No one understands me... grumble many. Swamiji, even my wife does not understand me. What should I do? - this is how many husbands crib. If a person cannot develop a good relationship with his wife, then with who else can he develop a good relationship or friendship with?
E-mail and Internet have brought people from all over the world much closer to each other than ever before. In this scenario, no country operates individually, in isolation. In the information age, friendship and contacts with people all over the world, has become imperative.
But, what is the reality? We find it difficult to even begin a conversation with an unknown person. We are unable to strengthen existing friendships with already known people. We move away from others with complaints such as - ‘One has no manners, one is an egoist, narrow minded person’. You greet your superior and he fails to respond. This one incident makes you conclude ‘He thinks too high of himself and does not respect others.’
This is where the trouble starts. Perhaps, your superior may not have noticed your greeting. A Philipino monk came to me to learn the Vedas — ancient Indian texts. During a brief interaction, I taught him Sanskrit. In return, he offered to teach me Tantra. ‘Tantra’ does not mean black magic or some such mumbo-jumbo! There is a technique to read the minds of other people.
He offered to teach certain methods; but I refused saying that I do not need them. When knowing my mind itself is a big mystery, why should I know the minds of other people? The next day, while returning, the monk told me with a deep sense of sorrow, ‘It is terrible to know what is in the minds of others. I am able to see all the lies, slyness, ulterior motives and perversions. Due to this, I am unable to show affection to anyone; to an extent that when someone is praising me, I am unable to listen to that! My whole attention is riveted to what he is thinking inside.’ The reason for relating this incident is to tell you not to infer what the other person is thinking. Because, if you interact with others with this intention, you may not even be able to listen to what he is saying! Why learn skills which create problems? Why pick on unessentials? The ability to know what is essential and unessential is called Viveka - meaning discrimination, in Jainism.