Q: Gurudev, you have said that if one thinks too much about the people they hate, then they start to become like them. I am constantly thinking of people I dislike and taking on their qualities. How do I keep from doing this?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Well, let me tell you that without dispassion there is no progress in life. If you want to progress in life, you must have dispassion.
Dispassion brings freedom to your mind. Dispassion keeps you in the present moment.
Dispassion brings that smile on your face; it brings that energy and enthusiasm in you.
What are you hanging on to? You hate somebody? What for?
The world will definitely have such people, all the time. Tell me one time on this planet, in history, where there were no wicked people? Or there were no people who troubled others? Such people have always been there, and the world will continue to have such people.
Now, if you want to keep them in your world, what can we do? It is you who is making this happen by keeping them in your head. An unfortunate incident happened, it happened, you should move on. Don’t sit and chew on it.
Dispassion is letting go of the past, and knowing that everything is going to end one day, everybody is going to die; them and you are going to die, so at least keep your mind free.
Know that these are all different roles being played. Sometimes, it is like a horror movie, what to do? That doesn’t mean you be inactive when there is horror happening. When there is a robbery happening, rape happening, or something bad happening in society, you should stand up to stop it.
When will you get the strength to do this? When you have dispassion in your mind. Then you can stand up, otherwise you will do such an act, by which you will start suffering. You will become a culprit yourself.
A culprit cannot be eliminated by another culprit. You try to eliminate the culprit and you become another culprit.
A victim cannot be eliminated by another victim. If you are a victim of your own rage, and anger, how can you help another victim? And if you become a culprit to eliminate culprits, you will find yourself in the prison.
This is what has happened to so many people. So many people who land up in prison, are so righteous. They say, ‘I did this because that person did this thing to me.’ No! An eye for eye, a tooth for tooth is not going to make anything better. It will make the whole world blind. We must wake up with dispassion and work towards a better society; work towards a society free from violence, and a society which is more spiritual.
Just like how you have made the entire society literate. Everybody knows how to read and write. They can read the sign boards. There is not a single person in Canada who does not know how to read the sign boards. Are there any? No.
At least they can read the sign boards, they may not be scholars in anything. They know how to read, and how to write. I want spirituality to become like that.
We should behave right, and be kind to people. We should work towards this direction. It may not happen 100%, all people will not become like that, but at least a major part of society will change for the good, and that is good enough.
Again I am saying, we can dream of such a society, but for it to become real, it will take time. A society where there is no crime at all is a far-fetched reality; it takes time, but we must at least move in that direction.