Each statement made by an enlightened being or a prophet is so full of meaning that each of them can give birth to volumes of books only to explain them. For pure minded people, a simple statement with a few words may be enough; others may require a lot of explanations. The above statement is from the Bible and was pronounced by Jesus of Nazareth. “Judge ye not,” he said. Very simple indeed, yet so much profound! In daily life, people are faced with decisions of all sorts. We meet different kinds of people and circumstances. One thing is certain that most people are caught in the illusion of judging either a situation or people.
The situation is very grave when we see the nonchalance with which we pronounce a judgement on crucial matters. Judging others has become part of our character, so much so that we feel at times that it is difficult to avoid it. When rebuked about the vile attitude of judging others, people often say, “I do not judge, but I just say it like this.”
Jesus used to say, “I do not judge but when I judge, my judgement is just.” A Jesus can do judgement all the time; a Krishna, a Buddha, in fact, any enlightened being can judge and each time their judgement will be just. They can do so because they are fully aware, their mind is not covered by the dark layers of ignorance, their third eye is open. Mortals are more than nine-tenth unconscious and the remaining amount of consciousness is filled with millions of thoughts which create jealousy, greed, anger, lust, hatred and innumerable negative tendencies. The enlightened ones have reached the peak, they can have a global view of the surroundings. The unenlightened ones are in the valley of ignorance, asleep with the slumber of unconsciousness and attachment. An ordinary person’s judgement is like the man wearing colour-tinted glasses and describing what he is seeing through them. The yogi who is free from such spectacles has direct perception. This is why his judgement is exact. Our whole life is influenced by feelings from our heart and desires of our mind and that is why our seers have always exhorted us to be free from desire and attachment.
The mind is deceptive; it interprets messages received via the senses in light of its own knowledge. The reality of existence as perceived by our senses is not the ultimate truth of life. Truth is much more than what can meet the eyes. Without knowing the Whole, no one can judge. This, however, does not imply that we should be free from all forms of discrimination and judgement. As said earlier, in our daily dealings, we have to take decisions and make judgement. “Judge ye not” means that judging events and people or any other thing should not become a habit and our judgement should not be selfish or influenced by our personal drives and feelings. A very common case in that context is when a man and a woman are seen together anywhere, the idea of their relationship as being lovers is what comes first to the mind. They could be brother and sister, aunty-nephew, mother-son – there are so many possible relationships! Can’t a man and a woman simply be good friends?
Man is bestowed with a mind comprised of five faculties, viz. thought, speech, memory, reason and comprehension. He can make good use of it to avoid wrong judgement if he may have to perform one. Since he is off his own centre, man has the bad habit of poking his nose into things that do not concern him. He has not learnt the art of silence and witnessing. God does not judge anyone, He simply witnesses. Man is his own and sole judge. By suspending our judgement, we attain peace of mind. But this may seem difficult because we have been used to it. The label of good and bad is quickly stuck to things and people very impulsively. When there is deception, a series of pretexts comes to the mind so as to justify the judgement that was made. Who can really know who is good and who is bad? Even a Jesus did not accept the label of goodness. When he was told of his goodness, he said that none is good save the Father in Heaven. “L’apparence est trompeuse!”
Our judgement is based much on the physical appearance of things. We behold a man in an ochre robe and we readily accept him as a monk while he may be a fake. In this context, there is a famous saying which nowadays applies to numerous circumstances of life: “L’habit ne fait pas le moine.” A person with a high academic education may not be good mannered or spiritually evolved. One who has mastered the scriptures and can make beautiful exposés does not become an enlightened being. Physical beauty does not equal mental beauty, which is purity of heart and mind. We do not judge the IQ of a person by his certificate but by his adaptation and response to the different circumstances of life.
In this illusive world, anything may happen at any time. This is the reason why enlightened souls are not astonished at the apparently surprising turn of events. Life is full of mysteries. Let us not try to bring our dreams and desires to it – we are sure to be deceived. If things have happened, they simply happened. Our surprise, worry or judgement will not influence the course of things but only be a source of worry to ourselves. Whatever we behold is already a past event. It takes time for the reflected light of objects to come to our eyes. Though it is a very short time, yet it is the past.
Matter is not, only energy is. The wave-particle theory created a fuss in the mind of its discoverers. Nothing is final. Things change in no time. Scientists of the past believed that an atom was the smallest indivisible particle. Further discoveries destroyed that theory. Day by day, new discoveries about the nature of reality are being made. Truth has infinite faces, this is why Hindu gods and goddesses are portrayed with many hands, heads and feet. Remain open-minded, be ready to accept changes in opinion, attitude and events. Finally, to avoid falling in the trap of judgement, constant awareness is of paramount importance. Awareness is meditation, become meditative. Nothing can be said to be final. Things are as they are. Judge ye not!