Maharishi on positivity - See and appreciate the positive for our own good, is the first quality of a leader
Question: In [your book] “Science of Being and Art of Living” there is a quote you mentioned that a good leader is one who solves the problems of his followers. A few days ago you said that a good leader does not comment on the mistakes of his followers. I’d like to have some more advice on what makes a good leader.
Maharishi: Appreciation of the good qualities of his followers. A man may have 99 bad qualities, if he has one which may be dug into him, that appreciation of that one quality will encourage the man to multiply that value. And when a good quality starts to multiply, then "I am one may I be many?". The world of good quality emerges from that one, if it is allowed to emerge. And emergence of a good quality from the mouth of a superior will be like drawing the sprouting from the seed from a shut up seed. One sprout and that sprouts develops into all the branches on all sides, the tree grows.
So the appreciation of the good quality - or good qualities - of the followers inspires the followers to grow in all good.
And it should be the policy again; not to bring up the "not good quality". Qualities that are not good, we don't talk about them. Because where is the time to dwell on the unwanted?
All-time should be used to dwell on the wanted ones. Don't bring in the weaknesses.
Bring up the promising feature, good qualities. There is another value in this, that we for ourselves want to grow in good and therefore we don't allow our heart and mind to be formed by anything that is not good. We bring to our mind that which is good, which is helpful for progress. We don't bring to our mind that which is unhealthy, which is not progressive, which is not elevating.
Because whatever thought we allow to come in, on whatever aspect we dwell; that aspect influences our heart because it comes in our heart. Our heart starts to radiate that, then that radiation develops into speech.
So if we start to talk of something low, our heart gets into that low colour and then it radiates into speech.
Therefore there is always a formula for a leader: "Safety first". “Safety first” we go by this motto. “Safety first” we want to improve all those around us, but in our enthusiasm to improve the environment we don't have to get into the mud that might be available there.
Heart is so small, it must grow into all good and therefore we don't purposely bring unhealthy thoughts, low sentiments. If someone has done bad, we know from where the bad comes and therefore we don't hold that emergence of bad from him, we hold this emergence of bad in him as originating from something that is foreign in him.
Stress is foreign in a man, stress is not he, stress has come from outside and from that stress is the negativity coming out.
And therefore we don't condemn a man for his mistake, for his negativity, for his failure, for his misunderstanding. Because we know this is not he. This is something that has unduly associated itself with him.
He is bliss, life is bliss, bliss. Life is purity. Life is knowledge, intelligence. And therefore, there is no place for misunderstanding, wrong feeling, negative emotions; no place for these negative things in anyone's life. And therefore we don't condemn a man. If we see any such thing coming out from him, we just hold that these things are not coming from him, they are coming from stress.
So by speaking that thing he is more purified than before, and for that we congratulate him.
He has spoken out that bad thing or did that wrong thing, and he's got rid of that stress now he'll be a better man.
In this hope of him being better, even by acting in that negative way he's better now. In this hope we take him. We deal with him. “Safety first” is very good. We must save our heart and mind from any wrong negative mistaken action or thought of anybody else. It's very necessary. If we have heard, it was a mistake to hear, but we couldn't close the ear. You shouldn't have heard, but the ears are very wide open.
One very wise man said: "he talks a lot, but I don't have to hear all the time what he says". Even if the ears are open, but we don't take what he says to our heart. And thereby we don't bring that mud into our heart. It's very very important. If someone has done some wrong, it is his karma. By thinking about that, we take it on our selves and make it our Karma then. What is the use? It is not necessary. And therefore we always see some good in him.
There is a story that Guru Dev used to say sometimes. There was a saint somewhere and all the time where he was found, he was so happy, so blissful, everything nice. And all the time he was saying some good things and he was famous for not having spoken to anyone anything that is less than good.
One mischievous man, there are lots of different varieties in society. So he said : “let me see”. So he invited the saint with great paraphernalia of great devotion. He went to him and says : “Please, grace our home by your presence …”
Saint says all right. And here he lived, and the saint walked many paths in the morning, he wanted to take the saint to his home from the ugliest path, dirty, nothing neat there. And there was some cat overtaken by a car, very filthy. And then he said: “Oh what a horrible sight”! And then the saint said: “Look to the teeth how neat they are”. Shining pearl like teeth is so neat, so pure”. He purposely made a remark to see, because the whole situation was so ugly, and how can the saint anything good in that? And he said : “look at the pearl-like teeth”.
So even if the ugliest situation is presented, there would certainly be some point of good. We have our vision of bliss consciousness, purity. We are growing into the value towards celestial vision; that is our progressive ideal of vision.
So, always he picks up something nice. Always our eyes go on. Because the vision is not restricted to one point, so much wide vision. And whatever is there, there will be some beautiful thing. We are moving in a relative world – one is relative to the other.
And therefore, there will always be something to appreciate. And there will always be something to appreciate. We bring that value which we can appreciate to our heart and mind. And that is our process of purification. If we bring the bad of the situation in our heart, we have clouded our heart, some smoke has been created, some filth has been deposited. And then if we have not brought the filth to our heart, rejoicing, and we can only rejoice on something beautiful, so our vision if full of beauties, full of appreciations, full of happiness, joy, harmony. That is the vision of a knower of reality. He knows he is moving in the relative, and therefore he will pick up what is useful to him.
And the only useful thing is - whatever good is there that is useful to us. The good comes to our mind. The bad doesn’t come to our mind. This is very very important. Otherwise we just get swarmed by so many wrongs and so many this this this.