ਜੇ ਗੁਣ ਹੋਵਨ੍ਹ੍ਹਿ ਸਾਜਨਾ ਮਿਲਿ ਸਾਝ ਕਰੀਜੈ ॥ ਸਾਝ ਕਰੀਜੈ ਗੁਣਹ ਕੇਰੀ ਛੋਡਿ ਅਵਗਣ ਚਲੀਐ ॥
Je gun hovanih saajanaa mili saajh kareejai.
Saajh kareejai gunah kaeree shodi avagan chaleeai (sggs 765).

The bee focuses only on the nectar of flowers. Similarly, we are urged by the Gurbani (Sri Guru Granth Sahib, SGGS) to try to see good in everything. That is, we are asked to focus only on good in everything, not on bad.

The Gurbani asks shunning harmful conduct and mental habit patterns. We are here to deal with virtues or good. Because only virtues or good can be conducive to Divine Llife (Gurmukh Lifestyle). Accordingly, the Gurbani time and again reminds us to make this our business — leave behind our faults and be absorbed in virtues. This is possible when we develop a mind that seeks only the good in everything. In the final analysis: "Says Nanak, the mortal is emancipated only when all his faults are eradicated."

Now the question is: why do we enjoy sharing in faults of others? Why we cannot share in their virtues? What makes us faultfinders instead of virtue-finders?

The reason, as indicated in the Gurbani, is our egoistic or manmukh life style: a lifestyle void of true humility or Divine Knowledge (Aatam-Giaan). The mind in such perverted and foolish state exhibits heinous qualities such as faultfinding, false pride, lust, haughtiness, worldly attachment, wickedness, guile, jealousy, evil instincts, hate, envy, anger, greed, arrogance, inordinate ambition, self-righteousness, animosity, duality, fear, selfishness, conflicts, slandering, lower quality thoughts, aggressiveness, cruelty, prejudices, cheating, lying, hypocrisy, deceptiveness, corruption, propensity for hearing flattery from others, thinking ill of others, and so on.

Where there is false ego-sense (Haume or "I-am-ness"), there is the consummate enemy called lust (Kaam). Where there is lust, there is the compelling, coercive materialistic desire of indulging in sensory temptations. Where there is desire, there is fear. This fear is the base of anger; it causes greed; it creates attachment, jealousy, etc.

To avoid hurting our unripe ego, we are always fearful to face our own faults in ourselves. But, faults that we cannot face in ourselves we will hate when we see them in others. As a consequent of this, we become evil-minded disparagers — habitual faultfinders, slanderers, gossipers, backbiters and the detectors of others frailties. By doing so, our false ego wants us think that we can make ourselves taller, so to speak, by exposing the shortcomings or weaknesses of others. This is the play of the outgoing mind that likes concentrating on nonessentials.

As we can see, the thinking or habit of faultfinding is a psychological tumor of the instinctive or Mayaic mind. In other words, when we find faults in somebody else, in truth we are reflecting our own flaws. That is to say, the sore spot is located within our own instinctive mind. But our ego-mind makes us insulate ourselves from the reality by hiding so far as possible our own faults within us. In other words, the feeling or urge of finding faults in others indicates that the seeds of that kind of faults or weaknesses are present within us, and we are trying to suppress them by cutting off the heads of others.

The One Parameshar lives in all. But in meanness we offend that God in others and in ourselves. Observing others through the prism of false ego-sense is a symptom and pastime of a worldly person called Manmukh in the Gurbani. The daily life of such person engrossed in evil ways is full of its natural contentions, contradictions, envy, usual competitions, selfishness, falsehood, etc. Consequently, he ends up living a wrong life in all his worldly contacts and experiences; thus wasting useful time and energy by undergoing tensions and strains, and creating chaos within for himself and confusion without for others. Such person, due to diminishment of his character or degradation of his soul, does not and cannot know the happiness of selflessness and humbleness.

The truth is no one likes such habit. It is said that even an enlightened Giaanee does not like unjust criticism. But, since a Giaanee is bound by his spiritual wisdom to even-mindedness or nondefensiveness, he would bless those who find faults in him and take any criticism as an aid and help on the way to his own ultimate Improvement. But we novice react to the contrary. This is the difference between a novice and a true Giaanee.

For us, the novice, the habit of finding faults in others is very damaging. Because such habits are formidable barriers on the spiritual path, thus biggest hurdles to one's holistic development and perfection in life. Under the ego regime, we spend our energy and intelligence on superficialities and so have neither time nor vitality left to focus and meditate on essentials. A person who, like a trash-collector, is busy observing the "filth" (weaknesses) of others gets a false conviction of superiority. As a result, he begins to think either he has no weakness or he is qualified to appraise others. Blinded by the narrow obsessions of material considerations, the majority of us do not want to know ourselves. But we want to know everything about others! We want to find faults in others, but not in ourselves. We want to see good in others, but not in ourselves! Thus, condemning others makes us oblivious of our own faults, which then flourish unchecked. As indicated in the Gurbani, a Maya stricken ego-mind is like a fly that lands only on "filth": moral sores of others.

The Gurbani asks us not to allow indulgence in faultfinding and calumny for even one moment. Because such detachment is necessary for cleansing the existing dross from the mind and intellect, and for not adding more into it. Also, it hastens one's spiritual unfoldment by freeing the mind and energy from focusing on the shortcomings of others, allowing us to concentrate on our own weaknesses. Otherwise we will never be able to improve our lives and attain perfection ("Jeevan Padvee").

Therefore, we are challenged by the Gurbani to renounce our "evil ways" — judge not others, judge yourself. By exposing our own faults to the healing touch of the discerning introspection, self-analysis, self-control and meditation, we can protect our nature from becoming festered and poisoned by our misguided intelligence. In the soul regime, one who can constantly look within to examine and judge himself becomes the "real judge". He then sees "others" in "him" and "him" in "others".

— T. Singh

Page modified: Thursday, January 8, 2015 10:31 AM (PST)

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