Late Mahant Jagdish Das Shastri
Jamnagar, India

(The first quality was Friendliness, previously posted in FB)

The next quality is compassion. Compassion is the hallmark of the saints. Read the stories of their character: Compassion of Mahavir, compassion of Buddha, compassion of Guru Kabir and others. When you have compassion you will like to improve the world. You will like to help someone else who is in trouble, who is in pain. Have you ever seen any child who is crying on the street and you go and wipe his tears. If you can do that you are following the path of compassion. And because of compassion, a person becomes a saint. When Christ was crucified he said, “O God, forgive these people for they know not what they do.” He said more than that. He said, “O God, please forgive me, for saying to forgive these people. O God, these people are very good really, and what they are doing is removing the distance between you and me. So I am very grateful to them”. And when that kind of knowledge is there, that is really compassion, which also comes from the inside.

Think of Mahavir. People tortured him, threw stones on him, and nailed his ears, but he did not say anything against them. He had only compassion for them, as that was his nature. His nature was just like that of a tree. You throw stones on the tree laden with fruit, and it will return fruits. He was vivasht -unable to do what other people can do. He could not return their cruelty, because he had no hatred.

There was a saint Al Hallaj Mansur. There is no saint in the world who was tortured like him. The king did not want him to live on his land, and also wanted to kill him. First, he ordered that people should throw stones on him. Everyone threw stones on him as he walked down the street. His gurubhai (spiritual brother), Junaid, knew that Mansur was not wrong, but if he did not throw something, then the king will punish him. So, instead of throwing a stone he threw a flower, and Mansur cried out in pain saying that the stones did not hurt him, but the flower did, as it was thrown by one who loved him, whereas the others knew no better. Mansur’s skin was peeled off, his hands and legs were cut. His eyes were dug out, and ultimately he was put on a pointed iron that pierced his body. At that time he said, “O Lord, I know that these people cannot take away love from me. This king cannot take this love from me, and I know that you are here. I have love for you and I am coming to see you now. And I know that you are coming to me.” He said that the pointed iron was the staircase to enter into his Father’s kingdom. He had no hatred. He was full of love and compassion.

Now comes the third quality which is cheerfulness. Cheerfulness is very important in order to have pure emotions. When your emotions are pure then you will be cheerful. When your emotions are impure you will never be cheerful, even if you try. But it is better to be cheerful.

A man in Bombay had a gloomy face, so when he took over his father’s business he started to lose business because his face was always gloomy, never laughing. People did not want to talk to him. Then somebody told him that he should learn to smile to improve his business. But the man said that his face was like that – and he could not smile? Then his friend advised him to get plastic surgery to make a smiling face. He liked the idea and had the plastic surgery, and his face was now smiling all the time. Now his business started to grow and he became rich. Whether people bought of not, he was smiling, and people liked his smiling attitude. One day he got a telegram from the village that his mother passed away. He went to see his mother and everybody was standing around his mother’s dead body and was crying, and he was smiling. Everybody was asking why he was smiling? He said, “I am crying.” They said that he did not look like he was crying, but smiling. They did not like his smiling at such a time, and they threw him out. You should know where you have to smile. You cannot laugh at a person who is falling down. If you laugh at that person it means that you don’t have compassion. You need to know where to be cheerful by using your discretion. Some saints taught that you have to live in this world with happiness and spread happiness all over.

There was a saint in India who was always joyful. Whoever came in contact with him experienced that joy. He said that nobody should have a gloomy face. Have cheerfulness, have joy, rejoice in the world. He had many followers. They loved him very much because he was always full of joy which he shared. A time came when he was about to die. Three days before, he called all his disciples and told them that he was going to leave this body and that they must not cry. Make his death jubilant, enjoy it, and celebrate it. For three days he told many jokes, and made the people laugh heartily. On the final day he called them and said, “When you place me on the funeral pyre, do not remove my clothes, and do not bathe me. Just place my body on the funeral pyre. They obeyed his instructions, but they were feeling sad. When the fire ignited, fireworks were displayed. He had worn a long coat with many pockets in which he had hidden firecrackers. The people were surprised and marveled at the display, and they all laughed. Even in death this saint made people cheerful. All saints do not want people to be unhappy. They themselves endured suffering with equanimity, and have taught others to accept adversity with cheerfulness.

The last quality to develop is gratitude. Can you imagine how you would feel if someone is ungrateful to you when you have done something good for him? Gratitude encourages people to be helpful towards others. When someone is ungrateful you do not feel like doing anything for him. But gratitude should go way back to God for giving you the gift of life and the air, water, sunshine and food that grows by His power. Next you should be grateful to parents who brought you into the world, loved, and nurtured you. You need to be grateful to teachers who are the means for you to get knowledge. Similarly you need to be grateful to the government, the police force, the civil authorities that take care of various needs of society, and also to anyone who shares your sorrows, or has words of wisdom for you. To be grateful requires the giving up of ego, pride and vanity. Develop humility, and gratitude will become natural to you.

Once you develop the above qualities, make them a natural part of your personality, and sense the presence of God in your heart, and in the hearts of all beings, then Sahaj yoga is your natural accomplishment. Peace, contentment and happiness will be your rewards.

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