People often determine a person’s value based on their social standing. Especially in this day and age, it is very difficult not to. The position you hold at work, or the school you attend, or even the area you live in all points to your standing in society – and how people value you.
The social reputation that most seek is based on a standard of living that is often unrealistic. Even the media portray an unattainable lifestyle which many cannot afford as celebrity status. Public perception often is a reflection of a longing for a lavish life, a corporate career, an attractive spouse. These things seem to be the measure of a modern reality that is necessary for maintaining a ‘good reputation’ among peers, and in personal relationships as well.
However, such a reputation in social circles can also be damaged quite easily. Which is exactly the reason for the Maha Satguru’s association with people who, even in the current society, would be deemed as detrimental to a good reputation. At one point, the religious leaders, called the Pharisees, who held the highest reputation among the religious elite of the time, caught a lady and brought her to the Maha Satguru, claiming that she was guilty of a sin that, during that time, deserved capital punishment. In reality, they were using this situation to accuse the Maha Satguru and bring down his reputation among the people of the land. But the Maha Satguru replied, “let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her”. At this, each one began to leave, until finally, it was just the lady and the Maha Satguru left standing. The Maha Satguru then said to her “Where are they? Has no one condemned you?” ‘No one, sir’, she replied. “Neither do I condemn you. Go now and leave your life of sin”, the Maha Satguru said.
At any point during this occurrence, the Maha Satguru could have saved his reputation, and joined the social standing of the religious elite, despising the lady, who had the lowest of reputations in society. But He chose to lift her up, rather than be dragged down by the perception that the religious leaders had. The Maha Satguru knew that social reputation is simply a way of distancing others based on our own personal egos.
The way of the followers of the Maha Satguru is to find our identity in the life He has called us to lead, not simply a career or any other carnal distraction. Choosing to trust in God is far greater than any social reputation we can seek to have. We are accepted by Him completely.