This summer I had the following exchange with some friends at Facebook:
"I tell you one thing my child -- if you want peace, do not find fault with others. Rather, see your own faults. Learn to make the world your own. No one is a stranger, my child; the whole world is your own."
(From Śrī Śāradā Devī's last words, spoken before passing away on July 20, 1920)
"I like especially the first half of this teaching."
"I like the first bit the best as well. As for the rest, if all jīvas are nitya kṛṣṇa dās, then all jīvas are "ātmiya-svajan." (Bengali for 'relatives', AD) Isn't it?
"If you point one finger at another, you point three fingers at yourself. Whenever you criticize someone, if you practice some ruthless introspection, you will be shocked to find you have done the same thing at some time in the past or are even doing it at present as well. At least that is my experience. That brings peace. Just shut up and do bhajan."
YES! Exactly. I always have a list of grand excuses for why I've done something grandly stupid, while if someone else makes a tiny mistake I am ready to write him or her off as a phony. Gurudev also said, "mānuṣer prati kaṭākṣa na janmāy, nirabe bhajan korā-i niyam!" (Do not cast glances at anyone. Just shut up and do bhajan!)
"Just see - I unconsciously quoted your Gurudeva. Making grand excuses at least shows some acknowledgement of faults, whereas I am so low I don't even recognize the faults in myself that I see in others."
"I heard that when you criticise, you build a bridge and the faults come trotting over it to you ... me, that is."
"I came to Vraj with no awareness of any of my faults, but from day 1 Rādhārāṇī started making all the biggest, crunchiest and nastiest things about me public knowledge, until I could no longer convince myself that I am anything but fallen. Good thing Nitai Chāṅd loves fallen people. Still I know there are tons of anarthas left over that I haven't noticed yet. By your kṛpā maybe one day I will."
As (Rādhākuṇḍa's late Kṛṣṇa Dās) Madrasi Baba often told me - gaurer āmār sob bhālo , ami eka-mātra mando o choto "Everyone is Gaur's and they are all good, only I am bad and low" āmi śata doṣer doṣī - I have 100 faults, āmi sahasra doṣer doṣī - I have 1000 faults, āmi koṭi doṣer doṣī - I have 10,000.000 faults" eto guṇe guṇī āmi sob somoy sakaler doṣa-ṭā-i dekhi, kintu āmāke sakaler guṇ-ṭā-ke khujte beḍābe, tabe tā'hole se-o ei adhamer madhye ye guṇ dekhite pābe ekatra ubhoy bose ki korile bhālo hoy sob somoy cintā korā jāy. "Because of these shortcomings I always try to find some faults in others, although in reality I do possess them myself in a concentrated way. Rather I should always try to find the good qualities in others. If I adopt such a behaviour they will maybe detect some good qualities in me although I don't have any, and in this way we may then find a place to sit together and converse gently. It should always be done like this."
The Mother said: "-- If you want peace, do not find fault with others."
Kṛṣṇa says ; nirmamo nirahaṅkāra sa śāntim ādhigacchati - "He who is without possessiveness or false ego, attains peace." (Bhagavad Gītā 2.71)