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Swami teaches....Part 17

 

Link to Swami Teaches....Part 16

Swami teaches.... (12 - 14 March 2005)

 

    Role of Buddhi for Receiving Proper View of Creation

 

   The Upanishad says "All that is seen or heard is God. The inner world and the outer world are both immersed in God. "Om Thath Sath", Upanishads scriptures declare.

    According to the Upanishads, the human body is comparable to a chariot. However beautiful a chariot may be, however fine the horses (sense organs)  and however efficient the reins (mind), without a charioteer all of them are of no use.
    In the journey of life, the Buddhi (intelligence) is most important and is the determinant in life.  

    In daily life, many difficulties and problems arise. Without the intervention of the Buddhi none of our problems can be solved. Because the Buddhi helps to end doubts, it has been described as one beyond the sense organs.

    The Bhagavad Gita has laid down two banks to channel its message. Without these banks the river of life will be subject to many hazards and difficulties. The two banks consist of two eightsyllable mantras. One is "Sraddhaavaan labhathe Jnanam" (The one of earnest faith acquires supreme wisdom). The other eight-syllable mantra is "Samsayaatma Vinasyathi" (The one filled with doubts perishes). When life flows between these two regulating principles, it will be blessed with peace and happiness.  

    The Buddhi (intelligence) has some other names. One of them is Antaryami (the Indweller). Human is guided by the voice of this Indweller. When problems arise, one waits for the directives of the Inner Voice. If this Inner Voice is not giving a satisfactory answers, person will be in a quandary. When one gets satisfactory guidance from the Inner Voice, he/she will be able to come to terms with the external world. Sometimes, one is found to remark: "My conscience does not approve of this." The Inner Voice is the voice of conscience. When one is asked to "Follow the Master," the "Master" is one's conscience. When you follow the dictates of your conscience, you can reach the proper destination.

    Another name attributed to Buddhi is Vijnana (confirmed knowledge). Vijnana helps to decide the truth relating to external objects. As it investigates internal processes also and comes to decisions on them, it is not entirely correct to describe Buddhi as Vijnana. Vijnana relates to the phenomenal objective world. Buddhi relates to the subtle realm of the internal.  

    The senses are subtler than the body. The mind is even more subtle than the senses. The Buddhi is far more subtle than the mind. The Atma is the subtlest of them all.
    Sometimes the Ego tends to envelop the Buddhi. If it is said so, Ego (Ahamkara) must be deemed subtler than the Buddhi. The Ego is extremely subtle and all-pervasive and enters into all one's actions. It is important to know. This is the reason why person is unable to transcend the Ego and comprehend the Atma.

    When the Aham ("I") acquires a form, it develops into the Ego. It is the identification with the body that promotes the sense of Ahamkara (I-am-the doer). As long as one suffers from egoism, his intelligence will not shine.
    Hence, efforts must be made at the outset to throw off the cover imposed by the ego on the intelligence (Buddhi). The Buddhi is very close to the Atma, and is therefore well situated to receive the illumination from the Atma. The Buddhi is in a position to receive 90 percent of its energy from the Atma. The mind derives its power from the Buddhi. The mind in its turn activates the senses. The power of the senses is spread over the body.
    The illumination emanating from the Atma when it passes through the Buddhi to the mind, from it to the senses and from the senses to the body, gets considerably dimmed by the time it reaches the body. If the Buddhi is kept totally pure and untainted, it will be possible to transmit to the body the full power of the Atma.  So, the Buddhi is not to be regarded as an ordinary aspect of the mind. It could be described as an image of the Atma, a reaction and an echo of the Atma. 

    In the Taithiriya Upanishad the Buddhi is compared to a bird. Sraddha (earnest faith) is the head of the bird. The right wing of the bird is Rita (the Cosmic Order). The left wing is Sathya (Truth). The main body of the bird is Mahat Tatwa. The tail is Yoga. Likewise in human, Sathya, Rita and Yoga are needed to maintain balance in the body and regulate the course of life both in the mundane and spiritual spheres.
   The Buddhi is thus composed of these five constituents. The Buddhi is an extraordinary power. It is only when all the five constituents are actively present that the Buddhi (intelligence) acquires its full form. The Buddhi can function properly only when it is governed by Sathya, Rita and Yoga. What is the Yoga that is envisaged here? It is not merely the physical exercises of various kinds. Yoga here means control of the senses "Yogah Chittavrithi nirodah." It is the recognition by the Buddhi of the true nature of the Self. The human of intelligence is one who has realised own true Self. Through Love, seek to know your true Self with the help of the Buddhi.  

    Buddhi is of no use if it does not have Sraddha (earnest faith) as its motivator. Vedanta has declared: "Sradhaavaan labhathe Jnanam" (Only the human of earnest faith can acquire the higher knowledge). Without Sraddha, nothing can be achieved. Human doubtless has Sraddha, but only for securing the fruit, but not for the labour required for getting it. One does not have the "spirit of work" in him/her.

    The advances in science and technology have made human a lover of comfort and ease with no interest in hard work. There is nothing wrong with science. It is the improper use of science, and separation the spiritual from the physical that is leading people astray. Spirituality runs like an undercurrent through every aspect of life social, political, economic and moral.

     Power and position, bereft of good qualities, are of no value. The foremost need of human is virtue. It is in this spirit that human should remember God.

    Human is of God, with and from God. The bubble is born in water, stays in water and is lost in water as water. The Cosmos too is a bubble born in the Absolute, exists as the Absolute and merges in the Absolute or Paramaathma. Nara (the human) is the bubble; God (Naaraayana) is the sea. Recognise this truth as the bubble cannot be conceived without positing water, the Cosmos, this world, cannot be conceived as without God. Of course waves rise and fall, advance and recede, but the sea has no such agitations. The movements of the waves as humans activity do not affect the sea.

    For every human two things are essential: Arogya (good health) and Aanandha (Happiness). Health for the body and bliss for the spirit. For that one must secure God's grace. To get God's grace, bear in mind the three P's  - Purity, Patience and Perseverance. With these three one is bound to acquire good health and bliss through experiences and harmonic with spiritual guidelines activity.

    Humans activities (karma) are of three kinds karma - action, inaction, and unaction. Of these unaction is the most subtle of activities, for it is neither sloth nor action motivated by desire. It is simple awareness, the deepest experience, it is neither thaamasik nor raajasik. Action is rajasik when urged on by selfish motives. Inaction is thamasik. But unaction is saathwik.
    Based on these three types of 'activity,' the nature of humans can also be distinguished as characteristic of three types - the beast-men, human-men and God-men types.

    Beast-man does not pay any attention to anything other than their own selfish ends.  They have no trace of devotion and dedication. They do not share in helping others and  have no concern with the sorrows and sufferings of others. 
    The human-men involve themselves in the welfare of their family and children and the small circle of their kith and kin.  The nature of these people is not laudable; but there is at least the possibility of the little spark of love becoming brilliant and expansive through contacts with society, or impact of saints, or participation in some projects of selfless service. They can raise themselves up into God-men.
    The God-men are described in the Bhagavad Geetha as Sathatham Yoginah - "Always associated with God." They are never apart from God.  Whatever they see or do, they believe it is in God and for God.

 

    Everything is constantly changing in the world. This ever-changing world is based upon the unchanging Divine. It is only when the Aadhaara (Divine base) is understood can one derive bliss from the experience of what is based on it. 

    Anyone cannot change creation, but by changing the vision one can get the proper view of creation.
    A tiny illustration. Once there was a king, who developed an acute stomach trouble. All the medicines administered by doctors were of no avail. He then approached a great yogi, who told him that for his stomach ailment he had to treat the sight. He should see nothing but green everywhere. The yogi left and the king ordered that all places in his kingdom should be painted green. Sometime later, the yogi returned and found that people were engaged in splashing green paint everywhere. When asked for the reason, they told him that they were carrying out the King's orders. The yogi went to the king and told him that to see everything green, all that was needed for him was to wear green glasses. It was absurd to attempt to paint everything green.
(Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 15. "The Universe - the Guru," Chapter 15; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 23. "The Buddhi and the Atma," Chapter 16; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 24. "How to win the Lord's grace," Chapter 28; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 28. "Health, diet and Divinity," Chapter 16.


Swami teaches.... (15 March 2005)

 

   Meaning of Spirituality and Sacrifice. Atmic Consciousness 

 

    Many people today do not understand what is the meaning of spirituality. Spirituality means destroying the animal nature in human and making him/her realise the divine consciousness. Spirituality implies that one should not develop egoistic pride on account of the divine potencies but utilise them for achieving spiritual strength. Spirituality calls for the recognition of the manifold capacities manifesting in human as emanating from the Spirit and not from the mind. It means developing the faith that all powers come from the Divine.

    Spirituality does not mean proceeding from the human to the Divine. It seeks to unfold the divinity in man. Spirituality does not mean passing from the mundane to the Divine. Spirituality means making human manifest the divinity in him/her.
    People today have the wrong impression that spirituality is concerned with the journey from the mundane world to the higher realm and vice versa. Because of this mistaken view, many today are in a state of confusion about spirituality. Spirituality is the realisation of the role of the Spirit in daily life. It is a way, a style of life. Our entire life is bound up with the Spirit and all human's powers are derived from the Spirit. The last is not divorced from daily life. Spirituality does not mean leading a lonely and secluded life. True spirituality calls for the recognition of the oneness of all mankind and to demonstrate the spiritual truth underlying this Divine unity.

    Whatever one says, whatever one does, whatever one thinks, all of it is related to the Spirit. Spirituality is the expression of the promptings of the Inner Spirit. The good deeds by the external instruments of the body cannot be deemed spiritual.
    All scriptures are intended to promote right practices and not merely to be used as texts for reading. Of what use is it merely to read these scriptures as a routine ritual without practising their teachings? All the spiritual propaganda that is carried on today is totally divorced from practice, with the result that spirituality has made little impact on the youth today. Here is an illustration.
    In ancient times, people used to perform Yagas and Yajnas (religious sacrifices). These sacrifices were being performed according to the rules laid down in the scriptures. But while conforming to the prescribed procedures, few understood the inner meaning of these sacrifices. All their lives were spent in external observances. In the performance of sacrifice, they used to offer cows or other dumb animals as bali (sacrifice) and propagated the view that such offerings were in accordance with spiritual injunctions. This was a great mistake. These were meaningless practices.
    The real meaning of animal sacrifice is the sacrifice of the animal nature in man. Everyone has to get rid of Ahamkaara and Mamakaara (egoism and the sense of "mine"). Without sacrificing these animal tendencies, sacrificing dumb animals is unworthy of human beings.
    It is the offering of one's bad qualities and bad thoughts as an offering to the Divine. God alone can accept such offerings and give good things in return. 

    All bad thoughts and feelings should be offered to God so that we may receive, by His grace, good thoughts and feelings in return. Spirituality, thus, means transforming one's life into an ideal one by offering one's bad qualities to the Lord and receiving from Him good qualities in return.
    In ancient times people used to perform Aswamedha Yaga (Horse Sacrifice). What does the "Horse Sacrifice" mean? By Aswam (horse) is meant that which is restless. The horse cannot remain steady even for a moment. It will be always shaking one part or the other of its body. The horse is an animal which represents the unsteady mind. Thus to perform the Horse Sacrifice really means to offer the restless mind to God.
    Some may try to argue that in olden days animals were sacrificed during Yajnas and Yagas (sacrificial rites). But they are not correct. Only a few ignorant Pandits (scholars) and misguided elders used to indulge in animal sacrifice. But those who recognised the inner meaning of this ritual used to give prime importance to the sacrifice of the beastly qualities in man while performing such religious ceremonies. 

    Here is an example to illustrate this point.
    In temples of Easwara (or Shiva), you find Nandi (image of bull) in front of the deity. What is the inner significance of this? The usual reply you get is that Nandi is the Vahana (vehicle) of Easwara; as if He could not afford to have a better vehicle than a bull. This is a wrong idea. The truth is that just as the Lingam is the symbol of the Lord (Easwara), Nandi (bull) is the symbol
for Jiva (individual soul). Therefore, just like the Nandi, one should turn away from Prakruthi and direct all his attention towards Easwara only.
    There are some more meanings for this symbolism. For instance, it is said that no one should stand between Easwara and Nandi. One should have the vision of Easwara by looking through the space in between the two ears of Nandi. The underlying idea is that through the Sadhana of using its ears to listen about Easwara alone, the animality in the bull becomes transformed into divinity and because of its merger with Easwara it is called Nandeeshvara (Bull-God).

    Sacrificing your ego is Sathwik (pure and noble), while sacrificing any animal is Thamasik (impure and ignoble). Today you need to enter into the Sathwik life and sublimate your human nature into divine nature. This, indeed, is the primary goal of your life's journey. Every human undertakes the usual pilgrimages and other routine good activities like charity, etc. But all these will not save him from worries, until and unless he gives up Ahamkaara and Mamakaara i.e. "I" and "Mine."

    People today lead meaningless mechanical lives with no ideals to inspire them. People today want fruits without considering the roots. The ancient sages searched for the roots to realise the fruits. Today people forget the basic truths and pursue the ephemeral. Human action and Divine aim should go together. To forget the Divine is to descend to the level of the animal. 

   Devotion should not be converted into a form of business. God needs nothing from you. Everything belongs to God. Only the Divine is with you.
    You should not be misguided by the worldly and superficial meanings, and forget the inner meanings. This is the crux of spirituality. The waywardness of your mind prevails in the gross state of wakefulness as well as in the subtle state of dreaming. How can you change such a fickle mind? If you keep away from animality during waking state, then animality will not enter even in your dreams.

    Try to understand correctly the meaning of spirituality. You should transform your nature from human to divine. You must direct your attention to God. Nandi could become Easwara, only because it turned its attention to God.
     One would not become a victim of the feelings of anger, hatred, ego or pride which may arise. When such feelings arise, sit silently for a few minutes. How to put this into practice? As soon as you get angry, you should immediately leave that place and go out into the open and quietly walk a furlong. Then your anger will disappear. An easier method than this is to stand before a mirror and look into your own angry face. You will dislike your own face and look upon it with disgust or aversion. Then try to laugh heartily and your anger will leave you. If you find it difficult even to do this, go into your bathroom and turn the water tap on. To the accompaniment of the tune of the sound created by the water flowing from the tap, begin to sing a good song. Then your anger will certainly disappear. Or else, drink a glass of cold water. Like this, you have to seek ways and means of regaining a calm and peaceful mood. Instead of doing so, if you allow your anger to grow, restlessness will also grow along with that anger depriving you of peace of mind.

    The less you talk, the more will become your mental power. With the increase in your mental capacity, there will be increase in your power of discrimination too. Consequently, you will give up "individual discrimination" and resort to "fundamental discrimination." Because of this, you will begin to consider the good of the world at large rather than your own individual welfare. One should try to understand everything thoroughly, and not rash forward blindly into all matters. Then only you will gain "practical knowledge," and that will guide you along the desirable and sacred path. You will find guideposts here and there on the roadside, to indicate which path you should take to reach any particular place. The ups and downs in the path can be experienced only by those who tread the path, but not by the guidepost. Most of the books today are like the guideposts. However, you must not be like mere guideposts.   

   Recognise the truth that morality is the primary requisite of human society. Without morality there is no spirituality. You have to perform your duties and discharge your obligations. You must be united and take part in social service. Union is strength. Even small ants acting in union can destroy a serpent. (Today unity is being undermined in the country. There are differences in every home).

    If there are three persons in a house, there can be peace in the house only if the three live in harmony. In every individual, there are three entities in the body that is his dwelling: the Manas (mind), the Vaak (tongue) and Kaayam (the organs of actions). It is only when these three entities function harmoniously that the individual can have peace. When there is discord between them, how can peace be got?  

    The ancient sages regarded human life as something sweet. The Divine sweetness in human life is derived from Maathru bhaavamu (maternal love). There is no diviner or purer feeling than maternal love. Sri Raama declared: "The mother and the Motherland are greater than heaven itself."
    God is formless and attributeless and not easily accessible to everyone. Nevertheless God is worshipped with faith in various ways and joy is derived therefrom. No one knows how the unmanifested Divine showers His grace or displays His displeasure, what He desires or disapproves. One can lead a sacred life by adoring the mother, instead of worshipping the unmanifested Divine. The Chaithanyam (Atmic Consciousness) that is present in the Divine is also present in living beings. But the sacred and remarkable Divine potency in each of them is different.

    It has been said what is in the microcosm is in the macrocosm. Brahmaanda, the macrocosm is regarded as Viraata Swarupa the Cosmic form and the microcosm is regarded as the atomic nucleus. This is a wrong view. What is present in the atom, is present in the Cosmos. There is no difference between the two. The Cosmic Form is not a mere aggregation of various objects. It does not signify the one in the many. The Cosmic Form means that which contains within itself everything. Likewise, the atomic principle contains the macrocosm in microcosm. 

    There have been different conceptions regarding the phenomenal world, some considering it as mithya (illusory) and some considering it as real. The Vedhik seers viewed the world as a projection of the Divine. From very early times many sages devoted their lives to the discovery of the Divine. Their ecstatic experience of the Divine is expressed in the Purusha Shuktha, which declares' "Vedhaaham Etham, purusham mahaantham." This means: "We have seen God. He is shining with the effulgence of a billion Suns. His effulgence defies description."
 The Reality is the One willed to become the Many.

    To propagate this great truth to the world, from time to time many sages and saints and Avathaars made their advent in Bhaarath. They had total knowledge of the Supreme Self -Paripuurna Brahma Jnaanis. Although these realized beings have no need to take human birth, they elected to do so for the purpose of redeeming the people by their teachings and actions. Krishna was a Paripuurna-Jnaani (One who possessed the Supreme Wisdom). He take on a human body to teach the highest truth to the persons who were filled with good thoughts and performed good deeds. The sage Vyaasa, who codified the Vedhas, was a Paripuurna Jnaani. Vyaasa incarnated as a man to elevate the ignorant and show them the path to a higher life.

       Today there are in the world two types of saadhakas (spiritual aspirants). One type of aspirants regard the cosmos as a manifestation of God. The other type consider the cosmos itself as God. The difference between the two can be illustrated by an example. Many kinds of jewels are made from gold. Some may consider the jewels as different from gold. Others may consider gold as the basic substance from which the jewels have been made. The Paripuurna Jnaanis belong to the category of those who realise that without gold there can be no jewels. Those who consider the jewels as more important than the gold, out of which they have been made, belong to the category of those with half-knowledge. The truth is that without gold there can be no ornaments. (Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 25. "Rise From Animality To Divinity," Chapter 15 and "Revere The Mother: Serve The Motherland," Chapter 38; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 28. "Hanumaan: the ideal for mankind," Chapter 26).


Swami teaches.... (16 March 2005)

 

    True Science and Scientists

 

     Instead of foreword

 

    Swami  does not want to know that people have listened to His discourses or/and read His Works well. Swami wants to know that devotees have thoroughly transformed themselves according to HisTeaching. Such transformation is the mark of true devotion.   

     Science has been making remarkable progress in the recent decades. The world undoubtedly needs the discoveries of science. But if it forgets the base and is preoccupied only with the superstructure, it will be the source of much disorder and trouble. It may cause all kinds of diseases. Science has been divorced from spirituality and faith in the Divine. Many imagine that science can create a heaven on earth. But what is the kind of heaven that is envisaged? Is it the enjoyment of material and sensuous pleasures? This hedonistic attitude is undermining all human values.

    People in all counties talk about peace but their actions are contrary to their professions. They talk of peace on the one hand and keep the bomb on the other. The entire world is suffering from environmental pollution. The talk of star wars contains the threat of polluting even the outer space. Today people boast about the tremendous progress of science and technology, but if this claim is true, why does ajnana (ignorance) persist on such a large scale? The fact is much of the progress in science today is confined to satisfying human's selfish desires and not for promoting the general well-being of the world. Is it a sign of true progress if a country arms itself to the teeth to destroy another? Is this an index of scientific advance? 

    Research is going on endlessly. Science is continually seeking answers to various questions. Progressively, the climate of peace is being destroyed by science. If peace is to be ensured, science has to be promoted on the right lines. This calls for unity among the people. Service to society must become the fundamental purpose.                         
    Science seeks to know all about creation, but the Veda reveals the knowledge about the Creator. All the natural sciences are concerned with knowledge about created things. But there is a Creator who is the source of all of them. In the quest for understanding the objects in creation, human is forgetting the Creator.

    Science has been enormously helpful and has achieved many wonders. But, simultaneously, it has done incalculable harm. Science as such is not to be blamed for this. It is the wrongful use of science that is responsible. Science discovered for human the secrets of nature and the cosmos. The knowledge delved from science should be used for sacred and righteous purposes.

    The American cosmonaut, Mitchell, after landing on the Moon, had a look at the Earth from the Moon. He saw the Earth as a huge brilliant diamond set against a vast carpet of blue velvet. Experiencing this spectacle, he shed a few tears. He was stricken by the feeling: "Born on such a beautiful and brilliant land, why are people behaving like ignorant, evil minded beings?" 
    We need today a science that can promote love. Instead of Spirit of Love, we are witnessing today a "splitting of Love." We have explored the secrets of Nature and have even acquired control over the five elements. But we are not aware of own true nature. It is possible when we use science  for control of the senses, will we be able to bring Science and Spirituality together and integrate the two into one True Science for humanity.
    There is an internal relationship between Nature and Divinity. The ocean and the Moon are interrelated. The ocean swells on Full Moon day. The mind and the Moon are interrelated. Without our being conscious of it, our minds are affected during Full Moon days. Mental afflictions are aggravated during those days.
    The scientist should develop an integral approach towards Nature, Human being and Spirit. Only then can one realise the underlying divinity that unites the human and the cosmos.
     Many scientific inventions are extremely useful to man. But if they are not properly used they can cause great harm.
     For instance, television can be valuable means of educating and entertaining people. But in many cases  as soon as a boy returns from school, he throws away his books and starts looking at the TV. His mother serves him food near the TV set. Both mother and son keep watching TV without regard to their other duties. The fault lies not with the television, but with the excessive and wrongful use of the instrument.  It is only when science is linked to spirituality that the results of science can be fully harnessed for the good and elevation of mankind.

     Human today is proud about the little knowledge has acquired about the physical world and boasts that all about the Universe has known. True knowledge is that which establishes harmony and synthesis between science on the one hand and spirituality and ethics on the other.

    Today, because of the striking growth of the physical sciences, human tends to feel he/she is highly knowledgeable. But only when one tries to understand knowledge of things beyond the physical sciences can one fully benefit from the latter. Beyond physics lies metaphysics. Of late some are beginning to realise this fact and are embarking upon spiritual exploration.

    Of course, there is no question about the necessity of scientific knowledge. But it must be realised that it is necessary as much to develop our sense of discrimination for the proper use of science with the development of scientific knowledge. As this discrimination has been lacking in the use of science we find that the world is facing many dangers and difficulties.
    But even today there are noble minds, who, even in the pursuit, of science, are exploring spiritual truths, analysing them and trying to see how these can be used for transforming man.
    Newton, after discovering the gravitational power of the earth, declared: “Although I have discovered the force of gravity, the gravitational force itself has been existing always before my discovery." He was convinced that there was a creator for the force of gravity. Einstein also, after his scientific studies of the working of nature, turned his mind to spiritual matters. Heisenberg, a great philosopher, after studying various sciences, embarked on an investigation of the link between the physical sciences and spirituality. He discovered the great secrets contained in the Yoga-sastras. He observed, "Master the mind: be a mastermind." Another great scientist, Schroedinger, found that science and spirituality were integrally connected and that in fact spirituality was the basis for science. He also noted that the growth of science had led to a multiplication of wants, which brought about a weakening of human's will and intelligence. 

    There was another great thinker, Dirac. He sought to know the connection between science and spirituality. He tried to discover the one entry underlying all things in creation and conducted experiments for this purpose. He found the truth to consist in the statement: "Love ever; hurt never." Dirac's conclusion is nothing but an echo of Sage Vyasa's pronouncement, after completing his works of the 18 Puranas: "To help others is meritorious; to hurt others is sinful."
    We have yet another modern thinker - De Broglie. Having begun as a critic of spirituality after serous enquiry, De Broglie confessed that his criticisms were due to ignorance. He proclaimed from his own experience that divinity was at the core of everything in the universe.

    Such seers of the truth are not absent in the world of science. These great scientists, who have examined, explored and declared the truth, are akin to the ancient Saptarishis (Seven Sages). Newton declared that the universe is a manifestation of God and everything revolves through the power of God. Fritzof Capra, at the present day, has explored the link between the atom and vibrations in nature. In ancient times, Vyasa declared that the universe emanated from the vibrations of the sound. 'Sita' and all things in creation - living and non-living - were the outcome of these vibrations.
    An ancient practice in Bharat to relate to pregnant women stories about heroes and saints so that the child in the womb may be influenced by the vibrations produced by such sublime stories and the thoughts produced in the mother. The ancient Rishis knew this truth. No wonder that the children born under such conditions had noble nature and heroic virtues.

    What do we find today? Pregnant women are engaged in seeing Television, Cinemas and other deleterious media which play up crime and sex. The result is the children who are born develop undesirable tendencies.
     Today, scientists in the West are realising that what was said about ancient practice is true. The Institute of Child Health and Human Development, attached to the Carolina University in USA , has been conducting experiments on the factors influencing development of children. Anthony Casper's  experiments showed that the food taken by the pregnant mother, the thoughts she had and the words she listened to had their impact on the child she was carrying.

    Today we have made prodigious progress in various fields of knowledge - in mathematics, physics, chemistry, the bio-sciences. But no attempt is being made even to approach study of the spiritual. All our knowledge ends with study of matter, plants and living creatures. Notable discoveries have been made over the years and great scientists have been produced. But how far have human values been promoted and what is the transformation that has taken place in mankind?

    Spiritual knowledge and scientific knowledge should go together. There should be no dichotomy between science and spirituality. True bliss can be experienced only when science and spirituality are combined. 
    The hand should carry out what the heart has approved of the ideas emanating from the head. This triune process has been described in Vedanta as Thrikaranasuddhi - the purity and harmony of thought, speech and action.
    Activities arising from Thrikaranasuddhi find expression in two ways: one through artistic creativity and the other, through scientific exploration. Of the two, artistic creativity is supremely important. The aesthetic feeling is based on creative imagination. A sculptor who desires to carve an image out of a piece of rock has to have the figure he seeks to carve in his imagination. This bhava (imagination) finds ichcha sakti (creative expression) in the sculpture. If the creative imagination is absent, no sculpture can come out of the rock.
    Hence, imagination and the creative impulse have to be properly understood. Both of them are rooted in Prajna, the Divine source of all creative activity. As against this aesthetic creativity, we have the urge for scientific enquiry. This is primarily concerned with objects in the external
world. Experimental research has its vision turned outward. But even that has its basis in the Antardrishti (Inward Vision).
    Development of science and technology alone will not help people to get rid of bad thoughts, bad desires and bad deeds, because science by itself is not competent to sublimate life.
    Only spirituality can promote ethical values, the spirit of tolerance and equal-mindedness. The science of spirit is essential for developing human values. Devotion to God is the first stage in the spiritual journey.
(Reet's compilation from, 
Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 18, "From Creation to Creator," Chapter 4 and  "Cultivation of Love is the Greatest need," Chapter 24; Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol.20. "Spiritual basis for value education," Chapter 20 and "Transformation is what I want," Chapter 25).


Swami teaches.... (17 March 2005)

 

   What is True Education?

 

    There is nothing more precious in the world than true education. It reveals the divinity that sustains the universe and promotes the welfare of mankind materially, mentally and socially. Those who realise the nature of the Divine can know the relationship between Nature, society and human's infinite potential. In the educational system today, the spiritual element has no place. Education must proceed primarily from the Spirit to Nature. It must show that mankind constitutes one Divine family. The divinity that is present, in society can be experienced only through individuals. Born in society, one has the duty to work for the welfare and progress of society.
    Education does not mean imparting of verbal knowledge. Humility, reverence, compassion, forbearance, sacrifice and self-control are the qualities which reveal the outcome of true education.
    Humans today are concerned solely about their rights and have no regard for their duties, obligations and responsibilities. Scholarship without culture is valueless. Both have to go together.

    The world to-day is in the grip of a supreme moral and spiritual crisis. People everywhere are feeling frustrated and helpless and anxiously wondering what is in store for humanity. The hopes raised by the advances of science and technology have proved dupes. While science has overcome the barriers of time, distance and nationality, it has done little to promote better
understanding between man and man and nation and nation. Never has there been so much distrust, hatred and violence as is witnessed to-day, in almost every country.
    There are, however, heartening signs that earnest people in many countries are turning to the way of the Spirit as the answer to the crisis that faces humanity. There is a spiritual hunger that is growing in every country.

     Human must realise that the sense organs, through which he explores the external and discovers the powers latent in Nature and the physical universe, function because of the Divinity which is immanent in them. Without the power of the Divine, the eyes cannot see or the ears hear or the mind think.
    Our ancients were not ignorant of science. But in pursuing scientific enquiries, they did not rest content with knowing all about creation. They were keen to understand the Creator who was responsible for the creation. They sought to know the nature of the unchanging reality, that was behind the continually changing phenomenal Universe.  
    The Taithiriya Upanishad exhorts the student to look upon one's father, mother, teacher and guest as God. Students today have little respect for parents or God. They lack even confidence in themselves. We do not need today a new faith or creed, nor a new system of education. Nor do we need to create a new society. All we need are men and women who have pure and loving-hearts. The transformation has to be effected in the minds of the people. The mind should be brought under the control of the buddhi (intelligence) and not allowed to go after its whims and fancies. The oneness of all creation affirmed by the ancient seers and sages must be expressed in a transcendental love which embraces all people regardless of creed, community or language.

    Vidhya (education) is that process which makes us aware of the bondage we are in, the suffering we live through and the darkness within. The Upanishadh exhorts us: Utthishtatha, Jaagratha, Praapya Varaan Nibodhatha (Arise, Awake, Approach the wise and learn).

    All degrees, scholarships and punditry have no value if one does not have good qualities.
Cultivate virtues. Today good qualities (gunamulu in Telugu) are forgotten and only good dress
(guddalu in Telugu) is being flaunted.  The Upanishad declares: "Narayana pervades everything inside and outside."

    People talk about Neethi (morality). Morality simply means right conduct. Without good behaviour there can be no morality. Your moral life in society must express itself in service to the suffering and the helpless. The devotion and understanding that are implicit in selfless service cannot be found in any other thing. 
    How can education shine in human if he does not attain these fruits? Gandhi once said, "Knowledge without character is a powerful evil." Today, there is knowledge but character is seldom seen with it. Practice promotes Vidhya. Experience is the Guru. But he is not visible at all. Teaching ends with the school, but learning ends only when life ends. Vidhya does not mean mere attendance at school or college, mere study of some books, or mere mastery of a few subjects.
    Living, not for the sake of food but for the sake of an ideal, that is the goal of education. The human personality must blossom into enthusiasm for work, into eagerness to raise society to the highest level. Without character, one becomes the plaything of every passing whim, a kite whose string has broken, or a counterfeit coin, without benefitting any one.

    Steady interest is essential in order to master worthy knowledge. Education must be oriented towards the attainment of character for leading clean simple lives. Rivers are dammed and the waters are stored in reservoirs. Of what earthly use are these if the waters are kept therein? Through canals, they have to be taken to the fields to feed the crops in order to appease the hunger of millions. So too, we store the knowledge available in libraries in our heads as reservoirs, But, is that enough? Can this be the end of education? It has to be utilised through canals of service in order to fertilise and feed the minds of one's fellowmen and make them more intelligent, more skilled and more loving.

    Vidhya or education is a penance, a thapas; but it is being reduced into a dull routine, thamas. Teachers decide the prosperity or poverty of a country. Theirs is the most responsible profession. Teachers have the task of sculpturing the leaders of peoples. Teachers should not descend into politics; their status is far too high. They have to do service to the sacred, the innocent, the tender minds of the children of the land.
     The development of material resources and the defence of the country ultimately depend on the kind of education that is imparted. But a tripod is not only 'three legs'! How can one sit on three legs? There should be a plank, resting on them - the plank of Love of the Country. "Country" does not mean a specific area on the map, the soil. It means the human community inhabiting the territory. 'Love' means the sense of inter-relationship and involvement of the individual with that community.
    This degree of love is absent now in many highly educated, highly placed persons. Education is being confused with the acquisition of verbal scholarship. This is wrong. Education has to open the doors of the mind. Many describe science today as a powerful acquisition, but, science holds before mankind a great opportunity, that is all. It cannot be as great a power as it is imagined to be. If it is devoid of character, it brings disaster. It can then cause evil and wickedness. Intelligence can be found to be very high among clever thieves. So, too, scientific knowledge can be misused for destructive purposes.
    To enter the heaven of science through true education, human has to mould into a humble, unselfish seeker. However, mankind is caught in the mire of egotism, self-seeking and envy and, as a consequence, it is wandering in the realm of demon kind.

    Though Sai is involved in events conditioned by time and space, Sai is ever established in the principle that is beyond both time and space. Sai is not conditioned by time, place or circumstance. Therefore, you must all recognise the uniqueness of the Will of Sai, the Sai Sankalpa. Know that this sankalpa is Vajrasankalpa - it is irresistible Will. You may ignore its expression as weak and insignificant but, once the will is formed, whatever else undergoes change, it cannot change.
    In order to promote truth, righteousness, and universal love, the Sathya Sai Trust is establishing primary schools, high schools, universities, junior colleges and colleges where emphasis is laid on spiritual education so that good character becomes the core of the personality. The sankalpa of Sathya Sai is to offer, for serving humanity, heroes of action and heroes of self-sacrifice.

    This is Sai's Message to you all. May you all develop this Divine Love and stand out as the harbingers of a new age free from selfishness, greed, hatred and violence. Let each of you be light unto himself or herself and thereby be a light unto others. (Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks.  Vol. 15. "Call to Sai Samithi members," Chapter 17, "Character training," Chapter 18 and "The unique University," Chapter 27; Sathya Sai Speaks.  Vol 17. "Spread the message of Love," Chapter 11; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol.20. "Spiritualise Education," Chapter 28).

 

Namaste Reet

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