Questioner: Sometimes life puts you in a situation where you can’t help being a certain way, leave aside being right or wrong. The way I think and perceive is my way of doing things, but it may not be right for others. Who decides then, what is the right way? And if there is one, what is the right way?
Sadhguru: See, people who think in terms of right and wrong, are too absolutist about life. Life is not about absolutism. It is all one inside the other – in the sense, creation and Creator are wrapped into the same thing. Here, we sit here, this very body has been created from within. So, this piece of creation and the source of creation are mixed up.
Or let me come to a more mundane example – right now, if you look at it logically – see, this right and wrong is because we have a linear way of thinking. Looking at everything in terms of cutting into pieces and say, “Okay, this and this, black and white, A and B” – like this, so, right and wrong.
Let’s say man and woman, male and female – see right now, if I ask you a question, “Are you a man or a woman?” Well, whichever one you are, you will say that – this is absolute. “I’m a man, I’m a woman” is very clear. But how did you come here? Because a man and woman came together, you’re here. So, just because you are a woman, does it mean to say your father has made no contribution for you or just because you’re a man, does it mean to say your mothers have made no contribution for you? Well, you are a mix up of man and woman. On the surface, you are just a man or just a woman, but deep down you’re both, because how can you say that your mother or your father doesn’t exist within you – they do.
So, this – what is right, what is wrong – people who think they’re doing the right thing, are always the cruelest and the most horrible people. Because a whole lot of people who think they’re empowered by a divine authority, they have done the cruelest possible things in the world. So, please do not think in terms of right and wrong. Our actions have to be appropriate to the situations in which we exist. What we did a thousand years ago, thinking it’s right, won’t fit into today.
You’re right now seeing in Afghanistan, what they’re doing right now might have been easily accepted 500 years ago or thousand years ago, though it’s horrible anytime, that’s a different matter – but in today’s world, it’s horrific. Somehow the world is managing to look another way, that’s a different thing.
But it is not about right and wrong, it is about appropriateness of our existence. In a given situation, when we act – any action we perform, we must know the consequence of this. My actions, will it bring well-being to myself and everybody around me? If this one thing, if you hold it within you, you don’t have to worry about what is right and wrong. As long as your volition is inclusive, your intentions are inclusive, everybody’s well-being is included in your intention – if you just fix this one thing, you don’t worry about right and wrong. Do what is appropriate to a given situation.
There is a wonderful, you know, like a parable kind of thing – how Vishnu handled this. So, he had two wives, one is Lakshmi, another is Alakshmi. Lakshmi means wealth and money, Alakshmi means poverty and lack of wealth. So, between them a competition arose, and then they encountered him one day together, and they asked, “Which one of us is more beautiful?” So, Vishnu looked at it, he knows whichever way, it’s trouble. Whatever he says, is going to be trouble. He looked at Lakshmi and said, “See, when you’re coming, you are most beautiful.” To Alakshmi he said, “When you’re going, you’re extremely beautiful.” This is appropriate action, not right and wrong.
So, do not judge people by their actions, because what is the intention, what is the volition is important. Can I tell you a joke, Colonel? Hello?
Questioner: Please Sadhguru, please.
Sadhguru: No, because you guys are all so serious, I’m just wondering if a joke is allowed.
So, it happened one day, Shankaran Pillai went to the post office, and he had a huge heap of pink color envelopes, and he bought a whole sheet of stamps. And he was sticking the stamps on this pink envelope, spraying perfume and keeping it on one side to mail. The postmaster saw this and said, “Hey, what are you doing? What are all these letters?” He said, “It’s the Valentine’s message. I’m sending love messages to one thousand people, one thousand men in the locality, with signed ‘Guess who?'” He said, “Why would you do such a thing?” He said, “I’m a divorce lawyer.”
So, it is not about the action, it is not about the pink envelope, lovely words and perfume – it is the intention which matters. So, you fix the volition of your life, that it’s always inclusive, whatever you do, you’re always seeing how it includes everybody’s well-being. Then you don’t worry about what is right and wrong, you just do what’s appropriate.