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Practical Approach of "See The Bright Side"

From: Satiish K Bhatia"
Subject: Practical Approach of "See The Bright Side"
Date: Sun, 20 Jan 2013 21:53:33 +0530



Every Ananda Margii is aware that Baba guides us to "see the bright side of everything". And while at first glance the phrase seems quite simple, there is a greater meaning and application which we should explore. To date, some still have some fundamental misudnerstandings about this key guideline from Sadguru.


In dharmic fashion, Baba sets the tone that in our Ananda Marga we are to see the bright side of everything and side by side oppose all sorts of dogmas, exploitation, and wrongdoings in order to guide the society on the proper path. However a few people do not understand how this is all working together. They reason that seeing the bright side means not pointing out the negativity in society, and / or not fighting against injustice - i.e. just remaining meek and passive etc.

For greater clarity we should see Baba's practical working style and other related examples to best understand the inner sense of "see the bright side". By this very system we can clean the organisation - ridding it from dogmas and groupism.


In one regard, it is just like how parents view their children. Proper parents always see the bright side with regards to their children's growth and development. With love and affection they see everything; they never overlook the lesser qualities. And, by this way, they are seeing the bright side and watching out for their child's welfare.

For example a mother may think, "Okay my child has 80% good qualities but to help them improve and make them more bright certain aspects of their life need correction." So the mother lovingly tells her child, "Don't be lazy. Study more. Go and prepare your lessons." All those things she tells the child. By this way she identifies and addresses the defective behaviours of the child. All done with the benevolent motive to correct those wrong habits and thus increase the brightness of her child.

So the mother is seeing the bright side, and that means trying to make it more bright. The way to do that is to find the dark elements and have them corrected or removed. Then the bright side will become more brilliant. No one can accuse the mother of criticising the child or seeing the dark side. Who can blame that the mother is not seeing the bright side when addressing her child and only seeing the dark side.

Seeing the dark side occurs when a person does not want to make someone else better. In that case they will only abuse others with the intention of putting them down. Many persons do like that. But this is very bad and this is not at all working hand in hand with seeing the bright side.

That's why Baba guides us that we should have a sympathetic opinion regarding the person to whom we are dealing. And then find out their mistake, and remove it.


The whole spirit behind "seeing the bright side" is to rectify the defects in order to build up a seamless and vibrant society. The present humanity is suffering from many ailments. In dharmic fashion Baba exposes all the various problems and ailments that are present in the society. Such as dogma, negativity, exploitation by capitalism, crudity of communism, and many more things. Baba is highlighting the fact in bold letters that now society has very little on the good side. To rectify the situation, Baba guides us to think in a pointed way and remove the disparities and exploitation. Then society's brightness will come forth and shine.

Hence, by seeing the bright side, the main intention is to fix the problem. To make others aware about the defect and address and repair it. And make the situation better and better. So in Ananda Marga our aim is to fix society's various problems. Toward that end, Baba has also graciously given the solution to each and every problem as well. So ours is the practical approach.

In contrast, those who just criticize and abuse others without ever offering any solution-- that approach is negative. And no well-intentioned person will do like this.

For example, a mother doesn't only criticize her child. Rather the mother instructs, "Don't be lethargic and negligent about your health & hygiene. Go and take a bath." So here the mother's basic point is: 'don't be lazy on the point of cleanliness'. So this is not mere criticism. Because immediately following comes the direction to go and take a bath. And by that way the child will be clean. So the intention of the mother is to improve the child's condition. This is seeing the bright side.

Similarly if someone says that "My neighbor often gets drunk and may one day hurt himself. We should help him." Out of a feeling of concern if someone talks this way about their neighbor, then that is not a negative action. Rather, it is positive. Because the person wants to make their neighbor better - he wants to see his brightness more shining. And in that way a solution has been given to help him.

Likewise people wash their clothes with the same positive motive - to remove the stain and make their clothes more fresh. So finding out the stain does not mean one is seeing the negative side or indulging in anything detrimental. Rather by taking the time to remove the dirt one is making everything brighter and cleaner.



The best example of all is Baba's divine role during Dharma Samiiksa. There, in historic fashion, Baba goaded so many sadhakas unto the path of supreme beatitude by lovingly pointing out their defects and mistakes; by this way, He graciously rectified them and removed their ills. This allowed those bhaktas to move ahead with increasing speed toward their cherished Goal. If Baba had merely praised each person who came before Him for dharma samiiksa, those sadhakas would not have been able to progress. That would have been useless. So Baba lovingly pointed out the defects to help sadakhas become clean and pure, i.e. blemishless. No one can stand there and say that Baba only saw the dark side. One cannot blame Guru in this manner. He lovingly highlighted the wrongs so they could be removed, thereby allowing the sadhaka to feel pure, light, and bright. That was Baba's magnificent approach during dharma samiiksa, and verily in every reporting session as well. This was how Babs practically showed us how to follow: See the bright side. Who can say Baba was seeing only the dark side and not seeing the bright side.


So in this process of "Seeing the bright side", the benevolent motive is the main factor. Whereas those seeing the dark side criticize without the intent to help. That is where their approach is wrong and completely poisonous.

For example, take the case of the communist's approach. Communists always try to destroy capitalists, with that mindset they abuse capitalists.

A related approach happens with political parties in the democratic system as well. One party leader's only aim is to sabotage the other party's programs to make them look bad. This manner has nothing to do with "seeing the bright side."

If one group endlessly involved in undermining and mudslinging,then that is not "see the bright side". Because their only intention is to put the other group down and gain the power. Righting the organisation by following ideology is not their way.


Whereas our true approach in Ananda Marga - Baba's example - is not like that and the directive 'See the bright side' works in a completely different way.

Regarding the defects of capitalism Baba outrightly exposes the short-sighted, materialistic, and selfish nature of capitalism. And side by side He provides the Prout - the perfect solution. By implementing Prout everybody will become healthy, and everybody's face will shine with joy. Step by step, the physical problems will vanish, the psychic ailments will be identified and solved, and people will be able to advance in the field of spirituality. They will thus build up a strong and healthy God-centered society.

No one can blame Baba that He Himself did not follow the teaching that He gave for others: See the bright side of everything. From the getgo Baba was seeing the bright side of human society and by pointing out the ills and defects of capitalism He best helped those capitalists and society.

So all around, Ananda Marga's teaching is ensconced in the motive of welfare: By pointing out the injustices and negativity, fixing the problem, and leading the whole society along the path together to the final desideratum.

Thus, seeing the bright side goes hand in hand with pointing out the faults. Without pointing out the defects, the bright side will never be able to become more bright. Well-wishers never ignore the problem. When you go to the doctor then that doctor does tests to find the problem and make you healthy - i.e. brighter than before. Same is the case when you bring your scooter to the mechanic. In that moment, the mechanic does not praise all the good qualities of the scooter - rather he finds the problem and fixes it.

And that is what we must do in order to rid our Ananda Marga from groupism: Identify the problem and solve it by implementing Baba's neo-humanistic teachings.


Hence the supreme spirit of "See the Bright Side" is imbibed in each and every moment of Baba's working style and is embedded within the entire Ananda Marga ideology.  Who can say Baba was seeing only the dark side of those He was point out and not seeing the bright side.

Thus as Ananda Margiis we are living in the world, and our duty is that we should help clean the society and make it better. Likewise we are living in this organization (AMPS) so our duty is to not overlook the wrongdoings.

Rather, we should find out the problems and fix them. If something is not going according to Baba's teaching then we should rectify that. By this way our organization will be better and better.

By properly following the inner spirit of Baba's divine guideline of "See the bright side" that is the only way to move ahead and build up a healthy and vibrant society free from exploitation.


Well-wishers always point out the defect in order to remove it and enhance the bright side. Those who refrain from talking about the ills are not seeing the bright side. They may be meek; they may be cowardly; but they are definitely not seeing the bright side. Those who only talk about the negative side with the intent of suppressing others are followers of the dark side. Here is one such example:

Baba says, "There are many teachers who wound the sentiments of a student by ridiculing either his caste or his father's profession saying, "The plough suits you better than the pen, my boy," or "You had better join your father at the potters wheel." Even today such utterances come out of the mouths of many teachers." (1)

Such a teacher's sole intention is the put the boy down. That is the dark side.

In Ananda Marga, we only see the bright side: The intention is to purify by removing the stain and making everything bright, shining, and brilliant.


Often the statement - "See the bright side" - is misused by selfish and opportunistic exploiters. They try to convince others not to point out the wrongdoings etc. They want people to overlook their defects and talk only of their good qualities. Hearing this, some very naive people are misled and they remain befooled. But this is not the way. So be alert if any immoral elements try to teach you not to oppose wrong wrongdoing.


"We cannot call people “good” if they cannot lead people of all walks of life towards welfare. We can call them “goody-goodies” but not good people. Those who are truly good people will move bravely forward and provide inspiration and strength to those mute masses to fight against all kinds of obstacles, and give a clarion call to them to march ahead." (2)

"Intelligent people should no longer remain silent...They must not act like goody-goodies, seeing evil but continuing to tolerate it. This is very bad." (3)

"The establishment of an ideal society depends on the mutual help of the members and their cooperative behaviour. This cooperative behaviour depends on the practice of the principles of Yama and Niyama; so, spiritual practices, especially the practice of Yama and Niyama, are the sound foundation of an ideal society...All Ananda Margis, when they see other Margis acting against the principles of Yama and Niyama, must make them shun this habit either by sweet or harsh words or by dealing even more strictly. Thus they will have to make the society strong. Henceforth I direct every Ananda Margi to keep strict vigilance on other Ananda Margi to make them practise the principles of Yama and Niyama." (4)

"The characteristic of good people is to fight against injustice, to firmly adhere to truth and righteousness, to protect the helpless and fight against all evil persons. Those who are merely simple and are of a meek and goody-goody nature are not good people." (5)

"By observing people's conduct one will easily notice those who are absorbed in divine love...Those who have attained Iishvaraprema can never and will never exploit others. They will raise their voice against all sorts of tyranny, injustice, and exploitation. Those who do not possess that kind of honest courage to oppose all wrongs are nothing but fakes - they are never genuine [devotees]." (6)

"I have already said that Ananda Marga is the first movement aimed at liberating spirituality from the unwholesome influences from dogma. Hence you must not in any way encourage dogma. Rather, you should carry on an endless fight against dogma. And while fighting against dogma, you will realize the actual truth, and when you will come in contact with truth, you will be established in real spirituality...human beings have got to be established in human excellence and carry on a ceaseless struggle against dogma." (7)


If a family member or close person is doing something wrong then one must point out their defect. Never tolerate such things. Ironically, the general tendency is to overlook the faults of your close people etc. But that is very dangerous - it is more dangerous than if they were distant. If someone is insincere and does not have a sadhu mentality, then they must be pointed out, opposed, and rectified. Only then will that person be able to grow. This series of guidelines is especially critical if that person is close to you.

Think in this manner: A snake in the wild is not as dangerous as a snake that is in the house. Thus close persons must always be pointed out and corrected. That is the gist of Baba's following teaching noted below in the original Hindi.

“साधना की जो मुख्य बात है, कि—सत्याश्रयी बनना | “सत्याश्रयी” माने यहाँ, sincere बनना | कहा गया कि आज के जीवन में मनुष्य में बहुत कुटिलता तथा जटिलता आ गई है | मनुष्य पहले के माफ़िक, सीधे नहीं रहे | यह बात आज से दस हज़ार साल पहले जितना सत्य था, आज उससे भी अधिक सत्य है | अर्थात्‌ दस हज़ार साल पहले भी देखा गया था कि—मनुष्य क्षणिक लोभ के लिए, क्षणिक सुख के लिए, धर्म से हट जाते हैं | और, तुलसी जी भी कहते थे कि—”कौन मनुष्य कितना perfect है, उसका प्रमाण मिलता है विपद के समय में | धैर्य, धर्म, नारी, और मित्र का परिचय मिलता है, विपद में |

छोटा-सा लोभ, ख़ूब छोटा-सा एक सामयिक लाभ के कारण मनुष्य धर्म के रास्ते से हट जाते हैं | प्राचीन काल में ऐसा नहीं था | क्रमशः मनुष्य के मन में जितनी जटिलता बढ़ रही है, मनुष्य उतना insincere बन रहा है | और इसके लिए मुख्य ज़िम्मेवारी है, so-called intellectual लोगों की | अपनी कमज़ोरी को ढाँकने के लिए, छिपाने के लिए, उन लोगों ने क्या किया ? बड़ी-बड़ी बात जनता को सुनाई है | मगर अपने ज्यों का त्यों रह गए |

मूड़ मुड़ाए जटा रखाए, मस्त फिरें जैसा भैंसा |
और खलड़ी ऊपर ख़ाक लगाए, मन जैसा तो तैसा ||

तो, यह जो intellectuals, यही आम जनता को विभ्रान्त किए हैं | और हम बोले, क्या ? sincerity first, sincerity second, sincerity always | साधनामार्ग में sincerity सबसे बड़ी चीज़ है | और, sincerity क्या है ? Sincerity is always सत्याश्रयी | Sincerity माने ही सत्य में रहना, मज़बूत रहना |

अपना आदमी हो, घर का आदमी हो | कोई सत्य से इधर-उधर हट गया, sincerity की कमी जिनमें है—उसका विरोध करो, बर्दाश्त मत करो | अपना आदमी है तो क्या है | अपना आदमी अगर असाधु है, insincere है, तो, और भी अधिक ख़तरनाक है | क्यों ? बाहर में अगर साँप रहा, वह जितना ख़तरनाक है, घर में अगर साँप घुस गया तो और भी अधिक ख़तरनाक है | इसलिए, और भी, उसका अधिक विरोध होना चाहिए |” (8)

in Him,


We have seen how communists only indulge criticism after criticism without any practical intention to remedy the situation.

Baba says, "Those who are leftists in the world are even more dangerous...they are deliberately seeking out the dark and dirty aspects of life and, like flies, growing fat on the secretions of society's festering sores. It must be remembered that flies do not heal sores-- rather they exacerbate them, because the very puss of these sores provides them with their vital juice. So the filthy aspects of society are the only wealth on which these [leftists] subsist." (9)


1. Human Society - 1, p.8
2. Ananda Vacanamrtam - 22
3. Liberation of Intellect: Neo-Humanism, Disc: 2
4. A Guide to Human Conduct
5. A Few Problems Solved-5
6. Ananda Vacanamrtam - 7, p.12
7. Prout in a Nutshell - 18
8. EGD 25 November 1978 Bombay, NP,Taking Shelter in Satya is the Essence of Sadhana
9. Prout in a Nutshell - 10, p. 24

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