Dealing with difficult people & situations

Question:

Dear Ekta, I really don’t trust my business partner as he cheats on tax and my share of profits. I also realize that it must be karma, so I have to deal with this. At this moment I don’t have an alternative, because I have to pay my bills. All the savings were already gone this year because of building this company. So now what to do? Every time when the subject is money, there are big problems. I am not even interested in the money. I just want to pay my bills and hope I can get out of this in a nice way soon, without creating karma. How can I work with someone I cannot trust? Can you please help me with this?

Answer: JGD dear,

There are 4 techniques prescribed by scriptures for dealing with any difficult person or situation. These have to each be applied at the ‘inner level’ and ‘outer level’.

1] Saama – While going through life, we experience both good and bad, happy and sad. In happiness, your emotional graph rises high up and in sadness, the graph hits rock bottom. Equanimous mind means being balanced whether the situation brings happiness or sadness.

At the inner level, maintaining an equanimous mind, not letting raaga or dvesha, get to you, is Saama.

At the outer level, having the patience & courage to discuss, manage, talk and deal with a person or situation in an amicable manner is Saama.

This must be your first step. If this does not work, then move to Daana.

2] Daana – Daana means to ‘give’ or ‘let go’. In a difficult situation, you might have to let go of something, having the strength to let go, willingly is Daana.

At the outer level, While dealing with a particular person, you might have to ‘give forgiveness’, having the courage to forgive a person without emphasizing your magnanimity is Daana. Sometimes you might have to ‘give space’ to another person, this is also Daana.

At the inner level, Daana could mean ‘giving up thoughts that cause misery’ or ‘surrendering to divine. These are a few examples. You can apply it to your situation and see what Daana would mean in your situation.

If Daana does not work, then move on to Bheda.

3] Bheda – Bheda means to ‘discriminate’.

In your inner environment, it means to discriminate between the perishable [Prakriti] and the imperishable [Purusha], recognizing the difference between the body and You. Bheda means to recognize that ‘I am not the body’, ‘I am not the mind’ and ‘I am not the emotions/sensations happening in the body-mind complex’. Bheda helps you move above the mundane, it raises your consciousness to a higher level of existence. You reach that level of stability that is unshakable by people/situations/things because they happen at the body-mind level but ‘I’ am beyond that.

At the outer level, it means to be able to deal with a person or situation from a level of stability. A stable mind is devoid of ‘craving to control others or situations’. A stable mind always thinks about empowering others. If somebody is wrong, thinking carefully and acting in a manner that will be for the long term benefit of the person, is the sign of a stable mind.  If you have a selfish motive, you will immediately create an agami karma.  Bheda means to act skillfully with the clear intention of the ‘greater good’. When you tactfully create a situation to bring out the truth or convey a message with the intention of the ‘greater good’, it is Bheda.

If Bheda does not work, move on to Danda.

4] Danda – Danda means ‘to discipline’.

In your own inner environment, Discipline means to do your spiritual practices, pranayama, kriya, stick to vows of not hurting others, vows of not speaking unnecessarily, vows of non-covetousness, applying the spiritual knowledge, ‘dropping raaga and dvesha, avoiding creation of agami karma, etc.

In your external environment, when dealing with a difficult person, Danda is the action that helps bring about discipline with intention of ‘greater good’. If you have a selfish motive, you will immediately create an agami karma. As long as you pick up the stick with equanimity and good intention in your heart, you will not create karma, that is the true meaning of Danda. It could mean taking an extremely bold step or parting ways or being strict, etc. It will vary with every situation.

These four methods can help you deal with any difficult situation or person. Keep in mind the two most important principles:

1] Your intention should not be selfish [means it should not be out of a raaga or dvesha]. It should be for the greater good.

2] While applying either of the 4 methods, if you get into raaga or dvesha, you will create karma.

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