Words can comfort or hurt. It is our pride that makes us use words that hurt. The words that great men utter are words that will prove true. We should, therefore, seek their blessings, and not doubt whether their words of blessing will come true, said Suki Sivam in a lecture.
One day a spiritual man blessed a sick man and said he would recover soon. A bystander mocked at the great man and asked how he knew that the sick man would recover. Moreover, would his words of blessing have the power to heal, he wondered. The great man then said to the bystander, that he, the bystander, was like an animal. Immediately, the bystander fell upon the spiritual man and scratched him. The spiritual man observed that all that he had said was that he (the bystander) was like an animal. Immediately, the man had behaved like an animal. If he, through his behaviour, had proved that the great man's words would come true, why should anyone doubt that the great man's words of blessing too would come true? Words of great men come true, because of their spiritual strength.
The reason we disbelieve even great men is our pride. Pride is like drug-resistant bacteria. If we suppress one form of pride, it mutates and takes another form. So we have the strange phenomenon of people who are proud of their worship of God, and dismissive of other people's bhakti. In temples, we see how some people arrive with a lot of fanfare, and wonder if others are watching them as they display their devotion. So in their case, pride has taken a novel form - pride in religiosity.
There was once a teacher, to whom everyone went for lessons in siddhanta. In that village was a child, wise beyond its years, who was taking spiritual lessons, but not from this famous teacher. Angered, the teacher asked the child what it knew. Did it know the meaning of pride? Could it define pride, the teacher asked. The child silently pointed to the direction of the teacher. The teacher was the embodiment of pride, for he had assumed that there was no one else who had more knowledge than he, and a child had pointed this out to him. If we leave the luggage of pride behind, then we can reach the destination of heaven.