Criticism, The Pearl in the Oyster

Gurudeva receives a letter from the Hari Krishnas and discusses the Bhagavad Gita. Criticism is the topic of the day and we are given information about criticism and correction. Gurudeva speaks of the pearl in the oyster, how we may turn correction to our advantage, how it is up to us to adjust ourselves to everyone around us rather than the other way around.

Unedited Transcript:

Today at Kauai Aadheenam. Well, it is October 16. The month is moving on. We are half-way through! We will never see this month again. But, it will remain in our memories.

We are working on 'Merging with Siva' and finishing up. Twits and tweaks and just little things. A word here and a word there, to make it more and more perfect and beautiful. Comments and reviews are coming in daily.

Also, a word today on the Shum-Tyaef lexicon. The Shum language of meditation is being perfected and we hope, in a year or two, will be published.

This day was an interesting day. We had criticisms and corrections. The Hare Krishnas who, admittedly, claimed not to be Hindus today, wrote us a letter saying, "Yes, indeed we are called Hindu by other people and therefore, are we Hindu?" This is an on-going discussion. It has been going on for years. Most things in religion never end when controversy begins and controversy is very interesting.

We also had another controversy come up with 'The Bhagavad Gita'. I mentioned in 'Merging with Siva' that 'The Bhagavad Gita' is known in India, as the 'Book of Carnage' by eminent swamis there. One swami from America, though he is from India, took exception to this and wrote, "How can you break down our faith by saying that 'The Bhagavad Gita' is a book of carnage?" We had to write him a letter and quote the very famous Chitbalananda Swami. He said in his book, and I quote, "It has to be admitted that nature is an extensive slaughter-house. Killing can no more be avoided than heat, while residing in the Sun. To a knowing one, duties such as warfare is as sacred as worship in a sanctuary." This is what he wrote as being the message of 'The Gita'. Meaning, 'The Bhagavad Gita' has to be accepted as the 'Gospel of Carnage'. Of course, we know that 600 million people are said to be killed in that great war. Lord Krishna is said to have encouraged that happening, for the sake of dharma. We in America in the 1940's, could not quite understand how 'The Bhagavad Gita' could be called the scripture of Hinduism. Of course, it is not. The Vedas are the pre-eminent scriptures of the Sanatana Dharma. Maybe that is why there are so many riots in India. Right now, there are riots in India, on the streets, over the price of onions. Can you believe it?

We had a guest today, who gave us some valuable advice and it could be taken as criticism about how we should handle guests. Maybe, we are not doing so well. But, we are doing the best we can. Every advice and criticism that comes is like an oyster. There is a pearl on the inside.

Now, we come to the subject of today, which is 'Criticism'. Have you ever been criticized and didn't like the person that criticized you? No way can you hang on to that dislike, because you attracted the criticism to yourself, because of past deeds, maybe in past lives. I would say, it is unprofessional behavior. We have been watching biographies of the professional people in Hollywood, who have had a career from 14 years of age till into their seventies. Criticism is their tool. They pay to be criticized. They pay big bucks to be criticized. We send our books out to 50-60 eminent scholars, professors, religious leaders to have them criticized and we love what we get back.

Now, if you are criticized, that means you are somebody; somebody worth singling out of the crowd. When you are corrected, that means somebody loves you. They want you to be better according to their standards. The choice is yours, whether you accept the criticism or accept the correction. From someone you love, you accept the correction because you want to please them. If somebody is criticizing you, you accept the pearl from the criticism, like an oyster. In an oyster farm, they grow pearls in oysters. You have to open up the oysters to remove the pearl. Am I making a point here?

Am I making a point! I think so, because, this applies to all of us, the more public we become. You can be public in an extended family of 30 people, living in 2 or 3 homes, close by. Those who love you, will correct you, in a gentle way. Others will criticize you behind your back. If you hear that happening, take the jewel and adjust yourself so it does not happen. People tell lies about you? Live, so that no one will believe them.

We all have to live on planet Earth, as a one unified family of humankind. This is very important because we are not living as one unified family of humankind at this time on planet Earth. There are international conferences, national conferences and local conferences to try to make this happen. I know two international conferences now, that are fighting with each other as to which one should be following the other one. Both want to be 'the' international conference, to bring world peace and harmony amongst the religions of the world. Now, that seems strange, doesn't it? But, it is true. Well, nothing is wrong with the religions of the world. It is just the people within them, who are not practicing the religion but have been promoting it.

My advice to you and to all of us is, when you are criticized and corrected, accept it graciously. Take the pearl out of the oyster. Those many, many pearls strung on a thread will make you look wonderful, when put around your neck. You, then, will be the center of attraction because you will have adjusted yourself to everyone around you. It is a fruitless effort to make everyone adjust to you. Have you ever tried it? I have. It didn't work.

Well, I will be seeing you in our familiar place, looking at our cyberspace screen. We will be loving each other, looking at each other, experiencing darshan. Darshan means seeing and feeling the person that you see.