BANGALORE: There are many kinds of forbearance. I saw a coward hold out his cheek to the smiter; I saw a physical weakling struck by a strong and self-approving bully look quietly and intently at the aggressor; I saw God incarnate smile lovingly on those who stoned him. The first was ridiculous, the second terrible, the third divine and holy.
290. It is noble to pardon thine own injures, but not so noble to pardon wrongs done to others. Nevertheless pardon these too, but when needful, calmly avenge.
291. When Asiatics massacre, it is an atrocity; when Europeans do, it is a military exigency. Appreciate the distinction and ponder over this world’s virtues.
292. Watch the too indignantly righteous. Before long you will find them committing or condoning the very offence which they have so fiercely censured.
293. “There is very little real hypocrisy among men.” True, but there is a great deal of diplomacy and still more of self-deceit. The last is of three varieties, conscious, subconscious and half-conscious; but the third is the most dangerous.
294. Be not deceived by men’s shows of virtue, neither disgusted by their open or secret vices. These things are the necessary shufflings in a long transition-period of humanity.
295. Be not repelled by the world’s crookedness; the world is a wounded and venomous snake wriggling towards a destined off-sloughing and perfection. Wait; for it is a divine wager, and out of this baseness, God will emerge brilliant and triumphant.
296. Why dost thou recoil from a mask? Behind its odious, grotesque or terrible seemings Krishna laughs at thy foolish anger, thy more foolish scorn or loathing and thy most foolish terror.
297. When thou findest thyself scorning another, look then at thy own heart and laugh at the folly.
298. Avoid vain disputing; but exchange views freely. If dispute thou must, learn from thy adversary; for even from a fool, if thou listen not with the ear and the reasoning mind but the soul’s light, thou canst gather much wisdom.
Excerpt from the book Essays Divine and Human by Sri Aurobindo