Faith mustn't make you a victim | india | Hindustan Times
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Faith mustn't make you a victim

A spiritual person is often expected to be naive. However, he must not trust others blindly.

india Updated: Jul 12, 2006 12:53 IST

Simply because one is interested in spirituality doesn't mean that one must trust others blindly, not argue at all, or be taken for a ride. Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa warned his disciples not to trust others blindly just because they were spiritual seekers. He advised them to use their intelligence in worldly matters.

Once a disciple (later Swami Yogananda) went to a shop and bought an iron pan without examining it. He thought that the shopkeeper would naturally give him a good pan, as he was a disciple of Sri Ramakrishna. On returning he found that the pan had a crack.

The Master scolded, "Because you are a devotee of God, does that mean you should be a fool? Do you think any shopkeeper opens a shop to practice religion? Never be so foolish again. Why did you not examine the pan before you bought it? Next time, make sure you shop around for the best options and demand the little extras where allowed."

Devotees usually become soft hearted. People even condition their mind as to how a spiritual person should behave or dress. Swami Sukhbodhananda was surprised when a devotee asked him to stop playing basketball and practising martial arts as they were "unspiritual" activities.

Today, Sri Morari Bapu has people asking him not to explain nuances of the Ramcharitmanas with the help of old film songs and Urdu couplets. But spiritualism does not mean being narrow-minded or dumb.

Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa said that while living in the world one must be aware of one's rights. He narrated the story of a snake that everyone was afraid of. A monk passing by told the snake not to bite and gave him a mantra. The snake chanted the mantra and became docile. The children of the village discovered this and started pelting stones at it, but the snake did not bite them. When he came by again and saw the snake's piteous condition, the monk was aghast. When the snake narrated everything the monk cried, "But I didn't tell you not to hiss!"