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|| 1 | FLATTERY ||

This comes first . This is not looked upon as a deadly sin , but it is universal .

How is it that from the lowest vermin to the highest god , flattery is welcome ? How is it that everybody is a slave of flattery , and everybody wants to be complimented , humoured , patted , and be thought highly of ? How is it ?

Even the dogs , when you pat and flatter them , are full of joy at it . Even the dogs like flattery .

Horses like flattery . The master of the horse comes up and pats , strokes ; the horse pricks up the ears , is filled with energy .

In India , some heirs use tigers instead of dogs for hunting purposes and the way of the tiger is to catch the prey in three leaps . If the prey is caught , well and good , if not the tiger loses heart and sits down . On such occasions heirs come up and stroke the tiger and flatter , and then the tiger is filled with energy again . We see that even the tigers love flattery .

Take the person who is good-for-nothing , who is worthless . Go to that person and just humour , flatter . Oh ! that countenance beams with joy . You will find a bloom on those cheeks on the spot .

In those countries where the people worship gods , we find that even the gods are appeased by flattery . And what are the prayers of some monotheists ? What are their prayers , what are their invocations ?

Examine them . Examine them disinterestedly , impersonally , and you will see that they are nothing else but flattery .

How is it that flattery is universal ? Everybody loves flattery , while at the same time , there is not a single person who deserves that kind of flattery which pleases . There is not a single one who deserves the unnecessary compliments that are paid by admirers .

Vedanta explains it by saying that in every individual , in every person , in everybody , there is the real Self , the real Atman , which is , as a matter of fact , the Greatest of the great , the Highest of the high .

There is in reality something in you which is the Highest of the high and that makes its existence felt .

When the flatterer comes , and begins to admire us and pay us compliments , we feel elated , we feel cheered . Why ?

The cause is not that these statements are true , but Vedanta says that the real cause lies in our real Self .

There is something behind the scenes , some potent force , something stern and indestructible , the Greatest of the great , the Highest of the high , which is your real Self and deserves all flattery , all compliments; and no compliments , no flattery , no aggrandizement can be unworthy of the real Self .

But from this nobody should draw the conclusion that flattery is justified by Rama .

No flattery , praise and glory are to be rendered unto the real Self . It ought not to be rendered to the body , to the little self it ought not to be given .

" Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's and render unto GOD the things that are GOD's . "

The sinfulness of flattery lies in making the mistake of rendering unto GoD what was to be Caesar's , and giving unto Caesar what was to be given unto GOD . In this topsy-turvy state lies the sinfulness of our being slaves to flattery . Herein lies the sinfulness . The cart is put before the horse .

If you realize the Self and feel and become one with the Greatest of the great and the Highest of the high , and know it to be your Atman , rise above the body , above the mind , you are really the Greatest of the great , the Highest of the high; you are your own Ideal ; no , you are your own GOD .

Realize this and you are free , but the mistake is made in giving the glory of the Atman , the real Self to the body and in seeking flattery and aggrandizement for the body . Herein lies the mistake .

How is it that each and every person in this world , everybody in this world , and even every animal is tainted with flattery or pride ? How is it that vanity and pride are universal ?

A certain person came to Rama and said ,

" Look here , look here . Our religion has got the largest number of people as its devotees , as its converts , therefore , our religion must be the highest . We have the largest majority of mankind belonging to our religion , therefore , it must be the best . "

Rama said , " Friend , friend , make your remarks after observing rightly . Do you believe in Satan < : Ignorance : > ? "

The person said , " Yes " .

" Then please say whether Satan's religion has got the largest number of followers or yours . If truth is to be judged by majority , then Satan has the supremacy over all . "