How Is Judgment Different from Discrimination?


In what way is judging others different from discrimination?

—Vidhya, India


Dear Vidhya,

Discrimination, the power to see the eternal Truth at the core of life’s experience, is a soul quality. Discrimination is impartial. It is based in eternal Wisdom and rises above personal likes and dislikes, past experience, and opinion. Eternal truth is realized when the consciousness is uplifted and the heart becomes still and open to receive. Truth, when experienced, is not burdened by personal biases or emotional reactions. Discrimination is clear only when it relates everything to the Eternal Absolute. It is not the product of reasoning.

Judgment of others imposes one’s own opinions (likes and dislikes) onto a person or situation. The heart is engaged in a contractive, attached way — either attracted or repelled by the circumstance — and reacts in kind. Judgment is often accompanied by emotions such as anger, fear, superiority, etc. The power of discrimination is clouded by this restless emotion. Discrimination is clearest when the mind is brought to stillness with meditation.

Of course, the word “discrimination” also carries a meaning of treating one group of people in a negative and exclusionary way. This definition has nothing to do with the soul quality of discrimination described here. Discrimination is the power to see the Truth no matter what garb it wears.

Swami Kriyananda wrote an affirmation and prayer to strengthen the power of discrimination. You might enjoy using this which comes from the book Affirmations for Self-Healing by Swami Kriyananda.

Resolutely I quell my inclinations, that my mind be open to the wisdom-guidance of my soul.

Guide me, Lord, that in all things I know Thy will, for I know that only by Thy will are all things led to perfection.

Many blessings to you,
Nayaswami Mukti