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Swami teaches....Part 75

Links to Swami Teaches - Part 74

Sai Ram

Light and Love

Swami teaches... 1 - 2 August 2006

Education and the path of morality and integrity. Part 2

Sacred scriptures like the Koran, the Bible, the Upanishads,the Zenda Avesta, the Granth Saheb and others are worshipped in shrines today. But many people are forgetting the purposes for which these sacred books came into existence.

This means that it is not enough to browse through a book but one must study it deeply, reflect on its contents and absorb its meaning so that one can practise what one has learnt. The entire cosmos is governed by action. In such a context there is no purpose in indulging in intellectual speculation without putting knowledge into practice.

The Gita also lays stress on the doctrine of action. Krishna declared: "There is nothing I need in this world for which I must strive. Nevertheless I am continuously engaged in action because if I, who am to stand out as an example to the world, do not perform actions, the people of the world will renounce activities."

Moreover, if thoughts are not translated into deeds they will develop into a kind of disease. A person who feels hungry, craves for food and does not get it, will develop illness. Similarly, who feels thirsty and wants water, unless person makes efforts to secure water, will become weak and collapse.

Every good thought must spur one to action. For instance when a sadhaka sings a hymn he/she must feel immersed in its meaning and become one with it. It is the heart that brings about such a feeling of oneness.

The human's life is a journey from 'I' to 'We'. (But, nowadays people start their journey from 'I' and come back to the same "I").

Modern person sheds copious tears for achieving wealth, health, position and fame. Does this person shed a single tear for getting the grace of God or winning His love? Caught in the turbulence of the worldly stream, human ignores and forgets inherent hunger and the need to acquire the awareness of the Divinity within.

Desires continually crop up in human being who is always wanting something, yearns for various things.

Human has become a slave to money. Human may forget God but will never forget money. (Many are not interested in even the worldly explanations of unsolved mysteries, UFOs, for example. But they are very interested in what kind fuel in UFOs have been used and how to obtain this fuel in purpose to make money).

You provide yourself with an air conditioner, a good bed, fans and other accessories with a view to having a comfortable sleep. But you do not get sleep. You should have mental peace to sleep well. Your body, mind, will power and egotism being the inner instruments must all be oriented towards peace as well as the external limbs and sense organs. This can be achieved by developing the Divine Love, which is selfless and which always gives and never takes, while worldly love is keen on getting and then forgetting.

The ancients described the Divine as eternal, immortal, pure and unsullied. In order to experience Love of God, you should give up petty minded selfishness and expand your love.

Let us take an example of how the love of a newly married man to his spouse decreases as days go by. In the beginning he shows considerable concern when they are walking on the road and comes across a thorn. The man shows a lot of concern and pulls the wife aside. In the same situation a few months later, he retorts, "Are you blind? Can you not see the thorn?" Thus the worldly love will become diluted, while Divine Love will be constant and steady.

People cannot understand the greatness of Divine Love. They misconstrue this love and even blame God when they do not get their low desires fulfilled. Some want liberation. What is liberation? It is liberation from desires. They want to see God. Should you not have the requisite faith and feeling in your heart for this?

Divinity is beyond your human comprehension with the physical equipment you have. Your thoughts are only reflections, resound and reaction of the outer world. God has no such reactions. He has only one Sound, that is Truth Absolute. You should follow the twin ideals "Speak the Truth and do righteous deeds."

Any harm done to a fellow being is harming the Divine. You should cultivate the spirit of oneness.

Bhajan, meditation, etc., are only exercises for purifying the mind. Develop Love which is your life breath. Love is as vital for a human as fire is vital for a lump of coal to sparkle. You should get rid of weakness by concentrating on the Divine Love, as Divine grace confers the greatest strength. All other things may come and go but Divine Grace is ever flowing.

The proximity to the Divine can elevate human to the level of the Divine. (Love is in everyone, but, because it is turned to selfish ends, it becomes attachment). You should aspire to experience Dhaivi Prema (the Divine Love).

You experience love in three ways:

Svartha Prema (self-oriented love),

Anyonya Prema (mutual give and take type of love),

Parartha Prema (love towards all fellow beings).

"I should be happy. I should enjoy all pleasures and be comfortable. I do not care for others."

This is the attitude of Svartha Prema (selfish love). Anyonya Prema represents the feeling that not only person but also his/her relatives and friends should be comfortable and enjoy a good life. Parartha Prema represents the feeling that all should be happy in the entire world. This is the highest type of Prema.

(The words of wise people may appear to be unsavoury but they communicate nectarine Truth. The Divine Love is like a downpour of rain, although sometimes interspersed with hard hailstones hurting you. But, melt into the water of Love for you).

Usually people pray to God for trivial worldly things. You should ask for something that you do not have. Pray for Love, Peace and Bliss. You should be able to distinguish between earthly happiness and the Divine Bliss.

The individual Self and the Omniself merge in Unity.

There are people professing different faiths in the world - Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Zorastrians and so on. There should be no difference or distrust amongst them, for all of them in core uphold Truth and Dharma.

Every religion seeks to present this basic truth about God, Nature and Human. Every creed is in essence highlighting this fact and the path of Love as the means of merger. So one must respect all creeds and faiths. They are beacons of light guiding pilgrims along the many paths to the Universal Absolute.

It was to promote unity among people of different faiths that Guru Nanak started community bhajans which generate vibrations of harmony and peace. Spread the message of the glory of God in every place by chanting the name of God. Then the atmosphere and climate of the world will change for the better and become sacred.

There is great need, in a world broken into racial and religious units, to cultivate a broad outlook and large hearted attitudes.

All religions are unanimous in regarding the heart as the seat of the Divine. The Hindu Sastras (ancient scriptures) have declared that the heart is the temple of God. The sacred Upanishads (Vedic metaphysical treatises) have referred to the heart as a cave in which the Divine dwells. It is stated in the Bible that the human with a pure heart can see God. The Muslims regard the heart as located between the two fingers of God. The Guru of the Sikhs, Nanak declared that only a human with a pure heart can be regarded as a true Sikh. In this way the various faiths have affirmed that the heart is the abode of God.

But the sadhus (the saints and mystics) have defined the heart in another way. Treating the Omkar mantra as a rocking cradle the Mahavakya, "Thath Twam Asi" ("That Thou art") as a bed and the Universal Consciousness as a baby, the great souls of the seven worlds have sung lullabies to the Lord. For them the heart is the cradle of the Lord. The sadhaks (spiritual aspirants) should therefore regard the heart as the veritable dwelling of the Divine.

Many great souls have experienced the heart as a lotus. Although rooted in mire, and growing up in muddy water, the lotus shines in purity. When the lotus opens its petals and looks up it seems to be saying: "O Lord, please come and dwell in me." Though born in mire it does not wallow in it. Though surrounded by polluted water it is not polluted by it. "Though you are living in a corrupt world and are born in the mire of an unrighteous society you must turn your mind towards God and make your heart a shrine for God," this is the message of the lotus.

Declare your reality as Divine to the world at large and make them realise the Divinity in everyone.

The body is the temple of God and therefore it has to be maintained, unsuffered by disease and distress. It has not been offered for catering to one's selfish vagaries.

Human's gross body sustained by food encases the subtle mental and the subtler intellect enclosing the still subtler, Ananda, the deepest delight, the innermost urge in human. The progress from the gross corporeal body, which depends on food through the incorporeal sheaths of prana, mind and intellect until the Ananda core is the summum bonum of human existence.

Living beings concern themselves, mostly with only the food sheath, the breath sheath and the mental sheath, they do not have the capacity to transcend the vagaries and volitions of the mind and the memories stored therein. They are promoted more by instinct and impulse, rather than by intellect, which enables one to discriminate and discard what is harmful and hollow.

Human alone can exercise this faculty and decide on a course of action which can lead to Ananda. However, human gets lost in a maze of multiplying desires and earns, instead of Ananda, frustration and despair. The daily chores are repeated endlessly - bathing and eating and sleeping.

But there is, as a rule, no one is yearning to see the unseen Divine. It is that that will give you peacein mind.

It is because you do not seek that which should be sought, do not experience that which has to be experienced, you are plunged in grief and do not have peace of mind. That is why the Upanishads declared: "Lead me from the unreal to the Real, from darkness to Light, from death to Immortality." The meaning of this prayer is that human should realise the permanent unchanging Reality that underlies the changing appearances of the phenomenal world, shed own ignorance of own true nature and seek oneness with the immortal Atma (the Divine spirit) that resides in body.

Human has the power of discrimination through the intellect (buddhi) to decide what is right and what is wrong, what is good and what is evil.

However, the possession of buddhi alone is not enough. One has to cultivate the spirit of enquiry to be convinced what is right or wrong. Even that is not enough. After having found what is right or wrong, one must live up to his/her convictions. Taking, discriminating and practice - all three constitute the basic human characteristics. By the unity of these three, the light of spiritual wisdom illumines the heart. The mere presence of the light is not enough. We should seek to go forward with the help of that illumination. If, having this light we do not follow the path revealed by it, we are as unseeing as the blind.

The destiny of a nation or community is dependent on the moral fibre of the people.

Vivekananda said: "Give me ten men who are pure and perfect. I can change the whole world." Swami says: "I can bring about transformation even with one truly perfect human being."

You should have the Divine as the base number one. Any number of zeros placed alongside the figure of one will carry value; value increases many fold with its additional zeros. But, without the number one, if you put zeros, they carry no value at all. The Divine is One. The Sun, the Moon, the Earth, etc, are all mere zeros. They get value only because of the primary cause, number One, which represents the Divine.

You must radiate human values and ensure unity in thought, word and deed. At present there is chaos and mutual animosity amongst various people. You have to spread the message of unity, purity and divinity.

(Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 13. " 'Youth Guides' for youth," Chapter 5 and "Advice to seekers," Chapter 6; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 17. "Examinations then and now," Chapter 7 and "The bliss of Divine love," Chapter 15; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 19. "Truth and Faith," Chapter 28; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 30. "Love God, fear sin, guard Human Values," Chapter 15).

Namaste - Reet


Sai Ram

Light and Love

Swami teaches... 24 - 31 July, 2006

Education and the path of morality and integrity. Part 1

For every person the development of own personality is a primary duty. Hence, the primary purpose of education must be to make the individual develop student's personality by the pursuit of spiritual and moral disciplines. Education is thus a process through which human is led to his/her highest status.

Have practical knowledge to make your life useful. Achieve co-ordination between your education and behaviour. Perfect harmony in thought, word and deed is the hallmark of a human being. Truth must be revealed as unity of Thought, Word and Deed.

The Ramayana, which is the textbook on Dharma (righteousness) for the Hindus, describes Rama's personality as the product of character, morality and adherence to truth.

We build our future, thought by thought,
For good or ill, yet know it not.
Choose, then, thy destiny and wait,
For love brings love and hate brings hate.
(Henry Van Dyke).

When you look deep into the theory and practice of modern educational institutions and compare them with what we know of the theory and practice in ancient Indian educational institutions, you will be shocked at the vast difference in the two systems. The ancient schools aimed at Self-knowledge first and knowledge of the objective world as a corollary. The sign of the educated person is the awareness of own reality. How can a person be termed educated, when he/she does not distinguish between the really real and the relatively real within as well as in the outer world?

Very often in whatsoever country among the educated we do not see the quality of mercy, of sympathy or compassion. Also very often for educated persons undergoing education in colleges and schools now inflict harm and pain, cause loss and injury, and revel in violence; and apparently enjoy doing so. Observing this downfall in standards, one is tempted to doubt whether these are people, or, beasts in human skin. The growth of educational institutions to-day is more an index of a growing disease rather than a means of training people to solve their problems. Everywhere there is trouble, violence and confusion, most of which is mused by educated persons.

Education today has to move haltingly and half-heartedly through a series of strikes, gheroas (lock-ins), and other interruptions and so, students are seldom able to carry out their primary duty of study. Later on too, when they become responsible officers, they easily tend to neglect the duty that is primary to them at that stage.

Students have to feel that study is your first and only duty. Be witness of what is happening outside the classroom; do not rush out and get distracted. Try to identify the One in the many; become strong, physically, mentally and spiritually; imbibe as much as possible the wisdom that has been gathered in the past; cultivate the skills by which you can serve society.

If you forget these ideals and allow greed, conceit and hate to take root in your hearts, you are only lowering yourselves to the level of the beast. As a first step in educational progress you must revere your parents and have gratitude and love towards them. They are the custodians of culture, the earliest teachers who instilled virtue into you.

In the modern world, youth should know the nature of true love. Many from abroad, mix with persons of the opposite sex, calling them boy friend and girl friend. If you really love each other you must get married and not continue living as friends.

Years back a foreign youth was sitting under a tree with a crest fallen face. He was just in his late teens, and when questioned by Swami, he said that his second wife had deserted him and he was anxiously thinking of his child she bore. Some young people even before they are twenty years of age get married, divorced and remarry again and get separated from wife and child too and later feel sorry for themselves. They do not realise the value of human life which is rare and sacred.

The crisis of character which is at the root of all the troubles everywhere has come about, as a result of the neglect of spiritual values in education.

Educational institutions have to become the nursery for tradition, loyalty to culture, and ideals of service to society. They have to train youth to benefit by the experience of the previous generations and to march on towards victory in the campaign to master this world and the next.

Wisdom flashes like lightning amidst the clouds of the inner sky; one has to foster the flash, and preserve the light. That is the true sign of the 'educated' person. Do not believe that mastery of many tomes make you wise. Wisdom can grow only where humility prevails. It thrives when human is afraid of vice and sin, and is attached to the Divine.

The ancient ideals of Truth, Righteousness, Equanimity and Love are held before you, all the time. Propagate them by your own example, propagate them wherever you are.

The power of Love is infinite.

Once while Lord Buddha was journeying, he was confronted by a demoness who threatened to kill him. Smilingly, Buddha said: "You are not a demon; you are a deity. I love you even if you behave like a demon." Hearing these loving words, the demoness turned into a dove and flew away. Love can change the heart of even an inveterate enemy.

The whole world and the objects therein are inter-related by the bond of Love. It is Love that binds the human race together. Based on this Truth we pray, "Lokas-Samasthas-Sukhino Bhavanthu" (all the people in the world should be happy).

If free from arrogance, you are loved.
If free from anger, you are free of sorrow.
If free from desires, you gain wealth.
If free from greed, you become happy. (Sanskrith Sloka)

In ancient times, the sages and saints sacrificed everything for the sake of the welfare of humanity. Even the youth of those times followed suit. They are remembered even today because of their spirit of selfless sacrifice.

On the contrary, the youth of today are becoming exceedingly greedy and totally selfish and harbouring feelings of hatred and jealousy, while those in the ancient times were leading a life of sacrifice and sense control. The present day youth want to lead a life of enjoying worldly and carnal pleasures which results in disease. That is the purpose that Swami so much pay attention to the education and human values as basis of the human existence on the whole.

Everyone brings the wealth of love from the moment of his birth. In this Karmakshethra (field of activity) that is the world, it is difficult to safeguard the treasure of Prema (the Divine Love). Therefore, everyone should look for a faithful friend.

There is no greater teacher than your heart.
Time is a great preacher.
The world is a scriptural text.
God is the great friend.

With full faith in these four entities, one should lead life on this Earth. Love is the natural possession of every human being. It is the fruit of the tree of life. By pure Love, you should establish unity with the Divine.

There is a wish-fulfilling tree in the shrine of the heart; that tree is surrounded by weeds. Unless the weeds are removed, the wish-fulfilling tree cannot be seen. That wish-fulfilling tree is a proper system of moral education. If the weeds that have grown round the tree are not removed, the educational system will not grow properly and yield good fruits.

We should realise that human has not only a mind which conceives thoughts, but also a heart which can put them into practice. From the heart emanate such good qualities as kindness, compassion, sympathy, non-violence and equal-mindedness. Evil qualities like anger, envy, hatred, cruelty, greed also flow from the heart.

You are not one person, but three, one you think you are (physical); one others think you are (mental); and one you really are spiritual is God. When you are able to realise that, and when you are able to develop the spiritual power from within you, then you will see God. You are going in the path of worldly consciousness. When you take the path of superconsciousness, you will get realisation, and you will be able to see the Truth.

If somebody says Swami's powers have been given to him/her, don't believe it. Each one's power is within him/her; it is not possible to give such power to another person. In this manner, by allowing a weak mind to get control over us, if we begin running from place to place, when are we going to get strength of mind, and control our own mind. We must be able to follow one thought, one path. One does not have to search for spiritual power, going around the world and spending a lot of money. Be in your own house, develop it in yourself, such spiritual power is in you. (However, the sacred places, Swami's Darshans, idols, and rites are the pinpointers on this spiritual path towards the Divine Self, own True Reality.

There is an ancient legend by unknown author. The Creator gathered all of Creation and said, "I want to hide something from the humans until they are ready for it. It is the realisation that they create their own reality."

The eagle said, "Give it to me, I will take it to the moon."

The Creator said, "No. One day they will go there and find it."

The salmon said, "I will bury it on the bottom of the ocean."

The Creator said, "No. They will go there too."

The buffalo said, "I will bury it on the Great Plains."

The Creator said, "They will cut into the skin of the Earth and find it even there."

Grandmother mole, who lives in the breast of the Mother Earth, and who has no physical eyes but sees with spiritual eyes, said, "Put it inside of them."

And the Creator said, "It is done."

God is not external; God is not outside you; God is inside you. Don't be under the delusion that God Is somewhere and you have to search for Him.

The body has to be regarded as the base for spiritual activity. With it as the basis, you must engage yourself in spiritual activity. All our mental and other abilities should not be used only for worldly achievements. By seeking the higher spiritual knowledge can human rise above the level of the animal.

Human can realise that the present is the product of the past and that the future will be determined by what he does in the present. This requires steadfastness and determination to adhere to the path of righteousness whatever may be the difficulties.

You read many books and engage yourself in many devotional activities. You must ask yourselves how far these studies and actions have helped to transform your lives. You will find that there has been no significant change. But you need not wait to assess the fruits of your actions. It is enough if you realise what is your duty and decide to carry it out regardless of consequences.

Try to correct your own conduct and redeem yourselves. Use your own intelligence and hold fast to the truth you arrive at. Do not become slaves of others. You must use your own capacity for enquiry and discrimination.

Your troubles are often self-created. If you develop firm faith in God and surrender to His Will, He Will not fail you. This is the concept of Sharanagathi (submission to the Will of the Divine). The Bliss that can be derived from this surrender to God cannot be got through any other means. Discover the Bliss that can be derived from trials and tribulations.

It is not a sign of true bhakthi (devotion) to expect that life should be one unbroken chain of happiness and comfort. Thyagaraja (18th and 19th century mystic singer/ composer) asked whether happiness lay in the possession of wealth or in the service of the Lord. He experienced the greatest joy in recognising the omnipresence of the Lord. Similarly, you should be conscious of the immanence of God in everything and carry on their daily duties as a consecration to the Divine. When such devotion is developed the Lord will illumine your hearts and fill it with Bliss.

At first develop self-confidence. People who have no confidence in their own Self begin to wander about and to waver, and take to various different paths. If all the time you are talking of some power being with someone and some other power being with someone else, if in this way you travel all the time and depend upon power which is with someone else, when are you going to acquire any power and self-confidence in your own self?

You may think of going to the Himalayas for getting peace. Yes, the body may go to the Himalayas for getting peace; but the mind may be left behind in the city. When you take your body to different places, and when you go about moving aimlessly, the mind also goes to other different places.

We should not keep moving our body and our limbs in an aimless manner; this is very essential part of our practice of meditation.

Why do we ask people to sit straight and to sit quiet in meditation? Because when the body is straight and quiet, the mind inside is also straight and quiet. If you cannot control your body, how can you control your mind?

Many people think that concentration is the same thing as meditation, but there is no such connection between concentration and meditation. Concentration is something which is below the senses, whereas meditation is something which is above the senses. Concentration is something which we use involuntarily in our daily, normal, routine life. All the normal routines, like walking, talking, reading, writing, eating, all these things we do only as result of concentration.

We must rise from being below the senses (that is the state of concentration) to the senses (that is, the middle position, called contemplation); and from there we must rise above the senses, that is called meditation.

Between concentration and meditation there is border area which covers both and that is the area of contemplation. To be in that area of contemplation is to free yourself of worldly attachments. If you break away all the worldly attachments - all the routine attachments in the world - then you will enter the region of contemplation. When you have completely broken away all your attachments, you break through this area of contemplation and you get into the area of meditation.

These steps can also be described as starting from self-confidence, and then getting self-satisfaction and then self-sacrifice, and the last step is self-realisation. The ultimate step of self-realisation depends upon the base of self-confidence.

The transformation should come in mind, the change should come in mind. Many people collect a lot of information, but they do not use it to bring about a transformation of their own self. You can go on mentioning the names of many eatables. But even if you actually eat one thing, you are going to relieve the hunger. Therefore, instead of saying so many things, if you are able to put into practice one of the things, that is going to be useful.

Mere intellect without practical action is valueless. Only thought that is combined with action deserves to be esteemed. We must therefore put into practice the precepts we profess. It is not possible for any one to determine whether a person is good or bad by examining his/her heart. You have to judge by person's actions and behaviour.

(Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 13. " 'Youth Guides' for youth," Chapter 5 and "Advice to seekers," Chapter 6; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 17. "Examinations then and now," Chapter 7 and "The bliss of Divine love," Chapter 15; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 19. "Truth and Faith," Chapter 28; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 30. "Love God, fear sin, guard Human Values," Chapter 15).

Namaste - Reet
 

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