Spiritualizing our relationships 5 – Focus more on our intentions than on others’ dispositions
Transcription of Summary
I spoke today about how we can focus more on our intentions than on others dispositions. I talked about how the Bhagagavat Gita says that when the mind is controlled we can see that the dualities of the body & mind at the ego level with equipoise. Similarly, we see objects with equipoise, and similarly we see people with equipoise. So, the test of our spirituality are equanimity.
Krishna talks about this first… when we know the soul, we become equipoised; when we know the super-soul we become even more equipoised. So, now equal disposition does not necessarily mean identical action. So, Krishna Himself… He tells, ‘See samabuddhi… see enemies and friends equally, but .50… Arjuna, fight and kill the satru, defeat them.’ So, that is what He tells in the eleventh chapter.
So, our action is more a matter of reciprocation. How best can I serve Krishna in this situation while dealing with this person? So, different relationships are like different roads, and some are very smooth, some roads are very bumpy and some roads are …1.15…roads. They are like landmines. So, if we have to go to a particular destination, then we adapt ourselves… we go fast or we go slowly or we go with a super caution, that is what is required… we do that; and when we are dealing with difficult people, at that time we can focus on the principle that actually while dealing with those difficult people… with whom it is like dealing walking in a mine field… anything can cause any explosion, then we need to see that we are serving Krishna inspite of that.
I talked about how different people have different natures. Like some people jump from one topic to another in conversations, like that their minds also jump from one emotion to another emotion. They are very unpredictable, and then we have to adapt ourselves and expect that kind of moody, unpredictable nature and deal with them appropriately.
So, some people… we serve Krishna through them. Some people… we serve just them, there is no Krishna factor. That is at the level of material duty and material responsibility, which is also important but that is incomplete vision. But some people… we serve them and through them we serve Krishna, like Prabhupada said his disciple Yadurani Mataji that, ‘You are service to my spiritual master.’, and some people we serve Krishna inspite of them. Just like, in a cloth shop attending to a very difficult customer, in spite of that customer’s irritability and demand and fault finding and demanding nature.
So, Krishna is not a uni-dimensional boss who’s asset is based only on numbers. He doesn’t see, ‘Ok, in your life this person has become a devotee, this relative has become a devotee, you have made this many people in your program devotees. Krishna doesn’t see only that much. Krishna also sees ‘what is the 03.38 of those people.’, and sometimes some people may very difficult to deal with and just at the boss may reward the employee who can deal with tough people gracefully, and promote that person, like that sometimes even by dealing with difficult people… and even if the dealings are not successful in terms of externally making them favourable or getting a favourable results, still we may grow in that relationship.
So, when we are serving Krishna we don’t have to stick to a single conception of growth. Now I can do this, I can do this, … that’s why I am growing. Sometimes some people may restrict us in our growth but then that restriction of growing. Sometime some people may restrict us in our growth, but then that restriction of growth may also involve … actually incubation of facilitation of the growth of character. We may not be able to do a lot of things but we develop tolerance, we develop patience, we develop humility whatever.
So, sometimes people are very finicky about particular things and if we are just too talkative, we may just learn to become more cautious in our speech and that is a skill that can help us. So, I talked about the devotee who was sent away from the place where they had set up preaching to some other place where very hostile people… but after dealing with those hostile people he didn’t find it so difficult to deal with the toughest in the devotee community.
So, the test of a advancing devotee is that they don’t see their Krishna bhakti as restricted to only directly-devotional activities, but they see it also in terms of… If I grow in my relationship with Krishna also based on how I deal with different people, even if they are not directly connected with Krishna and by having this vision that ‘wherever I am, I am actually serving Krishna.’ … we can move forwards steadily and grow in a way that will help us in our personal growth and how Krishna wants to serve us… Krishna may be preparing us for the future service through even the different situations in our life right now.
Thank you. Hare Krishna.
(Transcription by Sadananda Krishnaprem Das)