Don't lend ear to slander

Don't lend ear to slander

Terry reis kennedy

Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba long ago warned, ''Never give ear to slander, ridicule or praise. They are all bubbles on the surface. They are mere manipulations of words, the magic of vocabulary, the tamash of style, the dance of phrases.''

By the miracle of Swami’s grace, I withstood a recent internet slander/libel attack from unknown sources who hacked into my on-line accounts and sent out nasty e-mails to my contacts. Apparently, these hackers wanted to ruin my reputation which had already been spat upon several times over in my long life as a journalist, poet, and believer in the divinity of Sathya Sai Baba and the divinity in each and every one of us.

These “writers” described me as an evil person, a wanted criminal, a barfly, a child molester and more. Little do such people know that I am merely a puppet in God’s Almighty Hands—as are they. Indeed, they are making my work widely read, whereas before their attack it was virtually unknown.

Happily, I have been a devotee of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba for over 21 years, so, by His Grace I am one with Him. He said, “When you slander others, you are slandering Me in them.

I found comfort in Guru Sai’s teachings, “If you hear something that hurt your feelings, why did you have to discuss it with others and hurt their feelings too? When you know a statement to be irresponsible or untrue, it is natural that your feelings should be hurt.

“So why pass it on to others? Keep it to yourself or better still, dismiss it from your mind. Don’t talk to others and hurt their feelings, particularly when it concerns a person you love or revere. The greatest damage a person does to himself and to other devotees is to discuss slander. You must not in the first place listen to unpleasant or slanderous attacks against anybody. Even if you do so inadvertently, you should just ignore it instead of becoming a post office.

“It is a sin to hear slander and it is a greater sin to indulge in facile talk and then gossip about that slander. It is best to avoid the company of those who indulge in such gossip.

“If you have true devotion, show it by talking of good things.  … By discussing and repeating bad or unpleasant things you taint your mind and spoil the minds of others too!  And then you too become a slanderer.”

A friend was quick to tell me how fortunate this cyber attack really was. She sent me a copy of Swami’s words, from a May 11, 1975 discourse.

"It is good and helpful to have an enemy, for they are ever more eager to criticise you for your faults than a friend who will cast a blind eye on them,” Bhagawan said. “The enemy takes delight in abusing you, and as a consequence, he goes on diminishing and wiping off from your account the demerits you have to live out in misery. The person displaying enmity absorbs your sins and effects."