Our Viewpoint

A boatman was asked by a passenger who was a stranger to the area, “What kind of people live on the other side of the river?” “Well, the people on the other side are indeed very wicked, very bad,” was the reply. However, the stranger in his travel on the other side did not find anyone bad. In fact, the people were very good. He then asked the people on the other side, “What kind of people are on the opposite bank?” The people generously said “Well, the people on the other side are good people.” The stranger narrated what the boatman had said, they replied “Well, one or two persons may have had bad?? experiences but you can’t say all people are bad”. The stranger realized that goodness and badness lies in our own self.

Bura Jo Dekhan Main Chala, Bura Na Milya Koi, Jo dekhu dil khojke, Mosay bura na koi! (I went out in search for the crooked, I met not a single one. When I searched myself, I found none worse than me. )

As this Doha by Kabir suggests, we should not have a negative angle. But, by family background, by education, by culture, we have many prejudices. We do not see things as they are but rather as we like to see things.

We love our habits, our opinions, our beliefs, our ideals. We, as a result of such a strong way of thinking, also suffer. A child that is taught by his family to see only wickedness suffers a lot and is critical with all. He is apprehensive, tense; there is less of joy and selflessness. We should, at least, understand that our thoughts are not entirely our own. They are acquired from other sources. Many opinions are emotional and conditioned.

Yoga is a de-conditioning of wrong opinions. It makes us free from strong emotions, attachments, beliefs which are the cause of lot of our problems. We can learn a lot by putting ourselves in another person’s position.

In Ahimsa and Satya this is suggested. Try to realize how the other individual feels and suffers. Try and understand if your hurt is a grievous; done out of cruel intention, done by yourself or allowed to be done by others and you just instigated it; whether the hurt is through thoughts, words or actions. To understand another person and to appreciate.

Dr. Jayadeva Yogendra

Published in the October 2011 edition of Yoga & Total Health magazine.

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