Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
Where does a Guru have time to think like this? A Guru is always in a state of bliss with himself! (Laughter) A Guru always says, 'Take whatever you want from me'.
See, there is a deep river flowing before you. Someone may just want to wet their feet in it and no more. Someone may want to simply take a dip in the water. Someone else may want to swim in it, and someone else would want to dive deep and take a pitcher full of the water from it. An ocean never says to a person to dive and take the pearls, or to take the salt in its waters. If you want to get the pearls from the ocean you can do so, and if you want to just take the salt from the waters, then go ahead and do so. If you want to take a fish, then you can do so, and if you want to extract oil from it, then you can take the oil also. So, if you want liberation, then go ahead and take liberation also! An ocean simply is. You should reflect upon yourself and think about this.
Some 20-25 years ago, I had gone to meet a great saint in Rishikesh. When I met him, he was very happy to see me and started praising me a lot. I told him, 'Maharaj, I cannot see any flaws I may have. Please tell me about those and how I can correct them'.
He laughed and said, 'Why should I tell you that? When misery comes to you in life, you will automatically know it. I can only tell whatever your nature is. I can only narrate what you are'.
In the beginning he was all praises for me. He said, 'Oh, God himself has come to my house. I am most fortunate'. I was wondering about it and asked him to tell me about my shortcomings so that I can correct them. But instead he just said, 'When misery comes in life, you will know your shortcomings by yourself'.
This is worth thinking about, and this is true as well. The wise and enlightened ones do not speak ill for anyone from their mouth. They will never tell anyone, 'Oh, you are such a donkey', because it might happen that the other person may actually become (or start behaving like) a donkey.
It is said, 'Rishinam yatha-chittanam artha vaacha-anu dhaavate'.
It means that whatever words a wise person or a Sidhha (perfected or enlightened soul) says, the meaning of those words follows very closely behind (meaning that their words manifest instantly). So when they say that 'You are very good', then only goodness blossoms in you.
But if they tell you, 'You are a donkey', then even a normal person may become a donkey. This is knowledge of a very high and mature level. So a Sidhha or an enlightened person will always instruct you in this manner (by praising your virtues). People who belong to a level lower than this will resort to punishment and criticism. And somewhere that too is necessary. For people who are stubborn and who refuse to improve their ways, such harsh measures become necessary.
I am not saying that those people who scold or criticize others are bad, no. They must be doing so because of some reason; or maybe they must be clearing off your bad karma by scolding or criticizing you. Also, maybe you are someone who understands only that kind of language or measure, which is why they do that. For example, people who are egoistic and arrogant do not understand soft-spoken words. Only when someone calls them an ignorant fool do they take notice and realize. But this style is different, and this is definitely not the style or approach of the wise and enlightened ones.