5.7 Value 4 – Accommodation (Ksantih)

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Accommodating Others

Swami Dayananda

Swami Dayananda

In Vedanta the preparation required is a mind that has in relative measure what it seeks to discover in the absolute. If the self is absolute contentment, then the mind of the seeker must be relatively content. If the self is absolute love, then the seeker must be a relatively loving person, who happily accepts people and things as they are.

To gain such a mind means to develop certain values and attitudes and to be clear about them in terms of understanding their importance. Accommodating others is such a value.

In fact your anger is due to lack of accommodation. You want the entire world to behave according to your desires. It is your own expectation of others that brings anger to you. You want the world to follow your dictates.

Better understand one thing to help you develop a value for accommodating others: the other person behaves in a given manner because he cannot behave differently. How should you expect a behaviour other than the one he has? That is all he is capable of.

“He could have done better”, you say; then he would have done so. What right do you have to demand that the other person act differently, in the manner you want him to? Does he not also have the right to ask you to behave in a different manner; because if you change, then he need not change, he has the right to ask you to let him live as he is. At least he doesn’t want you to change; he wants you to let him live as he lives. What is wrong in that?

In fact only by accommodating others, allowing them to be what they are, you gain a relative freedom in your day to day life.

If you analyse it, everyone interferes in everyone’s life. Everyone causes a global disturbance by his actions. You only need a large computer to figure it all out.

Ordinarily you just look at things from a small perspective, and you find one person looming large before you whose influence seems to be so much. In fact you are never free from anyone’s influence nor from all the forces in the universe in so far as your physical body is concerned. Nor can you do an action without affecting someone. You cannot even make a statement and get away without affecting another. Therefore no one is really free, we are all inter-related.

Swami Dayananda

Practical Exercises

Answer these questions to yourself:

1. Analyze your interactions during the last week with a family member, friend or colleague. Find situations when the behaviour of this particular person annoyed or irritated you. List the qualities of this person you don’t like.
2. And now remember your reaction towards this person’s behaviour. How did you express it and what was the effect of your reaction?
3. Do you also possess qualities that this person dislikes? And how does he or she react to them?
4. What would you say will be the level of your personal assimilation of the value Ksantih? What are the difficulties and successes concerning the implementation of this value in regards to your interactions with this person?
5. What prevents you from accepting people and situations as they are? And what do you want to do practically to develop this quality of accommodation?