Seeing is believing. We are naturally inclined to judge a person by their outward behavior, judging the book by its cover. The cover however is only the tip of the iceberg. The true story is in the pages of the book. Similarly the true story of the nature of the person is not the overt physical behavior but the covert behavior of thoughts. A person who is quiet and does not overtly involve themselves in a situation is inclined to be judged as a very well-balanced and civilized person but may be the most misbehaved soul mentally. The one who speaks out their mind is inclined to be known as being non-diplomatic and uncivilized may be the purest soul internally.
Sri Yukteswar who was Sri Yogananda’s teacher often would speak his mind openly to the point of making the disciples uncomfortable. Those who withstood his harshness knowing that his behavior of thoughts were pure and grounded with his true self, (the cosmic spirit) benefitted from his harshness and moved on to be well grounded and self-realized spirits themselves. Yogananda was one among those who stood tall and strong even when he sometimes felt humiliated often in front of others. Yukteswar often advised him to “learn to behave”. To anyone else it would be a direct blow to their ego and cause them to further misbehave by either arguing the matter, resulting in defending themselves in anger, and feeling slighted about the perceived audacity. Yogananda endured the harshness only because he believed that his Guru was pure in spirit, and all his advice (perceptually- sweet or rude) was received as though coming from the very essence of the cosmic spirit to uplift his mortal being to self-realization.
We often encounter many people in our lives who can be rude and harsh. We need to sharpen our inner senses i.e. our intuition to know if the words are being spoken from the truth of their souls or if they are a result of misbehavior of thoughts. Misbehavior of thoughts are a product of the 6 mental afflictions namely lust, greed, hubris, attachment, anger, and envy. When these mental afflictions crowds the mind, the inner true spirit is clouded to the point of darkness. The misbehavior of mind results in either overt or covert physical actions that can be hurtful to both themselves and to others. This hurt is not the same as being hurt when advised dogmatically about learning to behave by a true soul guided by the spirit of God.
There is no consequence for mental misbehavior in our worldly laws unless it results in physical overt behavior that affects the society or individual. However in our cosmic world of existence these mental misbehavior of thoughts have consequences which we sometimes experience immediately and sometimes eventually. Our misbehavior of thoughts is like dirt and stain over our true souls. The more the dirt the less we can reach out to our true inner self.
The actions stemming from the purity of soul with positive attitudes or at best neutral thoughts will accrue good Karmic vibes on the soul while clearing or neutralizing the dirt of the soul’s past undesirable Karmic effects. Giving away money in charity to a large organization for egoistic human recognition and accolades may have little or no Karmic benefits compared to someone who willingly helped a person in need even though he was himself inconvenienced, with no expectations of praise or reward. As long as the human is alive in flesh and blood this balance of accrual and neutralization goes on. However when the physical body dies the net effect of the Karmas stays attached to the soul. As long as the soul is not cleared of all its dirt the soul is not able to be free from the cycle of birth and death. The freedom from the cycle of life and death is the meaning of uniting with God, liberation, and Moksha.
Every religion’s spiritual message is to follow the path of God so devotedly and ardently with undying faith, that this cycle of birth and rebirth ends in this very life. Unfortunately humans are so bound by their physical tangible world that this undying faith in God is always put to test by their own mental misbehavior creating further debris on their true inner selves. So when they come back to serve their time they bring back their Karmic debts with them, which is the astrological destiny. This does not mean that this destiny cannot be changed. The soul with godly Karmic destination can be misled and their destiny can be changed by their own free will as much as the ones with undesirable Karma where they can choose the path of God and change their final destination once and for all. This may be the reason why astrological readings are not completely true or false and cannot be proven to be scientifically accurate.
Adam and Eve were destined to reap the highest benefits of God but strayed away by their own free will for the lust of a fruit. The high priests of the temple during the time of Jesus were willing to sacrifice the mortal shell of God (Jesus) for the fear of losing their priestly position and benefits under the outward guise of protecting God’s values. They were so full of mental misbehavior of greed and attachment that they could not see the true path of God in God himself. Judas was destined to betray Jesus, however could have just as easily used his free will to follow the path of God. He was so fortunate to be so close to God yet he was so blinded by greed that his mental misbehavior led him to veer away from the path of God that God himself had paved for him.
Most of us cannot conceive the presence of God because we cannot perceive the spirit through our senses. We are so bound by the attractions of worldly tangible rewards that we forget the spirit within us is our true self. We attach ourselves to this physical perishable bodies and continue to misbehave mentally and in due course of time the mental misbehavior become overt or clandestine physical misbehavior. Behaviors of mind are just as harmful as the behaviors of the body. Seemingly overt physical conduct of good behaviors can only free us from our skin when we cannot stand living in it anymore….i.e., death…….just to enter another …..i.e., life again…………..until we are able to behave both mentally and physically by being attached to our spirit and not our body.