07 Oct 2012 – [Honesty] Professional honesty


Eruch: There was once a lawyer who came to Baba. You know the profession of a lawyer, its noted disregard for actual truth. Meher Baba conveyed to him: you will be honest and truthful in trying to defend your client irrespective of his guilt or innocence. You have taken a brief from your client, and you would be doing a disservice if you did not defend your client forcefully, and without regard for the traditional code attached to speaking the truth. You must defend him to the end, using whatever techniques of your profession are appropriate.

Again if you are an accountant, you are duty bound to tell your client how to avoid taxes-not how to evade taxation, but avoid through legal loopholes, as it were, in the law. One has to pay taxes in order that the government should run properly. But you must advise your client on minimizing taxes. It is your duty; you will be dishonest if you do not. Baba says: we are all playing a game on a great stage and each one should play his role to the absolute best of his ability. Honesty demands that.

This reminds me of myself. From childhood I was taught by my parents to speak the truth. I tried to stick to that, and when I came to Baba, well, I took pride in speaking the truth. And I would be so critical of others when they did not do likewise, that is, speak out the truth. I started despising others and would say ‘Why don’t you speak the truth?’ In the early course of my life with Baba I hurt the heart, the feelings of so many people around, that one day Baba took up the issue and called me to him. He said ‘Come here and sit down. You feel happy when you speak the truth, don’t you?’

‘Yes,’ I said ‘I feel proud about it, that I adhere to truth.’

‘But do you know what truth is?’ Baba asked me. ‘When you speak anything which helps others, that is speaking the truth. The motive behind the speaking is the truth.’  So Baba gave me this story: ‘After the Prophet Mohammed dropped his body, it so happened that his close disciple Ali was one day sitting outside a prayer hall, He was sitting on one side of the entrance, when suddenly a man came running cut and cried out to Ali for help “Help me, my enemies pursue me, please help me!”

Ali said “Get inside the hall.” And after the man did so. Ali shifted his seat from one side of the doorway to the other. Shortly the crowd pursuing the culprit arrived and asked Ali if he had seen the culprit pass by’, Ali replied “No, not since I have been seated here.” Ali was not speaking an untruth. When you speak what you must, in order to help others, you speak the truth.’

–  “Not We, But One”, p43


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