How to Recognize a Saint
Foodgrains often contain stone particles which we cannot recognize and sift; for instance, there are undistinguishable white stone grains in rice, which it is extremely difficult to detect and remove. Saints, similarly, live among us, appear like us, without our being able to make them out. Books often enumerate the qualities of saints, but still we may not be able to recognize them from the common people. The one quality by which we can unmistakably recognize a saint is that he sees God in everybody and everything. That, however, is a criterion which we cannot successfully apply unless and until we ourselves become saintly.
We should never slander anyone. When we see faults in others, we should bear in mind that those faults are in us, too, in a dormant, if not active, form; we should at once pray to God and entreat Him to rid us of them. We should take care to reform ourselves first. Until our mind is thoroughly cleansed of impure thoughts and desires, we shall not be able to see God everywhere.
Simple food is easier to digest than food made up of different ingredients and condiments; so, too, a simple, innocent heart can easily mix with others, We cannot do so today because our heart is impure. A man of simple, straightforward, innocent heart generally walks gently and talks softly and sweetly. He is liked by all. Our contentment or lack of it depends on our outlook on the world. 'I live not for myself but for others; it isn't that the world is for me; rather, I am for the world;' we should cultivate this attitude towards the world.
In the heart of hearts one should be without desire of any kind, and devoid of covetousness. Never desire that another's wealth come to you. One who owns a lot of money may be called wealthy; one with erudition may be termed learned; a farmer is one who keeps a farm; yet, none of them may be called great; one may be a miser, another proud, and the third may have some vice. He alone is truly great who possesses all good qualities together.
Conceit sullies the mind; also, this conceit works in a subtle manner, so there is no knowing how and when it will attack. Remembrance of nama is the only antidote to conceit; let us therefore, chant it ceaselessly, and live happily, fearlessly.
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