Imperience - Centre for Research and Training in P.A.M

Pujya Babuji Maharaj Birthday Celebrations 2006 Talks - Tolerance by Sri I. Chalapathi Rao


Tolerance - Some aspects

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

On this happy occasion of the birthday celebrations of our beloved Master Pujya Babuji Maharaj, I would like share my thoughts on the topic tolerance – some aspects.

Tolerance as we all know that is almost all the times referred with respect to endurance of pain. Any spiritual path has to be tread by the individual and the concept of deliverance at the goal as if one is lifted from place to another does not happen; and once we make a will to reach the Goal, we invariably find many obstacles appear and obstructing our progress, when we overcome such difficulties one by one in reaching our cherished goal, we find our will keeps on getting reinforced. This is experienced by the sadhakas as increase in the capacity to bear or endure the pain. The whole process or path is a struggle by itself and the gain in the whole process is that we become more and more tolerant and resilient in life.

In the words of the Master as given in silence speaks, “Dear brother, I say verily that I have suffered so much burning during the period of my abhyas that there have been all burns in my breast. But those have become flower-beds and fire-flowers. I have crossed the field of spirituality by selling away peace, i.e., I have made the sacrifice of peace to attain it. And God knows how many barzaks (the intermediate places) there are where one has to go on stopping in order to proceed further.” SS 449. Pain is the common experience of all the people who tread the path and infact Pujya KC Narayana garu describes the path in one seminar Suffering is the root and the results are the flowers as path of pain. He introduces the subject in this manner, “One of the meanings of the Sanskrit word 'saha' is "to endure, to go patiently through hardships without rebelling." The process of enlightenment has always been held as an unquestionably painful process. This enlightenment comes only after disillusionment about the permanency of objects and relationships we have some how got involved with. Sahaja therefore would mean that which arises from enduring the suffering process accepting everything as a gift of God. The attitude of taking miseries as blessings for our good is cultivated only through assiduous practice and this obviously is not a gift which many seekers somehow feel they are entitled to. Genuine spiritual life and progress in the same has never been popular, and never will be, because most people are unwilling to open to and accept pain.”

Tolerance is one of the greatest spiritual virtues that we develop in the path. It is with the support of the Master alone that our heart develops this noble quality. Another concomitant attitude to tolerance is the humility. Our Guide, Pujya Narayana garu mentions about these twin qualities in his monumental work Path of grace in this manner with regard to yatra in Knot -1 ”The awareness of the presence of the Master in each and every object and person enables one to be in the Divine thought always. There is no better substitute for gaining the condition of constant remembrance of the goal which is the most important aid in the path of spiritual progress and one should attend to the Yatra in this knot repeatedly as suggested by the Master. Also this condition enables the Sadhaka develop the twin traits of humility and tolerance to the required extent which is a must for progress in spirituality.” From here we can understand that how important is to develop these two qualities which are infact the virtues that contribute to the nobility of the heart.
Once we understand our incapacity to reach the goal and also understand our dependency on Master, then we adopt humble posture before the Master and through prayer we move further to the condition of subdued. But we find many obstacles which we have to overcome by being tolerant. Our tolerance is tested many times before we start to learn the importance of this quality for reaching our goal.
In essence, I understand that tolerance describes many proper attitudes that we require to develop to move on the path, which are:
a) Determination and will to reach the goal
b) Humility & Meekness
c) Empathy & Kindness
d) Forgiveness & Mercy
e) Patience & Endurance
f) Fortitude and Forbearence
Whereas in the absence of it, i.e, intolerance we exhibit the following negative traits,
a) Frustration and Despondency
b) Arrogance & Discriminative attitude
c) Comparison, Competition, Jealousy &Sarcasm
d) Illwill, Rancour & Prejudice
e) Resentment and withdrawal of efforts
The list can be much more.
As far as the implementation of the commandments are concerned, we struggle to follow the commandments 3, 4, 5, 6 & 7. in specific and in the overall all the commandments get effected.

We also need to assess how tolerance and patience that we develop is reflected during our meditations and prayers. For this we need to observe how much silence we are able to experience. This, we must have observed in ourselves. I find that as we start doing this practice, there is a silent transformation with regard to the moderation of the impulsive tendencies. We learn to wait which is an indication of indriya nigraha and also await during meditation. Manytimes, it becomes difficult to explain that we simply wait or await during our meditation while ignoring the thoughts that arise during that time. It is also a known experience that if we are restless or impatient then it becomes quite difficult to sit for the stipulated time in meditation. I have found that, as the senses come under more and more control which we attain through moderation by the implicit practice of points A & B meditation, silence is experienced in meditation more easily and naturally. As we practice further we find the silence more deeper and also subtler. The influx of pranahuti also make us effortlessly put in the state of silence or void clearly indicating the transcendence of the senses in a way, but when we meditate at our homes, we do not so easily able to achieve the similar experience, we feel troubled by the thoughts or the restless mental tendencies. The immoderation of the impulsive tendencies of any person that make him restless and impatient is understood better when seen in contrast to the silence. May be these are the lessons of silence.
We need to develop an attitude of waiting patiently, this attitude also reflects our subduedness. Often I find the mind is so restless and active that I feel it to be like a child ( active mind) playing pranks in front of his teacher (Silence). Even a few random thoughts disturb us and make us feel helpless. Often this is accompanied by a feeling of lack of piety. I feel in such circumstances, there is no way except to keep on practicing as prescribed by the Master. If we get worried too much about the intruding thoughts then it will not help at all. When I have felt intolerant to the arising thoughts, my attitude and inner feeling is to be more and more dependent on Master. Often the questions that come to me in this regard are:
- how to increase my orientation to the Master? when I get mundane thoughts which do not enable me to feel the subtlety.
- how to gain more indriya nigraha? when the restless tendencies of mind do not allow deeper states of silence.
- How to develop more and more purity? when I get troubled with excessive sensuousness.

The intolerance with these incapacities of the self causes pain in the heart. This I have tried to address by feeling more and more dependent on Master and experienced Him as the succour. But the awareness of these kind of deficiencies are now making me think more seriously about the practice of meditations on Points A&B. I think I am gradually understanding the importance of these meditations and often my heart is filled with gratitude for the Master for bestowing humanity with these meditations. I can share with conviction that assiduous practice of these meditations is essential (Sine qua non) to gain access to subtler, purer and higher states of consciousness.

In day to day working, I am going through a tough phase of management of interpersonal relationships at house and also at office. In this regard, I would like to share some of my thoughts and feelings with regard to sadhana. I feel that one of the most difficult commandments to follow in letter and spirit is the seventh commandment wherein we are tested through an external agency. The wisdom gained w.r.t this commandment alone guides us to adopt the appropriate action. In the commentary on this commandment, Master says, “The circumstances for the process of Bhogam, which may be from internal causes or external, are thus created. The external help comes in the form of suffering caused by the wrongs done by others, against which the people generally poison their thought on account of their own ignorance. This is very improper because this action, having helped the process of purification, has in fact put you under a sense of obligation. When this is the case, the work done through an external agency, it may be any, has in other words rendered the function of a true friend. This may seem to be an uncommon approach since this basic philosophy was never taken into account before, for the reason that it came out simply in the form of an advice to take everything as coming from the Lord, so that the feelings of resentment may not arise and one may not lose nobility of character. Imperience Beckons – 7th commandment. Here the Master is emphasizing on the aspect that we should not allow the arousal of feelings of resentment lest one may lose the nobility of the character. When we are tolerant we are away from the feelings of resentment. Resentment could be understood as a sign of weakness whereas tolerance is an indication of strength. We can overcome the feelings of resentment though steadiness in practice wherein we again re-focus on the goal and also seek the support of the Master through Pranahuti. During these times we often loose our emotional balance.

I find that if we link up ourselves emotionally with people or issues bothering us which could be moral, social or even political then we are subjected to upheavals in the emotional plane that cause enough tumult affecting our Goal or sadhana and orientation to the Master. Sometimes the issues are so near to our heart, say nationalism or ethics and morality in the present society then it becomes very difficult to extricate ourselves. When our emotional balance gets disturbed we most often slip down with respect to the attitude of tolerance which results in our taking strong positions and rigid views and seldom we give space to others. I feel this to be one of obstinacy in thought process. It is difficult to yield from the stated positions and takes enormous effort and support from the Guide to overcome them.

I also find that even if we develop emotional attachment to the Master, it becomes quite difficult to get trained and in the process we feel hurt. It becomes difficult for the trainer to make us see his point of view. The intolerant attitude that we develop because of the excessive emotions need to be addressed by every one of us quite seriously and adopt methods to overcome them. The commandment,” Be plain and Simple to be identical with Nature” is one of the important conditions to be owned by every one of us to overcome the problem of emotional imbalance. A good change in my attitudes with regard to this was observed now as i have started yearning more or more the condition of blankness and void and with such re-focus on the sadhana I am able to see or manage emotional issues in a more balanced manner. In this regard I find it very difficult to reconcile to the fact that though all of us love the Master yet we sometimes do not seem to have tolerant attitudes with the fellow travelers who also equally love the Master but its expression could be different. It looks really ridiculous but apparently it is a fact that it is quite difficult to accept the differences in expression of love for the Master. On analysis we can see it to be more of an emotional issue rather than any substance having significance.

It becomes important for us to transcend the emotional plane and move on further. On contemplation on the statement of the Master that,” Love is an inner awakening to the Reality” it immediately lifts us from the emotional plane to the spiritual plane. When we move on to the spiritual plane, our rapport and dealings with our fellow brethren gets established quite naturally and in a way we exhibit high degree of tolerance.

In the moments of contemplation, oflate I just think what is it is the heart of the Master, immediately a thought comes, Master’s heart is one of uninhibited, unconditional Love for all Humanity. The next thought would be If He is my Goal, then my heart also should become one of like His i.e Love for all. That being the goal, I can never dream of having differences or dislike with any person in this world leave alone the kith and kin. When somebody irritates me, though I do get annoyed but there is no perceptible resentment so as to think ill of Him. To get back the balance I immediately think I cannot harbour any ill feeling towards them as I cannot exclude them in my prayer and if i do that I can never get into That Universal Consciousness that all of us so ardently desire. This kind of practice has helped me overcome the intolerant attitude towards others.

But it would be wrong on my part if do not admit of loosing the temper while dealing with others in office or at home but with conscious effort I am able to overcome it to a good extent but still much more to be done. During all such occasions I have found fault with others but very rarely with myself. But the awareness that came after good deal of suffering is that my reaction is more because of my intolerance. Somehow we expect people to toe our line, any resistance form others induces wrath in us. The feeling of wrath often leads to disturbance of balance and we feel drained emotionally. Now, I feel we should not waste our precious emotional energy which should be conserved for Master’s work. I am deliberately practicing patient listening and this has been helping me overcome the emotional outbursts. This is what I understand by the term moulding. That is , one is consciously trying develop attitudes which enhance the nobility of character. Then only we can follow the commandment -9.

Often we form opinions on persons that are difficult to get erased. Our reactions with such persons are usually premeditated or determined. If our earlier meeting has been stormy, then our attitudes are still worse. But we also see our masters dealing with every person afresh every time. When I have questioned myself how is that he is able to be like that then on close observation, I felt revealed and was wondered that it is the quality of innocence like of a child that is being expressed. Deep inside my heart I feel , How exalted are these men with such forgiveness. They always and naturally tend to take the errant back to their bosom. I experienced the forgiveness of my guide and the joy that accompanies such moments is inexpressible. I am sure this is the experience of many of us here. These experiences have got etched deep into my heart and I can say with assertion that Yes, I did try to emulate such acts of forgiveness but I should also say such condition of innocence that leads to forgiveness is inimitable either physically or mentally. However If we try, it will be a big mock. I find it to be a very high spiritual attainment which we are blessed to witness and that we all so ardently seek.
The innocence exhibited by the masters is something very difficult to grasp and understand as a necessary condition required to own up as we move on towards the final destination. So I keep asking am I or are we seeking that condition of innocence? If that is so, then how can we simultaneously also have differences with others? Because we all know that awareness of differences pertain to the realm of conscious awareness of self. If we put these questions and contemplate on the quality of forgiveness of the Master or the guide with whom we have close interaction and along the aspect of surrender from our side then we definitely improve on tolerance. The masters exhibit the natural impulsion of the heart to feel oneness making them embrace all with love where as we i.e, others may interpret it as tolerance. This sentence of Revered Dr KCV always inspires me look ahead in the path pertaining to innocence, "Not until you become a child shall you enter into the Kingdom of Heaven" said Jesus. I would only add "Not until you enter into the Kingdom of God will you become a child". Complete works of Dr KCV Vol-1 lecture-8.

Another aspect of our intolerant attitude with others is that we always find many faults, defects, deficiencies in them. If we go on counting the negatives in those persons it is impossible to erase the seperative feelings. Sometimes we feel compelled to think like that which I think is due to some kind of a habit formation. Repeated reinforced prejudgemental attitudes make us behave in a compulsive manner as if it has become a samskara. This could be true as we always behave very nicely with some persons and also simultaneously behave indifferently with some others. We may rationalize it as per our intellecting prowess but the stark reality is that we behave in a non uniform manner. This is against our goal of being JUST & BALANCED. JUST means nothing but being just or treating everyone equally. Master, in the commandment six mentions in this manner, “It was all really the effect of our own thoughts and actions that converted brothers and friends into strangers. It was due to our own feeling of selfishness that made them appear like aliens. This engendered separative feeling must now, therefore, be removed so that brotherly relations may be revived. This is one of the veils, which enshrouds a devotee.” Imperience beckons commandment-6. Therefore it is our primary duty to implicitly follow the commandment, “Know all people as thy brethren and treat them as such” in letter and spirit. And we all know that practice of Point A meditation and 9.00 PM universal prayer are the most important practices to be assiduously followed in this regard.

But as far as contemplation is concerned, I have adopted a simple thought which was told by elders sometime back that start looking for atleast one good quality in such person with whom you would like to make amends or dissolve the seperative feeling. Then keep appreciating that person in your heart for that quality which slowly begins to grow and thereby enable you to feel oneness with him. I feel that we should never exclude anyone because we differ with them. We should always seek the principle of all inclusiveness which is the consciousness of our masters. I would like remind you the sentence from Revered KC Narayana garu article Unadorned Grace wherein he states,” We are clear in our understanding that the Special Personality is special mainly because there is no Persona or Mask for him as we all have. This point we have had occasions to note earlier many times in our books and meetings. We are clear that we are not subscribing to any personality cult and make one man/woman as the focal point and a point of adoration and consequent flattery. We are doubly sure, what with the ready response from the source, that there is a Divine Consciousness which is ever ready to answer our call and that is expressing itself as the Consciousness of Sri Ramchandra, a consciousness that includes all and excludes none, that which is all love and grace and ever willing to modify and transform our consciousness by its association we have during our meditations and otherwise through the influx of Pranahuti- BP VOL-3

I feel from my heart that such sentences from the masters need to read and re-read several times and the essence in the form of a thought be taken for contemplation. With contemplation, our consciousness does get purified in that regard and we find an imperceptible change in our attitudes and feelings. Though the situations may cause resentment in us, the purity of our consciousness always guides us telling that we need to accommodate others to live in that higher consciousness that we choose to have. Slowly we come out of double standards and become more plain and simple. We always need to think, adapt and mould ourselves in such a way that we attain the Goal.

So I would like to conclude that the attitude of tolerance need to developed through sadhana with emphasis on contemplation. It gets tested only in real life situations. We may succeed many times which generally goes unnoticed but if we fail we immediately know as the balance is affected. Every such failure should become a stepping stone for more striving from our side. Diehard optimism, faith and the helping hand of the Master will definitely see all of us through all the difficulties and obstacles that get manifested in the path.

Thank you very much

With Pranams