Guruji, what should be done when you try your best to keep yourself peaceful and joyful, but you are all the time subjected to criticism and sarcasm?

We always feel that we are right, and it is the others who are wrong. So, one of the most important lessons for a sadhaka is to examine the criticism and sarcasm, and to understand its relevance. This may teach you some vital lesson. Once you have examined the statements made by others, and once you arrive at the conclusion that they are unrequired or unwarranted, then learn to ignore them. A sadhaka’s duty is only to correct or perfect oneself, not to correct or perfect the other person. Introspection and self-corrections are the two tools that one must never avoid. Do not try to see the fault in others, because if you go on seeing the fault in others, then your mind will start accumulating more and more impressions. Whatever may be the state of your surroundings, or whatever may be the type of people you have to deal with, you should learn to live undisturbed.

The best method for you is to be engaged in introspection and self-correction. If somebody criticises you, do not get angry or annoyed with that person, instead go deep within yourself and find out as to what it is that made the person criticise you. Through such introspection, your actions and your defects that were hidden from you hitherto, will rise to the surface, and you will be in a position to understand your flaws, and to correct yourself.

If in spite of the introspection, you find that there are no hidden faults of yours, then you must simply forgive the person for the criticism or sarcasm. Also, in your mind thank the person for giving you the chance to introspect. Continue to live your life in a peaceful and joyful manner, from moment to moment. Do not allow anger or self-pity to enter you. Use every adverse opportunity to examine yourself, without finding fault with the external world. Constantly, be engaged in the task of introspection, self-correction and gratitude towards God. This is the only path for a sadhaka, and this is the only path that will lead you to God, very soon.

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