“It’s easy enough to be friendly to one’s friends. But to befriend the one who regards himself as your enemy is the quintessence of true religion. The other is mere business.”
– Mahatma Gandhi
Friends & fellow travellers,
As I read this quote by Gandhiji, I get a deeper insight into what made Gandhiji undefeatable and unstoppable by the most sophisticated army and artillery the then leading nation of the world, Britain, could afford.
How can we live by this mantra? The first thing that comes to mind is we would have to drop the very notion of being judgmental!
Mankind today is lost in judging people and situations alike around them. Consciously or subconsciously we are constantly making judgments about people by color, caste, creed, religion, age, good/bad, financial status, values, strengths, weaknesses so on and so forth, the list is simply endless. Of course, since we are in the twenty first century and have been taught to become aware of our intolerances, we now allow our senses and worldly experiences of pleasant and unpleasant drive this age-old addiction. Our loved ones are also not spared as our preference for “pleasing to the mind and senses” over “what is right” starts taking topmost priority
The question that comes up is how is judge-mentalism different from discernment or knowing when not to play with fire. One would easily argue, I cannot leave my jewelry collection with someone who has been labeled as thief. Which means, now I have to also drop my own attachments, fears and ego so that I can discern without feeding the fire? Exactly, and it worked for Gandhiji. His non-judgmental demeanor supported by fearlessness, humility and little attachment to the outcome of his endeavors is what gave us the most unimaginable outcome. He proved to the world that by being judgmental we are limiting our own choices, capabilities and unfathomable victories for self.
So far, the world has been focusing on how by judging others we are unleashing an unfair disadvantage to those we judge. While that is the obvious truth, in order to really adopt this non-judgmental demeanor, we need to get a bit selfish first. What’s in it for me to not be judgmental? If we try to understand just one example of Gandhiji’s life and his achievements it will be obvious that by being judgmental we are first hurting ourselves in the process. By letting our judge mentalism drive our actions we choose to deal with the familiar terrain that is oh so pleasantly comforting and we also choose to go in circles in the same place forever! We build a boundary around ourselves- “a circle of trust” and choose to live within our self-imposed prison of limits. Anyone who does not abide by my rules, definitions, expectations, etc etc shall be judged! But that’s when start losing out on opportunities along with self growth that our ego, in fear of being hurt and defeated, cannot even fathom.
Let’s break the invisible shackles and step out of that comfort zone sacrificing our attachment to “pleasantness” and embrace simply being there!!!
This article has been contributed by Jhankhna Verma, a dedicated Tattva Shakti Vigyaan practitioner from New Jersey USA. Jhankhna is a Yoga enthusiast & has deep interest in the field of ancient Healing Systems.