Path to Siva: A Catechism for Youth

57 How Do We Get Along with Others?§


This canoe race is held each year in Kerala, India. As in other successful efforts in life, team members train hard to be individually fit, but also work together as one toward their shared objectives.§


Family and community are extremely important in Hindu culture, and relationships are valued above all else. Every day we have many opportunities to do good, learn, help and uplift others. Many people find it hard to get along with others. They are always arguing and holding on to hard feelings. In order to maintain harmonious relationships, we must be peaceful on the inside. Then we can make the most of the opportunities life gives us. We cannot do our best if we are worried or upset. Peace of mind, called shanti in Sanskrit, is more precious than gold, and our Hindu culture gives us many tools for protecting it. Worship, service and yoga are three main tools. Gurudeva also valued another tool, called consideration, the art of not hurting the feelings of others. We are kindly and sensitive in thought, word and deed. We treat others as we would like them to treat us. We praise their good qualities and good deeds. We never argue or use harsh or angry words. That destroys the shanti for everyone present and causes hurt feelings. The Tirukural warns, “The wound caused by fire heals in its time. But the burn inflicted by an inflamed tongue never heals.” If we do have a disagreement, we make sure to talk with the person, apologize and forgive, and settle the matter before sleep. By living in harmony with everyone, we have more joy in our life and we are more effective human beings. It is most important to get along with our close family. Harmony begins in the home and radiates out into all parts of life, bringing light, love and good will to every relationship.§


GURUDEVA: Diplomacy, a kind of love—one not wanting to hurt one’s fellow man, suppression of the emotions of hate and anger—brings about a kind of harmony. These are products of the intellect which when developed into a strong intellectual sheath is able to control the baser emotions through controlled memory, controlled reason and controlled willpower, the three faculties of our ability to govern forces of nature.§