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An Evening of Poetry and Music – Traces of Previous Lives and Love Songs for the Homeland, Part 24 of a Multi-part Series

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So, if your family members are not willing to practice with you, let them be. Be kind to them, loving them as usual. You must do this if you say you follow me. Because that’s the only thing I want, since the beginning of my teaching up till the present day, and it will continue to be so. […] We have to do it because we have to represent love and nothing else. We have to do it because love is the only means and weapon to destroy all hatred, all discomfort, all trouble in this world, and in your small world as a family unit.

Similarly, with us, everything that’s good for you might not be good for someone else. Everything that’s good for you because you like it, because it benefits you. But other people might not want to try. So that is no reason for you, for us, to be distanced from them. You must always show your love; it doesn’t matter how people treat us. It’s how we treat people that is important. Right? (Yes, Master.) Why just criticize people all the time and say, “Oh they’re no good, no good. They are bad. They’re cruel.” You don’t have to. We have to do what we want to do, and other people do what they want to do.

Like there was an Indian master. When he crossed the river with a boat, he saw a scorpion. This is an Indian folklore. He saw a scorpion drowning in a river, and then he of course extended his hand and tried to take the scorpion into the boat for safety. But the scorpion stung him, and then he dropped it.

He cried like the guy just now. And after a while, “Ahhh.” The master goes “Ooh.” And then he begins to put his hand back into the water again to try to rescue the poor, drowning scorpion again. But the scorpion stung him once more and then he cried.

But after a while, he extended his hand again into the water and tried to pick the scorpion up into the boat for safety. Before he reached the scorpion, his disciple stopped him: “Don’t do that, master!” The master said, “Why? I want to rescue him. He’s drowning, don’t you see?” The disciple said, “No! He will sting you again, won’t he?” The master said, “Yes, he will.” Then the disciple said, “Then why do you rescue him? You will only suffer again.” So, the master said, “The habit of the scorpion is to sting anything that touches him. He cannot change that. So, my habit is to help anyone that comes in contact with me.” He also cannot change that.

So make a habit of always extending your loving-kindness. It doesn’t matter how people treat you. You may be firm sometimes to some people who are so stubbornly disturbing you with their misunderstanding even though you have tried your best to explain, but never forget your loving-kindness inside. In whatever way you can, whenever possible, always extend this loving-kindness from inside because that is you. That’s the real you – the limitless love which is Godly and which is you and which you are. Because of the situation of the world, because of the hardships of life and the trials and tribulations that we encounter daily, we tend to withdraw within ourselves and shield the love that we once had in abundance. And kind of lock it away somewhere. From today, and from the day of your initiation – from now on, from any day, you must open that lock and let the love free. Because that’s the only way that makes your life happy. There’s no other solution.

If you ask me how to be happy, that’s the only solution: Unlock the love within you and let everybody share it. It doesn’t matter if he still locks his, she still locks hers. You open yours first, and later they will open theirs. No one is really a hard nut to crack. No one is truly very difficult and unrelenting inside. They just get stung by the poison of life, the so-called contact with the difficult-to-exist world, and they just close themselves up and defend themselves all the time.

Just like an oyster. When you touch it, it closes. Even though you want to stroke it, comfort it, it closes immediately. It’s just a habit. Or like the bird(-person), if somebody shot him, wounded him before, every time he sees a bent tree or branches, he’s afraid. He thinks it’s an arrow. It’s not an arrow. A what? (Bow.) A bow. Yes, yes. B-O-W.

But from now on, we already know. We know that even if we protect ourselves with the hard shell outside, and lock our love inside, that won’t make us happy. That won’t protect us at all. We’d rather die happy than live miserable. Is that not so?

And try to understand your family members. Your husband or your wife. If your husband is kind of serious and rather hard to get on with, maybe it’s because his work is too demanding for him, taxing his energy and nerves. You find out what drags him down and then try to help him. Or maybe your wife, being a woman, is so delicate, so fragile, and so pure. But because of the economic situation, she has to plunge herself into the harsh world of men, of competitions, of power hunger and fame searching. So, she feels less feminine than she should be. And she feels more defensive and more tired; less passionate towards you.

And you also must find out how things affect her at work or anything that affects her. Then you help her and try to show your sympathy and understanding. And that’s how your love will grow stronger and stronger. If you’re parents, the children, when they grow through adolescence, they have a lot of change in their hormones, and their bodies. They’re clumsy, and they are very, very anxious, and scared. The change from a child to an adult scares them unconsciously. They know they are going to face the world very, very soon, and they’re not sure whether they’re ready for it. And they’re so pure and so fragile like newly opened (hatched) chicks.

So, try to understand their difficulty in adapting, and not be too harsh, authoritative or demanding. But talk to them, find out what’s bothering them, what really makes them feel good, etc., etc. I cannot tell you all the details. You imagine the rest. Also like sometimes, you’re married to each other for a long time, and you don’t think you should buy your wife a rose anymore. But you should. Not only on her birthday, but any day. Just surprise her. Or take each other out for dinner. If your husband doesn’t take you, the wife takes. Take him to a candlelight dinner. Buy him a rose. Surprise him. See how surprised he looks. He will look very surprised. You can see his reaction. Why not?

And even the children sometimes complain that their parents don’t understand them. Then sometimes they follow (Supreme) Master Ching Hai, and their parents forbid them or something like that. There’s no need to worry. You just do your children-duty, and then everything follows. Even if your parents don’t like your Teacher, it’s OK. It’s OK. It’s not possible for everybody to like me. Not possible. And I don’t expect anything. You like me or don’t like me, it’s up to you. I hardly contact the people. They like me or don’t like me, it’s the same. They like me, they come; don’t like me, they stay away. Very simple.

But you must do (fulfill) the children’s filial duty. Open the car door for the mother, open the house door whenever you can, whenever you see. And then move out a chair for her to sit on and push it back in. Don’t let it stay there. And go to a restaurant, things like that. Or even at home, take care of the elderly in this way, and they will be touched by your love.

They don’t have to follow me. Your parents are independent individuals, as well as your children – also independent souls. They came to you for some reason, not necessarily to practice the same method with you. That might not be their reason to come to this world at this time, and it might not be the reason for them to be with you. There are many reasons for human beings to be together as family members, as husbands and wives, as sisters, brothers, friends, and relatives, etc. Among them is to practice together – that’s just one of the reasons. And it’s not always included in all the reasons that you have to be together.

So, if your family members are not willing to practice with you, let them be. Be kind to them, loving them as usual. You must do this if you say you follow me. Because that’s the only thing I want, since the beginning of my teaching up till the present day, and it will continue to be so. And if you cannot do this little thing, then don’t ask me why your life is in trouble, why your family is not in harmony, why your relatives don’t listen to you or respect your Master. Because you don’t make a very good representative of me if you don’t serve them, you don’t love them. Serve them and love them unconditionally! Not with the thinking inside, “OK, I am going to love her now so that she follows (Supreme) Master Ching Hai.” No, that’s also not unconditional, not unconditional. We have to do it because we must. We have to do it because that’s the way it has to be.

We have to do it because we have to represent love and nothing else. We have to do it because love is the only means and weapon to destroy all hatred, all discomfort, all trouble in this world, and in your small world as a family unit. That’s the only reason you must do it. Not because they have to follow me, not because then they will love you in return, not because they think you are great. No need for anything else but to be loving, as a reason in itself.

OK. I know some of you still have some questions, which is all nonsense anyhow. Because when you’re an older initiate, you know. At the beginning when you first get initiation, you’re eager to come and tug at my dress and say, “Mama, I want to ask this! I want to ask that!” All the time!

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