Guiding Light: Love of the ignorant and anger of the enlightened

The love of the ignorant can be harmful yet even the anger of the Enlightened is not harmful. It can be only good! An example is the school at the Art of Living Ashram in Bangalore. 250 children are enrolled but only 200 come to class on any given day. Fifty children don’t show up. Why? They cry at home, “Mother, I don’t want to go to school.”

The mother says, “Oh, don’t cry... ok.” She thinks, “No child in the world is like my child.” And so, she sticks up for the child and begins to speak for him. She does not see the teacher’s point of view. The mother asks the teacher, “Why are you not teaching my child properly? He is so innocent, so lovely.” So, what happens – the child grows up spoiled. The love in the mother's ignorance has spoiled the child. The child will never learn the alphabet, never learn to read or write. The mother’s love in ignorance has spoiled the child.

The anger of the Enlightened is a blessing. There are many instances of this in the Puranas. Once a Master was traveling in the middle province of India with a disciple following him a few yards behind. Some boys who were abusive began to throw stones and tease the disciple. This went on for some time as the boys followed the Master and the disciple. They came to a river. The Master and the disciple got into a boat in order to cross. The boys got in another boat which started to sink in the middle of the river.

The Master slapped the disciple across the face. The disciple was so surprised as he had not said a word back to the boys in response to their taunts. He had been such a good disciple and yet the Master had slapped him!

The Master said, “It is your fault. You are responsible for their boat sinking. You did not respond to their abuse. Nature has now punished them in a worse way because you did not have enough compassion to quell their insults.”

The slap that the Master gave took away the karma of this event such that it would not be carried into the future of the boys. It also served to take away any little bit of joy the disciple may have felt at seeing the boys’ boat sink! Thus, it also took away the karma of the event for the disciple. So, the anger of the Enlightened is a blessing!

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