Practice What You Preach vs. Offering Inspiration

by Aranyakananda

In any spiritual tradition, right up there with “The Golden Rule” of doing unto others what you’d have done unto you, is the principle of “Practice What You Preach.” It has a lot to do with fixing yourself before you try to fix others. It is usually associated more with Christian thought than anything, but it is applicable throughout all of humanity. Even in Hinduism we are duty bound to make our actions and words and thoughts one. But is there a difference between practicing what you preach, and just offering a piece of wisdom that you know someone needs to hear even if it is not something that you have presently been able to master?

Having imbibed in spiritual wisdom from various sources, one finds many paths, many ways, many truths. Sometimes you hear or read something that you just inherently, intuitively know is a higher way. Whether you can immediately put it into practice successfully is another matter. But life is a journey. And we are all on our way, at our own point in that journey. But if I have seen a path that looks clear, and appears to have something at its end that is spiritually desirable, though I have only just begun to make the effort to take it, shouldn’t I point it out as an option if I see someone who may not see it? Never telling anyone they have to take that path, to be sure, but simply pointing it out?

Isn’t that what we are here for? To look out for one another? To maintain each other. We are all avatars in one way or another. Certainly we’d be doing a better job of it if we successfully tread the path in question first before sending anyone else down it. Certainly part of “ahimsa” is to carefully consider the advice one gives so that it will not cause more harm than good. But sometimes you see someone who needs at least a lifeline. Some spark of inspiration. It may be irresponsible to offer suggestions on what such a person should do, willy-nilly. But offering inspiration could never hurt, right, even if the dispenser of this wisdom has not been able to fully internalize it himself? It is at this point that one might meditate on Brahman, and praying that they “be made an instrument” of God in the situation.

Jai Hari Aum.

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This entry was posted in Abrahamic faiths, ahimsa, avatars, Avatars of Vishnu, Christian, Comparitive Religion, dharma, Dharma religions, Dharmic Faiths, Eastern Philosophy, Hinduism, inspiration, karma yoga, meaning of life, Old Testament, philosophy, pluralism, quotes, self help, social commentary, spirituality, Western Hinduism, White Hindus and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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