This will sort out many of your little cares!
Last Sunday, I went to a temple more so to give a ‘courtesy’ call to the Divine than to share my woes. Being omnipresent and omniscient, He knows more about my woes than I and He knows how to resolve them. At the entrance, I bumped into Janak, who was not too positively inclined towards me. He had caused some embarrassment to me in the exercise of my profession, which had put me into a soup. Having developed a cold feet, he had backed out in a wily and crafty manner and left me in a lurch. Out of sheer guilt, he had sneaked out of my clientele and distanced himself.
As I was entering the main gate of the temple, he caught my arm and began talking, “That was a professional relationship from which we had separated, but our friendship is still on, isn’t it?” he asked me anxiously. Taken aback, I responded with a vague nod, as I was more focused on my appointment with my Creator. Without releasing my arm, he continued, “I am seeing you after a long time. But look at what you have done to yourself. The glitter on your face is no more there, and you look so stressed and tortured. The face as you know is the index of the mind and the body. Your body is so bloated and looks like it had been at war. You know, I am really concerned. You must do something about yourself immediately. The signs and signals are not so good.” Having said what he wanted, he released my arm and shook my hands saying that he was in a hurry. Once again I nodded and proceeded towards my destination and entered the portals of the Divine, relieved and in one piece. But in my subconscious, Janak’s comments left me a little cheerless and low-spirited.
Inside the temple, there is a book shop which I never fail to visit during my visits to the shrine. A kindly elderly lady, my ardent well wisher, mans the book shop. As soon as her eyes fell on me, she exclaimed spontaneously that I looked bright, fit and trim, that I appeared to have arrested my ascending heaviness and mass, and that I should continue to be in control of the density around my belly. And then, in a mock gesture, she asked me to reveal the formula of my wellness. I told her that I was not doing anything special and that it was perhaps the blessing from fine souls like her that I managed to be at peace with myself, and the body, by God’s grace, was cooperating with me. She gave me a big smile with goodwill gushing out of her eyes, and picking up a calendar from her wares, she handed it over to me, wishing me a happy new year. I left the shop with blessedness, gratitude and prayers for the good old lady.
After having had my tête-à-tête with the Almighty, I sat in the corner of the temple, reflecting on the interaction that took place between Janak and me, and that with the elderly lady. Both their reactions about my physical and mental state were at tangent. I wondered what transformation could have happened in my mind, body and psyche within the few minutes of my transit from the main gate to the bookshop – the interval and duration that passed between my meeting with Janak and the old lady! Obviously, there was no such transformation, and the answer was not difficult to find. The answer lay in the minds and hearts of the two individuals I had met within a span of just a couple of minutes, me being the constant and common denominator. Janak was harbouring a negative façade and carried a masked persona bordering on ill will, generating negative vibes with hooded antipathy. He saw in others only what he himself was. On the other hand, the old lady in the book shop carried goodwill and benevolence and only saw goodness in others. In her conversation with me, she was only reflecting her personality. In other words, the two sets of dialogues only reflected the personalities of the two different communicators with whom I spoke almost at the same point of time – one hostile and the other moral. We come across all types of travellers during our journey of life. The hostile will always be around to dent your confidence and self-respect, whereas the benevolent will also be around to reveal the truth within and revel in your success. Association with the former breaks you to pieces, whereas association with the latter leaves you in one piece. It is up to us to decide the company we should keep. Obviously, one needs to keep oneself at arm’s length from the likes of Janak.
Mahatria‘s words ring into my ears like the temple bells. The company of people you keep is a double-edged sword… it has both the power to create you and the power to destroy you. The company of people we surround ourselves with has a tremendous bearing on the way we think, the way we feel, the way we look at others, the way we look at ourselves, our present and the future we will create.