There is a trend amongst certain people these day, where they say 'Mai kabhi jookega nahi', while gesturing with their hands running across their beards. Recently, an influential and a substantially powerful leader in Mumbai was apprehended by the police for a heinous crime. He was under the misconception that the police, ministers, media, together with the public, were in his pocket, so nothing could ever happen to him and that he will be released from jail in a matter of a few hours. But nothing like that happened. He was behind bars for a long time. When he came out, he was very exhausted and was totally lost in every sense. Moreover, there was no chance to reverse the damage. A group consisting of certain knowledgeable and well informed people made a very insightful observation that had this fellow been slightly humble and asked for sincere pardon, then everything would have been all right.
Yogiji Maharaj always used to say a proverb; 'nane se ho nane rahiye jaisi nani dub; Ghaas fus sab ud gayi, dub khub ki khub.' When the torrents of water come in full flow, old mature trees, along with other grass, etc. are uprooted and washed away. But seeing the mighty flow of water, the soft and small hay, bows its head and twists and bends with the flow. As a result millions of gallons of water flow over it but nothing ever happens to it. As the water recedes, the hay rises again and flourishes.
Many say that I have never bowed down, nor do I bow down and never will bow down before anyone in my life. I live life by my own rules. Yes bro! You will realise this very well when the time comes. People feel small when it comes to apologizing. Their big egos keep them small. Arrogance stands between them and a sincere apology. It does not allow people to bow down. Author Dr. Guy Winch is a very experienced and a talented psychologist. His three TED Talks have been watched by millions of people across the globe in a very short period of time. He says that: "People who cannot apologize often have such deep feelings of low self-worth that their fragile egos cannot absorb the blow of admitting they were wrong." It also happens that the non-apologetic person thinks that if I apologize once, then people will pressurise me to apologize again and again. So, under no circumstances am I going to apologise, whatever the consequence may be. Many also think that apologizing will lead to embarrassment for them not only at home, and in the neighborhood, but in the society at large. Then, it will be difficult to face anyone when they go out. People care more about their own reputation than their mistakes. In fact, the honor of such people is already lost by not apologizing. Often such people not only lose their honor, but also the place where they live. A single word ''Sorry" can prevent a lot and a lot more can be saved. But the big question is who will say?
Once two friends quarreled over a small matter. Not only did they quarrel, but then, as matters got worse, they started fighting in the open. None of them was willing to bow down to the other. They even tore off each other's clothes. One of them started to slow down due to sheer exhaustion. He realised that it was time to quit or else he could get a few of his teeth knocked off. Sensing an opportunity, he said to the other guy, 'SORRY...now let's stop...I am nothing in front of you ...' The other guy stopped as soon as he heard these words, "It's my fault as well." He said, "I am like the dust under your feet.' The fight immediately stopped right there and they became friends all over again.
Pramukh Swami Maharaj's dexterity was so proficient that no one is in a position to ennumerate it truly. So great was he, that nothing could withold him from making an apology when required. In fact, he could even apologise for other people's faults which is not possible for human beings like us. There is an unforgettable incident related to him. In the year 1988, he was in the city of New York in America and while he was having his evening meal, a five-year-old boy named Yogi was narrating a story to him. Swamiji was listening to him very attentively. A devotee came to Swamiji with a cordless phone. The phone call was from india. At that time it was very expensive to make an international call. Swamiji took the phone and started talking as the matter was very serious. Seeing this Yogi got angry and turned red, while leaving the room in tears. He went into the next room and started crying loudly. After a few moments one devotee came there and told him to finish his story. Yogi again stood before Swamiji. Swamiji saw his downcast face, ghoulish expressions and fresh tears on his cheeks, he asked "what happened Yogi? why are your eyes red?" Yogi replied in a fury, "when I was telling a story, you weren't listening and so others weren't listening as well." There was absolute silence in the room. All were stunned by the incomprehension, and the insulting words and accusations of a small ignorant child. Before anyone could say anything to him, Swamiji said, "Sorry Yogi. It was my mistake. I should have continued listening to your story. Now start again.'' His graceful, gentle words were like life to everyone sitting in the room. Everyone was deeply moved. These words of Swamiji not only worked like emotional first aid for the child Yogi, but also became a permanent guide for everyone to lead a happy life devoid of any clashes. Be very prudent about where, when, to whom and how to say sorry. You are not going to lose anything by saying Sorry.
This article is written and submitted to The E Today by Sadhu Amrutvadandas. We thank swamiji for his research and analysis and hope to see the awareness about life and peace being spread ahead to larger mass of our citizens.