The teachings of Pashupatinath

The Lineage authority of the 17000 year old school of yoga TRILOK AKHADA

HOW 
TO GET DECENT FEEDBACK

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By Om Karanjkar

There is too much diplomacy and validation thrown around as compliments, and people lap it all up. To find the right answers, you need to ask the right questions. Like this painter:
There was a painter who took his painting to a village and put it on display. He attached a tag to it, saying 'What is good about this painting?'
It wasn’t a very nice painting. People came and really had to look for things to say, like 'The colours are good' or 'The canvas is well-framed'. He got a lot of (apparent) praise and was enjoying all the attention. But after a while, he realised that nobody asked to buy the painting. Finally someone came and told him how terrible it was, and he was surprised. He then changed the question to 'Why would you not buy this painting?'.
Now he got actual feedback that he could use. Someone said it was scaring the dogs, and asked him to paint the same picture on their wall to keep dogs away. He later found out that some chemical in the paints was keeping the dogs away. And eventually a painter who was useful to nobody, became a pest repellent specialist doing great business.

So if you're failing in relationships, stop grabbing compliments from people. Instead, ask, 'What are the reasons you would not date me?'
That's when you'll get solid useful feedback.

Life isn't trial and error. It's deliberate failure and improvement. Which is why soliciting feedback is really important. There will always be people who’ll criticise you. Turn that criticism into feedback by asking the right questions.

Do the same thing for praise.
You cannot inhale without exhaling. You cannot consume without throwing out. You cannot love without letting go.

And you can’t get the right answers without asking the right questions.

Appreciation must have a purpose. If it doesn't have a purpose, it's a brahmastra. A dangerous idea that you have swallowed without analysing it's worth. When you feel unworthy, you need to gather feedback and find out where you will be valued.

Society preaches standardisation, even though it's stupid to standardise. Any creature's natural instinct is to escape a place where they aren't getting valued. But human society forces you to ignore that instinct.

It's like this story of Naseeruddin Hodja:
Naseeruddin Hodja was fighting loudly with his neighbour, in the middle of the road. People gathered and broke up the fight. They asked Hodja why they were fighting.
Hodja yelled, “This man let his bull loose in my field! My crops got trampled because of his stupidity!”
They tried reasoning it out for some time. Till someone asked the question, “Where is the bull, Hodja?”
“I don’t have one yet”, replied the neighbour. “But I will have one someday. And then I’ll let it loose in Hodja’s field!”
“Then where’s the field?”
“I don’t have one yet either”, said Hodja. “But when I get one, he will let his bull run into my field! And that’s why I’m beating him up now!”

The story was a lesson to the people. There are so many things people get hooked onto, even though they don’t exist in the real world. And they also fight over them. This may sound funny when it’s about imaginary bulls and fields. But so many conflicts happen over intangible things like religion or blind beliefs. Things like these are avatars, false embodiments.

Everyone desires to be useful to others. When we cannot be useful, it breaks our hearts. Learn how to be useful by drawing feedback. Praise will inflate your sense of usefulness to ridiculous levels. Even the opposite is possible, that you feel useless while being useful. This can again be corrected by the right feedback.
It's human nature to feel like reciprocating usefulness with usefulness. But people choose to force others by being violent. A human being who isn't useful to others will look for validation because they have no drive to live. Validation results in sedation. It'll temporarily satisfy you, but it basically makes you inactive. It reduces the fire to create."

Violence here doesn’t just mean physical violence. It also includes manipulating people into doing things they don’t want to do, or making them follow rules they don’t want to follow. Worse, by making them believe they’re happy working for you.

In Trilok Akhada we follow this ideal, “There is no need to be violent over something you cannot eat.”

Eating is the only violence we need. Think about it.

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