A devotee wrote Swami Kriyananda with complaints about certain people.

Dear –––––––––––––––––

sk-portrait-400-01On the path to God, right attitude is the most important thing, not what you do or say but the attitude you bring to it. This is something Paramhansa Yogananda always emphasized.

He also said that whatever we criticize in others we will have to experience personally ourselves, either in this life or in some future incarnation. To judge others is to invite judgment in return—not only from others, but on the part of Divine Law.

“Blessed are the merciful,” Jesus said, “for they shall receive mercy.” Implicit in this statement is its corollary, that the unmerciful shall be treated without mercy. And yet, Divine Law is merciful in the end, for it teaches and guides us, as fast or slowly as we choose, on the pathway to liberation.

The karmic law works through magnetic attraction. Qualities on which you focus in others will be attracted to you in return. If you concentrate on goodness, you will attract goodness. But if you concentrate on evil, you cannot but attract the same evil to yourself.

The point here is not whether your judgment is valid, but only that the judgment itself creates its own magnetism. If you allow it to become a vortex of condemnation, it will generate a magnetism that will draw energy inward, eventually, in judgment upon yourself.

Does this mean we should blindly ignore evil if we find ourselves surrounded by it? By no means! To ignore evils that are thrust at us is to endorse them, if only passively. If you really believe a situation to be seriously wrong, then you owe it to yourself, and to those involved, to do what you can to improve matters.

Dharmically it would be best to uphold before others a higher vision, to invite them to a better way of looking at things. If you found your listeners blind to your good advice, then the only right thing would be to separate yourself from that situation, blessing all involved even in their ignorance.

In such a case, it would be important not to react angrily or in other ways disharmoniously. To create an emotional stir even in a spirit of righteousness would be to involve yourself karmically in the very negativity you condemn—rightly or wrongly—in others.

I pray that you grow daily in devotion.

In divine friendship,

Swami Kriyananda

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