Man has always been the victim of evil feelings like suspicion, jealousy, anger, hatred, fearfulness, and so on. I am of the opinion that suspicion is the worst of such unpleasant feelings. Since civilizations came into existence, suspicion has played a very major role in creating enmity, and gobbling up relationships and love, and making one’s life miserable.
The moment ‘true love’ recedes, suspicion starts dominating and the result is that it (suspicion) takes the victim in its grip. Suspicion plays a very important role in the families which lack in broad-mindedness and true love. A husband and wife who love each other pretentiously and are narrow-minded easily become the prey of suspicion. The precarious predicament is the time when the couple beget children. The children are badly affected. So much so that the husband and wife blame each other for what has gone wrong from either side. Everything belonging to the spouse, be it good or bad, be it a friend or a foe, be it beautiful or ugly, be it beneficial or harmful, is looked upon with suspicion. When suspicion reaches its climax, it ends in disaster. All the members of the family are badly affected.
About fifty years have passed since I started recognizing, understanding, and realising what is wrong and what is right; what should be done and what should be avoided; what causes troubles and what causes comforts; what is good to me and what is not good to me; who is broad-minded and who is narrow-minded; who really loves me and who pretentiously loves me; who is self-centred and who is benevolent. I have experienced in almost every walk of life how life is disturbed by one’s evil feelings. Whenever suspicion dominates us, worries are always there, and then problems after problems occur.
Suspicion is fed upon by lack of faith. It is a well-known fact that if we have faith, a piece of stone is our God, but the same piece of stone is nothing but a piece of stone if we have no faith. In the pious Qur’an, we find that Allah’s help will come if we have faith, obedience, discipline, unity, and the sprit of acting in righteousness and justice. The more faithful we are, the less suspicious we are. Let us not live in the world of duality as duality weakens our will-power. Though sometimes circumstances compel us to entertain suspicion, it is no use suspecting any person’s intentions. Supposing, you are right by having suspected a person’s intentions, then what options are left for you? You only become the prey of worries that haunt you day and night and put you in tension. If you suspect your son, your father, your wife, your husband, your mother, your daughter, your friend, your subordinates, or your boss, you had better have courage to let your tension ebb out by telling them personally, frankly and unhesitatingly what feelings you have had about them, though it is a hard nut to crack. The best and safest riddance is that one should be established in the ‘Self’. In the Yoga Vashishtha, Lord Sri Ramachandra says: “I am free from the dirt of duality. All this is Brahman. I do not desire heaven, nor do I desire hell. I am established in the ‘Self’.”
Unless you have any evidence, you have no right to suspect, and if you have any evidence, suspicion itself vanishes. Thomas Huxley, the English biologist, said: “The deepest sin against the human mind is to believe things without evidence.” In our classics, we find how suspicion leads the personages to enmity, remorse, anxiety, and even fatality. Lord Lakshman suspected Bharat’s intention but the former had to repent for what he had said to Lord Ram about Bharat. In ‘Othello,’ Othello suspected his wife’s intention and the result was fatal for both of them. Our classics are replete with such episodes that reveal the consequences of suspicion.
Suspicion is sometimes hailed when the truth is revealed but much has been damaged before suspicion is replaced by the truth. The damage is mental tension and the dual state of mind. No peace and no joy. Every moment of life trudges on like a year with the big and heavy burden of suspicion. The situation worsens when suspicion plays its role between the nearest and dearest ones. How embarrassing it is when suspicion takes the place of belief and vice versa, and then we are put in duality that swings us like a pendulum. We remain in uncertainty. Ill feelings easily take us in their grip. We lose all happiness and every member of the family looks at each other with suspicious eyes. No free conversation. Only whisperings.
A question arises — how to get rid of suspicion? The answer is — broadmindedness. If we are broadminded, nothing can disturb our mind. We are what we think and so let us not think what puts us in tension. In every field of life, broadmindedness keeps us away from suspicion, jealousy, enmity, back-biting, blaming others, and so many other evil thoughts. Never entertain evil thoughts and then you will find your mind free from all ‘bondage’ that leads you to suspicion.
In the Ashtavakra Samhita, we find how we have bondage over our feelings, be it good or bad. “It is bondage when the mind desires or grieves at anything, rejects or accepts anything, feels happy or angry at anything.” Lord Buddha said: “Hell and heaven is one’s state of mind.” When one is tense, hurt, frustrated, jealous, angry and suspicious, one’s state of mind is hell. On the other hand, when the mind is calm, loving, forgiving, and filled with compassion, one’s state of mind is heaven. Reckon everything on the basis of the present circumstances and then you will find that you are not suspicious. The time to be happy is now; the place to be happy is here; the way to be happy is to make someone happy and to create heaven now. Live and let others live in their own ways as God-made and man-made laws are always there. And you need not worry. Both suspecting and getting suspected is dangerous.
Suspicion pollutes our mind with many evil passions like hatred, jealousy, fear, anger, grief and enmity. Sometimes, a suspecting person takes a very drastic step like committing suicide or killing the person concerned. Shakespeare said: “There is nothing good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” It is our thinking that leads us to entertain evil feelings like suspicion. If we have a strong mind, no evil like suspicion can dwindle us. Molière, original name Jean-Baptiste Poquelin, a French playwright and actor, said: “One should examine oneself for a very long time before thinking of condemning (suspecting) others.” In the holy Qur’an, much emphasis is laid upon righteousness and it is righteousness that purifies our mind, and when we have piety and purity, suspicion itself dies. Righteousness does not consist of formalities but in faith, kindness, prayer, charity, probity, and patience under suffering.
The Rigveda says: “A person who performs good ‘karma’ (deeds) is always held in high esteem.” What are good deeds? Good deeds are the deeds that may not bring any hindrance in the ways of a gentleman nor may bring any harm in the life of a person; nor may hurt the feelings of others. Good deeds may encourage others to perform good deeds. Good deeds have no scope for suspicion. Sometimes it so happens that our deep love makes us suspicious. But think over it, if we love God with piety, is there any suspicion? Not at all. I can’t help saying that if our love causes ‘suspicion’, it is not a true love. If our love is pure and true, nothing can pollute it, let alone suspicion. Let love be replaced by suspicion, then see how love dies. Love does not need any adjective like ‘more or less’. Love is love and love is God. Remember ‘love’ never allows you to bear suspicion. M. K. Gandhi said: “A man is but the product of his thoughts, what he thinks, he becomes.” Where there is suspicion, there is no love; if there is love, it is pretentious. Bob Dylan says, “Don’t criticise what you can’t understand.”
And I would like to say: “Don’t suspect what diminishes your love; if you have courage, be frank with the person concerned, instead of giving vent to suspicion.”