War, Peace and the Three Gate Test

A student wants to talk to his master. Just before he reaches his master’s place, there is a misunderstanding between him and his wife. He is very disturbed.

In such a state he goes to his master’s place, kicks open the door, takes out his hat and throws it, takes out his shoes and throws them, full of anger. He then goes to the master and says – ‘‘Oh master! I want peace. I want joy.’’

The master had been observing this student. He tells him, ‘‘First go to the door and apologize to the door for banging it. Go to the hat and apologize to the hat for throwing it. Go to your coat and apologize to the coat for treating it so roughly. And then come. I will talk of peace to you.’’

When the student lovingly apologizes to all those objects and comes back to the master, that very love brings about a transformation in the student. He discovers peace in that state of love. A beautiful story! It shows that, even inanimate objects if handled with live and acceptance, contribute to our inner peace and joy.  

Have you observed people eating? Most often eating is a war. Taking bath is a war. Instead of bathing their precious body with love, it is a ritual accomplished in as few minutes as practically possible. There is no love, no poetry. There is no dance and music. There is only war and noise. All because they have not accepted themselves with love. The moment you start accepting yourself with love, you even handle inert things with love and care, with a sense of total acceptance. You will then find there is so much of poetry, music, aliveness, celebration and dance in your life. 

It is said, a mystic who went to each plant and flower and asked them how they could contribute to humanity, founded the Unani system of medicine. He literally begged every plant out of intuition. Thus, the whole system of Unani came into existence.

With all the stress and pressure in our lives, it is easy to lose our cool at the slightest irritation. While we are rushing home from work at the end of another exhausting day, we scream at the slow driver in front of us who apparently has all the time in the world. While we shop at the grocery store, we get annoyed with the stock clerk who sends us to the wrong aisle when we are in search of the ingredients for tonight’s special dish. And while we are eating our dinner, we yell at the telemarketer who has nerve to interrupt us in an attempt to sell us their latest wares.

The problem with losing our temper on a daily basis is that it becomes a habit. And like most habits, a time arrives when it becomes a second nature. Personal relationships start unraveling, business partnerships begin to fall apart and your credibility decreases. Effective people are consistent and, in many ways, predictable. Keeping your cool in a moment of crisis can save you years of pain and anguish.

Hurtful words unleashed in a single minute of anger have led to many a broken friendship or relationship. Words are like arrows: once released, they are impossible to retrieve. So choose yours with care.  

An excellent way to control temper is ‘‘Three Gate Test’’ as practiced by ancient sages. The ancient sages would only speak if the words they were about to utter passed three gates. At the first gate, they asked themselves, Are these words truthful? If so, the words could pass on to the second gate. At the second gate, the sages asked, Are these words necessary? If so, they would then pass on to the third gate, where they would ask, Are these words kind? If so, then only they leave their lips and be sent out into the world.

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