Ahimsa or non-injury to all living creatures, and more so to fellow beings, by thoughts, words and deeds - the injunction in this behalf being: "Injure not a human heart for it is the seat of God." It is an ennobling virtue that brings each one to par with his or her fellow beings and ultimately leads to the principle of the brotherhood of man and the Fatherhood of God.
The cultivation of this virtue demands a broad development of toleration towards all, irrespective of their shortcomings and failures. To radiate the grand principle of the family of man on the divine ground of loving and compassionate desire for the well-being of all, costs very little but counts very much. A heart full of divine compassion is the abode of all virtues.
I would like to impress upon you particularly to give up thinking ill of others. While you do not make the enemy your friend, you will have no peace within. Your sleep state will be full of restless dreams. If anyone thinks or speaks of you in an aggressive way, do not follow his example, otherwise his thoughts will react upon you. If a wave of water hits a hard surface, it will bounce back, but if it strikes something resilient, it will be absorbed, like the action of a sponge, and there will be no violent reaction. One curse is given, but on its return becomes many. If it is not returned, then? It was one, and remained one. Again, we remember Farid Sahib saying, "The whole world is sounding, and you are also dancing with it." It is better, with a cool head, to try and read between the lines to discover why the person is acting so antagonistically, and then take action accordingly. You will save yourself from degradation this way. To think or speak of a person badly, to tell lies or cheat, to be hypocritical, indulging in backbiting and other ill-becoming traits – these are all degrading to the soul. Keep your hearts pure, and as God is in everyone, try to see only the best in all.
Jesus always preached the two cardinal virtues: (1) "Love Thy Neighbour as Thyself" and (2) "Love Thine Enemies." Does that mean that it is out of timidity or weakness that one should love and forbear one's enemies? No, there is something moral and divine that lies at the root of such an attitude. So love the sinner, but hate the sin.
There is no evil in the world. If it appears to be evil, it is due to the smoky or coloured glasses that you are wearing on your heart or mind. You will find that if you think in the way that I have just told you, then naturally you will have respect and love for all, even for your enemies. They might think otherwise of you, but if you have thrashed out every evil thought within you for everybody, you will see with that angle of vision, which the Master gives you, that it is all the manifestation of God; then naturally, everybody will be beautiful. You will see this beauty even in your enemy. A perverted view is only on account of smoky glasses.
We should learn to forgive and forget which is a golden principle of life for attaining peace and harmony so very much helpful for having a calm and contemplative mood, which, in turn, will bless us with successful meditations. He who forgives is twice blessed. Taking revenge is cowardice, but forgiving the lapses of others is an act of virtuous nobility.
If someone makes a mistake, forgive him. But people prefer justice to forgiveness. Remember this, that with justice, the heart is never cleansed. Outwardly a person may be emphatic that he forgives; but in his heart he wants to strike out at the offender and cut the very roots of him. If you have no compassion in the mind, how can you honestly say you forgive? To forgive and forget is what one must practise in thoughts, in words, and in deeds so that they may become a part and parcel of daily living from day to day. Love knows no criticism, no imposition, no boasting, no reflections on others' shortcomings, but works in a constructive way to cement all in one loving fold of the Master. Love beautifies everything.
We must all learn to look within and not without. It is far easier to see a mote in an other's eye than to see a beam in one's own. We must reform ourselves before we can reform others, but unfortunately we are always anxious to reform others. We should weed out all imperfections one by one by self-introspection and this will bring peace all around. Love beautifies everything and if we learn to love everyone, all our imperfections can be washed away, especially by loving kind words. Kind words imbued with humility don't cost anything. If you have that attitude in life, I think ninety percent of your troubles will be avoided.
You will gradually have greater control over your feelings and emotions, such as vanity, greed and lust, and develop instead virtues of humility, contentment, chastity and love. You will give up your habit of judging others and start adjusting yourself to their weaknesses and shortcomings, either by overlooking or affording constructive help to them. By this adjustment, you will bring much sunshine and happiness for yourself as well as for all those around you. If you think with all calm and cool mind, you will realize that most of us have not become perfect as yet.
In this vast creation, everyone is gifted with an individual perception. The heredity, the environment and the teachings inculcated, all combine to make one what he is. We cannot blame anyone for thinking differently in his own way. Everyone has his own temperament and his own way of thinking. They must differ and they do differ vehemently. There is no help for it. It is, on the other hand, the sign of sentient life. We must not therefore on that account cross swords with them. Even if in their ignorance they, at times, may talk ill of the spiritual teachings and use harsh words, they cannot help it. But that should not disturb the true seekers after truth. We must be polite and gentle and even humble in our conduct. Bandying of words does not help. We may try to remove misunderstandings, if any, sweetly and gently, but not in an antagonistic spirit.
A close view of the problem would show that ordinarily we are neither worried nor irritated when everything goes in accordance with our wishes. No sooner do we fancy that our interests are thwarted or feelings are injured, then a chain of reactions starts, resulting in violence in thought, word or deed, according to one's physical, mental or moral make-up.
We aim to realize God, that God which is in all beings, whom all worship as One, though He may be given many different names. He is the great controlling Power which keeps all souls in the body; when He withdraws, we also must leave. When a person truly understands these facts, how can the question of hatred for others arise?
Where there is compassion, there is religion. Where there is greed, there is sin. Where there is anger, there is negation. Where there is forgiveness, there is the Lord Himself.
By Sant Kirpal Singh, excerpts from "The Teachings of Kirpal Singh", Vol. II, page 32 - 39