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Swami teaches....Part 78

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Sai Ram

Light and Love

Swami teaches... 11 - 12 Sept 2006

To Students, Teachers, Parents and Lovers of Education. Part 2


The body is like a radio receiver. Chanting the name and singing the glory of God are useful. But while you indulge in unnecessary gossip, the energy is wasted. In doing wicked deeds also, you waste energy, thereby facing dangerous consequences too. By adhering to the twin ideals of Sathya and Dharma (Truth and Righteousness) you can sanctify your life, control your mind and avoid wastage of the precious energy that you are endowed with.

Dedicate your heart to God; God will be one with you, the heart of your heart. There are things worthy of adoration; universal Love, the teaching of Dharma (virtue), the revival of the Vedas, the fostering of the good, the benediction on sadhakas (spiritual aspirants).

 

(Do not yield to cleverness, casuistry and cunning and lose faith. A boy told his father, who asked him how many oranges there were, after he had given one to him and was holding one in his own hand. "There are three." Asked to explain, the boy impertinently said, touching the oranges with his finger, "One, two...one plus two is three." Well, said the father, "you eat the third orange; I will have these two." That put an end to the conceit of the young fellow).


Be straight; follow the straight path; you will reach the goal. The Name of God, with all its halo of glory and majesty, can cleanse the mind of passion and emotion and make it placid and pure. (However, when the Name is repeated without concentration and without reverence, it cannot cleanse the mind. The vice and wickedness will remain).

 

Keep the memory of God and His Glory always with you; that will quicken your steps and you will arrive soon at the goal. (The mother, coming from the well, with a pot of water on her head, another on the hip and a third in her hand, hurries home, since she is always conscious of the infant in the cradle. If she forgets the infant, her gait slows down and she wanders around, chatting with all her friends). Similarly, if God, the goal, is not cherished in the memory, one has to wander through many births and arrive home late.

Meditation on God is one of the steps for achieving steadiness of mind. Performing work as worship is also tantamount to meditation. When you have the feeling of Divinity in you, you will not think, see, hear, talk bad or do any evil.


Mantras have potency to transform nature, that Vedic recital can infuse harmony, that wrong pronunciation of mantras has deleterious effects.


God is the life-breath of every soul. So, learn to live in His Glory, in His Memory, in His Contemplation, every moment. The God's Name will bring Him nearer to you. Now, the Name is on the tongue, the world is in the mind and the owner of the Name is in the heart. The world and its attractions are distracting you, obliterating the answer the Lord gives to the call of the Name. The only hold that human has in this dreadful darkness is the name of God. That is the raft which will take human across this stormy sea, darkened by hate and fear, churned by anxiety and terror.

 

So long as God is believed to be far away, in temples and holy places, human will feel religion a burden and a hurdle.
 

Every one's heart is a Dharmakshethra (the scene of Mahabharatha war) where the battle between the forces of Good and Evil is fought. Why, the whole Bharath (India) as well as other countries are Dharmakshethra. So, the mothers and children of this land and other lands must be devoted to Dharma, above all. The Gita begins with word, Dharmakshethrae, and ends with the words: through Dharma, you have to transcend Dharma. That is why Kaushalya exhorted Rama when he went into the forest, "May the Dharma which you are upholding by this act, be your guardian when you are in the forest, as an exile."


Plant Rama in your heart and you feel light, burdenless, and even strong. It is like the food basket; when carried on the shoulder, it feels heavy; you are too weak even to carry it. But, sit near a stream and eat it. Though the total weight has not decreased, you feel lighter and stronger.

Divinity is in the microcosm and in the macrocosm. Everything is a combination of atoms, subatomic particles and of energy vibrations in large scale. Whatever you study is only about the physical world and the gross matter. If you want real lasting happiness you can get it only by union with God. Why should you search for God while He is within you? You should follow your conscience - which is Sathya - the principle of Truth. If you have an unpolluted heart and engage in unblemished action, you will experience the manifestation of God.


Cosmic Consciousness which is all-pervasive and in all beings can be comprehended only by human beings. The word 'Conscious' is related to senses. From the dehatma bhava (body identification) you have to rise to pure Atma (Cosmic Consciousness). Conscience warns you when you move on the wrong path. You should not entertain any thoughts which do not conform to the dictates of your conscience. "Yath bhavam Thath bhavathi" (As you feel so you become).

The first quality that you have to cultivate is gratitude to the Divine. Is it not necessary to be grateful to the Divine who has provided us with so many essential benefits through Nature and the five elements? The air you breathe, the water you drink, the earth on which you walk are all gifts of God. How grateful are you to the Sun, who provides light. A human without virtues and gratitude is bound to fail in life. The great sages of yore who adored God in various ways considered devotion as a means of expressing gratitude to providence.

The puranas have described the lives of the great exemplars of nine forms of Bhakti (devotion).

 

They are the following.

 

1. Parikshit for Sravanam (listening to the glories of God),
2. Narada for Keerthanam (singing the praises of God),
3. Prahlada for Vishnunama smaranam (remembering the Lord's name),
4. Prithu for Archanam (offering worship),
5. Akrura for Vandanam (prostration),
6. Hanuman for Seva (service),
7. Arjuna for Sakhyam (friendship),
8. Lakshmi for Padasevanam (worshiping the feet of the Lord) and
9. Bali for Atamnivedanam (total surrender).

Students need both faith in God and deeksha (determination). In addition to their academic studies, these are the qualities a student should acquire. They should associate with right-minded persons, whose company will improve their mind and character.


Develop a reliable character. Your destiny does not depend upon examination marks; it depends more on character, will-power and the Grace of God. Rama is honoured and worshipped while Ravana is execrated. Why? Because of the character they evinced. We value cows for the yield of milk. We value people for their character, their friendly sympathetic attitude, their readiness and ability to serve, safeguard and save. What is service? It is to do good and share your knowledge with others without selfishness. Be good and get happiness. Do good and you will be good. Through sacred action, make life sacred with the principles of Sathya and Dharma as your guide posts.

If there is righteousness in the heart there is beauty in character.
If there is beauty in character there is harmony in the home.
If there is harmony in the home there is order in the nation.
If there is order in the nation there is peace in the world.

The father, the mother and teacher are the three primarily responsible for moulding the future of the country. Of these, the teacher plays the most important role for he is specially trained and selected for the job; he voluntarily takes it up and therefore must carry it out to the best of his ability without demur; he is implicitly trusted by the child, the parents and the public alike and the trust must be repaid by honest service. He is honoured and respected by the children and the public as the Guru, with all the hallowed associations of that word. Teacher may be poor, uncared for by the people at the top, but the satisfaction he/she gets by quiet creative work is enough compensation.


The teacher should never curse pupils whatever the provocation but must bless them. Teacher should watch the behaviour rigorously and find out whether there is some habit or trait which if imitated by the pupil will be harmful. He/she should follow the advice that he/she gives. Otherwise, teacher will be teaching hypocrisy to the little children and encouraging them to acquire the cleverness not to be found out.


If you have the courage to face the consequences, you will never utter falsehood. The teacher should not try to rule through the easier means of fear, for that is full a dangerous consequences to the pupils. Try rather the
path of Love.


Teachers should create an atmosphere of plain living and high thinking, for pupils unconsciously accept them as heroes and begin imitating them. They should hand over to the rising generation the riches that past generations have amassed, viz., the spiritual disciplines and the discoveries. Learn them yourselves and teach them to the pupils under your care. This will enable you to discharge the debt due from you to the rishis (sages) of old.


The unmistakable sign of rain is the wetness of the ground; so too, the sign of a person who has had some years of schooling is good manners; person must have humility and know that the field of knowledge is so vast and person must be aware of the kinship with all mankind and must show a keenness to do service to others, at all times, gladly, and without desire for publicity.

Today in every country we can meet usual situation: human's mind is too full of the world; the stomach is demanding too much of time and energy. Human's desires and wants are multiplying too fast for the capacity to satisfy them; human's dreams are far too real; they lead into false victories and absurd adventures. Engrossed in the analysis of the material world, human has lost sense of spirit, under this new dispensation, truth has become just a word in the dictionary. Compassion is reduced to a meaningless travesty. Humility patience, reverence - these are as invalid as a flameless lamp in the far distance.


The result of this is that human has become artificial, crooked, twisted out of normal shape. Human has left behind the simple natural ways and made mind a lumber-room for ideas, worries, anxieties and terrors. Human can live with much greater joy for him/herself and others. If only one remembers that he/she is a treasure chest with Divine spark in it one will be more loving and more useful.

People admire the phenomenal advance of science. But the advance in some areas of science often has been from fear to greater fear, from destruction to more destruction. For example, in prehistoric times, men killed each other using bows and arrows; now they kill entire populations with the help of mighty bombs; this is praised as remarkable advance. The scientist cannot stop the rise of greed and hate in the human heart; he can forge the weapons they require and improve upon their lethal efficiency. Mankind lives in daily dread of extinction as a result of the such kind discoveries of science; for, any moment, the storm of hate may rain the bombs on their homes.


The advancements in science and technology have enabled human to roam in the sky like birds and move in the water' like fish. But scientists have not mastered the art of living well on the Earth. If human has not learnt how to lead a worthy human life, what is the value of human's existence? Learn to love your country without any hatred for other countries. Develop equal regard for everyone and promote mutual respect and affection. When once you develop Dharma there is no need to attack or harm anyone. Hence no need to have destructive weaponry.

 

The young generation should mould their life by pursuing a good path, practising the ideals of Sathya and Dharma and grow spiritually. Today spirituality is being reviled. You give importance to technology, however, it may yield temporary gains but is ultimately dangerous in the long run. Many environmental disasters have caused by modern technology. (In modern times science has developed but senses have degenerated).

Science is a semi-circle while spirituality is the full circle. Scientists discovered the atom bomb and also the hydrogen bomb, wasting huge stuns of money to produce instruments of mass destruction. All that money could be utilised for the welfare of humanity. If you have the feeling of brotherhood of human, then there is no need for fear and consequent building up of nuclear and other modern arms.

It is when education is combined with spiritual awareness, human values and good qualities according to these values, humans can experience the bliss of fullness and glory of human life as the highlight of all creation.

 

(Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 1. "Bahumathi and ekamathi," Chapter 24; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 4. "Dharmakshethra," Chapter 8; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 8. "Atom of majesty, Chapter 8; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 22. "Perseverance--the key to achievement," Chapter 1; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 30. "Adhere to Truth: Realise Divinity within," Chapter 16).


Namaste - Reet



Sai Ram

Light and Love

Swami teaches... 9 - 10 Sept 2006

To Students, Teachers, Parents and Lovers of Education. Part 1

The motto: The moral life is the best prescription for joyful life.

Verily the light that illumines all the hearts is Divine,
The love that emanates from each call is Divine
Break not the Divine command in your intellectual conceit.
All education that is devoid of spiritual purity
Is replete with hatred and envy,
Like a dark dwelling infested with bats,
Know this to be the truth.


The student of today becomes the teacher of tomorrow and headmaster later. Teacher and student together help to promote the welfare of the nation. Both of them should realise that their welfare is bound up with the well-being of the society as a whole.

 

By all means, master the subjects prescribed in your curriculum of studies; but along with them, study also the principles of Sanathana Dharma (Eternal Universal Religion). Have the progress of your country, your Sanathana Dharma and your own Self always before your mind's eye. Let the hunger for serving these three grow more and more. Then your studies will serve a purpose and give you a sense of mission.


Do not give it up as sanathana (old), coming down from very ancient times. It has stood the test of centuries and is capable of giving you joy and peace even today. It is like a very loving grandmother, anxious and capable of feeding you with nice good dishes. Sanathana Dharma tells you about the Divine spark within and teaches you how to foster it and develop it.


Bharathavasha (Mother India) has kept before her this ideal of Dharma. That is the taproot of her culture, the source of her vigour and vitality. The Godward path is action based on righteousness (karma based on dharma). That is the path, also towards joy, contentment and therefore of strength.


(Now, the path has become hidden by an overgrowth of briar and bush; the bridges and culverts are in disrepair. People have forgotten the goal, the path, and the habit of walking on it).


That path is the only refuge; it must be trodden tomorrow, if not, today, for the goal lies at the end of that path. It was laid down centuries ago, beyond the memory of history, in the Vedas. "Speak the truth, practise righteousness," the Vedas call on you.


Pandits (learned scholars, wise men) well versed in Vedas know what Dharma is and they can explain it to you without distortion. That is why you have to go to them reverentially and seat them amidst you and get enlightened by them. Knowing is not being. You must try to translate into daily life what you learn from them.


We want parents who are so wise, and children who are so steadfast in the practice of Dharma. Practice - that is the real thing in spiritual matters.

There was once a miser who lived in a leaky house; the rainwater poured into the house through the roof but he sat through it all. Neighbours laughed at him and warned him to get the roof repaired. But in the rainy season he replied, "Let the rains subside, how can I repair it now?" And when the rains stopped, he replied, "Why should I worry about leaks now the rains have stopped?" Do not suffer the leaks when the rains come, as they are sure to do; repair the roof now itself.

That is to say, acquaint yourselves with the spiritual primers and text-books now itself; begin the first lessons of silence, prayer and chanting the Name of God. It is never too soon in the spiritual pilgrimage.

The main lesson of spirituality is to share and live together in unity. Swami does not like the word 'religion' which is often misused. By Swami religion should help one to realise one's Reality.


But people have narrow compartmentalised feelings as Muslim, Christian, Sikh, etc. Love makes no difference. It is the basis of all human values and you should practise it with full vigour to justify your real humanity.


The five vital airs in human are termed as Pancha-pranas. In reality Sathya, Dharma, Shanthi, Prema and Ahimsa - the five human values should be deemed as the five-fold life breaths or Pancha Pranas - Prana (Life-breath, life force, vital energy), Apana (the downward air, which goes out through the anus), Udana (breath that moves upward from the throat), Samana (digestive air; even breath) and Vyana (vital air that which is diffused throughout the whole body)/.

It is only through Truth you can get the real spiritual outlook, peace, plenty and prosperity. Truth only bears the wealth of the whole world. The mansion of Dharma is raised on the foundation of Truth.

Though people may follow several spiritual paths, Truth is the most important of all anywhere and at any time, for any individual.


It is from Truth that all creation has originated, including human beings. The whole creation merges back into Truth. One who follows Truth and Righteousness will always be successful. Mere strength of armoury, valour, skill and ability will not do. These are only worldly and external powers. The power of Truth is supreme.


(You may think that relating exactly what you saw is Truth. It is not so. Suppose you see a person taking the role of king in a drama. You see him on the stage with the royal robe and crown, etc. But when you see him off the stage after the drama is all over, he may be in his usual dress. Which is true? Is it his role on the stage or is it his role outside? If you analyse this, it becomes obvious that what is subject to change may be termed as fact but not Truth). Truth remains true at all points of time, it is changeless and eternal. Truth is common to all countries in the world.


The Upanishad says:


"Sathyam Bruyaath" (speak Truth). This is the physical aspect of the directive.
 

"Priyam Bruyaath." This is the dharmic or virtuous aspect which means you should speak Truth in a nice and palatable way.
 

"Na Bruyaath Sathyam apriyam." This is the spiritual aspect. You should avoid speaking even truth when it is not pleasing the person. At the same time, simply because it satisfies the other person, don't speak untruth. It is written on the board "Truth is God." This is not enough. You should have this imprinted in your heart. (This conviction is not traceable among persons in the modern world).

You should restrict your talk to the barest minimum. When you talk too much, you may stray away from truth. That is why the ancients practised "less talk, more work." Love is the most essential undercurrent of your talk and work. Speaking with love is Sathya and doing work with love is Dharma. It will give you Santhi when you also follow the Love Principle. This principle of oneness should be imbibed by you.


We say often we have no peace in mind or santhi. Why? Because we are multiplying our desires what are like the luggage during a journey. If you have less luggage, travel will be more comfortable. So also in life's journey you should restrict your desires which burden you.
 

At the end of all prayers and bhajans there are always verse: "Om Santhi! Santhi! Santhi! Why are we mentioning Santhi three times? It is to invoke peace for body, mind and Atma (inner Self).

God, i.e. Atma is the moving force in every one. He is behind all good impulses and useful attitudes, you are all separate beads strung together on that one thread, God. So hatred is ugly, unnatural and inhuman; it is against the very core of love that is in every one.
 

Therefore always respect another's opinion and another's point of view. Do not start a quarrel at the slightest difference of opinion. Another person may be right and you may be wrong. Ponder over the other's argument; he/she might have had the advantage of knowing more about the subject or you may be prejudiced either for or against; or he/she may not know as much as you. All differences of opinion are not due to personal hatred, remember.
 

You can be legitimately proud when you are able to control the vagaries of the mind and direct your emotions and desires along honourable healthy channels, braving even the ridicule of your so-called friends. That is real freedom, real success.

Be eager and earnest to know more and more about the art of joyful living, happy unperturbed living. One can advance only step by step and there is the danger of slipping down two steps when you climb one. What matters is the determination to climb, the resistance with which the sliding tendency is met, the yearning to rise to progress, to conquer the lower impulses and instincts. If you have that, the hidden spring of power will surge up within you; the Grace of God will smooth your path. However, always remeber that the higher the hill, the deeper the valley.


Take failure coolly and take victory also coolly. The second is a very difficult mental exercise. The winners must be thankful to the losers for their victory, for if only the losers had put in a little more effort, they would have carried away the prizes instead.
 

Do not attach too much value to victory or too much importance to defeat. Be brave and patient. (All is not lost if you do not pass an examination which tests just one aspect of your intelligence).
 

For the accomplishment of any aims in life human needs an unflinching mind, tireless endeavour and unshakable determination.
 

There is the example of a great American scientist, Thomas Alva Edison. He was born in a poor family on February 11, 1847, in the state of Ohio. Although he made no progress in his studies, he became a great inventor, thanks to his supreme self-confidence and his perseverance and determination in the pursuits of his experiments. His early experiments had untoward results, which provoked his parents to punish him and ultimately to send him out of the home. For a time he earned a living by selling sweets in trains.
 

Once, a guard slapped him for causing explosion in the closet of a train. His hearing was affected thereby. A benefactor came into his life after he had saved a child from being run over by a train. He got a job in a telegraph company and was free to carry on his experiments. From such beginnings, Edison became the greate inventor because of his tremendous perseverance and tireless experiments. The world owes to him the electric bulb, the gramophone, the telephone and many other inventions. Edison could achieve all this; it was because of his confidence in himself, his firm determination and tireless energy.

Having full faith in the Divinity within is Self-confidence. This is the foundation on which the walls of self-satisfaction have to be raised with self-sacrifice as roof, so that the mansion of Self- Realisation is complete.

In Vedanta, human is urged to inquire "Who am I?" You will realise that the body, mind and intellect are only instruments. The single letter "I" is the inner Self or Atma. You are the master and should make use of these instruments. You should be careful to use your mind in the right direction.

Young boys and girls pursuing their studies have to cultivate these qualities if they wish to ensure for themselves a bright future and an honourable and worthy career. In facing different situations in life, students have to learn to practise equanimity and amiability.
 

Equal-mindedness and a sense of oneness with all are the marks of a true human being. The world indeed is one human family. The true student should be able to experience this oneness.
 

Sports and games and physical exercise contribute directly to physical fitness and good health. But human is not merely the gross body alone. It is only when human achieves purity of mind and develops unselfishness that he/she can acquire peace of mind and experience genuine happiness. Hence both physical fitness and mental purity is essential for human being. Virtues can help one to elevate himself in life.

 

(Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 1. "Bahumathi and ekamathi," Chapter 24; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 4. "Dharmakshethra," Chapter 8; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 8. "Atom of majesty, Chapter 8; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 22. "Perseverance--the key to achievement," Chapter 1; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 30. "Adhere to Truth: Realise Divinity within," Chapter 16).

Namaste - Reet

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