Death and Judgement

There are things that we believe happen only to others. There are things that we believe are not going to touch us, that we are well protected against them. Death and judgement are two such things. People always assume that death is away from them, at a distance. It is hurting others, but it is never going to reach them, is never going to take them and thus they try to keep the truth of death at distance. Likewise when they judge, they hardly ever realize that right at this moment when they are judging somebody, somebody else may be judging them. When they find fault with others, how come they believe others are not going to find fault with them? And when there is so much ill talk, criticism going on all around us, how can we escape from it?
            I have hardly ever met a person who realizes that he is also judged. People live so blindly, they live so unconsciously that these common sense things they ignore. There is a novel by ‘Leo Tolstoy’ “The Death of Ivan Ilyich. There is a character in the story called Ivan. Ivan has caught some mysterious disease that is killing him bit by bit. The death is there staring in his face, but he always tries to escape from it. He tries to forget the very existence of death in order to survive. But it is there. He recalls what he was taught in the school. The syllogism: 1. All men die. 2. Casius is a man. 3.Therefore, Casius will also die. Ivan distorts the argument to his own convenience. He believes that it is Casius who will die, not him because heis not Casius. But he forgets to see that he is a man. This is self-deception. This is how we go on cheating ourselves. Somebody else will die, some Casius will die and I am not Casius.
            So is the case with judgement. We go on judging some Tom, Dick or Harry. And because we are neither Tom nor Dick nor Harry, we are free from judgement. I read a joke somewhere: A man is mad with anger at his wife. A friend asks him the reason for it. The man says, “Well! My wife, I am going to kill her, I am going to make her pay the price, I am going to teach her a lesson.” The friend says, “Just cool down. What makes you so furious?” The man says,” She is cheating on me I am sure”. The friend wonders.” How do you know?” The man says, “Well! Last night she got home back very late and when I asked her where she had been? She said, I was at Shabana’s place. So the friend said innocently, “Maybe, she was there. How do you know she is lying? Have you inquired? And the man confidently said, “What is there to inquire? I know she was not with Shabana because I was with Shabana.” Look at this judgement! The man can’t see such a simple thing. He is doing the same thing and yet is ready to kill the other for it. This is why Jesus said, “Treat thy neighbor as the thyself”. We all want to be accepted as we are. We all make mistakes. We all know at times we can’t help being angry. At such times, we want people to understand us. But do we understand others? Do we make concession to others? How quick we are to pinpoint other’s follies. This is so strange that we can’t give to people what we always expect from them because the habit of judging people all the time blinds us. It blinds our common sense.
             So take off this blindfold of judgement and see people and things in their purity, in their suchness. This will fill you with great compassion. This compassion will not only help others, it will help you also.

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