Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?

Learning to make a living or learning to make a life?

Today the distance between learning for a job in the real world and learning that aims to help students become as fully human as possible is immense. The modern education system prepares one for the job, while denouncing culture, character and value system.

Acharya Jinchand Suriji, at the Lahore court of Akbar once said, “Gaining more knowledge is not the sole purpose of learning. The object of knowledge and the application of knowledge are more important for being a complete person.”

During one of the meetings with the learned religious people, Emperor Akbar asked the pundits, “Who was the most learned Jain philosopher?” The pundits replied, “Acharya Jinchandra Suri was one such person”. Emperor asked, “Who is his disciple?” The pundits replied, “Diwan Karam Chand”. Karam Chand Bachhawat was summoned and ordered to invite his guru maharaj as soon as possible. Acharya reached Lahore on 14th February, 1592 along with 31 disciples on Id day.

karam-chand-with-akbar-3The Emperor, who was sitting in the ‘gavaksha’ of the palace, came down to receive Acharya Jinchandra Suri and after exchanging pleasantries, he said, “I have asked you to come here all the way from Gujarat to benefit from your thoughts at the religious meetings. You must visit my court to give audience, at least once every day so that there is spiritual awakening among my children”.

For application of knowledge, meaning positive attitude and code of conduct, let me recall the famous words, “Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?”

To check our external beauty or tidiness, we look into the mirror on the wall each day. But on a mental, emotional and spiritual level, what is the mirror that helps you to see if there is anything wrong with your inner face or self?

There are three types of mirrors, which one can use to see or check the internal self: 2015-1

1. The first mirror is the mirror of spiritual knowledge

Looking into this mirror means listening to or reading a piece of spiritual knowledge for at least 5 minutes that connects you to your inner essence, increases your emotional and spiritual intelligence as well as reminds you of your true purpose.

You will see yourself very clearly in this mirror as this mirror will show you:
the knowledge of the original and ideal virtues of the soul like peace, love, bliss, purity, power, joy etc.;
how these virtues can be imbibed in the self to benefit the self and others;
the knowledge of the different types of weaknesses that can arise in the soul like anger, greed, ego, hatred, fear, attachment, jealousy, sorrow, etc.;
the knowledge of overcoming these weaknesses.

2. The second mirror is the mirror of meditation

When you create powerful, positive thoughts about the self and you also visualize your true spiritual self, you feel and experience your true virtuous being, what you are – radiant and free of all influences. That experience helps you to see yourself as you really are and in contrast to how you are now.

So a good practice then is to look into this mirror and check yourself once in the morning before the day’s activities and once before sleeping for 10 minutes each time. Also, since this is the most powerful mirror, it is extremely vital to carry this mirror with you throughout the day and check yourself in it for one minute after every hour.

  1. The third mirror is the mirror of your own thoughts, words and actions

What you think and feel about yourself and others is invisible to others and only you know what it is. But you radiate your thoughts, feelings, emotions and attitudes through your facial expressions, your eyes, your words, your body language and your actions when you interact with others. That way your words and your actions act as a mirror in which to see yourself. You achieve this when you are a detached observer and you become aware of your responses, your reactions and how you express what arises from within you.

Finally and most importantly, always do remember that those who use these three mirrors actively and use them well to ensure that their internal self looks good and beautiful all the time and become living mirrors for others. People who come in contact with them are able to see accurately what their internal self looks like. On seeing how beautiful and perfect they are, other people quickly realize their shortcomings or weaknesses and also take inspiration to become as beautiful, clean and virtuous beings as them.

2 thoughts on “Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?

  1. Hi Sir,
    Sumathi here from Coimbatore. This article on 3 mirrors of spiritual, meditation and of oneself is a very nice one. I have just started opening your website and found this very interesting.
    I also read that now a days schools provide education to earn their job which I also agree. Something let me back was my daughter’s school. They confidently requested us(parents) not to expect marks on their paper as that does not decide their future alone. There are many other factors too, each child is different in their own way. This school encourages a child to grow as the child wishes. The teachers here are their guide and we also as parents support them. I’m indeed proud and satisfied that we have not chosen a wrong school. They also give importance to our Indian culture not western, though they follow Montessori method of teaching.
    Thank you

    1. Sumathi… thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. Most institutions impart education in Knowledge and Psychomotor (Practicals) domains. The tough part is to create a syllabus in Affective (attitude) domain and transfer attitudinal skills to the students. It is very easy to say, “Students you must maintain hygiene”. How hygiene is to be maintained comes under attitude. Mother often says, “Beta, cross the road safely”. How to cross safely is an attitudinal skill. Thanks and regards

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