“The Guru knows every thought you think… can you imagine? But… he understands you perfectly!” I will never forget hearing these words from a direct disciple of Paramhansa Yogananda. They were (and still are) so comforting. Yes, the Guru knows all of our faults, all of our stupid actions, all of our negativity, BUT he knows exactly how we got to where we are and exactly how we will get out of this mess of delusion.

In a letter of Saint Paul to the Ephesians, he writes, “And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.” It is incomprehensible how much God and the Masters love us. In that unconditional love comes perfect understanding. 

When you love someone, don’t you try to understand his point of view? Or give her the benefit of the doubt? When your partner does something that hurts your feelings, do you stop to wonder why? What’s going on in their world that is causing them to act that way? 

Imagine if we knew the whole story of everyone – how each of us got to this very spot in our journey – certainly we would have more compassion for each other. 

Well, the Masters are Omniscient, so they know not only all of our thoughts, they know all of our lifetimes! They know every thread that has made up the vast tapestry of who we are. And thank God, they see our ultimate destiny of perfection in Bliss. 

How can we reflect that kind of perfect understanding to each other?

Listen. You may not hear someone’s inner thoughts but you can usually tell when they are having a hard time. Actively, attentively listening can be one of the best ways to gain understanding of another person.

Don’t judge. If you’ve gone through a difficult time yourself, like grieving the loss of a loved one, a serious health challenge, a period of doubt or deep depression, addiction, etc. aren’t you more equipped to help others through the same difficulties? Why? Because you’ve been there. You’ve walked through the trial yourself, you know what it feels like, and you know what helped (or didn’t help) you. 

When you’ve been through a challenge, it’s a lot easier not to judge someone going through something similar. If you haven’t been through it in this lifetime, chances are you have in previous lifetimes, so just make it a point not to judge anyone. If you find yourself saying, “I would never do something like that!”, remember the saying “never say never” because you may just end up finding yourself in the very situation by which you were so repulsed!

Love. Beyond anything we can say or do to try to help another person, the silent vibrations of love and compassion will have the biggest impact on the person and on our own understanding. If you want to understand someone, you can try to walk a mile in his shoes, or you can just love him as a child of God and as a brother or sister on this crazy journey of life.