See No Evil – बुरा मत देखो (January 2016)

“See No Evil” is one of the lessons we have been hearing since our childhood. But, are we truly shunning the evil? What does “see” in “see no evil” mean? Why should we avoid “seeing” evil in others? Without a proper understanding of these points, “see no evil” also becomes, like several other Hindu teachings, an abstract wisdom that doesn’t get assimilated in our day-to-day life. As it is obvious by now, the topic for this month’s hawan is “See No Evil” (बुरा मत देखो).
In this lesson, “see” means literal sight as well as contemplation – and often contemplation is more important than actual sight. For instance, when a single drawing is shown to multiple people and asked to comment on it, almost invariably, every observer will deliver different – sometime entirely opposite – views. Each observer’s frame of mind colors his/her observation in unique ways. It proves that we “see” with our eyes as well as our mind. So, next time, we feel tempted to pronounce someone or something evil, let’s stop for a while and think whether it is our state of mind forcing us to observe wrong in others – most likely it is.
Hindu scriptures are replete with articles outlining importance of thoughts and ways to tame them to achieve success in every realm of life.  One of the most effective ways to steer our thoughts in the right direction is to feed our minds with positives and avoid negatives. Like Locality of Reference (a computer terms which means a computer program will execute the same instructions again in future that it just executed and it will fetch the neighboring memory locations in near future that it just fetched), mind also delves in those thoughts only that it saw recently or that are related to what was observed. In the Hindu scriptures, this phenomenon is called Sanskar.
If there is something that we don’t want in life, there is no other way than to stop seeing and observing those things. No matter how smart, intelligent and progressive we are, if we focus on negativity in others or situations, it’s just a matter of time that it will catch up with us. One may also interpret this principle a bit differently that we must see and focus only on the goodness in every situation and others.
It’s not to say that we don’t assess situations or other people, which is an essential survival skill; what is forbidden is unreasonable focus on others negative traits.
Today, even modern philosophers have accepted the precept that we become what we observe and think most of time. So, it is absolutely necessary for anyone interested in personal growth to not see evil.
As part of the assignment, kids will share their understanding of the lesson “see no evil”. They will also share real life examples of his lesson. This month, there is an additional exercise for kids to be done with parents. For that let’s share the following story with kids:
Two young brothers are walking on a sidewalk next to a very busy road. The elder brother is a serious child; the younger, playful. The younger one will continuously stray and jump to the road and the elder will pull him back and explain why it is important to stay on sidewalk only. Without realizing that a speeding car is approaching, the younger again jumps on to the road. But because of the nimbleness of the driver, the child is saved. The driver stops his car, shouts at both of them and drives away. At this point, the elder one also loses his temper: he scolds and slaps his younger brother.
In addition to the regular article, kids will share their observation about this story: about the overall situation, driver, older brother, younger brother etc.
Harsh Mendiratta