14372confidence I need you
- Jul 31, 2005It's hard to maintain confidence in ourselves when we are subject to
others criticisms. When that somebody is someone we look up to, it
is perhaps the most hurtful. This issue has been an ongoing one for
me this year, surfacing in different circumstances with a variety of
participants. I have so much to learn in this area and I'm certainly
guilty of dishing out criticism myself.
Sri Chinmoy's writings contain abundant material on the topic and I
thought I'd copy some of the things that I've found valuable.
Criticism takes away
The very life-breath
Of our peace-heart.
To avoid criticism,
I do nothing.
To avoid misunderstanding,
I say nothing.
To avoid competition,
I become nothing.
If criticism frightens your heart,
Then praise, without fails
Will weaken-your life.
Question: How can I not criticise others and what can I do when
others criticise me? Sometimes I get very mad. 154
Sri Chinmoy: When somebody criticises you, think of that person as an
insect or worm and feel that you are the strongest and largest
elephant. Since you are larger than the largest, you do not have to
pay any attention to a little insect or worm. Vivekananda used to say
that the elephant is going to the market for bananas and the dogs are
barking. The elephant does not pay any attention to the dogs; he just
goes to the market and eats bananas to his heart's content. So when
others criticise you, you have to convince yourself that you are
infinitely stronger than the criticism that you are getting. 155
When you are inspired to criticise someone, immediately feel that
what is disturbing you in the other person is some weakness that he
has. Feel that the wrong thing that he or she is doing arises out of
some deplorable weakness. Then try to feel that your criticism of the
other person is only increasing his weakness and making it worse. 156
Also, you have to feel that your criticism is causing all kinds of
ailments inside the other person. Then try to pull these ailments
into your own system-into your hands or legs or head. Immediately you
will say, "My God, it is so painful, so painful!" Then you will see
how much suffering you are causing that person. Or imagine that your
words of criticism are like an arrow that you have hurled at the
other person, and now his entire being is bleeding. When you see him
bleeding, your sympathetic oneness will make you feel miserable. It
is the same kind of sympathetic oneness that Lord Buddha felt when he
picked up the bird that had been wounded with an arrow. 157
When you identify yourself with the other person's suffering, you
will feel, "No matter how imperfect and useless he is, I have no
right to cause this kind of suffering in him. I have come into the
world to establish my oneness with others and not to destroy others
with my criticism." Then your heart of oneness will make you stop
criticising the other person. These ideas I am giving you are very
Another thing you can do is to feel that your criticism of the other
person, which you are cherishing in your being, is a very heavy load.
Also, the other person's criticism of you is another heavy load that
that person has thrust upon you. How can you move or even breathe if
you are carrying two heavy loads on your shoulders? What you have to
do is get rid of both loads. You have to cast them aside so that you
can run the fastest towards your destination. 159
Here is still another way. Each time you criticise someone, feel that
you have created a black spot on the moon of his heart. By
diminishing the beauty of his heart's inner moon, you can never get
real joy. Also, you have to feel that if you criticise him, he also
will criticise you and ruin the beauty of your inner moon. By
destroying one another's inner beauty, neither one of you can be
happy. So you have to feel that your happiness can come only with the
other person's happiness; it has to be simultaneous. If you do not
darken his moon, he will not darken yours, and both of you will be
Even if you are under severe criticism.
To conclude, I really like this extract from Sri Chinmoy's
book "Music - Ecstasy's Heart Hunger" about Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart-
If you can remain unaffected, either when you are thrown into the
abysmal abyss or when you are extolled to the skies, then you can
achieve and offer something divinely great and supremely good. When
the composer closes his eyes and ears to the world while composing,
his inner eyes and inner ears see Heaven's beauty and hear Heaven's
messages. Then he is unquestionably entitled to be in the galaxy of
As Mozart writes to his father, "I pay no attention whatever to
anybody's praise or blame....I simply follow my own feelings."
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