Continuing from the previous month…
वृक्ष से बढ़ कर दीनता उर राखु नित ही प्यारे |
सब को दो सम्मान आपुन मान जनि चहु प्यारे ||
Shree Maharajji tells us the second point: Become more tolerant than a tree. A devotee must be more forgiving than a tree that bears fruits. When someone throws a stone at the tree, it does not get angry but in return, gives us a fruit.
Once, there was a powerful king in North-west India. His name was Raja Ranjeet Singh. The famous Kohinoor diamond was owned by his kingdom. Later, the British seized and took it away with them to England. Raja Ranjeet Singh was blind in one eye. One day, a small boy who lived in his kingdom was trying to hit a mango tree with a stone. Unfortunately, the stone hit the king instead of the tree. The king asked, “Who has hit me with a stone?” The king’s servants pointed to the boy. The king asked him to be brought to the court.
The boy’s mother thought that her son would be now killed as the king would sentence him to death. When the boy was taken to the king, he asked the boy what he was doing there. The small boy replied that he was trying to hit the tree to get a mango. The King then gave him a basket full of mangoes. People were astonished and asked him, “You did not get angry with the boy? He hit you, and why have you gifted the boy with a basket of mangoes?” The king said, “If the stone had hit the tree, it would have given him mangoes. Am I even worse than the tree? After all, I am a human being and my behavior should be better than the tree. If the tree gives mangoes in return, then I should at least give a basket of mangoes.”
This shows that it is the nature of a tree to be tolerant and forgiving. Here, Shree Kripaluji Maharaj tells us to be even more tolerant than a tree; to practice and apply this quality of tolerance in our daily lives. Five hundred years ago, Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhuji also said that devotees should be more tolerant than a tree.
Since this is a material world, everybody is not a Mahapurush. Everybody has three modes of Maya within themselves. Some have – Sattvagun, quality of goodness, some have Rajogun, quality of passion, and some have Tamogun, quality of ignorance. People will behave with you in various ways, and if you are not tolerant, you will tend to get angry saying, “He is like this; She is like that; He is very bad.” By doing so, our mind will get dirty and spoiled. Due to this reason, to keep our mind in a healthy condition, we are being told to be tolerant.
There was a Saint named Ekanath. He wrote the ‘Naath Bhagavat’, just as Jagannathji wrote the Bhagavat in Oriya. The ‘Naath Bhagavat’ in Marathi is a suitable match for the highly admired Oriya translation of the Bhagavat. Saint Ekanath was a very sincere and intense devotee of Shree Krishna. There was an incident in his life which was very unique.
Saint Ekanath used to bathe in the holy river Narmada in Maharashtra. One day, after bathing, as he started to come out of the river, a Pathan stood close by and looked very irritated. When the Saint Ekanath came out, the Pathan spat on him. Saint Ekanath said, “Jai Shree Krishna” and went back to the river to bathe again. When he came out, the Pathan spat on him again. Even after this, Saint Ekanath did not get angry or upset. He quietly went back and took bath again. As soon as he came out of the river, the Pathan spat on him again. It had now turned evening and this event had continued since morning. People gathered around the banks to find out who would lose. As of now, nobody was winning, neither the Pathan nor the Saint.
The Pathan finally lost patience and asked the Saint, “Are you made of wood or stone? I spat on you so many times, but you did not even ask me why I am doing this to you? You did not react at all.” Saint Ekanath replied, “Your actions have not harmed me. Instead, you have acted as my well-wisher. Because of you, I took bath in the pure and sacred waters of Narmada so many times. Then why should I get angry with you?”
The lesson that we get to learn from this is that there are many people in this world who will oppose us. But, if we learn to become more tolerant, our heart will get purified.
So, what is the key to purify our heart? Find a person who keeps on finding faults in you and criticizes you. Put a tilak on him and keep him in the courtyard of your home. It means, respect the person who keeps finding faults in you. Let him criticize and oppose you continuously. Tolerate him patiently and silently. This will help purify your heart at a very fast rate. This practice of tolerance is for your own benefit. By becoming tolerant, you will speedily progress in the spiritual realm.
Shree Kripaluji Maharaj tells in the next line, never to look for any respect. Expecting to be praised is also a material desire. It is called as bhaktijaat anarth, of impurity arising in the heart due to devotion. The desire to be appreciated for practicing devotion is a big disaster in the spiritual realm. When others praise us for being a devotee, we start liking it and begin to expect admiration. People start thinking what they should do so that people start respecting them. “How should I get respect?” this becomes the primary aim and, “How should I practice devotion?” becomes a secondary thing. In temples, people donate appliances and get their names written on them. Not just their name but, they also get their father’s and grandfather’s name written on it! If we ask them, that you have given Rs.1000, but why are you getting your name written on it? They say, “We get our names written so that people should come to know that we have donated money.” What will they get by letting others know about their charity?
The spiritual principle is the reverse of this:
ghitasya bhavet vṛiddhiḥ kīrtitasya bhavet kṣhayaḥ
If you do something good, there is no need to announce it to the world. Only then you will get the fruit of your good deeds. By telling others of your good deeds, their value gets reduced. So the principle is – Do good deeds but never speak them out. When the desire for seeking respect gets into our head, then the feeling of devotion gets finished. We should always stay away from this.
To be continued in the next edition….