Every unfavourable circumstance can be converted into a favourable one. In this world, many people will throw mud at us in the form of their words and actions. Without falling into despair, a spiritual aspirant should be able to shake our minds free from this dirt and convert them into stepping stones.
There once was a spiritual aspirant living in a village. He was absorbed in his practices with an attitude of surrender. There was a person in the village who would always mock and criticize him.
Suddenly, one fine day, this critic passed away. A person came running to the aspirant and said, “I have good news: the person who always criticized you passed away.”
When the aspirant heard the news, he said with sadness, “So sad. I’ve lost such a good friend. He always helped me to keep my focus centered on my guru and to progress on the spiritual path.”
Like this, every unfavourable circumstance can be converted into a favourable one.
Once, a farmer had a horse. One day the horse fell into a deep, dry well. The poor horse began crying from inside the well. The farmer tried many methods to rescue the horse — all to no avail.
Finally, the farmer said to himself, “Actually, there is no use in rescuing this horse. By the time we pull it out of this well, it won’t live much longer and it will no longer be able to do any work.”
So, the farmer decided to leave the horse in the well and just cover it over with dirt. He hired some workers to help and they began shovelling dirt and mud into the well. But after some time, the neighing of the horse became very loud, almost as if it was celebrating its victory. The farmer came out to see what was happening.
What had happened was: As each shovel of dirt fell onto the horse’s back, it would shake the dirt off and use it to take a step up. Thus, taking one step after another, the horse finally reached the top of the well. It then stepped up over the edge of the well and happily trotted off!
In this world, many people will throw mud at us in the form of their words and actions. Without falling into despair, a spiritual aspirant should be able to shake our minds free from this dirt and convert them into stepping stones. Only then will we be saved from the “well” dug by others’ criticism and be successful in life.
Whenever people criticize us, we need to remind ourselves, “I am not this body and mind. I am the Atman. When everything is the True Self, who can criticize whom?”
Even in our ashram, we have been able to change so many things when people voiced their criticism. We should be able to convert our weaknesses into steps that can lead us forward.
No one knows how much time we have remaining in this human birth. Death is just a step behind each one of us. This precious birth should not be squandered away in short-lived pleasures. Before us is a golden opportunity to achieve the true goal of human birth. We should make proper use of this birth to deeply inquire into our true essence and understand the real source of peace and happiness.