This article is from the book Conquest of Mind.
Man is a mixture of three ingredients, viz., human element, brutal instinct and divine ray. He is endowed with finite intellect, perishable body, a little knowledge and a little power. This makes him distinctly human. Lust, anger, hatred belong to his brutal nature. The reflection of cosmic intelligence is at the back of his intellect. So he is an image of God. When the brutal instincts die, when this ignorance is rent asunder, when he is able to bear insult and injury, he becomes one with the Divine.
A thirsting aspirant is one who practises self-denial. He always tries to feel that the body does not belong to him. If anyone beats him, cuts his hand or throat, he should keep quiet. He must not speak even a single harsh word to him because the body is not his. He starts his Sadhana, “I am not the body. I am not the mind. Chidananda-Rupah Sivoham.”
One harsh or unkind word throws a man out of his balance. A little disrespect upsets him. He feels and feels for days together. How weak he has become despite his boasted intellect, high position in society, degrees and diplomas and titles?
Bear insult. Bear injury. This is the essence of all Sadhana. This is the most important Sadhana. If you succeed in this one Sadhana, you can very easily enter the illimitable domain of eternal bliss. Nirvikalpa Samadhi will come by itself. This is the most difficult Sadhana; but it is easy for those who have burning Vairagya and yearning for liberation.
You must become a block of stone. Only then will you be established in this Sadhana. Nothing can affect you. Abuses, ridicules, mockery, insults, persecutions cannot have any influence on you.
Remember the instructions of Lord Jesus: “If anyone gives you a slap on one cheek, show him the other cheek also. If anyone takes your coat, give him your cap also.” How sublime is this teaching! If you follow this you will have great spiritual strength and power of endurance. It will make you divine. It will transform the nature of the offender also at once.
Study the life of the Avanti Brahmin in Bhagavata (IX Skandha). You will draw inspiration and strength. People spat at this Brahmin, threw faecal matter on him and yet he stood adamant. A Mohammedan spat on Saint Ekanath 108 times, and yet the saint was not affected even a bit. All saints and prophets had this power of endurance. People pelted stones at Prophet Mohammed and threw the ovary of the camel on his head, and yet he was cool and serene. The Jews pierced thorns on the body of Lord Jesus. He was ill-treated in a variety of ways. He bore all these calmly and blessed the persecutors. He was nailed on the cross and yet he said, “O Lord! forgive these people. They do not know what they are doing.” Read again and again the Sermon on the Mount by Lord Jesus.
All aspirants will be tested by the Lord and a time will come for everybody to bear worst trials, adversities and persecutions. These trials will make them wonderfully strong. They must be ever prepared to bear all these trials and persecutions.
You will have to develop wonderful patience and endurance. You will have to kill your egoism, pride, Deha-abhimana or false identification with the perishable body. Then only you can bear insult and injury.
Try at first to control the physical reactions and the feelings. Do not retort. Do not speak vulgar words. Do not revenge. Kill the vindictive spirit or attitude. Check the impulses of speech, thought and action. Gradually you will gain control. Regular Japa, meditation, Kirtan, prayer, enquiry, solitude, Satsanga, selfless service, Mouna, Asana, Pranayama, willpower will give you immense strength to bear insult and injury.