Tolerance – A Virtue In Devotion

People Criticizing Each OtherThis is the world.  It has in it people saying all kinds of things – right and wrong. Moreover, ninety-nine percent of people speak wrong things.  When the intellect becomes sattvaguni, we talk about pious things.  When the intellect becomes rajoguni, our thinking becomes selfish.  When the intellect becomes tamoguni, our talks become evil.  For this reason, when our own intellect doesn’t always stay the same, how then, can we expect others to validate our way of thinking? For this reason, all the Saints have advised that you neither look at what others are doing, nor listen to anyone. Just do what is best for you.

If anyone will pick on your faults or criticize you, what will he say?  Any particular fault is embedded within you in an unlimited amount.  When you are under the influence of maya, then which fault or weakness doesn’t generously exist within yourself?  Moreover, this disease is eternally deep-rooted, not new.  It’s not like you can just shake it off and it will go away.  Infinite descensions of God came and left, infinite descensions of Saints came and left before our eyes, but our disease didn’t go away.  These defilements will exist until God realization.

No individual in the entire universe can challenge that these vices can disappear before God realization.  For as long as a soul is governed by maya, all the mayic defects and deficiencies will always remain in all situations – conscious, dream and deep dreamless state.  These faults and weaknesses don’t even spare the rishis and munis who possess great, great powers, such asanima, garima, laghima; what to say of ordinary human beings?

The disease of feeling emotionally distressed or depressed is the greatest of all and it is the greatest impediment in our devotion to God.  Why?  It is because it increases pride and vanity.  Why did we feel hurt or take something personally?  It is because we think that we are better, but someone else is saying that we are bad.  As soon as this feeling that ‘I am good’ arises in the heart, we become deviated from the first and foremost lesson of the path of bhakti- ‘become extremely humble‘.

It is important to increase tolerance.  Do not let anyone’s negative words or unfavorable behavior disturb the peace of your mind.  This characterizes devotion and humility. 

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