Patience brings wisdom into our lives. Patience is very important in our modern, fast-paced world. What definition comes to mind when you think of patience? In Rajyoga, we sometimes think of patience as a state of just waiting – of just being calm. When we wait calmly, there is no emotional outburst. We are not hasty and do not carry out actions irritably.
When we are aware that we are souls – when we have soul consciousness – we are given a gate – a gate that helps us to control our feelings and emotions. Because when a person becomes impatient, a flood of thoughts and feelings emerges. We need a gate to control that flood of thoughts. Consciousness of the soul is this gate.
The moment you become aware of yourself as who you are – when you tell yourself that you are a soul, a peaceful soul – automatically the speed of your thoughts slows down. The first step to achieving patience in life is to slow down and become calm. So, I need to put up the gate – by becoming soul conscious – so that thoughts and feelings stay at arm’s length and become slower in speed.
To be polite is also to be patient. Being polite means allowing someone else to have what is precious to us. That way, we wait; this is being polite. Saying, ‘you first’ is a trademark of someone who has patience. In order to have patience, I also have to be humble. Without having humility, I cannot say, ‘you first’. Patience is like sitting on a mother’s lap, watching. When I am patient, I can observe myself without becoming affected by thoughts and feelings, and I can also observe others without getting affected by what they are doing – that is wisdom. Yes, to be able to watch everything yet remain detached requires patience, and that is wisdom.
In order to see everything, know everything, and yet not become a part of it – to observe, stand back and not get affected – we need to accept and let go. If we have patience, we are able to see but not look at things, because seeing is one thing and looking is something else. Hearing and listening are also two very different things. I may hear many things, but I only listen to what I want to hear. Whatever I have listened to stays within me, but I will not remember all that I have heard. This is why when we want people to pay attention to what we are saying, we say, ‘please listen’. Whatever you listen to is absorbed by your intellect. It is the same with sight – we may see things, but we only look at what we want to. So, there is wisdom in the patient act of seeing but not looking and hearing but not listening. When you have that wisdom – gained through being patient – you automatically use your intellect as a filter, so only that which is necessary stays with you and unnecessary things disappear.
The late Dadi Janki was Administrative Head of the Brahma Kumaris.