Transcribed by Madhumati Devi Dasi - 18.4 2017
Mahatma das: “Sweet words cannot lift someone more than the best medicine whereas no weapon can destroy someone as much as harsh words”
In the Srimad Bhagavatam there’s a story in the Daksha yajna Lord Shiva appeared and Lord Shiva was a meditation when Daksha came and he didn’t stand up and Daksha was very upset that he was disrespected and he began criticizing very heavily, criticizing Lord Shiva and of course Shiva’s wife there, Sati and she became so disturbed that the Bhagavatam explains that the words of her father Daksha were like piercing arrows in her heart and so the point is that critical words can act of pierce a person’s heart can destroy one and she was so destroyed that she actually killed herself. She didn’t want to be related to this person anymore who had so much hatred towards her husband’s that I’m associated by birth. That was it, she said okay I’m going to kill myself. So, you can imagine those words of criticism Lord Shiva caused her to kill herself. So the point is that if we criticize someone or someone that’s dear to someone those words can be extremely destructive.
Conversely, if you speak sweetly to someone encouraging words uplifting words words that point out what’s good about them words that build self-confidence words that inspire and has it can have a dramatic positive effect on someone. So the other point is that when you encourage someone you become encouraged.
Prabhupada wrote me at the time when I was encouraging book distribution and I gave him the reports and then he said keep encouraging everyone in book distribution and as you encourage them, then you will be encouraged. In other words, by encouraging them you’ll be inspired. So we can apply that to criticism, as you criticize or discourage others you will also be discouraged. So criticism is not only bad for the person who receives it, it’s also bad for the person who gives it.
Of course, every time we talk about criticism always the idea is, well, isn’t it sometimes necessary? and sometimes it is, and if you’re in a position where you have to criticize or in a position where not criticizing would be detrimental, then yes, you should do it. When I’m speaking about criticism, I speak of it in general and specifically what I speak it in general I mean, criticism when it’s not necessary, when it’s detrimental, when there’s no benefit to it.
Excuse me, I’m allergic to Mayapur today. I don’t know if that’s good maybe I committed some sin and now I’m allergic to Mayapur, it’s good to be allergic to Mayapurr in the sense of it stimulates you. But anyway, so one thing I’ve noticed in other talks is that when you encourage someone, sometimes those words of encouragement or the words of just pointing out what is good about that person can make a huge difference in that person’s life because sometimes they don’t even know it or maybe they know it but they don’t believe it. So your encouraging words can do amazing things for that person and of course in terms of relationships many of us are married, one of the worst things we can do in a marriage or any close relationship is criticize, because no one wants to be criticized and criticism destroys a relationship. So the more you can speak encouraging words, sweet words, words of appreciation, the better the relationship is like. That’s like very simple and intuitively we understand that but we don’t always do it ourselves.
Look at your relationships, look at your general attitude towards people. If your general attitude is critical, try to understand it’s not the fault of the person but something’s going on inside of you that’s causing you to be critical. It’s never the fault of the person, even if they do something wrong, it’s still not their fault in the sense, if it makes you disturbed. Somebody does something wrong, unless it’s something abusive destructive, if it’s just the normal human behaviour they do something wrong and that is very upsetting to you that’s something to note there may be various reasons one of which is it may be that you have that fault also and it’s disturbing you to see it and another because it reminds you of yourself. But whatever the case may be, if you see it in another just be aware that if it’s disturbing you it’s not a good sign.
Okay so we’re going to stop now and I think the wind is actually blowing the camera so if I look, that’s not a camera it’s an iPad and it’s catching the wind and we’re right by the Jalangi in case you didn’t know this is Jalangi behind me. We came out of morning walking and it had a dramatic effect, so I thought we would do it here, Hare Krishna [Music]