As human beings we have tremendous qualities and virtues. You don’t have to look for virtues outside – you are the source of all virtues. But in the stress of day to day life, these virtues get hidden.
A seed has a membrane around it which doesn’t allow the seed to sprout, but when the membrane is soaked in water and it gets the right atmosphere, the membrane loosens and the seed sprouts. That is how the seed becomes a tree. Sadhana is a way to soak the seed; yoga is a way to manifest all the perfections that are already within you.
Virtues get covered by three things:
Mala or impurities. If there are toxins in your body, it reflects on your mind and affects your behavior. Impurities of the body and mind are called mala.
You get a lot of negative thoughts if your bowel movements are not okay. If you have constipation, the impact of it on the mind is sure negativity. Anyone who says I have constipation, know for sure that they are going to have negative thoughts sooner or later because the toxins in the body are increasing and it is going to affect the brain too. This is called mala, or the first sheath that covers your beautiful being.
Aparna: a veil of ignorance that surrounds you through identification. There is a saying in English that as you sow so shall you reap. You have sown the seeds. You have put the labels on you – I am so bad, or I am weak, or I am hopeless, or I am arrogant. Whatever label you put creates a sheath around you. Avarna is a veil which has come from many lifetimes.
Vikshepa: when you put wrong concepts about yourself in your mind, or form wrong concepts based on what you hear from others that causes disturbance in you is called vikshepa.
Your interaction with people can create mental disturbances. Just one person, whom you are friendly with, tells you some news and that news can disturb your mind. It can throw you off normal. And later, after 1 or 2 months, you come to know from your friend that what you heard is not true, but by that time it has already caused so much restlessness or agitation in your mind. So vikshepa is agitation getting created in your mind by hearsay or opinions of other people.
So these 3 things keep you shrouded and limited. Meditation and yoga can help you come out of all this, and that is when you have full enthusiasm, energy, joy and all virtues coming up.
Satsang can also help you come out of vikshepa and wrong indoctrination that gets into our head. Satsang brings positivity. Then when someone comes and tells you this guy is a hopeless guy and you say, “Ok, so what!” You don’t get affected by that. Otherwise if someone says this guy is a hopeless guy, you say, “Oh yes, he is a hopeless guy. I believed in this guy and I went to tea with him and gave him money…” and this way the mind goes on. So, satsang takes you out and gives you a positive attitude.
Once, an astrologer went to visit a king. The king showed great reverence to the astrologer, made him sit down, and honored him with gifts. The king then showed his palm and the charts to astrologer. The astrologer examined everything and then said to the king, O King! You will lose your entire family. Everybody is going to die before you. You will be the last to die.”
The king got very upset upon hearing this and put the astrologer in the jail.
When someone hears some negative prediction, they don’t like it. They obviously want to hear something nice and positive instead. And so it was for the king as well.
This news shook the entire community of astrologers. They thought, “We cannot tell the truth to the king. If we do so, he will simply put us in jail. What do we do?”
The king then called for another astrologer to appear before him. Many tried to escape this request but one senior astrologer agreed to meet the king. So, he went before the king, and the king welcomed him in the same way with gifts. The king then showed his palm to the astrologer.
The astrologer said, “Oh King! What a great fortune you are blessed with! You have a very good horoscope. Nobody in history has had such longevity of age as you are going to have. In fact, nobody in your dynasty has had such great longevity.”
The astrologer never said to the king that he was going to outlive everybody else in the royal family. Instead, he told the king that he was blessed with great longevity and that he had a great horoscope.
The king was so flattered upon hearing the news of his long life and good health. He told the astrologer, “Ask for whatever gift you want from me and I shall give.”
The astrologer said, “Please release my poor colleague who is in the jail.”
Moral of the story - skill in communication makes a huge difference. With the right communication skills, we can turn any negative situation into a positive one.
There is a couplet in Kannada which says, “It is through words that fun and laughter happen, and it is through words that enmity can also happen.” Speech creates conflict and also removes conflict.
Your speech should be so wonderful and sweet, that even Lord Shiva should simply listen and nod happily in agreement saying, “Oh yes, Oh yes”.That is how lovely your speech should be.