[The beginning of this talk was not recorded.]
If some other person is criticizing, how should we act?
If somebody is criticizing somebody else, other than you?
Then in a friendly way, you might tell
him privately, "Dear friend, that is not right." If you have love for him,
then tell him privately, lovingly, "That is not right." If a child is besmeared
with filth, what should you do? Wash him, lovingly, that's all; do not
kill him. Even if somebody criticizes you, for instance, just look within
your own self to see whether that criticism is right. If it is right, then
be thankful. Your failures can be brought to your notice by either your
loving friend, true friend, or by your enemy. So be thankful to him. If
it is not so, then send him good wishes. Pray to God for him, that's all.
Somebody went to Lord Buddha and began to call Him names. "He is such and such, such and such," going on vehemently like anything. When night came and he was about to go, Buddha said, "Look here, dear friend, if anybody brings a present for some friend and he does not accept it, with whom does the present remain?" He answered, "With him who has brought it." "So, dear friend, whatever you have brought for me, I don't accept," that's all. You see, when a wave, a current of water, comes, strikes a rock, the wave will go back. If it strikes some sand underneath the rock, it passes through. So, if anybody tells you something, and you've got love, regard for him, that will recede, and go back to him. Twice. And if you think something against him, then that thought will be given a boost within you. If somebody calls you names and you don't return them, then, where do they remain? That is not doubled or quadrupled. If you keep quiet, and he says once, twice, hundred times, then? No reaction. Send loving thoughts. It happens sometimes, people go on calling you names without provocation. If you simply give them loving thoughts, they'll keep quiet. Or, sit near by them but don't hear, that's all. That's the only remedy.
So ---- has done very hard work in ----. Her way of working may be a bit different, but she has done very hard work, has she not? If you have love for the Master, naturally, you'll love everybody, you see. There's a difference of opinion sometimes. So much can be reconciled by loving talk. Similarly, ---- has done very hard work in ---- bringing so many people on the Path. Day and night sacrificing his every thing for that. If there's any difference of opinion as there sometimes is, it is from the level of one's own thinking, and can be reconciled by a heart to heart talk.
So he has done very hard work in the West. There may be a difference of opinion. Maybe one man thinks, sometimes under misconception, another way and the whole thing appears to be wrong. ---- is doing very good work, too. Italy, and Mauritius, other points. So in the West, it is mainly due to ---- and ---- also, in the beginning. Many of those things were brought to your notice by them, is it not? We must be grateful for all we get. No matter what it is. If there is a difference of opinion between the two, all the same, you should be grateful for what you've gotten from any man, should you not? Little differences of opinion, little modes of thinking, should not mar everything. At least they have conveyed you the Message of the Masters, you see. You've been brought round to the Path. We have to see like that. So in many places, in United States we have got Satsangs. We have also got Satsangs in New Zealand, and we have got in Australia, in Italy, and in South America. God finds some means to bring the Path of the Masters to your notice. There is help going on.
So we should all cooperate, in the interest of the Master's work. Little differences of opinion should be forgotten. Sometimes people write to me complaining, "This is like that." I write back, "If this is what you don't approve of, just talk to him, heart to heart talk, in a friendly way, but in a straight way. All the same, we are one on the Master's Path. We should all progress on the Master's Path. And everybody should put their shoulders to the wheel. Thank God you are put on the Way, the basic teachings of all great past Masters. These criticisms are only negative thoughts which affect our meditation. If we criticize anybody, we must first see to our own selves whether that very thing which we are pointing out is within us or not. If it is within you, then? If not, have love for him and just point out lovingly.
One mother took her child to Mahatma Gandhi. She said, "My son eats too much molasses; it is full of sugar." "All right, you come the day after tomorrow," Mahatma Gandhi replied. When she came up, he said, "Well, look here child, don't eat molasses." His mother said, "If that was all you had to say, why did you not say that the other day?" He said, "Because I was still eating molasses on that day." If we look to our own selves, we will find we are still worse than the others in many respects. In our egotistical way we say, "Oh, we know everything. We are superior," this and that. You remember one lady was guilty, declared guilty of fornication and brought to Christ. What did He say? They all complained to Him, Christ said, "Here is the lady. What does your law say? .... Our law says a person should be stoned to death." "All right, let her stand there. All right, any of you who has not committed that sin may stone her." Nobody dared. So these are our own weaknesses. Instead, we magnify others' and don't look to our own selves. Then what did Christ say? "Do no more."
So who is there who has not committed sin, knowingly or unknowingly, since he has taken up the physical body? So what is sin? Sin is the breaking of a law of nature. Too much eating is also a sin. Everything taken to the extreme is sinful. Whatever drives you away from God is all sin, whether it appears good or bad. And whatever drags you to God is all virtue; a very common sense definition.
We crow over others. If we find anything wrong, we spread it like a plagued rat, spreading an infection. So don't do the work of the CID; apprentices of the CID of God. If you find anything wrong--anything --tell him friendly, in a loving way, privately. Then he may listen to you. Don't say, "Oh, you are blind." Of course he is blind, but there are ways and ways to express. "Well, dear friend, when did you cease to see?" He is saying the same thing, but he will feel the sympathy and may even tell you how it happened. Both use the same words. One way is negative, the other is positive. We magnify, we sometimes make bad people still worse, by crowing over them. If a thief is there, you might say, "Oh, you are a very fine gentleman. I never expected anything like that from you. You are very good. You are ensouled body, the Son of God." What a vast difference there is! The very words either make you antagonistic or make you polish down everything. So speech is a very blessed thing, if you know how to speak. Think twice before you speak. First of all, is it necessary? Is what I am saying right? Will it have a better effect or only a bad effect? How best to express? In this way, enemies will become friends. By criticizing others, you simply invite that very sin which you are criticizing. As you think, so you become.
When the Christian missionaries first went to Japan, they preached one commandment of Moses. "Thou shalt not strike a woman." The Japanese people were living very innocent lives. "Is it in your country that they strike women?" After a year or so of preaching, they began to strike women. So we must learn how to speak. There are ways and ways of speaking. If you tell the same thing in a sweet, loving way, in private, not broadcasting or anything like that, then it will carry an effect. Otherwise, it will make matters worse.
"All right, dear friend, go and see with your own eyes and hear with your own ears." Many troubles in our daily life will subside. In my official career, I was in charge of co-ordination and administration. About forty officers and a staff of more than 3,000 worked under me. Once some clerks were declared unfit, and were returned to me. They were recommended for discharge; all such cases had to come to me. So I made those people clerks in the section under me. I watched what they were doing. They had bad habits, running here, talking, not doing work. I watched for a few days, then one day, I called them together. "Well, dear friends, you know you are paid to do your job while you are here, are you not? Yes. As you have been recommended for discharge, who do you suppose will be affected? Your families whom you have brought up. Is it not your duty to work hard for that purpose?" Then they would come around. In a fortnight or a month or so, they began to work, honestly. Then again when an established position was required by the other sections under me, I'd post them there. "We don't want this man; he's worthless." "No, no," I said, "he's a changed man now. Give him a chance and see."
Once it so happened I was away on leave for a month or so. Some two or three clerks were recommended for dismissal, and immediate action was taken to dismiss them. When I returned from leave, those people came to me. "We have been dismissed." Then the officers who recommended them for dismissal said, "They are no good; they have made mistakes, this and that thing." Then I asked them, "All right, put the reasons in your application and I will see. I then made suggestions for their mistakes. Who is there who does not make mistakes? Some do more, others less. I recommended that they should first be warned to be careful. They should be given proper guidance. So for this reason I recommended to the Comptroller, "Who is there in the office including officers, who has not made mistakes? His dismissal means stabbing his family. What sin have they committed? If he has committed one mistake, two mistakes, anybody is liable to make mistakes--they should be guided properly, not dismissed." They were restored. A man can come around if you treat him like that. Kind words don't cost anything. As for dissensions going on in the groups now and then, it is due to that. So all their recommendations, consultations, did come to me. I told them, "Dear friend, your recommendation is no good. You must improve. Try to improve. It is not that you are punishing yourself--you are punishing your family, your children who are dependent on you." They came around. So we should mete out in a friendly way and many troubles will disappear. It is not difficult. God will bless you if you become like that.