow initially like two and three we dislike. I sometimes used to tell Mā, Nutan Swamiji and the others here, “See, ‘X’ is far more than what he looks.” Somebody may look, give a certain impression by the looks but the person in performance may be much much deeper, far worthier. There are some people who give a very good impression in the matter of talking and manners but in actual execution of job, they may not be able to do well. A lot of variety and complexity is there.
So the one principle that I would like you to absorb is this - Try to fit into whatever you can and you will. And appreciate others wherever they are doing, whatever they do. You must be able to freely say, “For this job, ‘X’ is the best. So I will seek his help.” “You better go to him.” Not all may be experts in all actions.
Just see, our Government was given legal advice by very special people like Advocate General and they preferred a petition before the Supreme Court for greater clarity in their judgment. And you know what happened? The Supreme Court became furious. “What kind of clarity are you seeking?” So they imposed 25000 Rupees penalty on the Government. What do you think about the legal advice then? Can you blame our cabinet and the Chief Minister because he sought an opinion? The Advocate General and the others could have easily said this a matter where no opinion is called for. Supreme Court has pronounced a judgment. Whether it is clear or unclear, Supreme Court itself must have thought about it before delivery. It is not Supreme Court saying, asking the Advocate, “This point is not very clear. Will you please clarify it for me?”
I was present in a District Judge’s Court and the District Judge was asking an advocate, “On this matter, will you please enlighten me?” See, the Judge was asking an advocate, “Will you please enlighten me on this subject?” They are appointing amicus curie. When there are important cases where a mere hearing will not be sufficient, they appoint special advocates, competent advocates to study the subject, go into it, interview as many people as one wants, and finally advise the Court the state of affairs and the possible solutions or decisions. This is how a good court of justice, seats of justice, they work. So they must have thought about it very well and given the judgment. And is it right on the part of the State Government or the Advocate General to say, “This point, there is no clarity. Therefore we cannot implement. So we are seeking clarity.”? So they were very furious.
What does it indicate? I think we should know how to conduct ourselves. Whenever you find a person good, why don’t you appreciate it and make him, encourage him to do the work? In Ashram, we still need people who can substitute us in various matters. If anybody is there, we shall be very happy. The other day, yesterday or day before yesterday, Ashutosh who has come from Delhi, he seems to have missed his meal and he was supervising a civil construction work. Venkatram Ji came and told me that “I have a complaint against Ashutosh. He did not come for meal. He found it difficult to come down and go up.” I said, “You could have engaged an autorickshaw and come here.” Nobody knew. I was very happy when Venkatram pointed to me that “I have a complaint against him.” He put it humorously but the point was very very important. So I don’t think that any institution can grow. We have a certain setup and we are working with a little hierarchy and all that. None of you has got a right to think against this setup.
Whenever we take a person… The other day we took a servant and entrusted him the care of our building in Upavanam. There are adverse reports about that man. So I called him, “Will you please ask your wife and children to come?” They came. I said, “You have been working here for four and a half months and we have been observing you. We want to trust you and we would like you to stay in our building so that you can save 3000 Rupees per month rent. But there are people who say that you were in bad company, you had bad habits. Now you tell us, what shall we do? Shall we act upon their advice or shall we act upon our compassion and feeling of fellow-feeling for you?”
I asked the children at one point, “If your father does anything wrong in the way of character or behavior, will you come and inform me?” They said, “Yes.” I asked the wife also. We gave the key to the wife but before doing so, I called all the people, our assistants, female and male assistants, female particularly and we said, “We cannot take a man who is not liked and approved by all of you. Such a person will bring about disunity and disunity alone will be there. So what do you say?”
Vanaja first, I told her when she was alone. She said, “Swamiji, he might have been having some wrongs. That does not mean one cannot improve. So should we not give an opportunity?” “Is this what you think?”, I asked. “Yes”. When I was narrating this instance to Mā and Nutan Swamiji and Namrata also was there, Vinaya was there, you know my eyes started trickling profusely and my voice got choked. What a great and beautiful statement did Vanaja make! They did not say, “Swamiji, no, let us sent him away.”
Kumari came up and said when it was in a larger group, “Swamiji, he has been working here for four and a half months. If he is a bad person, he could not have been sticking here for four and a half months. Now that he has worked, he might have had bad habits, wrong habits. It will again come to light. So let us give him a chance.” “Do you agree?”
“And will you also agree to make sure that any kind of a misbehavior he does is noticed and reported to us?”
How happy I was that all these people were having this kind of a consideration and a fellow-feeling for the man! Don’t you think this is how we work?
This is not a place for punishment. This is not a place for fault-finding. This is a place for Truth-finding. We want to point out to anybody the goodness in one’s heart. “My dear ‘X’, you are good, your heart is good. Try to display it, become good.” This should be our approach. But why is it that you people are not able to appreciate each other, get along with each other with a sense of togetherness? I was telling Namrata, “I feel very bad and hurt. Why is it that people are not smiling and laughing joyously?”
We have enough work but that should not take away our joy. So I think interpersonal relationship is very important. And so far as visitors are concerned, visitors also should come here to speak about dharma, spirituality, truth, seeking, searching and the like. They should not indulge in any unnecessary domestic and other talk. One man came here; apparently he was a Christian. What is his name, Mā? That Madras man. Ravi Roy. He came here. Some people from Chennai had come. This man started speaking big and the Chennai people also; they became friends. What business did they have to suddenly become friends? And what happened? Even if he comes here, I will look at him and smile and I will talk to him in a very sweet, nice manner. And then he went to the Madras man, took some money and went away.
Are you coming here to make so easy friends? Are you such a cheap person to be friendly with all, suddenly especially with strangers? He went and looked at a place saying that “I am going to take it on rent. I am going to bring this, bring that.” etc. and the people of the village started asking, “Somebody has come to the Ashram. And is this the untrustworthy roguish behavior of the people?” People will say that. What can be done? So I think everyone of you will have to be careful! After all, this is a wonderful world, admixtured world.
So the one point is appreciate the others worth, appreciate the function, the task the others are doing and help and encourage them. Be happy over it. Try to do what you can. Do not try to undermine others. This is what I have to tell you.
So we have entrusted the Upavanam quarters completely to that Anantha Krishnan whom we do not know. I told him, “You don’t belong to this village. You don’t belong to the adjacent village also. Nobody knows about you. But still because you were brought here and you wanted to work here, we continue to place our trust and confidence in you. What do you say?” He said, “Yes.” Let us see what happens. I think this is the way we should think and we should carry on. I have only spoken in a very general, fringe level. You are free to ask me deeper questions and ask for clarification. The Supreme Court got angry but I will not get angry.
Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru.