If you want to love all, serve all, and spread peace you first have to learn to love yourself. You also have to find peace within yourself. If you recognize the peace and joy within, then you will be able to give the same to everyone else. And you are not actually giving peace and joy. You are helping others to find their own peace and joy. So, first find it yourself. Everything begins at home. There is a proverb, “Charity begins at home.” I would say that everything begins at home. Everything. If you have joy, you give joy to others; if you have hatred, you bring hatred to others. If you judge yourself, you judge others.

If you want to judge others, the first thing you should do is to judge yourself. In a court, you find Lady Justice shown holding a scale. What does that mean? A scale means balance. It doesn’t matter if you put gold or clay on the scale, it just balances the weight. To ensure neutrality, the needle should be in the middle. If the needle stands to one side there is no neutrality. The needle should be balanced always, and then you can judge others.

So, keep your mental balance and have complete self-mastery. Then you are at the zero or neutral point. Only then can you evaluate others and their actions. A scale should judge itself first, before it shows you the correct weight. So be sure that your needle is kept always at zero—a balanced mind, equal vision, a clean and loving heart.

That’s why God itself is neutral. What is the core of God? “O” for zero. You zero in, and then from the zero point, you can judge whether its “G” for good or “D” for devilish. G-O-D. On one side is G, one side D, and in the middle zero. The zero could stand for nothing, or for everything. So we should become either nothing or everything, but not something. The minute you identify yourself as something, you are not nothing and you are not everything—you’ve limited yourself. So learn to become either nothing or everything, and then you can understand something.

By Sri Swami Satchidananda