There are basically two types of attitudes, or two kinds of people in the world.
One kind thinks that all people must be intrinsically bad; inside they are very bad. And there is the other kind who thinks that basically everyone is good deep inside, even if their behavior is a little bad, it is only at the circumference.
So, the first kind of people cannot trust anybody, and the second type of people, do not doubt anyone too much. Do you see the difference?
If you think intrinsically everyone is good, then your doubt is only superficial. You don’t deeply doubt anyone because you know there is goodness in everybody. You believe in the goodness of everybody.
The other set of people have this big issue of trust, because they think intrinsically everybody is bad. Even if they appear to be good outside, deep inside they are not good. This attitude, this assumption in your mind causes you to not trust anybody.
Do you see what I am saying?
As you see the world, that
is how the world is for you.
If you see the world as full
of horrible people, in your
experience, only such type
of things will happen. If you
see the world as full of
good people, even in the
worst criminal, you will see
there is a very nice person
hiding deep inside him. You
will recognize that.
It is so interesting to see that if you find something wrong in a person, you think, that is the true nature of that person.
I want to share with you one incident.
Last year, I went to a big satsang in one of the northern cities and there was this notorious person who came in, climbed onto the stage, and started moving around. All the journalists and everyone else said, ‘This guy is a notorious criminal, how did he get access to Gurudev? How is he standing with Gurudev?’
Among lakhs of people there, this notorious person was moving around. And he is so notorious that he says, ‘I can make a call and stop any airplanes.’
He would just tell any taxi driver to get off the car and he would take the taxi and go. He is someone with a big criminal record.
So he comes to the stage, and everyone is wondering, ‘How come Gurudev is letting him be?’ This was a question.
You know that same person who had not done any course or anything, three months later came here at the Bangalore Ashram on Shivratri (Hindu religious festival dedicated to worshipping Lord Shiva). So he comes to meet me, takes my picture out of his pocket, and says, ‘Gurudev, since I kept this picture in my pocket, I am not able to do my work’.
He says, ‘I could not do my job at all. What has happened? What have you done? My life is all topsy-turvy; my whole life has changed. There is so much joy here! Now I want to take this joy to my state, and to every home.’
This is the same guy, who was considered to be the most anti-social element by everyone. Even journalists are afraid of him. Journalists, usually, are not afraid of anybody. But they said, ‘This guy is horrible.’
You know, how we perceive people, is how the world becomes. In Sanskrit, there is a proverb that says, ‘Yatha Drishti, Tatha Srishti’. As you see the world, that is how the world is for you.
If you see the world as full of horrible people, in your experience, only such type of things will happen. If you see the world as full of good people, even in the worst criminal, you will see there is a very nice person hiding deep inside him. You will recognize that.
I was in South America recently, and I visited several prisons there. These prisons have got very notorious people you know. When I went there, I could see that there were tears of such joy, and love, in their eyes.
They said, ‘Before we were outside and we had no freedom. Now we are in prison, but we are free as never before. We are so free, and so happy.’
These were their words. So, don’t judge people, or label them as bad people, or good people. There is only one Divinity which expresses itself in so many ways, in so many people, in so many moods, in so many colors. It is one light. If we can recognize this, then we will have such deep peace in our hearts, such trust and faith, that nothing whatsoever can shake us.
If we think that people are intrinsically bad, then we will doubt everybody. Even with the most pious person, you will think this person is so pious but inside he must be up to something. He must be aiming at something. He must be selfish, he must be greedy, he must be jealous, he must be angry. You put all these negative qualities at the center of another human being, and that is how the doubt in you can keep building up, instead of trust building up in you. Do you see what I am saying?
Wisdom is to see that even if there is negativity, it is only at the circumference.
Ignorance is when you see that this negativity is there in the center. It is the nature of the person, not just at the periphery. Thinking that intrinsically people are bad, is ignorance.
Unfortunately, today where there is no wisdom, what is being propagated is, ‘Be caution! Be cautious!’ There is caution for everything.
‘Life is in danger. You are in danger’, this sense of fear, insecurity, doubt, uncertainty, etc., is being pumped into the society.
On cars also, it is sometimes written, ‘Deadly.’ Warnings are written everywhere, ‘Caution! It can cause death.’
When you buy a plastic bag, it says, ‘Caution, it can suffocate you and cause death!’
It means, anywhere you turn, there is caution. Everything is bad, everything is saying ‘Caution, caution! Be aware, be aware!’
You have to put that warning on plastics. I think it is a law in the United States of America. Everything you pick up, there is a caution sign on it.
Someone had a made a very good documentary on, ‘How we have been pumping fear into the minds of people.’ Unconsciously, we induce fear in them by saying, ‘Hey, be cautious!’ For using a plastic or polythene bag, or for anything and every little small thing, there is a caution. Even in toys they say, ‘Not suitable for children below five years of age. Caution, it can cause death and damage.’
From toys to utensils, to food to everything, we are cautioning people, ‘Be careful, be careful, be careful’. And this caution causes so much anxiety and fear in people.
I am not saying you should not be cautious. You should be cautious, but too much of it, makes the consciousness muddled with that sort of sensation.
Don’t judge people, or label
them as bad people, or good
people. There is only one
Divinity which expresses itself
in so many ways, in so many
people, in so many moods, in
so many colors. It is one light.
If we can recognize this, then
we will have such deep peace
in our hearts, such trust and
faith, that nothing whatsoever
can shake us.
There are people who can’t trust anybody. They can’t trust their spouse, or their child.
There are children who cannot trust their parents. They see all the news in the media, and these young minds sometimes impose it on themselves. They think, maybe my father has misbehaved with me; molested me.
The other day, a gentleman comes to meet me, and he was so shattered. He was crying because his own daughter started doubting that when she was three years old, her father touched her improperly. This she heard on television, and she picked up and started doubting her own father. Her father said, ‘I swear, I never, ever have even imagined something like this in my dreams, I would not do anything like that.’
Both husband and wife are crying because the child is doubting the father’s love, the child is doubting the father’s character. Parents are so shattered.
The child was taken to the psychologist and the psychologist said, ‘Come on, say whatever is coming into your mind.’ And the child is repeating what she saw on television as though it is her own experience!
I tell you, we do not know the mechanics of our consciousness and we play with this sort of half-baked knowledge. That is why it is important to know our consciousness, our mind, our behavior, and our nature.
Can you imagine how terrible a father would be feeling? And he said, ‘Oh, my eleven year old daughter is doubting me.’
Similarly, husband and wife doubt each other. They have been so close, and yet the doubt. One day, somebody came selling flowers, and the husband picked some up and brought it home. The wife takes it and says, ‘Oh, what is this? Today you are bringing me flower. Tell me, really, whom did you meet? What did you do?’
Does this not happen?
Someone from India was married to a gentleman in America. She called him on the phone and at that time he was driving, and there was the voice of a lady giving direction from a GPS device, ‘In half a kilometer, turn left.’
Now the wife asked, ‘Who is this lady who is giving you directions?’
He said, ‘Ah, I follow her all the time.’ Then he explained that it was a device.
In the next couple of days, whenever the wife called, again and again, she heard the same voice coming. She again asked, ‘Who is this lady? You are not telling me the truth.’
Finally, the wife sends her husband divorce papers. The man comes and tell me, ‘Gurudev, she gave him divorce because of a GPS. She is telling me, ‘I am having an affair with another woman. Every time I call, this woman is next to you and she is guiding you where to turn and where to go. So don’t lie to me.’’
He said, ‘In India, they don’t know that a GPS exists, and usually it is a woman’s voice on the GPS.’
So this guy who got married, in one year, he gets a divorce notice, because of the doubt in her; because she thinks, intrinsically, people must be bad. They must be getting something in return, otherwise why would they do anything.
I had to face this question many times in the last thirty years. ‘Why have you come to my country?’ When I go to some new country, they ask, ‘Why have you come here?’ I say, ‘Why should I not come?’
Then I gave them an example. If you see a good movie, what do you do? Don’t you take your phone and tell your friends, ‘Hey, I saw a good movie, you also must see it’
Does the producer, or director of the movie give you any money for that? No! It is the sheer joy of sharing. Nature of joy is that it wants to spread. When you are joyful, you want to share with everybody. Many times people don’t understand this.
In the beginning, for nearly seven years, I was conducting programs free of charge. I never took any money from anybody, in India or abroad. Nowhere, nothing. But this doubt was even more then. You are conducting the course for free, then there must be something, otherwise, why would you? You have some ulterior motive, some intention.
Then when we started having teachers, all the teachers came and advised me, ‘Gurudev, we should not do it for free. First of all, we can’t cover the expenditure. Second, people don’t take it seriously.’
They say, ‘When you come, at least people somehow come and sit. But as teachers, when we conduct courses, it will not be possible. You must charge.’
So, I think, in the seventh or eighth year of The Art of Living, we started charging for the first time. Now people think, ‘Oh, they are getting money, so they are doing it for the money.’ So people don’t doubt now.
Mind is the most amazing thing in the universe.
In one way, it was good that we started charging. We started so many schools. We could do a lot of work. We have two hundred and three free schools today where thousands of kids are studying.
We are also supporting many thousands of youths, youngsters, to come up in their lives. So many projects are there, one after another.
This Ashram itself is a big project. All our Ashrams around the world, I say, are white elephants. It is a huge thing to run them. It is not an easy thing to run an Ashram, and all these Ashrams are bringing so much happiness, solace, and peace, to thousands of people.
In the beginning years, I was not so eager to start Ashrams and other things. But then you know, it became necessary. I said, ‘Okay.’
It became necessary when the advance courses had to happen. Place to place, we had to hire venues several times.
So, it is very interesting to understand the attitude of the mind.
A seeker is one who should know that, intrinsically, every human being is a spark of God; is a spark of Divinity, so they cannot be bad.
There is no bad human being created by the Creator, I tell you. Take it from me; no bad person at all. Everyone has light in them. Either, it is partially visible, or more and more visible. That is all. Somewhere it is hidden, somewhere it is sleepy, and somewhere it is more in action.
There is no bad human being
created by the Creator, I tell
you. Take it from me; no
bad person at all. Everyone
has light in them. Either, it
is partially visible, or more
and more visible. That is all.
Somewhere it is hidden,
somewhere it is sleepy, and
somewhere it is more in action.
If you think intrinsically everyone is good, then you will have peace, you will grow spiritually, and you will blossom in your own positive qualities. But if you think, intrinsically, people must be bad, then the first thing that gets into your soul is doubt. Then, anger, hatred, greed, jealousy and dejection, all these negative qualities start sprouting in you. Then you will not only dislike yourself, you will start disliking everybody around.
Dislike for others and for yourself, they are always connected. Are you getting what I am saying? If someone dislikes everyone, somewhere deep inside, he or she dislikes himself or herself also. And this is the worst thing in the spiritual path, or in life; disliking oneself and disliking others, for whatever reason.
Is that clear to you?
So these are the two paths. See in your mind, which side you are going. Are you going this side towards trust, or the other side towards doubt? If you are going on the side of disliking others or disliking yourself, then it is the time to give a shift to it, and say, ‘No, intrinsically everybody is good.’
As I said, that notorious criminal, you know, when he came, I did not see criminality in him. I saw an innocent being in that guy. I could have said, ‘Oh, criminal, never come near me.’ No!
Sometimes people ask me, ‘Why all these corrupt people come to you Gurudev? You are an embodiment of purity, honesty. Why do you allow the criminals to come?’
I said, ‘Yes, please send all the criminals, all the corrupt people to me. Send them. I know there is a good man inside them too.’
See, in Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna uses the word Anasuya. It is a very beautiful word.
He tells Arjuna, ‘My dear Arjuna, I am going to give you this highest knowledge because you are Anusuya. You are not the one who keeps finding fault in others. Your eyes are not blurred with only finding faults. So you are fit to receive higher knowledge. You are Anusuya’, this is what he says.
That is a very beautiful word, Anusuya. It is a name as well.
Many times, due to some jealousy, you start finding that the others are bad. Asuya means jealous. Anusuya means, one who doesn’t find fault in others; one who is not jealous of the good qualities in others.
See, someone who is jealous cannot see the good qualities in other people. Even if they see some good quality, they will try to find some negative in them as well, so that they feel satisfied.
They say, ‘Oh, I feel comfortable because that person is wrong. When you are wrong, I am happy.’ This is jealousy, trying to find fault with others.
So a shift has to happen, from having the attitude that people are intrinsically bad, to intrinsically good. Everybody is good, and even if they make a mistake, it is out of some ignorance, and it is only on the surface.
This attitude helps you to understand them deeply, and understand yourself deeply.