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Truth Of Life: [2.5] The Issues - 13 - Criticism

Published: 04.06.2008
Updated: 14.08.2008

The Art & Science Of Living

Chapter 2.

The Issues



[True criticism is to perceive your inner Self rather than to find fault with others. There are three types of darkness: deception, wishful desire and a false outlook. Unfortunately, today’s man is not simple; he nurses tension because he tends to be secretive. It is because of this nature that he experiences discontentment along with contentment in his life. He is unable to perceive his inner Self and consequently he suffers. Prekshadhyana trains us how to be open, and witness our own vibrations of anger, desire and passion. Man has to perceive his inner Self to remove the hurdles set in by deception, wishful desire and false outlook.]

To criticise is the easiest task in this world. Whenever you want, in whatever way you want, you can criticise others, as it takes no effort to criticise. In this context, the meaning of criticism is to comment and find faults. Every person cannot be critical. The true sense of criticism is to perceive your inner Self. As a matter of fact, the act of criticism is easy and difficult too. Basically, criticism is a relative term. Man is naturally inclined to perceive others and not himself. He does not strive to perceive his inner Self. A disciple came to the Guru and said, "Sire, you are the endower of vision, kindly bless me also with the vision." The Guru spoke, "You already have two eyes, then what else do you want?" He said, "I have two eyes but I want the third eye so that I do not have darkness. With my two eyes, which I already have, I have knowledge but simultaneously darkness also." Is there anyone who has no darkness along with knowledge? This darkness does not only exist under the candle, rather it exists under every light. We have darkness under both our eyes. Our eyes nurse darkness. They look hither and thither without actually probing the darkness. Several people, in spite of knowing the truth, try to hide it and see only what they want to see. This is the nursing of the darkness.

A pupil said, "Sire, I want such vision, which does not have any darkness. Nothing should be hidden, light and only light should exist." Today, the tendency to hide is popular. One country intends to hide its arms, ammunition and nuclear capabilities, whereas other countries are involved in satellite spying. One strives to conceal and another attempts to find out. This sort of deception is so prevalent that the truth gets buried in it. Everyone indulges in spying and clandestine activities, which means everybody has the tendency to conceal.

The whole universe is full of deception and cunningness, simplicity is hardly seen anywhere. Today, it is accepted that knowledge and darkness move concurrently in life. Some things are clear and some are hidden. The tendency to hide is nurtured since the beginning. A man tells his child that if somebody asks for him then the child should say, "Daddy is not at home." The child gradually learns to hide. Life cannot be governed by knowledge alone, some darkness also follows it. It has been admitted that one cannot sustain his life with knowledge alone. Why should there be plain light? This belief leads to deception. Which contributes to tension among men, societies and nations. The biggest tension is to hide. A thing which is clear and candid never breeds tension. Wherever something is hidden, tension descends.

A person, who does not perceive his inner self, can never lead a life of knowledge alone. He leads a life blended with knowledge and darkness. Without perceiving within, he has contentment as well as discontentment. If you look at any person's life objectively, you will realise that contentment is present along with discontentment. This is primarily because there is no self-analysis or self-criticism. It is difficult to see a person who has no discontentment. Even when everything is available, discontentment persists. Somebody may have discontentment due to poverty, some may be discontented due to being issueless, or lack of respect. Everyone is discontented on account of something.

A disciple said, "Sire! I want such a vision by which I can perceive my inner Self and lead a life of contentment without any discontentment." He further solicited, "Sire! I wish to have that vision, which enables me to adopt the right outlook and drop the false outlook."

Generally, man's outlook is wrong. He does not evaluate the reality and embrace the truth. He forms wrong beliefs and sticks to them throughout his life, thereby wasting his whole life. Once some Englishmen were talking to Dr. Radhakrishnan (a well known philosopher and former President of India). During the conversation, one said egoistically that God had been more kind to them and that is why He gave them a fair complexion. Is being fair-complexioned the blessing of God? Dr. Radhakrishnan said, "There is some misunderstanding. When God was building the world, then the first bread happened to be undercooked. He constructed the Englishman with that. The second bread happened to be overcooked, then he constructed the black man out of that bread. When the bread was cooked rightly and balanced he constructed Indians with that bread." Man forms wrong beliefs. Some reasons are geographical and some are natural. These reasons are amenable to slight changes in colour and complexion of human creatures. In fact, man has adopted a false outlook and belief, which is the cause of his darkness. Knowledge in his life is getting reduced gradually and darkness is increasing. As long as deception, desires and a false outlook govern his life, man cannot perceive his inner Self. All those who have not learnt to perceive their inner Self, will get lost in the darkness of deception, desires and a false outlook. This is quite natural. When a person does not perceive his inner Self, he can never be simple and innocent. He will try to hide everything. Even a child learns to hide his own mistake. The child learns to conceal facts. Since his childhood, he sees his father telling lies and not revealing the truth. So the child also learns to hide and feels pleasure in hiding. He thinks that if he tells the truth, he might get a scolding and that hiding facts, is safe. Being safe after hiding facts he concludes that concealing protects and revealing invites problem, friction and rebuke. Hiding appears to be easy, adaptable and smooth, so he goes on hiding. He only hides his shortcomings and does not know how to criticise. So the practice of Prekshadhyana is very effective because the person who has learnt to perceive his inner Self, drops the tendency to hide. He actually perceives the vibrations, perversions, and other emotions occurring within him. He accepts that there are many evils within. Many perversions, maliciousness and viciousness exist but is there need to hide? The first principle and result of criticism is to admit candidly the perception of evils pervading within.

Every person is not prepared to accept that evils are permeating within because his ego becomes the hurdle. He may say so or he may not but he definitely thinks that he is perfectly all right, while others have evils and shortcomings. Wherever two people get together, the problem of ego arises. In case both of them realise that they could be wrong then the right solution to the problem can be sought. In fact, it is very difficult to accept that the fault lies in oneself. Realistically, the first assumption is that the fault lies in others, and not in oneself. Perceiving others results in finding others' fault, and perceiving within shows our faults. When it comes to self-perception then it is immaterial whether others have mistakes or not, first of all one has to perceive within, i.e., one's own mistakes. This principle of criticism is the core of sadhana, which grooms the practitioner into an innocent and simple personality. Simplicity is very useful from the physical point of view also. If the finger is bent then the breath stream will also be bent and blood circulation will be less than normal. When you lie down with feet straight, and the whole body is straight, then blood circulation will be proper. The limb, which is bent, will not have proper blood circulation. The blood circulation will be proper, only when the limb is straight. That is why the correct posture of sleeping is to sleep straight. Even sitting causes an obstruction to blood circulation. When you sit cross-legged then also it is an obstruction. Mahavira used to meditate mostly in the standing posture. Did he not know how to sit? But he rarely used to sit. This is because the sitting posture causes interruption in the breath stream. The standing posture is more suitable and conducive to meditation than the sitting posture. A weak person may meditate in the lying posture and a strong one practices meditation in the standing posture, while a medium-built man may practise meditation in the sitting posture.

One important essence of Preksha is to perceive within. Self-analysis changes the life system drastically.

A man constructed a splendid house. His friends came to his house and they were delighted with the house. The rooms °n the ground floor were very big and well decorated. They saw the first floor, the second floor and the third floor also. They observed that the upper floor rooms were simpler. Friends asked, "Where do you reside?" He replied, "I live in the third floor and my servants live on the ground floor." They were astonished, "What a strange situation, the master resides in simple rooms and servants live in well-furnished rooms! Why is it so?" The owner clarified that there was a time when his own mother was also a servant. What a sensitive, heart­rending and touching fact! If one perceives the truth as it is, one's style of life and behaviour changes dramatically. His mother had been a servant and she had lived a tough life. He knew therefore how much comfort the servants deserved.

Before being critical, we have to consider the hurdles in life. What are the hurdles, which crop up in life and vitiate the simplicity and dignity of life ruthlessly? Contemplation of hurdles will pave the way to change our lifestyle.

Deception is a hurdle. In the state of deception, solutions will not be workable. Problems after problems will follow and continue. Faith begets faith always and deception generates deception. In cunningness, first of all man will be careful of others. He assumes others to be wicked. He will talk sweetly in front of others and backbite later on. Deception is the biggest encumbrance in living life meaningfully and attaining liberation.

The second hurdle is desire. To have a desire is natural but to have endless desires is another thing. This is the greatest hurdle of lite. There has to be some limit for contentment. Today's economist declares that when we feel contented then our development will stop. Though logically it appears tenable, ultimately development also has to be categorically defined and limited. It is not possible that man expands out in the whole universe to rule there. A single man perpetuates development till he economically and geographically makes an empire for himself. This cannot be termed as development. This will be tantamount to an injustice, atrocity, exploitation and cruelty towards humanity. The development ought to be in the correct perspective.

Is development spreading out, extending in the whole cosmos? Acharya Somasundar has said in the epic of Sindur Prakaran that if a man is gentle, virtuous, and does everything virtuously and ethically then even if he is not doing well monetarily, it is fine. On the other hand, if someone makes a huge pile of money by fraudulent means, it spells disaster. Acharya has taught this with the help of a beautiful simile. When a man is thin, he looks handsome and graceful. When his body becomes obese due to various reasons, then his future is not good. Today's doctors agree that if one is thin and lean then he will live comfortably and have longevity.

There is a club called Mayo Club in USA. Its membership is restricted to only those people who have attained hundred years of age. A person from that club has observed that so far none of the club members happen to be fat. All are thin and lean. So it is correctly said that slimness is beautiful and it has a good, safe and healthy future. A thin man can move, sit and stand comfortably. He can manage his affairs properly. On accumulation of fat, a hurdle is created in all activities of sitting, moving, etc., leading to innumerable discomforts. Sometimes fatness might sound good but its end result is not favourable to health. The gist of development is not only expansion but limited growth. Economic development, intellectual development and imperialist development have only misguided and darkened the whole humanity. True development is that which does not create a hurdle and headaches for others. Development, which is virtually a headache for others, will ruin humanity.

The biggest problem is due to discontentment and desires, desires have to be limited, its limits have to be clearly demarcated. Today we are unable to find any solution because rhe interpretation of development by economists is causing difficulties and misguiding humanity. Yesterday a man said, "You said in the discourse that there has to be some limitation or boundary, then how can development take place? In that case, we will be lagging behind in the race of today's development." I contemplated and then concluded that if somebody really lags behind in the race of this maddening development, then he will be the most fortunate man in the world. Where are such lucky people? Where is such sacrificing capacity? Where is such character? Who can dare lag behind in this blind race? Everybody is running, without knowing where this blind competitive race will terminate.

Man does not know how to determine the limit of development. In areas where man should be limited, he is trying to be limitless. The areas where he should be limitless, there he is striving to be limited. In the field of self-development, man can be limitless but there he has clearly limited himself. In the field of physical, material development, where development should be limited, he is running to acquire limitlessness. This narrow outlook is precipitating the crisis. When the outlook becomes false then limitless desires crop up. With a perverted outlook, only deception is nursed. The peaceful and tension-free life is threatened by three encumbrances, namely, false outlook, limitless desires and deception. These three thorns can be taken out by those who know how to self-criticise and perceive their inner Self.

Persons practising Prekshadhyana should realise that we are going ahead for a very lofty assignment. Their objective is not that small. They are, in fact, heading towards eradicating these three hurdles in life. These hurdles can be overcome by only those who practise self Preksha, self-criticism and perceive their inner Self. What a challenging job that is! It is difficult. Acquiring restfulness even for a minute is a tremendous gain in life. It is a big achievement to relax mentally even for a moment so as to stabilise the body. Persons practising self-criticism become capable of overcoming hurdles likely to surface in life and smoothen the path of their life. The person who has learnt the art of self-criticism and self-perception has a distinguished identity in this world.

Edited by Muni Dulharaj
Copyright by Pathfinder Trust, New Delhi, India ©2001
Published by Sterling Publishers Pvt.Ltd., New Delhi, India
Translated by Pathfinder Trust, New Delhi, India
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Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Acharya
  2. Anger
  3. Body
  4. Contemplation
  5. Guru
  6. Mahavira
  7. Meditation
  8. Preksha
  9. Prekshadhyana
  10. Sadhana
  11. Science
  12. Science Of Living
  13. Third Eye
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