There are so many religious leaders today, who have huge followings, but quite often what is missing from their lives and from their teachings is compassion.

I have seen religious leaders, so good with their sermons, later going back to their ashrams or offices and shouting and yelling at their juniors. I quite often wonder what those employees think of them.

I have also seen men and women who profess to tell others about leading a good life, going back home and being harsh and merciless.

“Your husband is such a good man, he must be the ideal husband to be married too. He is such a good preacher!” says a friend to the wife of a religious teacher.

“I wish,” says the wife, a wistful look on her face, “that he would be as loving a husband as he is a preacher!”

Most of them put up one image for the public and another for those who are close to us. What we need to do is to see the love that those close to them really have for them, because that reflects what sort of man or woman they are; whether they have a heart of compassion or wear a professional mask.

Outsiders see the professional mask, their family and home see the real persoon.

Says this verse from the holy scriptures, “Even if I give away everything that I have and sacrifice myself, but have no love, I gain nothing”.

You can ring every temple bell, you can enter every church or mosque but if you cannot feel the agony and pain of someone you see sick, or someone poor, or someone going through a problem. If you cannot give a helping hand to lift such people up, then you are wasting your time in church, mosque or mandir!

Lately, with deep sadness, I have been listening to the hate speeches of politicians. Desperate to get votes, they are now allowing their masks to slip, but I wonder why we never saw their real selves before? Some have broken families, others, financial or sexual scandals in which their sons or daughters are involved, and many have been linked to murders and rapes.

We need to look past their professional masks and look into their personal lives. What kind of a family does he have? Sons and daughters who bully the public? Then there is no doubt they got these traits from their dads sitting on the seat of power.

Look at religious leaders too. Move past their powerful sermons and talks and look at their homes. One peep in, and you will see the real man or woman.

If you want to know who the real man or woman is, it’s you who will have to pull off their masks, because they don’t even know they wear them..!

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