BACKBITERS ARE GOOD FRIEND INDEED
Man is made of imperfections. Backbiting, one of the vices is most disastrous for spiritual progress. Baba said the first step towards spirituality is not to speak ill of others. Backbiters are indeed good friend as they take our bad sanskaras to themselves. One must try to find his own weaknesses before finding fault with others. If one does so, he may not step toward finding fault with others. Perfect Master Kabir said;
"Bura jo dekhan main chala, Bura na miliye koy,
Jo ghar dekha apna, mujhse bura na koy."
Baba explained, backbiting, slander and criticism and its limits in following words.
Backbiters are your friend as they take over our bad sanskaras to themselves.
Before trying to find faults in others and speaking ill of them, try to find your own weaknesses, and correct those.
Do not be angry but be pleased with one who backbites you for thereby he renders service to you by diminishing the load of your sanskaras. Also pity on him for thereby he makes the load of his sanskaras more burdensome. The sanskaras of calumny and defamation are most wicked and troublesome.
Backbiting is the worst and most disastrous
Of the three most important things to be eliminated before attaining God-Realization–greed, lust and backbiting – backbiting is the worst and most disastrous. One can overcome greed, and even lust, though both are very hard to get rid of; but by far the worst, and most difficult habit of all to eliminate, is that of speaking ill and trying to find faults or flaws in others. And why must it be eliminated? Because this particular act or vice incurs the burden of sins or sanskaras of others, which is spiritually very derogatory and reactionary.”
Sanskaras of backbiting are deeper than lust and anger
What effect do the sanskaras of backbiting produce? Suppose Mr. A says to Mr. B: "Mr. C has not come; he is a bad man." Mr. C is not present. Mr. A has told this directly to Mr. B. Consequently, there is an exchange of sanskaras in an indirect way between Mr. A and Mr. C, and in a direct way between Mr. A and Mr. B. Thus, the sanskaras of slandering are of two types — direct and indirect. Thereby, the minutest sanskaras are created and for millions of births it is difficult to be freed from.
Sanskaras are of seven colours. Sanskaras of lust and anger have different colours, and the sanskaras created by backbiting are still deeper. We do not know them as such, but they are some of the worst type and nearly impossible to eradicate. Viruses are very subtle germs and invisible, but they are the most troublesome. Similarly, the sanskaras of calumny and defamation are most wicked and troublesome.
Therefore, do not defame or vilify others. If someone does it to you, you should be pleased. If someone kicks you, press his leg. What Christ has said about presenting the other cheek (if slapped) has meaning. If you love, you cannot slander. So try to love all. If you do it, I will believe in you!
If anyone speaks about another's shortcomings behind his back, even though what he says may be true, it is slander.
Explaining slander, Meher Baba cited the following couplet of Kabir
He who slanders Me is My friend, because with his own soap, he cleanses Me of My dirt.
Baba emphasized, the first thing required is love. And the second is doing no backbite.
He added, Feel glad if anyone slanders you, and always be careful that you don't slander others. It is good if you don't slander anyone. But generally, he who drinks liquor says: “Do I get intoxicated? I am never drunk.” The same is the case with slanderers. A slanderer will slander, and if anyone were to draw his attention to it, he would reply, “Who says I am slandering? I never slander."
Be natural! Do not change your nature of gaiety, but do not show displeasure or criticize others who are different in nature.
Don’t criticise. The habit of criticizing our fellow-beings is bad one. At the back of it often lies self-righteousness, conceit and a false sense of superiority; sometimes, it indicates envy or a desire of retaliation.
Innocent and fair criticism does not hurt and is good, but it is quite rare. What I mean by talking ill of others is when you criticise and it hurts. It hurts when you are excited, out of anger. When you criticise with love and kindness, how can it heart?
If you point out the shortcoming of others lovingly, without any feeling of hate or animosity, it is all right. Even arguing with love is permitted.
The things which Meher Baba will not tolerate in any circumstances and by any one howsoever highly-placed he may be, are: (I) observance of caste, especially by orthodox so-called high caste people towards so-called “depressed” or “untouchables” (ii) hypocrisy , posing, and (iii) backbiting.
Blame game always falters- an interesting- an episode
Every Thursday, Shinde, Kamble, Pote and Dhavie, all from Poona, would spend the day at Guruprasad, going for their lunch at noon to Jal Dorabjee’s restaurant on Dastur Meher Road in the camp area. After lunch, Baba would ask them what they have eaten. They would name several dishes, and Baba would inquire. “Do you want to drive Dorabjee bankrupt? How could you have so many dishes for only two rupees?” Shinde, Pote and Dhavie would each lay the blame on Kamble.
This went on for some time, and once calling Dorabjee, Baba instructed him, “Tomorrow Shinde, Kamble, Pote and Dhavie will come to eat at your hotel. Serve only Kamble. Take two rupees from each in advance, but don’t serve the other men any food. Tell them fresh food is being prepared and they should wait. Then give them water. After ten minutes, an onion. Don’t serve them anything else to eat. After half an hour I will send Aloba to call them.
Dorabjee did as instructed. He served food only to Kamble and not to other three. When Aloba came Kamble had finished and others were sipping the water and nibbling on onion. They accompanied Aloba to Guruprasad. Baba asked, “What did you eat today?”
Their faces fell and dejectedly Shinde replied, “The food was not ready, Baba. We kept on waiting for it.”
“Why wasn’t ready?”
“Dorabjee kept repeating, “Just wait for five minutes, just five minutes,” but even after half an hour we didn’t get anything to eat. He was serving others, including Kamble, but did not us.”
“Did you pay him?”
“The moment we stepped inside.”
“Forget about it now, you can eat here.” So the three of them had their lunch in Guruprasad, and they never did find out why Dorabjee had behaved as he had. Afterward Baba commented, “It is so strange. Kamble got his food. Why didn’t you get yours?” They didn’t know. Baba explained, “You were blaming Kamble in the beginning, but God had pity on him and he had his food, whereas you had to go without it,”
Directives from Meher Baba
Any remark or criticism that does not hurt is good. Make fun, joke, humor, but don't hurt anyone and talk back. If you point out the shortcomings of others lovingly, without any feeling of hate or animosity, it is all right. Even arguing with love is permitted. Try your utmost to help Me, which you can do by acting according to My wish. Sacrifice your sweet habit of hurting others. Fight to overcome lust, anger and greed. To control is not to do that which you have been used to doing.