How do I respond to the people around me, the near and the dear, who sometimes, criticise me, condemn me, ridicule me, dare to call me even a hypocrite ? May be they are justified to act that way ! How do I respond under such circumstances... ?
My ego, the great accomplisher, the pure gem, as I perceive, is hurt, I get into a fit of anger; I get into a tantrum; I get en(rage)d !
Rage! - Rage (Krodha) is anger grown in geometric progression in a small interval of time !
Rage deludes my intellect (buddhi). I forget for a moment, my culture and the world, which has done me all the good. At that moment, when I am worked up, my intellect - the capacity for discernment and discrimination is as good as dismantled.
The bruised ego, in the worst case responds by kicking, killing, beating and abusing the person. Or, if I cannot physically attack, I use foul language, making gestures and clutter my teeth !
As a cultured person to save my image, before others or for some personal gain, if I have to exercise some control over my expression, I do not wish to exhibit my temper tantrums. But I curse; I curse inside, I wish bad !
I have become helpless for I cannot react ! I have to gulp all the insults ! I feel hurt inside. To the world I may declare, I have forgiven ! But the hurt feeling lingers inside and I revolt inside !
Establishing in "titiksha" or forbearance means in Vedanta, that state in which I feel, that I am not even hurt inside, and I receive the kicks smilingly as His wish, as I deserve, to atone for my sins. This creates a very soothing mental climate, in which positive divine qualities like forgiveness (kshama), non-injury (ahimsa) fearlessness (abhaya), free from getting into temper tantrums (akrodha) manifest and thrive. I smile and I embrace the world. It is possible only when I surrender to HIM in totality.
Jesus carrying the cross exclaimed: "Oh ! Father! Forgive them for they know not, what they are doing !" It was because Jesus had identified with him and established in "titiksha"!
Titiksha reminds me of another story. The story of Angulimala. the devilish fellow who surrendered to Buddha, to become a bhikku, going round for the alms. Angulimala, the tyrannical way-side robber
plundered the people, acquired their wealth and sported a garland of the victims' thumbs, made merry like a demon. After he met Buddha, he was a convert, a repenter, a bhikku. Buddha sends him to the village to get alms. Angulimala returns beaten and bruised, literally skinned alive to reach his master !
Buddha with all compassion asks him “My child ! What happened!"Angulimala narrates how the village-folk stoned him, beat him with sticks, kicked him and spat on him! On seeing him unarmed and coming with a begging bowl in saffron robes, the villagers revenged, made good for all that they had received !
The master asks : My child , How did you react ? "Angulimala replies : "Oh Father I never reacted ! For every kick I received, I repeated - Jaya Buddha Gurudeva ! Jaya Buddha Gurudeva ! Buddham Saranam gacchami , Sangham Saranam gacchami -! I received every kick as a prasada "
Yes! Possibly we have to be in the shoes of Angulimala with a begging bowl to atone for the sins bred by us, to bear the kicks and to forgive those who are kicking (who were once kicked by us ). And that state of composure is possible only through surrender.
Saranam is Titiksha. It is kshama, it is ahimsa, it is akrodha, it is abhaaya and it is dhrutti, the fortitude. And it is freedom from agitations and fear !
Well! All of us will have to carry our cross. There is no escape. Let us do it with a smile having Him in our bosom !
Who knows He may get pleased with us as the journey progresses and make the burden lighter.
About the author
This article is written by B.Nagendra for the 'Vedanta Vani' magazine of Chinmaya Mission.