What do we get upset with? We don’t get upset with the birds, or the clouds, or with Nature. We don’t get upset with the environment. So, what do we get upset with? We get upset with the people around us. Our enemies upset us and our friends upset us as well. Our mind gets stuck either in our friends or in our enemies. We either think about our friends or we think about our enemies the entire day.
People become our enemies even when we have not done any wrong to them. Many people have had this experience. We didn’t do any wrong to them; neither did we misbehave and still they became our enemies. This is very surprising!
We think, ‘Oh! Why has he become my enemy? Until yesterday he was my friend.’ In the same way, we do not do any special favours for some people, yet they become our close friends. That is why I tell you, this is some astonishing and mysterious Karma – how some people become our enemies and some our friends.
So what should we do? We should place both our friends and enemies in one basket, and just become empty from within and be joyful.
All these happenings (people becoming friends and enemies) are run by some law and we don’t know how and where it comes from. We just can’t say when someone’s feelings towards us will change and whether it will be in our favour or not in our favour. We just can’t say. That is why we should place absolute faith on our Self, on God, and not on friendship and enmity.
We should not waste our time thinking about friends and enemies. This does not mean you distance yourself from your friends, or that you stop making new friends. That is not what I am saying. Friendliness should be in our nature; love should be in our very nature. We are love after all!
When someone comes and sits beside us, we do smile at them and exchange a few words. This does not mean you think, ‘Anyways, who is a friend or who is an enemy, there is nothing to share with anyone’, and you walk around with a gloomy face being angry with everyone – this is not a sign of wisdom. This is ignorance and foolishness.
We must interact with everyone around us but at the same time be centred from within. Do you understand?
When we are centered, then we will not feel sad, angry or possessive. Then we will not have disappointment of any kind. Otherwise many times what happens, we become sad – ‘Oh! Look, I made him such a good friend and today he does not even talk to me. I did so many favours for him and he has turned against me!’
By thinking all these thoughts we waste the time we have in the present. We should not do this, Okay! It is futile to search for a true friend in the world. Befriend the Truth (Divine) and the World is yours.
Once upon a time, there lived a Master and disciple and they were doing a lot of social work helping the poor and caring for the needy. On rainy days when they could not travel, they would go to their small hut and rest. One day, after finishing their work, they returned home. When they arrived, they found that a big storm had damaged it and only a little portion was left, where they could hardly sit.
When the disciple saw this, he became very angry with God.
He prayed and asked God if He could not have saved one small hut for them. That they had not asked Him for anything! They just had that one hut for shelter and He did not even save that! He further said that they had told everybody that God was very compassionate but now he would have to take back all his words since he did not feel that He was compassionate at all! And he had stopped believing in what he had been preaching. He asked his guru how he had said that God was all-merciful. Where was the mercy? He was making them suffer. He had said that they were the children of God. Was He really taking care of them?
The Master’s reaction was the exact opposite.He was so happy. He started dancing and singing more bhajans. He said that God was so beautiful! He had saved a little portion of the hut for them. The storm had been so severe that the whole hut could have been destroyed. At least God had preserved a corner for them. At least, both of them could sit there. God was so kind and wonderful. He was ever so grateful to Him. So the Master felt even more grateful and started dancing.
Gratefulness is that deep quality in our very nature the has to be enlivened by us. Stop thinking about enlightenment. Just start being grateful.
Find every little opportunity to be grateful and then you will see that you will abide in your Self. This is enlightenment. And all the other things –knowledge, etc. would follow. You will find yourself present all over. But the first step is ‘being grateful’. We can’t take everything for granted. If you start taking things for granted, gratefulness will die in us. To be grateful is our very nature.