Tolerance: Swamiji Talk for New Year 2016



This are my notes from New Year talk given by Swamiji on January 1, 2016:

You can listen to this talk here.

The topic of this talk was six principles of tolerance.

Swamiji started the talk by pointing out that the topic of tolerance is in the news now a days and that both Tatva Bodha and Bagawat Geeta point out the need for tolerance.  Tatva Bodha says one need thithiksha (mental shock absorbers) to withstand the ups and downs of life.  Lord Krishna says in Chapter 2 of Bagawat Geeta that one need shama to withstand the up and downs of life.

Six principles of tolerance:

  1. Non empowerment:  Scriptures says the creation is full of pairs of opposites as per laws of karma.  The creation is full of events  like  loss and gain and up and down.  Swamiji says we classify all events as welcome and unwelcome.  The first principle of tolerance is not to label any situation.  By labeling an event we empower the world to hurt.  Let all the pairs of worldly experiences happen, but do not label them as welcome or unwelcome.  Be prepared to go through the results of karma without attaching a label of  unwelcome.  If one must attach a label, use the label “welcome” and accept all situations and experiences.
  2. Empowering ourselves:  Strengthening ourselves to withstand and move forward from any event.  Worldly events are not the creation of Bahawan, but the results of karma.  While creation includes both pavam and puniyam, the resources to handle the situation are also created within ourselves.  Learn to rely on internal resources and not on external outside resources.
    • Arm ourselves with the ability to be strong
    • Understand and accept that there are resources within ourselves to withstand the ups and downs of life
    • Build up faith in ourselves with the realization that Lord resides in ourselves.
  3. Non Magnification: Avoid dwelling upon unwelcome experiences and let it occupy our minds completely.  Whenever there is an “unwelcome” situation, our tendency is to dwell on and magnify that situation.  This results in worry, anxiety and fear.  Dwell upon the solution and do not to dwell upon and magnify the situation.  Apply the first two principles above and assimilate the thought that all difficult experiences are not given out by Bagawan but are the results of karma and the world is only a medium.  This does not mean that we don’t take any action, but take any action, including deliberate inaction, but do not contaminate the action with hatred and vengeance.  Cultivate tolerance at both “kartha”  (doer) and ‘boktha” (experiencer) level.
  4. Self Restraint: Avoidance of impulsive responses.  Boktha becomes a kartha by following the first three principles.  Impulsive actions prevents us from developing a long term solution.  Boktha (the experiencer) gives the message;  Kartha should filter the messages and take careful actions.
  5. Objectivity:  Avoid judgment based on incomplete data.  Never judge a person in a hurry.  No one should become a victim of prejudicial actions.  Prejudicial actions and judgment only will result in accumulating more pavam.  Before taking any action at others, stand in the position of others and determine if the proposed action is one that your would accept yourself.
  6. Postpone violent measures:  Whenever we face difficult situations, we face two options: one is aggressive and the other is peaceful.  When we are faced with difficult situation, we prefer aggressive measures as they may appear to bring immediate results.  Scriptures say that the peaceful measures must be tried first.  Always remember ahimsa is an important virtue.  Only after exhausting all ahimsa measures, more  aggressive measures should be pursued.

Swamiji concluded that if we follow these six principles, then we will be able to handle and move on after any difficult experience.