To identify the qualities that you need to change, every night, before going to sleep, introspect for at least 10 minutes and see the instances that happened during the day, where:
- You caused hurt to someone through your thoughts, speech, or actions. Even if you have only negative thought towards any person, it is considered to be hurt, for that person will experience the vibrations of pain and suffering coming from you; or
- You felt hurt by someone and experienced suffering within.
Next, in every instance that you just saw, check the reasons why you caused hurt or you felt hurt. For example: Suppose you hurt your friend by being rude to him. Then, try to introspect what was the reason behind being rude to him.
- You may notice that you were rude to your friend because from within you are jealous of him. Then, this is a quality that needs to change.
- Introspect further and you will notice your quality of being greedy for praise. Since your friend is being praised and you are not, you are feeling jealous.
- This also unearths another quality of competing with your contemporaries, but in an unhealthy manner.
- Delving still deeper, you may even get to see many deceitful thoughts or actions that you resorted to in order to score higher than your friend, notifying you of the quality of deceit.
- Going further, you may notice a sea of deep ‘anger’ towards your friend, one more quality.
- The anger could be because you are unable to get things in your favor. So, to get things done as per your wish by hook or by crook is yet another negative quality that needs to change.
- Seeing further, you could even locate a huge mountain-like quality of ‘false pride’ that is operating behind all of your thoughts, speech, and actions.
The law of Nature is such that when we give out happiness, we in turn get happiness; and when we cause hurt to someone, we get unhappiness. Therefore, always maintain a strong inner intention that, “I just don’t want to hurt any living being in this world!” And then, doing the above exercise every night, you will soon realize that ultimately it is because of the tubers of our own anger, pride, deceit, and greed present within us, that we knowingly or unknowingly get hurt and cause hurt to others in different ways. These are the qualities at the source that need to change, or rather leave. When these qualities leave, it transforms our entire being as we now become easily forgiving, extremely humble, pretty straightforward, and compassionate towards others’ needs.
To bring about this transformation, the spiritual teacher Pujya Deepakbhai suggests 4 easy steps:
- Recognize this quality is wrong. For instance, suppose you identify the quality of false pride in you that needs to change, then first and foremost, you need to have a firm conviction that, “The quality of roaming around with false pride is indeed wrong!’
- Next, how is this quality wrong? This is one of the most important and critical steps for anyone who is truly willing to change for the better. Here, you do a detailed impact analysis of say, false pride, and generate a list of the disadvantages that this quality brings to you, and also jot down the advantages you would enjoy, provided this quality changes in you. This is an enlightening exercise as it makes you realize the dire need to bring about change.
- Every time this quality is seen in action, you apologize, repent, and pledge. Observe the negative thoughts that came to you when someone didn’t satisfy your pride and your ego got hurt. Note the speech that came out thereafter and see how you reacted through your actions and expressions which caused great hurt to the other person. Then, admit before God, ‘I indeed made a big mistake. Please forgive me’, and very sincerely repent for all your mistakes from the bottom of your heart. Focus on ‘your’ mistakes alone because until you feel the fault is of the other person too, your repentance won’t be whole-heartedly and pure. Therefore, heartily accept your mistake cent percent, repent before God for that mistake, and pledge, “I will not do this mistake again.” The moment you apologize and repent for your mistake, you have cleaned your particular mistake; and by taking a pledge, you will soon begin to see the change.
- Don’t protect the mistakes. If someone happens to point out your fault, eg. “You should not have spoken so rudely to your friend; he must have felt so bad!”, then never defend your fault by saying, “Oh! it was necessary.” You want to change this quality, isn’t it? So, gracefully accept your mistake and be grateful to the person for helping you identify your fault. Mistakes go away if you don’t defend them. And if you defend, you will continue with that mistake i.e. in the given example, you will only strengthen your quality of false pride by speaking rudely with others.
To exactly identify the numerous qualities that the anger, pride, deceit, greed creates in your worldly self, you first practice the four steps to bring about the desired change.
When we do the entire above-said exercise by making use of this light of Soul, we are able to see our faults much more clearly, vividly and without any partiality towards our worldly self.