One day, one Swamiji who has a very big dental college came to our Ashram. He said he urgently needed fifteen lakh rupees and he would return it within two weeks.
I felt that since he needed it urgently for some work, maybe for some temple or something, we must give and so we gave him. Six years passed by but he did not return the money.
I said, ‘Oh! This is the matter. ’
I told him, ’Swamiji if you would have asked for donation, we would have given you as donation. But you asked for a loan. So, now you have to return it.’
This I did because I don’t want a Swami to be called a cheater. As it is, there are few honest Swamis in this world. And this Swami needed to be taught a lesson.
I told my people not to give up. Knock at his door every day until he returns it. Why should he be excused? We spend lakhs of rupees building homes for the poor, but giving charity is one thing. If someone plays crooked with you, you need to catch them, no matter how big that person is. At the same time, no matter how a person is, we do not have to be disrespectful towards them. It is not good to disrespect any one.
I asked my people to treat him with respect and request him to return the money in the same way as it was given to him, with as much respect and honour, but he refused.
Finally, I had to speak to him. I spoke to him in a straight-forward manner. He felt very embarrassed and promised to return the money.
To ensure that another does not commit a mistake, or be driven to make a mistake, is also a sattvic quality. This quality must be present in all of us.
A rajasic person will sit quietly and watch another commit a mistake and later will say, ‘See, he made a mistake.’
There used to be saint who would scold any person who came with a complaint to him about another person. He would say, 'so you were waiting for him to make a mistake so that you could come and complain to me about him?'
I call this The Supervisor Mentality
. We wait for someone to make a mistake; then we go and complain to the boss, so that we can be in the good books of the boss. The boss will think good of us, and punish the person making the mistake.
So, to take advantage of someone's mistake is also an asuric (demonic) and tamasic quality. To guide or protect someone so that he does not make a mistake in the first place is a sattvic quality.
Your daughter-in-law makes a mistake and you go and complain to your son. Instead, before your daughter-in-law makes a mistake guide her so that she does not make the mistake - such is a sattvic mother-in-law!
Even if a mistake is committed, not making her feel guilty is a sattvic quality. Many people enjoy making others feel guilty. This happens a lot between husband and wife also. So I have heard and witnessed too. 'This is what you did to me! I am right and you are wrong!'
Distance develops in a relationship when you make the other feel guilty.
A Guru will never do this to his disciple.
'You are wrong; you are stupid, I am right. Learn from me.' He will never say this. A Guru always takes the disciple to be part of him and leads by example.
'Come my dear, you are a part of me. Observe me and you will also grow and become like me.'
Setting an ideal for another to follow and not inducing guilt in them - this is a skill, an art. Uplifting a person in the skilful manner is the job of a Guru. This is when both the Guru and disciple are of sattvic nature.
If the disciple is so thick-skinned that he is unable to take hints and does not follow clear-cut instructions, then some Gurus, out of compassion resort to anger. But even then there is no guarantee that it will work.
I have seen many times after shouting and yelling, finally the Guru changes his nature, whether the disciple changes or not. The disciple influences the Guru instead and the Guru remains tense all the time.
There is a saying in Telugu – A music teachers tells the students, 'I have lost my prestige by teaching you. You have learnt nothing, and I have forgotten nothing.'
As per the rules, a teacher must forget all the knowledge after it has been taught to the students. Why? This is because whatever one has not forgotten becomes a bondage for the next lifetime.
So the best is to learn and then forget it all.
When to forget? Once you have taught it to someone you will have gained the right to forget.
Knowledge is considered to be like soap.
There is nothing more purifying than knowledge. But if you hold on to knowledge, it will turn into ignorance and arrogance. That is why it is said to learn and forget.
So if the music that we have learnt remains imprinted in our mind, then it becomes a problem in the coming lifetimes. Becoming hollow and empty, that is liberation.
But when? Only after the disciple has learnt, then! Otherwise, that knowledge will be lost. After gaining knowledge it should be imparted to someone, this is a rule.
A disciple gains respect when he is associated with his Guru. People generally say that this is the disciple of so and so Guru. And that is why the teacher loses respect when the students do not learn.
Now in this world there are all kinds of people and all sorts of things happen. So we must not hold anyone guilty. The important message of today is that we must set an example for others and not make them feel guilty.