When I am now, I wasn't before. I must tell you the truth. No one is a saint when he is born. When we are born into this world of Maya, of illusion, we have to undergo all the procedures of a human being. Like we have to be ignorant again, we have to suffer all the illusionary desires, and then the disappointment of not fulfilling the desires, and all that kind of thing; until one day we have enough of it and say, "Okay, that's it! Now, whatever I have, I have. If I don't, I don't." That's the time when you reach complete liberation. You liberate yourself from all your own problems, from your own self-made prison, your own also learned prejudices of who you are.
Before enlightenment, of course I had criticism in my mind. I also had dislikes and likes of how other people should live their lives. I had my opinions about many things in this world, even though they didn't concern me, and didn't harm me, and had absolutely nothing to do with me at all. I would even venture to criticise them or to try to make things right. And that is how we have been busy with our lives. After becoming so tired with criticising the world and trying to make people right, I have come to realise that I am the only one who should improve, and everything else will be all right.
I also had many preconceived ideas before, and after enlightenment as well. Before, of course more, but after a little bit of enlightenment it was less, and it will become less and less each day. God made me become more humble each day, until I had no more of my own ideas left, except God's idea. I have to do absolutely what He wants. Just like you, I had to learn by mistakes.
Before I got enlightenment, I slept with the Bible every night. I looked at it every time I was in trouble. Without the Bible, I couldn't sleep. Sometimes, I alternated. In the morning, I would read the Buddhist scriptures that comforted me and sometimes lifted me up into some kind of very blissful state. It helped also. If you truly revere the Bible, you deeply believe in it, and study it very sincerely, it helps you immensely.
Q. How are You, Master? I believe, before You attained the Truth, You must have gone through innumerable severe tests. Can You tell us, when You faced all kinds of difficulties, like feeling depressed or even desperate, how did You detach Yourself from these agonising feelings to live optimistically while firmly pursuing Your spiritual path and continuing in Your daily life?
M. There were lots of tests! No one is free from trials. Sometimes, the tests were really senseless; sometimes, they were very fierce; sometimes, they were very vicious; sometimes, the tests made You want to die. However, in whatever situation, I always observed carefully and I would say: "Oh! You are in a bad mood today, you want to cry. All right, just go ahead and cry! You are feeling awful today, just let it be. Tomorrow will be different. I am sure tomorrow will not be the same!"
I AM TALKING ABOUT very logical things, spiritual practitioners or not. Ever since we were born, we have not lived one single day that is identical to another. If today is bad, tomorrow must be good, If it doesn't get better tomorrow, it definitely will be the day after. It may be raining today, but there will be sunshine tomorrow. We call understand this by observing natural phenomena. We shouldn't remain in a certain situation, and then hide behind it. Never mind where we are put, it is okay! We just carry on living there. It is only a kind of mood, and our moods change every day - for better or worse. I simply take it as it comes.
When pain comes, I feel the pain; when happiness comes, I feel the joy. I am not insensitive. When pain comes, just let it be. I say: "All right! So be it today. I will definitely be happier tomorrow." Just that. And you ought to keep this in mind.
Also, at our most agonising moments, do not sink with the pain. Instead, cry to ponder: "Why do I have such pain?" Observe what you can learn from these painful situations. There must be something! If you observe clearly then all situations are good lessons from which to learn. Having realisations through observing, you will be enlightened and happy tomorrow. Understand frustrations with Buddhi (intellect), and don't let them pass by in vain.