Criticism is a sensitive topic, as most of us don’t like to be criticised, yet without it how would we change and grow? It is not easy to see ourselves as we are, so criticism is like a mirror in which other people are our reflection. Generally, in the process, the other person is also learning; they would not point out our faults if they did not also have something of the same.
If we observe you and highlight what must be corrected in your behaviour, we don’t mean to play the bogeyman. A guide cares about his aspirants, he wants the best for them. If we do not do so for you, who will? Would you accept it of your family, or your friends? We are not judgemental, there lies the difference.
We want to see you all growing, divested from your dregs; our objective is very different. To alleviate your burden, to purify you and refine you in all your perceptions - including the ability to feel us by your side - all this constitutes one of the aspects of spiritual work. We want to make you stronger in the face of tests, more detached from superfluity, this superfluity that can only weigh down your process. We suggest to you positive and constructive attitudes to mould your personality. A spiritual process requires efforts on all the levels. Following a method, even if it is effective, entails a transformation of your character. It is a desirable whole, an utmost commitment, if you want to achieve the best results. It is a personal choice; we cannot do it for you.
Husbands often get annoyed when their wives point out their faults, and vice versa, but why do get annoyed when they are doing our work for us? They are showing us where we need to improve. So why not be thankful instead? And, if something is really not justified then just let it go. The benefits of criticism far outweigh the disadvantages. It is a mature and wise person who graciously accepts criticism.
Excel in everything you do
I have often thought that the purpose of life is to excel in everything we do. Whether it is as a leader, a painter, a student or a cleaner, we can excel. In every little task, there is the potential for excellence.
Sometimes we hear people say, “I don’t want to excel because my ego will swell. I want to be humble, not full of ego.” It is good not to be egotistical, but not at the cost of excelling.
Your ego will only inflate when you think or say, “Look at my work. It’s so wonderful. I did it. You are not as good as me.” It is best not to use the ego to hurt others, but it is well utilised when we can look inside and say, “Let me do better than I did the last time.”
The ego can never be destroyed, nor should it be, as it is one of our vital instruments for evolution, when used well. With a true ego, we do not compare ourselves with others. Instead, we compare ourselves with our previous performance. Then, the utilisation of ego is productive.
The same is true of spiritual practice. How did Babuji originally receive all the methods of meditation with transmission, cleaning, prayer, points A and B, etc.? The content came as a feeling. It had to be like this: the way was shown and the feelings were there. And then the feelings were translated into words. Babuji put those words on paper and the practices became the method (heartfulness). So when we practise, we are learning to reverse this process. First we read the words, then we follow the method and eventually, those words will again become the feeling.
Reprinted with permission by Kamlesh D Patel from Designing Destiny, 2019
(Kamlesh D Patel is the fourth spiritual Guide in the Sahaj Marg system of Raja Yoga meditation. He travels extensively and is at home with people from all backgrounds and walks of life, giving special attention to the youth of today.) https://www.daaji.org/designing-destiny/