Have a Closer Look

Swami Buddhananda Saraswati

Once a man was so outraged by the indecent behaviour of the neighbours opposite his house that he decided to make a formal complaint. So he went to the police station and told the officer of his dissatisfaction.

- What sort of things do they do? asked the officer.

- They parade in front of the windows naked, exclaimed the man enthusiastically, and embrace in full view of my sitting room window. It's disturbing.

- I will have to substantiate your complaint before any action can be taken, the officer replied.

So a time was arranged and the officer went to the man's house.

- Now where is all this indecent behaviour going on? the officer asked.

- Over there, said the man pointing opposite.

- But there's no house there, said the officer.

- No, said the man, look up on the hill.

- I'm sorry, but I can't see a thing, its too far away, replied the officer.

- Here, said the man passing him a pair of binoculars, have a closer look.

To the pure all things are pure. Those who criticise others are really pointing out their own faults and weaknesses. We have to accept things, people and noises around us. For example, if a noisy train goes past and disturbs us, the problem is not actually with the train, it is something within our own mind which is reacting to it. As soon as we come to terms with the part of our self which is causing the reaction, the noise will only be noise, nothing else, and it will no longer disturb us. We should laugh at our irritations, and perfect ourselves before criticising others.