Questioner: Namaskram Sadhguru. In one of your quotes, you say that, we should not judge a person’s spiritual evolution based on their behaviour. I’m unable to understand that, because I have always believed people who are kind and compassionate are spiritually evolved. Could you please help me understand the context of that quote?
Sadhguru: See, at one time – at a certain segment of my school going time. I can’t call it education, but school going time. I was in certain types of schools, where moral science was an important part of their thing. I was in missionary schools. So, they are always trying to teach us – 3 magic words…
The [three] magic words are… Please – Sorry – and Thank you
Magic words! I’m sure all of you have gone through those magic words. You know what the magic words are… Please – Sorry – and Thank you!
Well, you can learn such tricks – I’m not saying you should not say this. If the magic is happening within you, and those words came – fantastic. No magic in you – you just got the words – you have a sense of entitlement. But, you say please – doesn’t mean anything. It is better, at least you show who you are.
Oh! Please gonna have it. And, anyway you grab it. I see this all the time. And, then you kick somebody on their backside, and then say sorry – doesn’t mean anything. You take what you want from everybody, and then say ‘thank you’, as if they gave it to you – no… These things are supposed to represent that you have no sense of entitlement. You understand that nothing really belongs to you here. So, even if you want a glass of water – you say ‘please’. If you really see it that way – even a glass of water or a morsel of food doesn’t belong to you. Fortunately it is available to you, so you say ‘please’ – wonderful.
Anything that you do, you may be hurting somebody. You may be stepping on something – knowingly, unknowingly – so if somebody even looks at you – say ‘sorry’, what? If you are feeling that way. And ‘thank you’ because you have a sense of gratitude that’s everything that’s come your way, genuinely. Word may come, or it may find some other expression.
What should be a magic within you, happens only in your behaviour – that is the tragedy of moralistic societies
What should be a magic within you, happens only in your behaviour – that is the tragedy of moralistic societies. That they do all the right things, but nothing right happens within them. So, behaviour does not determine one’s consciousness, or one’s evolution, or one’s transformation. Well, if you have a certain – what spiritual evolution means is – from being a hard core concrete, concretised individual, you become a little more porous, and becoming more inclusive. Out of your inclusiveness, you may do many things. If things are happening out of your inclusiveness, your gentleness, your loving nature, is coming out of your inclusiveness – fantastic.
But if it is a formula that you have learnt. That you know by doing these things you will get what you want. Actually that’s how it was taught to us in the school – you do this, use these 3 magic words, things will happen for you.
So, go and say ‘please’. As soon as you get something, turn around and say something else. This was happening around me. So, your behaviour does not determine who you are. People can cultivate behaviour, but who they are needs transformation. Transformation essentially means, that the sense of boundary that you had about yourself – this is ‘me’, this has enlarged. That’s all the transformation is. Transformation is not of social behaviour. Transformation is, if you sit here, what was ‘me’ was just ‘this’. Now what is ‘me’ is much larger than ‘this’ – that’s all. Out of that, whichever way you behave, it’s ok with me. But there must be inclusiveness. Because inclusiveness is better than insurance.
Once you see something as a part of yourself, then what is there about – thank you, and please, and sorry, and things like that. It doesn’t matter. Because when you see others as myself – I treat everybody, as I treat myself, hard! If I was treating myself nicely like this. I would have treated you also like that. Because I treat myself rough, I’m treating you also rough, ok! Or, you want me to be nice – please… I say this in the earlier, in the beginners program, I always say ‘please close your eyes’. Hello! I do. Because I know you have difficulty closing your eyes. I say ‘please close your eyes’. You come to Samayama, and there also you want me to say ‘please’. I say, just shut up and sit. By then, you should have understood the significance.
Spiritual process is not a social thing
Right now, this is just the second, third day of the lockdown. First day you did not understand, by now you should have understood what it means. Now we can not say ‘please keep 6ft distance’. We’ll have a 6ft stick, and push you like that. Because in 3 days, if you still did not understand what is 6ft, hello! It doesn’t take 3 days to grasp what is 6ft. Even if you are illiterate, you can get it. You don’t need any mathematical qualifications. So, now government is having army standing by, just in case you still don’t understand what is 6ft, yes!
This happened – what happened? So one day Shankaran Pillai came home. His wife complained about their 12 year old boy, that this boy is not listening to me, you have to fix him now. So, Shankaran Pillai went about looking for the boy. Boy was hiding in the garden. He caught him by his ears, and he said – you fool, you think you are better than me, that you don’t listen to your mother!
So, your behaviour – well, if you want to be in a society, yes of course you have to regulate your behaviour because it’s not just about you, it’s about everybody around you. But, what we are looking for as ‘good’ behaviour – is not necessarily saying specific words, doing certain things, and not doing certain things. No. What we are looking for is that – you walk into this hall, there are 50 people sitting here. Your concern in every step, and every breath that you take – your concern is for these 50 people, or just you. That’s all that matters. If your concern is for all the 50 people who are sitting here, then you behave one way. If your concern is just about yourself, then you behave another way. This is all you need to fix.
Spiritual process is not a social thing. It is something that you do within yourself. Because something within you changed, you may also address the world in a certain way. A whole lot of spiritual people, immensely involved human beings – they did not have social skills. That’s why they kept away from society. You heard of Sadhguru Sri Brahma! He had no social skills. Lot of trouble. This time around, we’ve come with little social skills. Yeah! I’m doing well. Still little friction with some people. But, they are always there. That is an indication that we are on the right path. That we are doing the right things in the world. Because if those people praise you, then you must be doing something really wrong.
One’s spiritual evolution need not be judged by their behaviour
So, one’s spiritual evolution need not be judged by their behaviour. Now, don’t take this as a license to behave irresponsibly – saying I’m spiritual! There is, that tribe also exists in the world. Because they are spiritual, they think everybody is supposed to understand them. They will do weird things. Everybody is supposed to understand them. No… no. That is not the thing. Because spiritual process means, you are not identified with your physical nature. Your identity has moved to a dimension which is not physical. Once your identity is not physical, then you have no specific way of doing anything. You will do whichever way it’s needed. Soft.. soft.. hard.. hard.. wonderful .. wonderful.. nasty.. nasty.. – whichever way. Whichever way the situation demands, you will respond in that sense. Because your identity is not with your physiological and psychological process. Your identity has moved beyond physical dimensions of who you are. So, you have a certain freedom.
A cultured behaviour means – you are fixed to be a certain way. That means you lost your freedom. Out of your freedom, when it is required to be nice, you are wonderful. When you are required to be nasty, you are nasty. Whatever is needed, accordingly you do.
You are driving… now because not many vehicles out there, so cows, buffaloes, all kinds of things are on the road. A group of buffaloes are going there. You’re gonna say ‘please please’! They just go like that. ‘Please’! No response. ‘Heh!’. They [move] little. Pick up a stick and say ‘Heh Heh’, then they’ll go. Because they don’t understand what is this ‘please’ you are talking. Now, you are not trying to treat the buffalo badly. If buffalo understood what sweet words are, you would say, you know, sweet nothings to the buffalo. But he doesn’t get it. He must understand that you don’t like him where he is right now. You must make him understand, he shouldn’t be on the road – you need to use it. Somehow you make him understand. You don’t have to go and beat him. At least some noise you have to make. Otherwise he will not move, because he doesn’t understand.
Krishna said – “yogastha kuru karmani”. First establish yourself in yoga, then do whatever is needed
So, if you are dealing with a child, you do one way. You are dealing with an adult, you deal another way. Somebody that you, one way. Somebody who is new to you, another way. Our behaviour is as the situation demands. Now you fixed yourself – this is the way I behave. Even if the situation doesn’t – is not conducive for that, you do the same things. What is the point of that?
Any action which is not relevant to the situation in which you exist, is irrelevant action. So, fixed activity always becomes irrelevant in various situations. It is very important that we don’t fix our action. We just fix – who we are. This is what – you know, I’m not a scholar like this – but this is something that stuck with me. Krishna said – “yogastha kuru karmani”. First establish yourself in yoga. That means, establish yourself – not in your individuality, but in your union with the existence, and then perform action. That means, you are absolutely inclusive, then do whatever is needed. It’s fine with me.