How to accept compliments?
From time to time people praise us. We may accept a compliment, respond to it, or shy away from the praise. The people, who follow the spiritual path, realize that everything that is good in them is the gift of the Creator. So, what is the way for them to behave in such situations according to yoga philosophy? How not to contradict oneself?
Accepting compliments is a pleasant thing, which has its particular value. One day you are praised for your beauty, wit and a good sense of humor. You are accepting it as your personal accomplishment and feeling happy. Next day somebody is scolding you, which hurts you, because you consider your personal qualities as those belonging primarily to you. You attribute them to yourself and treat them affectionately. All of a sudden, somebody turns up and evaluates your qualities not in the way you like. It feels obnoxious.
Having become unresponsive to the praise, you will prevent yourself from the pain when criticized. The balance of the mind lies in this ability – when scolded you withdraw from becoming negative, when praised you mental balance is also not disturbed.

How to respond properly?

The way you respond is important for the person who paid you a compliment. Tell them, “I am very pleased, thank you”.

To preserve proper inner response is by far more difficult. We often take the praise personally, so gradually one starts to feel him/herself extraordinary or unique. Star fever is a destructive thing. If you leave its sprouts unattended, it easily roots and very soon starts to bloom wildly. You believe that there is something in you, which other people do not have. This will inevitably be expressed externally, and people will start feeling your arrogance.

If you let your mind lose its balance because of some criticism, eventually, you may develop the inferiority complex. The people around you will naturally also feel this complex in you.

So, erroneous perception both of criticism and praise have the same cause, which is the imbalance of the mind expressed in different forms.
It is important to acknowledge that all that is good in you - inspiration, beauty, skills, is given from Above.

It would be foolish to attribute these qualities to yourself. Remember who the author, the Creator of the universe is and better leave all the laurels to Him. In this way, you are sure to preserve your inner balance and develop the power of your mind.

Why does selfishness eliminate talent?

Spiritual vibration easily flows through a person with good “conductivity”, who is free from selfishness, inferiority or superiority complexes. Such personality creates beautiful and unique things for this world, because the Creator can easily realize His plans through them.

When the mind is out of balance, the spiritual flow gets blocked and cannot break through its vibrations.

The following story perfectly illustrates our topic:

Once upon a time, there lived a talented sculptor. Everybody liked his artworks. One day he created a sculpture of an Indian deity of incredible beauty, mounted it on the donkey and went to the market to sell it. The people from the neighboring village saw the sculpture, gathered around the donkey expressing their adoration. The donkey assumed a dignified air and thought, “Well…”.

The same repeated in the next village. People already knew that the sculptor was taking the extraordinarily gorgeous statue of a deity. People came to have a look at it, brought flowers and fruit. The donkey had some fruit. Then the people were making the offering to the deity, which was attached to the back of the donkey. The donkey felt itself in the seventh heaven. Having reached the city the sculptor took the statue and went to the market and let the donkey stay and pluck the grass. The donkey thought, “I would rather go to the people and meanwhile pour out my grace over them.” But nobody pay any attention to the donkey. It thought, “Okay, these must be ignorant people. I will give them a hint of who I am.” It entered the temple, but nobody gave any heed to it. Then it jumped on the altar. Seeing that the people took the rods, kicked it out of the temple and gave it a good thrashing.

The message of this story is that nothing good, which is in you, really belongs to you. It is owned by somebody who gave it to you. You may either lose or acquire everything in a moment, because nothing belongs to you and you have no control of it
Keep in mind that all the qualities that you possess have been granted to you from Above. You are just using them. It may happen that all of a sudden you will lose them.

But when you receive a compliment, humbly respond: “Thank you, I’m very pleased.”
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