See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil. Most of us have seen the image of three monkeys, one covering his eyes, the next closing his ears, and the third one with his hands over his mouth. This ancient teaching suggests a wisdom that can really improve our lives if we put it into practice.

phoenix painting of transformation by kalamali joy be well solutions

“Phoenix,” by Kalamali Joy.

Paramhansa Yogananda guided the souls of his disciples on a subtle plane. Swami Kriyananda, in his book, Conversations with Yogananda, quotes him as having said, “I go through your souls every day. I seldom tell what I see, though, because those things are sacred.” Kriyananda continues, “The Master worked especially on raising our consciousness from within, if we were receptive to his vibrations, by helping us to change the direction of our thoughts and feelings. As someone once heard him say, ‘If you shut me out, how can I come in?’”

I like to think that he is doing the same today for those of us who have opened ourselves to him.

Here is a sweet story of another instance of helping someone to change:

One sunny afternoon a man was strolling through a park, when he saw an old man sitting on a bench enjoying a cup of tea. Tentatively, he asked, “Dr. Allen, is that you?”

“Yes,” the older gentleman replied, “and who might you be?”

“I was a student in your science class, and one day you did something that completely changed my life. You must remember me even though it was many years ago.”

“I’m sorry, I don’t recall your face. Can you refresh my memory?”

“I was young, poor, and foolish. One day while in class I stole my friend’s watch. When he discovered it was missing, he went to you for help. You announced that no one could leave the classroom until the watch was found. Then you asked all the students to stand up and close their eyes, while you searched their pockets. After a time, you announced that the watch had been found and that everyone was free to go. What inspired me was that you let me leave without ever saying anything. From that time on, I made a vow to live a good life. Now, because of you, I am a teacher, too.”

The old man smiled sweetly and said, “Oh, I remember the incident very clearly, but I don’t remember you as the culprit.”

“How is that possible?” asked the younger man.

“Well, you see, while I searched for the watch, I also kept my eyes closed.”

All parents know the value of occasionally ignoring mistakes—turning a blind eye—when their children make some minor error in judgment. If human parents use this strategy, don’t you think our spiritual parents, our Heavenly Father and Divine Mother, do too? And shouldn’t we too, then, do the same?

It isn’t as if we should be ignorant, or in denial about the mistakes we see around us. In fact, we should actively try to correct them. But, as we do so, let’s be like that wise teacher. Let’s help the situation without demeaning the person. People grow stronger when they are supported, not when they are condemned or punished.

For devotees, there should be a second image of those three monkeys, one with their eyes, ears, and mouth open. And the caption should read, “See only goodness, hear only sweetness, speak only kindness.”

With goodness, sweetness, and kindness,

Nayaswami Jyotish

Listen to Jyotish as he reads the blog, then expands on it, often adding special behind-the-inspiration stories and answers to common spiritual questions. Subscribe to the podcast or download the audio recording by right-clicking here. Or listen to it here (9:48):


  1. Excellent message I need to practice myself.
    Please keep sending such highly inspirational stories

  2. Aum! Aum! AUM!
    Goodness, sweetness, kindness ⚘🙏

  3. Thank U for sharing us an excellent message about goodness, sweetness and kindness!

  4. Thank you Jyotish for the wisdom and encouragement, I am still learning to be a good mother! My daughter is turning 23 this year, last week I attended her graduation ceremony, she told me “ mom thank you for your support of my choices ! My choices not always right, but you always there quietly supporting me, thanks mom”. I found my daughter grown stronger when she was supported, not when she was condemned or punished! Oh….she was a bad teenager, sometimes I was so heartbreaking that I cried to God for His mercy and grace!

  5. Absolutely perfect! As someone who can be very ‘discerning,’ (aka critical of myself and others) this is a great reminder!
    Thank you dear Jyotish.

  6. Dear Jyotish, your message arrived to me at the right time. Lately it happens to me these….
    I need to educate – help – my daughter, no question; same time what she does educates me too. It is a two ways process. Now I understand I must forgive her (and myself) for having made human mistakes; nevertheless I must act a her father in the same way our Father treats us (consider this in its deepest sense). I very much appreciate your messages every week and very much this one today. Have a beautiful weekend.

  7. Nutritious breakfast wisdom. Thank you, Jyotish. Blessings!

  8. Dear Jyotish,
    This entry really touched my heart on a deep level. Thank you for this deep wisdom. I grew up with these three monkeys from my fathers desk, and for many years, it was my clear wisdom coming directly from him, as my first spiritual guide and teacher. I still have this little memento, and thank you for the uplifting ; “See only goodness, See only goodness, hear only sweetness, speak only kindness.” hear only sweetness, speak only kindness.”

  9. Many thanks dear soul. This is a valuable and timely lesson as I feel Divine Mother’s tests. It is easier to blame then take the more dharmic route which includes, for me, what have I done unwisely that has been forgiven. This helps me level my emotional “playing field” and moves me in a better direction in God. Namaste

  10. Many thanks! These blog posts are sweet to read, and easy to implement!


  11. So beautiful dear Jyotish 💙Thank you and Devi for having been that way with me🙏🏻I have grown 🐛🦋because of patience and love from God and Guru and gurubais. I pray to be able do the same for everyone in my life. Thank you for inspiration and love you both give💙💙

  12. Dear Nayaswami Jyotish Ji,

    Thank you for sharing this excellent blog. I enjoyed reading it. The story was very nice to read and apply.
    The 2nd version of those three monkeys for devotees is a beautiful perspective and profound


  13. “See only goodness, hear only sweetness, speak only kindness.” Oh my goodness, if the world could only learn these three attributes, we’d eradicate so many of our failings so much self inflicted suffering. Today begins a new approach, were I will – “See only goodness, hear only sweetness, speak only kindness.”

    Bless you Jyotish, the light shines so brightly whenever you place your fingertips on the keys!

  14. WOW! brought tears to my eyes :)
    Thank you for this beautiful and inspiring message of compassion.

    God Bless You.
    ~~~Peace, Josette

  15. Dearest Jyotish Ji what a sweet touching beautiful blog. Loved the story and the 3 guiding principles you shared on when and how to act (in the audio). the second image is so cute and perfect – should paint and share it Ji. perfect for a devotee and for everyone. Simply awesome. Thank you thank you.

  16. What a Beautiful Blog 💙💙. The story is lovely and the 4th monkey is truly needed 🙏🏻

  17. Incredibly inspiring story. Thank you for sharing.

  18. Thank you so much for being so patient with me, dear Jyotish.. keep sending inspiration to the world.. keep touching my heart, it also touches my soul .. 😊

  19. thank you for sharing this inspiring spirutual lesson.

  20. Thank you for this beautiful message. It touched a deep nerve in my heart. This is one of the blogs one never forgets and will occasionally tell others about. THANK YOU 🙏🏾.

  21. Thank you for sharing this beautiful story. Aum!Aum!Aum!

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