We need innocence in order to grasp the real meaning of what we hear. If we have innocence, we will be able to see goodness in everything. We will be able to see God Himself. God is goodness. He inheres in everything. All we need are the eyes to see Him. Scientists say, “Everything is energy.” The rishis say, “Sarvam Brahmamayam [Everything is permeated by Brahman (the divine consciousness)].” If we imagine goodness in everything we see, we will be able to see goodness in everything. This is because goodness is in our minds.
If we can see goodness in someone, it is we who will enjoy the resulting satisfaction. If the lover has faith in his beloved, it’s the lover who will be happy. One who believes gains. But if we have preconceived ideas, we won’t be able to perceive the truth. Therefore, only if one has jijnasa can one understand the true import of anything. But many today are wearing coloured glasses. Therefore, they cannot see the truth. If we wear green-coloured glasses, everything will appear green to us. Our perspective gets reflected in other objects.
Once, a doctor went to a village and decided to mount a campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of alcoholism. He gathered a group of drunkards. He tried to make them aware of the harmful consequences of drinking in many different ways. But when he saw that it wasn’t making the necessary impact, he decided to make his point clear through an experiment. He took two glasses. He poured fresh water into one and alcohol into the other. He then dropped an earthworm into the glass of water. It started swimming merrily. He then took another earthworm and dropped it into the glass containing alcohol.
It started writhing, and then disintegrated into many pieces. Finally, it dissolved totally in the alcohol. Seeing this, the onlookers were stunned. The doctor was convinced that everyone would have finally understood the harmful consequences of drinking. He asked those present, “What have you learnt from this experiment?”
At once, a drunkard who was so inebriated that he couldn’t even stand up properly got up and called out loudly, “Smashing! Let’s all drink to our hearts’ content! Didn't you see? If you drink, all the worms in your stomach will be killed!” If we approach anything with preconceived ideas, we won’t be able to discern its real principle. We will interpret what we hear according to our own predilections. But if we have jijnasa and innocence within, it won’t be difficult for us to grasp its correct meaning. Just as lightning illumines the path in total darkness, innocence shows us the right direction.
Sometimes, we may not be able to understand the meaning of the Guru’s words. This isn’t due to the limitation of His/Her words, but our mind’s inability to understand those words. We are on the level of the mind and intellect. Because of our attachment to and identification with many objects in the material realm, our mind’s vision has diminished. Even if we can’t understand the Guru’s words properly but obey them without question, we can become befitting vessels of the Guru’s grace and reach the goal quickly.
When the Guru finds faults with the disciples or points to their mistakes, it is only to lead them to goodness. Merely bandaging a wound without cleaning it will not heal the wound. If we prevent someone from cleaning it, thinking that it will be painful, the wound will never heal. If the Guru doesn’t point out our failings, how can we rise above them? The Guru is only trying to help us overcome our shortcomings.
The writer is a world-renowned spiritual leader and humanitarian
Sometimes, we may not be able to understand the meaning of the Guru’s words. This isn’t due to the limitation of His/Her words, but our mind’s inability to understand those words.