Goal 7: Non-Judgement
I shall never criticise and always refrain from giving advice or opinion.
ધ્યેય 7: નિરાભિપ્રાયપણું
હું બીજાના દોષ નહિ જોઉં અને પરનિન્દા નહીં કરું. ન હું કોઈને સલાહ આપીશ કે ન મારો અભિપ્રાય જણાવીશ.
Our capacity to judge: blessing or curse?
The capacity to see, think, understand, analyze, decide and then act is natural to us. At every step we are evaluating. Evaluation is a never ending process. In this human life, our soul is tremendously empowered. This inherent strength can become our biggest weakness too.
Since childhood we have been hearing the meaningful saying, "Never judge a book from its cover". Despite this most of us are quick to form opinions and also quick to criticise. With limited or superficial knowledge we keep pronouncing verdicts. If we reflect carefully upon this habit, it is an exercise by which we want to boost our ego. And in doing we may be unaware of the harm and damage we are causing both to others and ourselves. Talking loosely is thus a sign of immaturity. The shores of our unquiet minds are lashed with waves of thoughts. Such a chaotic mind spurts out many uncalled opinions and unsolicited advices.
The ever-changing nature of the world
Where do our strong opinions comes from? Each life experience that we endure brings us many realisations. Opinions are built and with confidence we declare judgements. However we must remember that even when our opinions are born of factual practicality, these are still our personal viewpoints and need not be universally acceptable to all. Experience too keeps varying. The context is always changing, with different activity, people involved, situations, and innovations. Yet our opinions often remain stagnant.
Ephemerality is the key characteristic of reality. In this world where everything is changing all the time, how can our fixed opinions and judgements remain valid?
Therefore we must remain utmostly cautious or rather try to restrain from expressing our viewpoint even in private gatherings. Exuding peace and dwelling in silence, we ought to remain a mere witness while we are in public domain. These days platforms like Whatsapp and Facebook make it all the more tempting to constantly share our opinions. Even in times of social injustice we must reflect if we really need to raise our concern, and voice our opinion. Reading a newspaper, on seeing a person or his clothes, visiting someone's home, eating food, hearing a piece of music we keep comparing and commenting. Even if we may not actively participate we still want to be a silent part of the gossip corner, as it seems to be most entertaining for many of us. Unnecessarily, our deluded mind remains active in other's territory. Why worry about other's business when we cannot manage our own?
For each of us, our own opinion is of much value, as we feel it is carefully formed from the deeper understanding we have of everything that exists in this world. Despite being a spiritual seeker, most of the time, our focus remains external. We continue inspecting and investigating all that comes our way. Thus we keep the gates open for the karmas to afflict our soul.
Reality can be viewed from multiple perspectives
Why do two different people view the same situation in completely different ways? Anekantvad is the spirit of Jainism. It means multiple viewpoints are possible. It is the notion that reality is perceived differently from diverse points of view, and that no single point of view is the complete truth, yet taken together they comprise the complete truth.
Our own views are based on our own conditioning, values, education and exposure to life events as we grow up. Being non judgemental is about understanding the limitations of our perspective, and being open to other perspectives, viewing world through the eyes of others. Eventually this empathy will build our tolerance and we shall be more sensitive and more compassionate. Non judgement is to accept with free will what is noble, true and pure.
The eternal true nature of reality
Perception differs, and thus the truth too, but the fundamental principles that govern our reality, remain constant forever. Wise are those, who in light of these uniform golden rules, assess and appraise all that is happening around them.
Tirthankar Bhagwans proclaimed many such doctrines of truth. So precise and perfect, in any era of time they progressively uphold us on the path of Moksh. It is essential that we read and study them in detail for only then shall we be able to arrive at a “right judgement”.
Let us observe Bhaishree. Ahead of any conclusion, immaculate Bhaishree will diligently first consider the relative and the absolute viewpoint. The relative viewpoint takes care of the transient nature and the absolute will consider the ceaseless aspect. The repercussions and the chain reaction is all well considered before he speaks or acts. In every situation and setting he remains diligent and yet firmly detached and divine. Weighing every word, His wisdom is Gospel's truth. Living his words, we too shall become like Him.
Those who worship the virtues consequently stop judging. Being spiritual is to remain neutral and equanimous.