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Report on the workshop for doctors of Sri Sathya Sai Hospitals

Dr. Gurumurthy, Director of SSSIHMS-PG giving the welcome address

On November 10th, 2018, a workshop titled ‘The Heart of Sai Healthcare Mission’ was conducted for the DNB (Diplomate of National Board) doctors of Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences – Prasanthi gram (SSSIHMS-PG) and Sri Sathya Sai General Hospital (SSSGH) in SSSIHMS-PG conference hall.

The purpose of the workshop was to facilitate the orientation of the young doctors (DNBs) working in the SSSIHMS – PG and SSSGH, Prasanthi Nilayam, towards the healthcare vision and mission of our beloved Lord Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. About 50 doctors from the various departments attended the same.

In his welcome address, Dr. Gurumurthy, Director of the SSSIHMS – PG succinctly delved upon the purpose and philosophy of the Sai Health care mission. He gave an outline of the number of DNB doctors that are currently working in each of the departments.

This was followed by Sri Prasad Rao’s (IAS), Member Secretary, Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust inaugural talk in which he highlighted the current state of medical care in the country and how the SSSIHMS was different from them all. Sri Prasad Rao’s talk was followed by the keynote address of Dr. V. Mohan, Trustee and world renowned diabetologist. He spoke over a video conferencing facility from his office in Chennai. His 30 minute talk covered the entire spectrum of the Sai Healthcare mission.

Dr V Mohan’s talk was followed by Prof. Vishwanath Pandit’s talk. He is the director of the SSSCHV and former Vice- Chancellor of the SSSIHL. His talk focussed on the need for values in day to day life. He explained in brief the purpose of the SSSCHV and its mandate.

Prof. Vishwanath Pandit, then Director of SSSCHV addressing the doctors at SSSIHMS - PG

Prof. Vishwanath Pandit’s speech was followed by the most awaited moment of the morning, video of an excerpt of Bhagavan Baba’s discourse from 1994. It was a discourse given on the occasion of the Cardiac Symposium but its message, as always, is relevant for eternity. The discourse covered a wide array of instructions, suggestions and guidelines to doctors. It brought out His philosophy beautifully.

After the morning tea session, Dr. Narasimhan, Director of the Sri Sathya Sai Mobile Hospital, gave a rousing speech for an hour. His talk expounded on the five pillars of the Sai Healthcare Mission namely: Comprehensive Healthcare – state of the art, quality healthcare; Universal Healthcare – welcoming to all irrespective of caste, creed and religion; Spiritual healthcare – treat all as kith and kin, De-commercialised Healthcare - free for all, Preventive Healthcare – not just treatment of disease but also prevent its recurrence.

In the afternoon session, a panel discussion was conducted for all the participants. The following was structure for the panel discussion.

A video entitled “Start with why -- how great leaders inspire action” by Mr. Simon Sinek was used as a structure for the workshop. The concept basically puts for the following proposition.

It proposes that all organizations / individuals know ‘WHAT’ they do. In our organization (SSSIHMS and SSSGH), too, we know ‘WHAT’ is done or what is to be done. Fewer organizations know HOW they should do what they do. However, very few organizations know ‘WHY’ they do, what they do. Defining or knowing the ‘Why’ is not necessarily the outcome; such as ‘to treat patients’ or ‘to cure diseases’. Why stands for the ‘what is the purpose?’, ‘Why do I exist?’ etc.

Research shows that those organizations / people who know very clearly the ‘WHY’ of their existence are those who thrive successfully and last long. Everybody wants to be a part of organizations that know their ‘WHY’ clearly.

The endeavour, in the two panel discussions was to take up the ‘Why’ and ‘How’ of SSSIHMS. The concept of the golden circle was introduced to the participants. Three aspects of ‘WHY’ was taken up:

  • Why am I a doctor? Or Why did I choose to become a doctor? Or Why did I become a doctor? This is at the individual level.
  • Why this hospital? Or Why does this hospital exist? Or Why did Swami set up a hospital? At the SSSIHMS level.
  • Why Swami? Or Why should I be a part of this divine mission? Or What is the purpose of the mission as a whole? This is at the broadest level.

The panel consisted of Dr. Neelam Desai, HoD of CTVS department, SSSIHMS-PG, Dr. Kolli Challam, HoD of Anaesthesiology, SSSIHMS – Whitefield (WFD) and Sri N. Karthik, Senior Manager, Finance and Account, SSSIHMS – WFD. Each of the members are vastly experienced with the Sri Sathya Sai System having spent decades in divine proximity and personal guidance from Swami.

The second panel consisted of Dr. Sundaresh, Director, SSSIHMS – WFD, Dr. Lathashree, SSSGH – Prasanthi Nilayam and Sri Vaithialingam. This panel dealt with the ‘HOW’. Three aspects of ‘HOW’ were brought up namely:

  • How does Swami want medical care to be rendered?
  • How does Swami want this hospital to function as a marvellous model? The modus operandi, the form and function, the initial pointers. What are some of the unique features and the philosophy behind the FAQs.
  • How should I function in such a hospital?

The panellist shared their thoughts , insights and complemented them with their experiences and anecdotes.

The workshop ended with the impressions of some of the current DNB doctors on their WHY and HOW.

 

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Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba and the Sri Sathya Sai Organization (SSSO) – Part-VII – Concept of Ceiling on Desires

Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba and the Sri Sathya Sai Organization (SSSO) – Part-VII – Concept of Ceiling on Desires

 

The Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisation was founded in the 1960s by Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba to enable its members to undertake service activities as a means to spiritual advancement. The Sathya Sai Organisation derives inspiration, guidance and strength from Bhagawan Baba’s mission and message of propagating the truth of man’s inherent divinity, which is proclaimed and preached by all religions of the world. In consonance with this truth, the Organisation has as its main objective selfless love and service without any distinction of religion, nationality, race, socio-economic status, either for those who work in the Organisation or for those who are served by them. Thus, it transcends all barriers, leading humanity towards the ideal of ‘Fatherhood of God and Brotherhood of Man’. In fact, this spiritual basis enables everyone in the Organisation to pursue his own religion better by putting its teachings into practice by way of love and service to the God who dwells in all hearts (Source)
Bhagawan’s Divine Sankalpa (Will) to create this edifice of the Sri Sathya Sai Organization for the emancipation of humanity, is like a potent seed sown in the 1960s which has now spread out with innumerable branches across the globe. To comprehend the power and determination behind this Divine Sankalpa is mind boggling. However, it is very important for us to understand and recognize how Bhagawan Baba, notwithstanding all the Divine Powers at His command, in a very human way, through a very natural process, built this edifice brick by brick, laying out its blueprint in all its enormity, phase by phase. He communicated its vision, mission, and modus operandi in every possible detail to all the stakeholders. Studying the “construction” of this Divine Organization and appreciating its “architecture”, in the backdrop of its Divine Creator, is a matter of great thrill and joy, a source of profound wisdom and message and a matter of immense fulfilment and satisfaction. This will be the focus of this posting. Needless to say, what will be covered is just a drop in the ocean, for there is so much that Bhagawan Baba has said and done, and only part of which is documented and even less is available as audio files in His Voice. Therefore, what is included here is just a part of what is available to us, audible in His own Voice.
This posting on Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba and the Sri Sathya Sai Organization (SSSO) will be covered in the following seven parts:
Part
Theme
Part-I
Genesis and Management Model
Part-II
Emphasis on “No connection between SSSO and Money”
Part-III
Discipline – The undercurrent of all activities in SSSO
Part-IV
Love-Service-Sacrifice – The Three Pillars of the SSSO
Part-V
Expected Profile of SSSO Members
Part-VI
Ten Directives for SSSO Members
Part-VII
Concept of Ceiling on Desires
Part-VII presents Bhagawan’s concept of Ceiling on Desires. Practice of Ceiling on Desires is the ninth point in the Nine-Point Code of Conduct prescribed by Bhagawan for all members of the SSSO. The charter of the Sai Organization says that every member should undertake sadhana (spiritual discipline) as an integral part of daily life and abide by the following Nine-Point Code of Conduct.
1. Daily meditation and prayer.
2. Devotional singing/prayer with family members once per week.
3. Participation in the educational programmes conducted by the Organization for children.
4. Attendance at least once per month at group devotional programmes conducted by the Organization.
5. Participation in community service and other programmes of the Organization.
6. Regular study of Sai literature.
7. Speaking softly and lovingly with everyone with whom one comes into contact.
8. Avoiding talking ill of others, especially in their absence.
9. Putting into practice the principles of “ceiling on desires”, consciously and continuously striving to eliminate the tendency to waste time, money, food, and energy and utilising any savings thereby generated, for the service of mankind.
There is much that Bhagawan has spoken about Ceiling on Desires. However, all the audio files are not accessible as yet. Once they are accessible, the posting will be updated appropriately. Interested readers may refer to two Discourses given by Bhagawan focusing specifically on Ceiling on Desires. These are titled “Ceiling on Desires – I” and “Ceiling on Desires – II”.
Ceiling on Desires – I” is a discourse given to active workers of the Sri Sathya Sai Organisations, Tamil Nadu at Abbotsbury, Madras, on 19 January 1983.
Ceiling on Desires – II” is a discourse given in the Mandir, at Prasanthi Nilayam, on 14 July 1984.
The three audio extracts in this posting are taken from the Discourse delivered by Bhagawan in the year 1985. 
In Clip-1, Bhagawan explains the concept of Ceiling on Desires and elaborates on its inner significance. Clip-2 highlights the four key aspects of Ceiling on Desires. In Clip-3 Bhagawan illustrates how the concept of Ceiling on Desires has been misunderstood by most people and clarifies that this initiative has not been started for collecting money, but for helping others and thereby seeking joy.
Each audio clip has a name that adopts the following code: Serial number, Title appropriate to the key content, Duration of the clip, Year-Month-Date of the Clip. Below the title is the translation in English of the select excerpt of the Discourse, followed by the audio player. The post ends with a short quiz that would help you evaluate your assimilation of Bhagawan’s Message from these extracts.  
Note: Those receiving this blog by email may see words bunched together due to a technical glitch. That is beyond my control. Please click on link at the top of the email to read the blog directly. Sorry about this. If anyone has a solution to this please help me out.
01-Concept of Ceiling on Desires-2.07-1985 November 21 Evening
When we put a Ceiling on our Desires
we get happiness

Man is drowned in unhealthy desires and overpowered by sorrow. In order to remove this sorrow, we have advised the control of desires. The inner significance of this is that only when we put a ceiling on our desires, we can get happiness. However, even you, the Sadhakas, are not able to understand the meaning of this correctly.

What is the meaning of “Ceiling on Desires”? It’s inner meaning is to put a check on man’s desires. By curbing our desires, we will be able to save some money too. This money may be used to help and support our fellow human beings. This apart, we would be able to execute some noble tasks with the money and thus be able to put the money into good use.  This money could also be used to alleviate the suffering of members of our own family, who are not doing well.
In Kali Yuga, “Dhanam Moolam Idam Jagath” (The basis of the entire world is money). Without money we would not be able to do any small task also. Therefore, in order to save some money for the nurturing of one’s own family, for the purpose of helping others, and for the purpose of carrying out sacred tasks, the practice of “Ceiling on Desires”, i.e. to avoid wastage of money – is proposed. 

02-Four Aspects of Ceiling on Desires-1.04-1985 November 21 Evening
Do not waste
Money, Food, Time and Energy

In our Organization, there are four important aspects related to “Ceiling on Desires”. The first one is, “Do not waste money”. The second one is, “Do not waste food”. The third one is, “Do not waste time”. The fourth one is, “Do not waste your energy”. Therefore,

Don’t waste money
Don’t waste food
Don’t waste time
Don’t waste energy
Ceiling on Desires has been established so that the practice of these four aspects would give you an opportunity to be able to promote your Divinity and recognize the transcendental Divine principle. 

03-Distorted Practice of Ceiling on Desires-Swami started SSSO not for money-Bhagawan wants only Love-2.05-1985 November 21 Evening
Bhagawan wants only your Love!

Sai has not started this Organisation with the desire for money. My wish is that you must control your desires, walk along the path of detachment and enjoy the Divine Bliss. But without understanding these sacred feelings of Mine, you all have considered the saving and offering of money to the Organization as the prime purpose of the practice of “Ceiling on Desires”. This is not the correct approach.

Today, in India, in the name of “Ceiling on Desires”, without controlling one’s own desires, merely saving money, an amount of Rs. 60 lakhs has been deposited in the account of Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust. I do not have the beggarly feeling of desiring for money. Not only today, never in the past too, has there been any moment, when I have asked anybody for any wealth. My sacred tasks themselves generate the money that is necessary for them. Therefore, what you need to give me is the sacred principle of Love. I do not need this money.  

A Short Quiz
01-What is the inner significance of the practice of Ceiling on Desires?
02-What is the purpose in practising the concept of Ceiling on Desires?
03-What are the four key aspects of the concept of Ceiling of Desires?

04-How according to Bhagawan, has the concept of Ceiling on Desires been misunderstood?

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Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba and the Sri Sathya Sai Organization (SSSO) – Part-IV – Love-Service-Sacrifice – The Three Pillars of the SSSO

Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba and the Sri Sathya Sai Organization (SSSO) – Part-IV – Love-Service-Sacrifice – The Three Pillars of the SSSO

 

The Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisation was founded in the 1960s by Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba to enable its members to undertake service activities as a means to spiritual advancement. The Sathya Sai Organisation derives inspiration, guidance and strength from Bhagawan Baba’s mission and message of propagating the truth of man’s inherent divinity, which is proclaimed and preached by all religions of the world. In consonance with this truth, the Organisation has as its main objective selfless love and service without any distinction of religion, nationality, race, socio-economic status, either for those who work in the Organisation or for those who are served by them. Thus, it transcends all barriers, leading humanity towards the ideal of ‘Fatherhood of God and Brotherhood of Man’. In fact, this spiritual basis enables everyone in the Organisation to pursue his own religion better by putting its teachings into practice by way of love and service to the God who dwells in all hearts (Source)
Bhagawan’s Divine Sankalpa (Will) to create this edifice of the Sri Sathya Sai Organization for the emancipation of humanity, is like a potent seed sown in the 1960s which has now spread out with innumerable branches across the globe. To comprehend the power and determination behind this Divine Sankalpa is mind boggling. However, it is very important for us to understand and recognize how Bhagawan Baba, notwithstanding all the Divine Powers at His command, in a very human way, through a very natural process, built this edifice brick by brick, laying out its blueprint in all its enormity, phase by phase. He communicated its vision, mission, and modus operandi in every possible detail to all the stakeholders. Studying the “construction” of this Divine Organization and appreciating its “architecture”, in the backdrop of its Divine Creator, is a matter of great thrill and joy, a source of profound wisdom and message and a matter of immense fulfilment and satisfaction. This will be the focus of this posting. Needless to say, what will be covered is just a drop in the ocean, for there is so much that Bhagawan Baba has said and done, and only part of which is documented and even less is available as audio files in His Voice. Therefore, what is included here is just a part of what is available to us, audible in His own Voice.
This posting on Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba and the Sri Sathya Sai Organization (SSSO) will be covered in the following seven parts:
Part
Theme
Part-I
Genesis and Management Model
Part-II
Emphasis on “No connection between SSSO and Money”
Part-III
Discipline – The undercurrent of all activities in SSSO
Part-IV
Love-Service-Sacrifice – The Three Pillars of the SSSO
Part-V
Expected Profile of SSSO Members
Part-VI
Ten Directives for SSSO Members
Part-VII
Concept of Ceiling on Desires
Part-IV elaborates on the three pillars of the SSSO – Love, Service and Sacrifice. Bhagawan says – To become deserving of God’s Love you must love others. He encourages us to aspire to be Sevaks (servants) and in the process attain the position of leadership, but not run after the aspiration to become leaders directly. Bhagawan quotes the famous Vedic dictum “Na Karmana Na Prajaya Dhanena Tyage Naike Amrutatva Maanashuhu”, stressing that through sacrifice alone we can attain immortality. The seven audio extracts in this posting are taken from the Discourses delivered by Bhagawan in the years 1975, 1980, 1984, 1985 and 1999.
In Clip-1, Bhagawan says that Seva (service) is the primary Sadhana (spiritual practice) and to become deserving of God’s Love we must love others. Seeking for one’s own redemption is the greatest selfishness and one must sacrifice this selfishness. Clip-2 advises all members of the SSSO to aspire to be Sevaks (servants) and not crave for leadership positions. Clip-3 highlights the importance of sacrifice. In Clip-4 Bhagawan reminds us that in matters of service, no differences of any type must be entertained. Clip-5 talks about the need for members of the SSSO to be ready to undertake any Seva, without any feelings of mine and thine. In Clip-6 Bhagawan urges that every devotee family must take up the responsibility of feeding and nurturing one poor person. He says that there can be no greater act of charity than feeding a hungry person. Finally, in Clip-7 Bhagawan praises the members of the SSSO who offered yeoman selfless during the festival of Pushkar. 
Each audio clip has a name that adopts the following code: Serial number, Title appropriate to the key content, Duration of the clip, Year-Month-Date of the Clip. Below the title is the translation in English of the select excerpt of the Discourse, followed by the audio player. The post ends with a short quiz that would help you evaluate your assimilation of Bhagawan’s Message from these extracts.  
Note: Those receiving this blog by email may see words bunched together due to a technical glitch. That is beyond my control. Please click on link at the top of the email to read the blog directly. Sorry about this. If anyone has a solution to this please help me out.
01-Love-Service-Sacrifice must be the primary aim of SSSO-1.32-1985 November 17
Love, Service and Sadhana
The Three Pillars of the SSSO

Merely reading the texts and listening to Discourses cannot make an impact on the heart. To touch the heart and make an impact on it, one must engage in service. One who does not undertake service has no right to talk or preach. Therefore, to acquire the right to speak, one must necessarily engage in service. Seva is the primary Sadhana. To whomsoever we serve, we must regard that we are serving God. We must consider that we are undertaking all activities to please God.

The main aim of the Sathya Sai Organization is to develop this type of Love. While merely closing the nose and doing worship, or trying to get intoxicated in meditation, or getting lost in ecstasy while singing Bhajans; if there is no sense of sacrifice in these, then they become mere symbols of selfishness. Therefore, to aspire for your own redemption is the greatest selfishness. To desire for your own destination is the greatest selfishness. To seek for your own happiness is the greatest selfishness. One who sacrifices this selfishness and loses oneself in the feeling that others’ joy and happiness is one’s own joy and happiness, is a truly selfless person.
One who loves others alone will be loved by God. To become deserving of God’s Love you must love others. If you want God to love you without you loving others, it is impossible. Therefore, you love others and God will live you. Thus, understand this principle of Love; forget the past to the extent possible; do not worry about the future and make an effort to experience the present in the best way.

02-SSSO Members must be always service oriented-Aspire to be good Sevaks not Leaders-1.41-1975 November 21
Always aspire to be Service Oriented

Embodiments of Divine Atma, the Sathya Sai Seva members, the Sathya Sai Sevadals, the Sathya Sai Seva Samithi, the Sathya Sai Balvikas – all these are always associated with the word Seva, Seva, Seva. Therefore, we must always aspire to be Sevaks (servants) and in the process attain the position of leadership, but not run after the aspiration to become leaders directly. If we enquire into the situation correctly, we find that in the Western countries, the one who is a Sevak today becomes a leader overnight. She/he becomes a leader or a Guru. You can imagine the harm that such Gurus can bring about. Therefore do not think about becoming Gurus, always entertain the noble thoughts of being a Sevak forever.

03-SSSO Members must enter into Service and practice Sacrifice-0.51-1999 March 18
Enter Service – Practice Sacrifice

All people and specifically all members of the Sathya Sai Organization must enter into service activities. We must nurture sacrifice, sacrifice, sacrifice. There are so many wealthy and rich people. They are rich only for name sake but there is no sacrifice in their action. They do not even perform the meritorious act of giving somebody a glass of water. No, no. This is not human life. Sacrifice, sacrifice and sacrifice. Therefore, the Vedas have proclaimed, “Na Karmana Na Prajaya Dhanena Tyage Naike Amrutatva Maanashuhu” (Not by action, not by progeny, nor by wealth; it is by sacrifice alone that one can attain immortality). We must attain this form of immortality. 

04-In matters of Service there should be no difference in SSSO-0.48-1975 November 21
In Service, there must be no differences

In the matter of service and bending your body and working, no differences of any type must be entertained, either by the members or the seniors of the Organization. When it comes to service, without having any differences in your mind, in a collective manner, considering all as the children of God; you must provide help and support.

05-Advise to Seva Dals-Remove feeling of Mine and Thine-Overcome all challenges and do Seva-3.17-1984 November 18
Remove feelings of Mine and Thine

All the material objects in the world that give you comfort and joy are not for the use of one single individual. All have a right to it. Each one should put in an effort to experience her/his share of it. It rains, the river flows, the crop grows, the sun and the moon shine; all these activities are not meant for any one single individual. We must recognize the truth that each one has a right to experience these joys and comforts. The Sevadals must strive to remove the narrow minded feelings of “this is mine” (mine) and “this is yours” (thine). They must give up narrow minded ideas, must be contented with what they get and must help others with a sense of gratitude. They must understand that this is the true form of Worship. 

They must recognize that not just living in a united way, but also striving to engage in community service, is true individuality. The Sevadal members must lead life with the broad feeling and understanding that whatever joy and peace they aspire for in their life, the same must be available to their fellow beings also. In life, we come across a number of challenges. Without yielding to any of these challenges, overcoming all of them, without allowing them to come in the way of one’s Seva, without getting vexed with the society in any manner, without giving any scope for ego or ostentation, with all humility and obedience; the Sevadal members should be ready for undertaking any Seva activity. It is this courage and conviction of purpose that you must have, to overcome the obstacles in the path of your Seva.

06-Bhagawan wishes that every devotee family must adopt and feed one poor person a day and nurture him or her-4.40-1980 November 21
Adopt and Feed one poor person a day

In this conference, we must adopt one new practice. In this country there are so many poor people, forlorn people, sick people and others who are challenged in different ways. Each family must be prepared to nurture one poor person. Each family must offer food and protection to a poor person, thus preventing her/him from going to the market place to beg for food. Each family must welcome and offer food to at least one poor person every day. In this country that has assumed the form of Annapoorneshwari (Goddess of Food), if there is no one to feed the people who cry out, “Annamo Ramachandraha” (Oh Rama give me food), how then, can we call this country as Annapoorna Kshetra (land of the Goddess of food)?

Therefore, the new sacred practice from tomorrow must be that, every family (not every individual) must welcome and serve food to one poor person every day.
What is true Sadhana?
Annadaanamukanna Adhika Daanam Edi?
(Which donation is greater than the offering of food?)
Giving food to a hungry man is the greatest Sadhana. 
Talli Tandrulakanna Daivam Edi?
(Which is the God other than one’s own parents?)
Some people cause lot of trouble to their parents at home but they go out and preach to others. Conquer the home and then conquer the wider world. First nurture and worship your own parents. Please them first.
Jagatitapamukanna Satyasheelam Edi?
(What is the truthful character (adherence to truth) greater than penance in this world?)
Dayakante Ekuva Dharmam Edi?
(Which Dharma is greater than compassion?)
Sujana Sangatikanna Chooda Laabham Edi?
(Which profit is greater than the company of good people?)
Krodhambukanna Shatrutvam Edi?
(Which enmity is greater than anger?)
Runamukantenanu Rogam Edi?
(Which disease is greater than being indebted to someone?)
Dharani Hathakeertikantenu Maranam Edi?
(Which death is more worse than losing one’s reputation?)
Sarvadaakeertikantenu Sampada Edi?
(Which wealth is greater than good fame?)
Smaranakante Minchina Abharanam Edi?
(Which is the ornament greater than thinking of God?)
Of all these sacred aphorisms, the most sacred one is “Annadaanamukanna Adhika Daanam Edi?”, i.e. there is no gift greater than giving food to a hungry man. Annam Brahma. Therefore, when a poor person comes and stands near our threshold, and cries out “Amma Annamu (Mother, give me food), I am feeling hungry”, the heart that attempts to welcome her/him is the truly generous heart.
Here we have to note one more point. Because Swami said like this (Kotha Vinta Paatha Rota – when you hear something new, the old practice becomes foul), some women will immediately go to the Bazaar (market) and start distributing food over there. Do not undertake such a practice and encourage beggars. This will result in more harm than good. The person next to us should not know whom we are nurturing or whom we are giving food to. I wish that without any such ostentation, we must promote brotherhood and sacred Divinity through practice, in our organization.

07-SSSO is an example of selfless service-Service done during the Pushkar festival and for Swami’s 55th Birthday-2.38-1980 November 21
God alone is the witness to the selfless service
of the SSSO Members

Not just that, in many parts of the organization (SSSO), right from young children to old people; all of them are doing so much Seva. Selfless service can be seen only in the SSSO. In Bharath, a few months back, in West and East Godavari, the Pushkara festival was celebrated where lakhs of people congregated (Since time immemorial, river worship, known as “Pushkaram”, is performed to make people realize the importance of water, the life-sustaining force. Pushkaram is a holy happening once in every 12 years at each of the 12 major rivers of India, the Godavari being one among them. Every 12th year Jupiter’s entry into the constellation Leo marks the Pushkaram for Godavari). Even in Krishna district, thousands of people assembled for the Krishna Pushkara. The Seva done by the men and women over there is something that only the eyes which have witnessed it can understand and not the fools who only speak. God alone is the witness to the tolerance exhibited by them to all the impurity (dirt) around and to the sacred seva done by them in cleaning and sweeping the place.

As Swami’s Birthday is drawing closer, many members of the organization, in places like Dharmavaram, Guntakal, Kurnool and Bagepalli, who have been waiting with great desire, considering that service to the devotees of Swami is the real Seva to Swami, have been offering lot of service to the ongoing travellers (to Prasanthi Nilayam). Service to man is service to God is merely stated in political organizations, whereas in the Sathya Sai Organization, this assumes a true form.

A Short Quiz
01-Why does Bhagawan call service an important pillar of the SSSO?
02-How according to Bhagawan, must one perform Seva (service) activities?
03-What is the type of sacrifice that Bhagawan wishes the members of the SSSO to undertake?
04-How according to Bhagawan, can we become deserving of God’s Love?
05-What is the meaning of the dictum, Na Karmana Na Prajaya Dhanena Tyage Naike Amrutatva Maanashuhu”?
06-What does Bhagawan expect when He asks the members of the SSSO to remove all the feelings of “mine” and “thine”?
07-With what qualities and framework of mind, must the Sevadals be ready to undertake any Seva?
08-There is no greater charity than feeding a hungry person – In this context, what is the noble practice that Bhagawan initiated the members of the SSSO into?
09-Who is the greatest God in this world?
10-What is the most Truthful character or the best way of adhering to truth?
11-What is the greatest Dharma in this world?
12-What is the greatest profit / benefit in this world?
13-What is our greatest enemy in this world?
14-What is the greatest disease that inflicts mankind?
15-What is the worst type of death that can devour man?
16-What is the greatest wealth that man can accrue?
17-What is the caution Bhagawan asks us to exercise in taking up the new initiative of one family feeding one poor person?
18-What is the significance of the Pushkara festival and what is the history behind its celebration?
Part-IV of this posting would have given you insights about the three pillars of the SSSO: Love, Service and Sacrifice. These three need to be the very breath of every member of the SSSO. Even of one of these were to be absent, she/he would not quality to be an ideal member of the SSSO.  In Part-V of this posting, Bhagawan Baba explains what His expectation of the profile of a SSSO member is. He goes on to explain the various qualities and virtues that need to be present in a SSSO member. Kindly click on this link to read Part-V….
http://hismessagehisvoice.blogspot.in/2012/09/bhagawan-sri-sathya-sai-baba-and-sri_8.html
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Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba and the Sri Sathya Sai Organization (SSSO) – Part-V – Expected Profile of SSSO Members

 

The Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisation was founded in the 1960s by Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba to enable its members to undertake service activities as a means to spiritual advancement. The Sathya Sai Organisation derives inspiration, guidance and strength from Bhagawan Baba’s mission and message of propagating the truth of man’s inherent divinity, which is proclaimed and preached by all religions of the world. In consonance with this truth, the Organisation has as its main objective selfless love and service without any distinction of religion, nationality, race, socio-economic status, either for those who work in the Organisation or for those who are served by them. Thus, it transcends all barriers, leading humanity towards the ideal of ‘Fatherhood of God and Brotherhood of Man’. In fact, this spiritual basis enables everyone in the Organisation to pursue his own religion better by putting its teachings into practice by way of love and service to the God who dwells in all hearts (Source)
Bhagawan’s Divine Sankalpa (Will) to create this edifice of the Sri Sathya Sai Organization for the emancipation of humanity, is like a potent seed sown in the 1960s which has now spread out with innumerable branches across the globe. To comprehend the power and determination behind this Divine Sankalpa is mind boggling. However, it is very important for us to understand and recognize how Bhagawan Baba, notwithstanding all the Divine Powers at His command, in a very human way, through a very natural process, built this edifice brick by brick, laying out its blueprint in all its enormity, phase by phase. He communicated its vision, mission, and modus operandi in every possible detail to all the stakeholders. Studying the “construction” of this Divine Organization and appreciating its “architecture”, in the backdrop of its Divine Creator, is a matter of great thrill and joy, a source of profound wisdom and message and a matter of immense fulfilment and satisfaction. This will be the focus of this posting. Needless to say, what will be covered is just a drop in the ocean, for there is so much that Bhagawan Baba has said and done, and only part of which is documented and even less is available as audio files in His Voice. Therefore, what is included here is just a part of what is available to us, audible in His own Voice.
This posting on Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba and the Sri Sathya Sai Organization (SSSO) will be covered in the following seven parts:
Part
Theme
Part-I
Genesis and Management Model
Part-II
Emphasis on “No connection between SSSO and Money”
Part-III
Discipline – The undercurrent of all activities in SSSO
Part-IV
Love-Service-Sacrifice – The Three Pillars of the SSSO
Part-V
Expected Profile of SSSO Members
Part-VI
Ten Directives for SSSO Members
Part-VII
Concept of Ceiling on Desires
Part-V presents Bhagawan’s expectations about the expected profile of a SSSO member. Bhagawan stresses on the need for humility, absence of jealousy and ostentation. He says that members must not only adhere to the Sai ideals but must be mad to follow the same. He points out that unity must be the hallmark of all SSSO members. There must be no distinction of any type and all members must consider the whole world as one home. Bhagawan states that the world has recognized the SSSO as unique. We need to conduct ourselves as such. He praises the qualities of forbearance and sacrifice exhibited by the members of the SSSO. He emphasizes on the practice of resolutions taken rather than just presenting them on paper. The 14 audio extracts in this posting are taken from the Discourses delivered by Bhagawan in the years 1975, 1980, 1984 and 1999. 
In Clip-1, Bhagawan says that all members of the SSSO must live like children of one Mother. Clip-2, Clip-3 and Clip-4 stress on the need for humility, absence of jealousy and ostentation. Clip-5 and Clip-6 focuses on the need to understand the oneness of Sai ideals and follow and propagate the same. Clip-7, Clip-8 and Clip-9 emphasize on the aspect of unity. Members need to consider the whole world as one Home. No distinction of any type must be encouraged in the SSSO. Clip-10 and Clip-11 talk about the uniqueness of the SSSO and the obligation of the members to keep up the same. In Clip-12 and Clip-13 Bhagawan praises the virtues of forbearance and sacrifice exhibited by the members of the SSSO. Finally, in Clip-14 Bhagawan stresses on the need to practice resolutions taken.     
Each audio clip has a name that adopts the following code: Serial number, Title appropriate to the key content, Duration of the clip, Year-Month-Date of the Clip. Below the title is the translation in English of the select excerpt of the Discourse, followed by the audio player. The post ends with a short quiz that would help you evaluate your assimilation of Bhagawan’s Message from these extracts.  
Note: Those receiving this blog by email may see words bunched together due to a technical glitch. That is beyond my control. Please click on link at the top of the email to read the blog directly. Sorry about this. If anyone has a solution to this please help me out.
01-SSSO members must live like Children of One Mother-0.38-1975 November 21
Live like Children of One Mother

Embodiments of Divine Atma, all members who have joined the Sathya Sai Sevadal and the Sathya Sai Samithi must consider themselves as children of one Mother. You must make an effort not to have any differences of opinions, and must avoid exhibition of qualities like jealousy and ostentation. 

02-SSSO members must be humble-Do not exhibit pride for your position-1.04-1980 November 21
Be Humble

Embodiments of Divine Atma! Most importantly, all those who join as members in the Sathya Sai Organization must lead a humble life without pride or ego. One should not exhibit any pride that she/he is the State President, District President or the Samithi Head. So long as there is ego, you can never be a leader. Therefore, it is better to remove such people with pride from their leadership position. You should develop yourself into a servant and not into a leader. It is only a Kinkara(servant) who can become a Shankara (wise one or great one). First of all, we must make an attempt to reduce the ego in us gradually.

03-SSSO Members must not have jealousy-0.40-1980 November 21
Give up Jealousy

The second aspect is jealousy. Looking at the good of others and their name and fame, others make their eyes red (become jealous). Jealousy is a bad disease. On account of this disease, one loses one’s humanity. Human nature which is Divine is transformed into a Demonic one. Therefore, we must ensure that we do not allow the demon of jealousy to get into us.

04-SSSO Members should not be ostentatious-Do not misuse money for name and reputation-1.19-1980 November 21
Do not be Ostentatious

Next is ostentation and exhibitionism. You must not start exhibiting that they have prepared Sakkarpongal (sweet rice) for Bhajans (as Prasadam) and so I will prepare Laddus (sweet balls). Yet in another instance, one individual may try to spend more money to be more ostentatious than someone else who has been very ostentatious. In our Organization, we must not give any scope for ostentation relating to misuse or wastage of money. It is said that misuse of money is evil. It is also said that wealth is the very form of (Goddess) Lakshmi. If we misuse Lakshmi (wealth) it would amount to misuse of our very goal. When there are times of necessity, you can spend anything and even give your own life to protect someone. You must not waste money in unnecessary matters, just for the sake of name and fame.

05-Responsibilities of the SSSO Leaders-Follow and Propagate Sai Ideals-2.08-1975 November 21
Follow and Propagate Sai Ideals

Embodiments of Divine Atma, today (representatives of) the whole world (have) has assembled in Prasanthi Nilayam, moving about as elder and younger brothers and sisters. This is a sight for the whole world to see. This is the right opportunity. Recognizing this opportunity, you all must determine as office bearers, to promote the sacred Dharma, and stand as shining examples and ideal role models. This is My wish. Those of you, who wish to stand as ideal role models for the world, will have to propagate the need for one common and uniform discipline amongst all of you. Our feelings may be different, our intentions may be different, our nations may be different, our religions may be different, our languages may be different; but the ideals of Sai can never be different. Therefore, those of you who are office bearers in Sai Organizations, must necessarily understand the oneness of Sai ideals and practice and propagate the same to the world.

06-SSSO Members must be mad after their Ideals-They must have a steady heart and pure mind-1.07-1975 November 21
Have a Steady Heart and Pure Mind

Today the world is becoming mad for wealth, authority and position; but it is necessary that the leaders of the Sathya Sai Organization become mad for the sake of their ideals. Today the world does not need a new religion, a new Mantra or a new society. An unwavering heart and a pure mind are most essential.

07-Unity in Diversity must be the Hallmark of SSSO-1.14-1984 November 18.wav
See Unity in Diversity

Without the practice of unity, one cannot realize what this life is all about. So much of diversity (difference of opinions) appears in humanity because each one wishes to follow her/his individual feelings. This is not what must be experienced or accepted in the Sathya Sai Organization. We must have conviction in and must have the vision of Unity in Diversity. Because we are unable to have the vision of Unity in Diversity, differences surface and hatred is on the rise. Where there is no Unity, enmity appears. In the world around we do not come across a sense of unity or Love. Life therefore becomes superficial.

08-There should be no distinction of any type in SSSO-0.25-1984 November 18.wav
Do not encourage distinction of any type

In the Sathya Sai Organization there must be no distinction based on caste, religion, lineage or race. All are the children of one God. When we promote this type of unity, Divinity will certainly shine forth. 

09-SSSO Office Bearers must regard the whole World as one Home and discharge their Duties-0.31-1975 November 21
Regard the Whole World as One Home

All the office bearers (of the SSSO) must engage in Desha Seva (service to the nation) and Samaja Seva (service to the society). Considering and feeling the entire world as one home, they must perform their activities. This must be their primary aim.

10-SSSO must be distinct from the other Organizations in the World-0.25-1975 November 21
SSSO must be distinct

You must conduct yourselves in such a way as to project a clear distinction between the other Organizations that exists in the world and the Sathya Sai Organization.

11-The whole world has recognized the uniqueness of the SSSO-0.44-1999 March 18.wav
SSSO is Unique!

Today the whole world has recognized that, if there is any Organization that is sacred, ideal and united, it is the Sathya Sai Organization. There are many organizations in the world. But the conduct, practice and speech (communication) that is there in Sathya Sai Organization, is not to be found elsewhere.

12-The forbearance advocated by the Vedas is being demonstrated in practice by devotees and members of the SSSSO-2.17-1980 November 21.wav
The Sacrifice made by SSSO Members
is beyond description

Truly, the sacrifice being made by the Sathya Sai Organization is beyond description. For all this, it is your Love which is the main basis. One small example: The Veda chanting goes on…Sahana Vavatu Sahanau Bhunaktu (May He protect us both together; may He nourish us both together), but this forbearance has only been in words from ancient times. However, today the (members of the) Sathya Sai Organization is (are) showing this in practice. This forbearance can be acquired only through Love and not through any other path. One small example: So many wealthy people have come here. So many men and women who always live in comfort have come here. Many have come who have never bent their back and done any work. For each one there may have been (in their homes) a separate bedroom of 20’ x 20’ size, but that is of no consequence to them. You can imagine how such comfort loving people, such wealthy and rich people, have been living in Prasanthi Nilayam with so much of forbearance. They are not aspiring for any conveniences. They have no desire for any comfort. Wherever they get (a place) they put up with all the difficulties and wait for receiving Swami’s Love. You will not get this kind of forbearance in any other organization or congregation.   

13-The sacred feelings and sacrifice of members of SSSSO is praiseworthy-Some may make mistakes here and there-0.59-1980 November 21
Your Love is the prime basis for everything

Embodiments of Love, the whole world is recognizing the sacred feelings that are prevalent in Sathya Sai Organization. In a bag of rice, it is but natural to find few stones. In this ordinary world, being mere human beings, few may commit some mistakes. But this will not make any (negative) impact on the Organization. Truly, the sacrifice being made by the (members of the) Sathya Sai Organization is beyond description. For all these things, it is your love that is the prime basis.

14-Practice resolutions taken-Set an example-Love must be the key of all our actions-2.06-1980 November 21
Practice the Resolutions taken

Embodiments of love, let anyone talk good or ill about you, let anyone praise or criticize you, do not get elated nor depressed; you must determine to continue to engage in your Seva with genuine feelings, and seek fulfilment in this life and realize your Divinity. Most importantly, it is not enough to put on paper the resolutions taken in this Conference. They should take the form of action (practice). Every person should manifest these ideals in their experience.

On some occasions, some members transgress the discipline or do not execute appropriately our ideals and programmes. Some of them, even being our office bearers, are unable to participate in the conferences. The presence of such people leads to demotivation among the others members. We have nothing to do with wealth, authority or position. We have connection only with Love. We must participate in all these programmes with Love. There is no greater strength, wealth and position other than Love.  

A Short Quiz
01-Why does Bhagawan encourage members of the SSSO to develop as servants (sevaks) than as leaders?
02-What is the caution that office bearers need to exercise with respect to the quality of humility?
03-What are the harmful effects of jealousy as stated by Bhagawan?
04-What are the examples given by Bhagawan to advise the members against ostentation?
05-What is Bhagawan’s advice about misuse of money?
06-What according to Bhagawan should those members, who wish to stand as ideal role models for the world, do?
07- If not a new religion, a new Mantra or a new society; what does the world need today according to Bhagawan?
08-What is the advice given by Bhagawan with respect to unity and the absence of any distinction in the SSSO?
09-What are the points presented by Bhagawan when He praises the members of the SSSO for their virtue of forbearance?
10-What does Bhagawan say about the importance of practice over preaching? How does He advise the Organization to handle cases of deviation?
Part-V of this posting would have given you some idea of the stringent standards and rigorous expectations that Bhagawan has from the members of the SSSO. The hard task Master that He is, He does not allow any concessions but at the same time He inspires one and all to follow the prescribed code with love. In Part-VI of this posting, Bhagawan Baba presents, the now very well known and popular, nine point code of conduct for all members of the SSSO. Kindly click on this link to read Part-VI….
http://hismessagehisvoice.blogspot.in/2012/09/bhagawan-sri-sathya-sai-baba-and-sri_9329.html
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Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba and the Sri Sathya Sai Organization (SSSO) – Part-II – Emphasis on “No Connection between SSSO and Money”

Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba and the Sri Sathya Sai Organization (SSSO) – Part-II – Emphasis on “No Connection between SSSO and Money”

 

The Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisation was founded in the 1960s by Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba to enable its members to undertake service activities as a means to spiritual advancement. The Sathya Sai Organisation derives inspiration, guidance and strength from Bhagawan Baba’s mission and message of propagating the truth of man’s inherent divinity, which is proclaimed and preached by all religions of the world. In consonance with this truth, the Organisation has as its main objective selfless love and service without any distinction of religion, nationality, race, socio-economic status, either for those who work in the Organisation or for those who are served by them. Thus, it transcends all barriers, leading humanity towards the ideal of ‘Fatherhood of God and Brotherhood of Man’. In fact, this spiritual basis enables everyone in the Organisation to pursue his own religion better by putting its teachings into practice by way of love and service to the God who dwells in all hearts (Source)
Bhagawan’s Divine Sankalpa (Will) to create this edifice of the Sri Sathya Sai Organization for the emancipation of humanity, is like a potent seed sown in the 1960s which has now spread out with innumerable branches across the globe. To comprehend the power and determination behind this Divine Sankalpa is mind boggling. However, it is very important for us to understand and recognize how Bhagawan Baba, notwithstanding all the Divine Powers at His command, in a very human way, through a very natural process, built this edifice brick by brick, laying out its blueprint in all its enormity, phase by phase. He communicated its vision, mission, and modus operandi in every possible detail to all the stakeholders. Studying the “construction” of this Divine Organization and appreciating its “architecture”, in the backdrop of its Divine Creator, is a matter of great thrill and joy, a source of profound wisdom and message and a matter of immense fulfilment and satisfaction. This will be the focus of this posting. Needless to say, what will be covered is just a drop in the ocean, for there is so much that Bhagawan Baba has said and done, and only part of which is documented and even less is available as audio files in His Voice. Therefore, what is included here is just a part of what is available to us, audible in His own Voice.
This posting on Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba and the Sri Sathya Sai Organization (SSSO) will be covered in the following seven parts:
Part
Theme
Part-I
Genesis and Management Model
Part-II
Emphasis on “No connection between SSSO and Money”
Part-III
Discipline – The undercurrent of all activities in SSSO
Part-IV
Love-Service-Sacrifice – The Three Pillars of the SSSO
Part-V
Expected Profile of SSSO Members
Part-VI
Ten Directives for SSSO Members
Part-VII
Concept of Ceiling on Desires
Part-II emphasizes the total delink between money and the SSSO that Bhagawan always stressed upon. Selfless and noble work will draw the required finances towards itself automatically – is Bhagawan’s dictum. He never wants any office bearer or any member of the SSSO to beg for money. Bhagawan came down heavily on several occasions and reprimanded those who had stretched out their hands for money. Bhagawan’s wish is that the SSSO is a spiritual organization, meant for bringing people closer to God through love, service and sacrifice, and should always remain as such. He cautions against any move that would give the SSSO the stamp of a commercial organization. The nine audio extracts in this posting are taken from the Discourses delivered by Bhagawan in the years 1975, 1980, 1985, and 1999. 
In Clip-1, Bhagawan refers to the members of the SSSO as the spinal column of the Organization. Clip-2 talks about service being the prime motto of the SSSO. Bhagawan points out that any connection with money will spoil the very image of the SSSO. In Clip-3, Bhagawan states that what He wishes is the wealth of virtues and not this miserable wealth. He proclaims that even if there are 10 associations that relate to the Sai ideals, they are enough. In Clip-4 Bhagawan explains that not even a single paisa from the Trust is ever used for any celebration. Thousands of Seva Dals and thousands of volunteers offer their services absolutely free, out of love for Bhagawan. Clip-5 further elaborates on this point and Bhagawan advises everybody to learn how to celebrate programmes by taking Swami as an example. In Clip-6 Bhagawan dissuades the members of the SSSO from collecting any money. If anyone wishes to contribute, Bhagawan advises her/him to directly deposit into the bank account but never to give money to any individual in person. In Clip-7 Bhagawan declares, “…never stretch your hand before anyone. If you have any necessity, come to Me, I will give you”. He also lists the six qualities of a true devotee. Clip-8 is about one of those instances where Bhagawan comes down heavily on those who have collected money for the Trust. He gives them back the money asking them to use it for the welfare of the people in their respective districts. Finally, in Clip-9, Bhagawan says that the only connection that the members of the SSSO must have is heart to heart and love to love. The SSSO must nevre become a commercial organization.
Each audio clip has a name that adopts the following code: Serial number, Title appropriate to the key content, Duration of the clip, Year-Month-Date of the Clip. Below the title is the translation in English of the select excerpt of the Discourse, followed by the audio player. The post ends with a short quiz that would help you evaluate your assimilation of Bhagawan’s Message from these extracts.  
Note: Those receiving this blog by email may see words bunched together due to a technical glitch. That is beyond my control. Please click on link at the top of the email to read the blog directly. Sorry about this. If anyone has a solution to this please help me out.
01-SSSO Members are like the Spinal Column of the Organization-Have no connection with Money-Only Love-1.09-1985 November 21 Evening
Members of SSSO are like its Spinal Column

Members of the Sathya Sai Organization are like the spinal column of the body. If the office bearers do not conduct themselves along the right path, the very spinal column of the organization will get broken. Therefore do not lead the organization along the wrong path. Get a good name by leading the Sathya Sai Organization, which is an ideal for all other organizations; along the Divine, holy, and ultimate path. There can be no connection between money and the Sathya Sai Organization. Any organization having link with money cannot be Sathya Sai Organization at all. Love for love and heart for heart alone can bring about proximity and bonding. 

02-Sai Expectations from SSSO-There should never be any connection between SSSO and Money-1.36-1985 November 21 Evening
No connection between SSSO and Money

You all must live in unity, manifest your Divinity, promote the same, and determine to uphold the culture of ancient traditions of Bharath. You must develop the broad mindedness that service to man is service to God. Discard the narrow feelings of me and mine. The problems of the world today can be solved only through Love. Because of lack of love, humans are behaving worse than the cruel animals in the forest. Therefore, promoting the feeling of love and getting rid of the narrow minded feelings, you must engage in service to society with a Divine broad (generous) heart.

It is not only today but at any time there must be no connection between Sathya Sai Organization and money. This is My wish. Such a connection is a very dangerous one. Not only that, the very name (image) of the organization will be spoilt by this.     

03-Sai wishes the Wealth of Gunas (Virtues) and not Money-2.20-1975 November 21
Sai wants your Virtues, not Money

What Sai wishes is the wealth of virtues and not this miserable wealth. Even the Sathya Sai Organization will have no necessity of wealth. They are doing Bhajans, Nagar Sankeertan, Social service, Seva in Hospitals. Why do you need money for any of these (activities)? If virtues and according to that, strength is there; if Icchha Shakti (will power or strong wish) and Kriya Shakti(strength or power of action) is there; then there need not be any relationship between these noble activities and money. It is not that there are no associations (among SSSO), which proclaim that money is required for carrying out such noble activities. Such associations are actually bringing disrepute to the Sathya Sai Organization. Even if there are 10 associations that relate to the Sai ideals, they are enough. Why these 100 and 1000s of associations? We do not need them. One teaspoon full of cow’s milk is enough, why barrels and barrels of donkey’s milk?

04-Maya is very powerful and it deludes even devotees-Corpus Fund for Health and Education Trust-No link between Sathya Sai and Money-4.55-1975 November 21
Maya is very powerful.
It can delude anybody

Embodiments of Divine Atma, even as we get onto the path of spirituality in different ways, perform various sacred activities and undertake service to society; Maya (delusion) which is very powerful, engulfs man and makes him take onto many wrong paths. Death is sweeter than the blindness of ignorance. The engulfing Maya is so powerful that it can delude any type of person within a few seconds.

There are very few who have understood the principle of Sathya Sai. If one has truly understood the principle and truth of Sathya Sai, then there would be no room for any doubt. One small example to illustrate this: In the last three months the Sathya Sai Health and Education Trust has created a corpus fund. Several doubts have been raised regarding this, different meanings have been attributed based on different perceptions, and these have led to many different interpretations and misinterpretations by several people.
To understand the truth in this matter, it is very essential for Me to speak in this public gathering and therefore I am making this point. There is no connection between money and Sathya Sai. Not only today, but even in the past, there has been no relation between money and Sathya Sai. Sathya Sai will never desire for this mean money. There has been a lot of negative propaganda that a lot of money has been collected for the celebration of the 50thBirthday of Sathya Sai. What is the connection between Sathya Sai’s 50thBirthday and money? There is no connection between money and the Central Trust or between money and Sathya Sai. Thousands of Seva Dals and thousands of volunteers have come and are carrying out their respective tasks, are keeping their respective places clean, and are participating in the multifarious activities of the Ashram, offering their services and noble qualities and thus maintaining this beautiful and sacred Mandir (temple). It is not possible to use even one naya paisa (from the fund collection) for the birthday celebration of Sathya Sai.         

05-Never ask-beg-collect money for any activities of SSSO-No money collected for Swami’s Birthday-3.38-1980 November 21
Never beg or ask for money

One more point. Even for small trivial matters and for small trivial programmes, money is being collected. There are many rich people, many able bodied people. Even if 1 or 2 of them get together, so much work can be accomplished. Our Organization should never get into the act of going unnecessarily from house to house and begging for money. Here is a small example.

A magnanimous gathering is happening in Puttaparthi. The World Conference is taking place in Prasanthi Nilayam. Looking at such a large congregation, those who do not know, may feel that so much money may have been collected, so many committees may have been constituted, so many (bill) books may have been printed, so many receipts may have been given. (However) Even one naya paisa has not been collected through donation. For this Conference that is full of love, there is no need for any money. There is the Purnachandra Hall that is a permanent one. My students are there to arrange the mikes and make other arrangements. My teachers and other devotees have assembled here to organize other programmes. This has nothing to do with money.
Because they happen without the need for any money, all our conferences go on victoriously. If any relationship or connection with money comes in, then one will be in East and the other in West. Several divisions will appear. Thus, My Life is My Message. The manner in which Swami celebrates programmes in Prasanthi Nilayam, you must follow the same methodology. You eat your food and you stay in your homes. You face so many challenges, difficulties and losses and yet with tolerance you are experiencing this happiness. All this has nothing to do with money. Therefore, we must understand these things.  
In some states, the wrong path of collecting money even for small trivial programmes is being adopted. Embodiments of love, even if the office bearers go astray on the wrong path, the others should never accept to go along this path of begging. 

06-SSSO Members must never collect money-If you wish deposit your money directly into the Bank Account-2.25-1975 November 21

 

Never give cash to anyone,
Deposit directly into the account of the Trust, if you wish to

I am wishing that none of you (members of SSSO) take the Sathya Sai Organization on the path of collecting money. Rather, you should perform the Sadhana of taking the Organization along the path of developing virtues and present the model of an ideal life to the world. Those who are interested and enthusiastic and have the ability to give may contribute anything to the Health and Education Trust. Sai has no objection to that. Here also, there is a simple solution. Do not give any money into anyone’s hands. Those of you who are enthusiastic may directly go to a known bank and deposit the money in the account according to your ability and take the receipt. But do not give money directly into the hands of any individual. If you do so, you will be responsible in making the sacred name of Sathya Sai unsacred.

In our life, we amass money through many improper means. It is necessary to bring fulfilment to such money by using it in sacred activities. That is why our ancient Bharathiyas have advocated Dharma and Charity.    

07-SSSO should progress further with the Spirit of Sacrifice-Never beg from anybody-If you need anything come to Me-1.58-1999 March 18.wav
If you need anything, come to Me
I will give!

Swami has no desire for anything. The Sathya Sai Organization must progress further through the quality of sacrifice. Then alone will the nation of Bharath be restored to its glorious ancient culture. This is not that far. Very soon there will be a resurgence of our ancient culture. Therefore, all members of the Sathya Sai Organization must develop sacred feelings, nurture sacred thoughts and perform all actions with noble thoughts. Then there is bound to be victory. Therefore what we need to do is this: never stretch your hand before anyone. If you have any necessity, come to Me, I will give you. Why do you stretch your hand like this?  In fact members of the organization that stretches its hand like this are not devotees at all. They all will become “beggars”. But we must become “biggers’. We must set an example by living an ideal life. We must engage in activities that are selfless.  We should help the poor, we must respect the forlorn. Only when we undertake service activities like this, we can be called devotees.

I have told a number of times. What are the qualities of a true devotee? Only the one’s who have the qualities of Sadgunambulu (good qualities or virtues), Sadbuddhi (good mind), Satyanirati (adherence to truth), Bhakti (devotion), Kramashiksha (discipline), and Kartavyapalana(performance of one’s duty); are true devotees. We must participate in service activities.

08-Take back all your Money-Sai wants only your Pure Love-That too for Global Welfare-2.55-1985 November 21 Evening.wav
Take back all your money
I only want your pure Love!

Since today the office bearers (of SSSO) of all the States of India are here, whatever money has been extracted from different states, whatever wealth has been got by begging from different districts; I am returning all that money of 60 lakhs got from begging, back to you. You only make use of this. From whatever district you have collected this money, use it in the same district to help the poor and forlorn people by doing service in the right way. The only thing I seek from you, for which My Hand turns for receiving (palm upwards), is your pure, serene and selfless Love. For no other thing will My Hand ever turn to receive. For everything else, My Hand will always turn to give (palm downwards). Therefore, recognize the truth that in the name of Sathya Sai (Organization) if any money is collected, it can never be connected to Sathya Sai. You must also act accordingly. I do not desire for this, I have never desired for this and I will never desire for this (wealth or money). What I seek is sacred feelings alone. Even these sacred feelings are not for My sake. They are for the welfare of the world. For the welfare of the world, the members of the Sathya Sai Organization must develop a sacred heart, enter into this world, clean the dirt that has accumulated and promote a Divine environment. Our work is Seva, Seva, Seva. This must be our primary aim.

09-SSSO should never become like a Commercial Organization-Our Business must be Love to Love-Heart to Heart-1.32-1985 November 17.wav
Our business is Love to Love, Heart to Heart

Today even spiritual organizations are becoming commercial establishments. But Sathya Sai Organization must not become a commercial establishment. What sort of business must be there? Heart to Heart and Love to Love. We must get into the business of giving and receiving. Herein, there cannot be a relationship with any object or with money or with anything else. An Organization that develops a relationship with (material) objects and with money can never make any progress. Therefore we must aspire for union of heart with the heart that is truly close to the Divine. We must connect Love with Love. We must join our hands and do service. In this manner we can experience the Viswa Viraata Swarupa (Cosmic Form).

A Short Quiz
01-What according to Bhagawan is the duty of the members of the SSSO, whom He refers to as the spinal column of the Organization?
02-What according to Bhagawan, would happen if there were a connection between the SSSO and money?
03-What are the activities of the SSSO with reference to which Bhagawan says that the Organization would not require any money?
04-What are the salient features of the programmes organized by Bhagawan in Parasanthi Nilayam, which He says must be emulated by all?
05-What is the ideal way suggested by Bhagawan, in which enthusiastic donors can contribute to the Trust, if they so desire?
06-What does Bhagawan mean when He says that we must aspire to be “Biggers” and not “Beggars”?
07- What are the six qualities of a true devotee according to Bhagawan?
08-What else does Bhagawan seek, when He says that He does not seek money?
09-What is the type of “special business” that Bhagawan advises us to conduct in the SSSO, instead of money or wealth related business?
Part-II of this posting would have made you aware of the total detachment from wealth and materialistic pursuits that Bhagawan demonstrates in His life. His Mission is very focused and as presented above, He reiterates again and again the fundamental objectives of setting up the SSSO, which is purely spiritual in nature. In Part-III of this posting, Bhagawan Baba focuses on the aspect of discipline that must be the undercurrent of any spiritual organization. He clearly lays down the details of the code of behaviour and conduct that He expects from the members and office bearers of the SSSO. Please click on this link to read Part-III….
http://hismessagehisvoice.blogspot.in/2012/09/bhagawan-sri-sathya-sai-baba-and-sri_6.html
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Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba and the Sri Sathya Sai Organization (SSSO) – Part-III – Discipline – The undercurrent of all activities in SSSO

 

The Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisation was founded in the 1960s by Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba to enable its members to undertake service activities as a means to spiritual advancement. The Sathya Sai Organisation derives inspiration, guidance and strength from Bhagawan Baba’s mission and message of propagating the truth of man’s inherent divinity, which is proclaimed and preached by all religions of the world. In consonance with this truth, the Organisation has as its main objective selfless love and service without any distinction of religion, nationality, race, socio-economic status, either for those who work in the Organisation or for those who are served by them. Thus, it transcends all barriers, leading humanity towards the ideal of ‘Fatherhood of God and Brotherhood of Man’. In fact, this spiritual basis enables everyone in the Organisation to pursue his own religion better by putting its teachings into practice by way of love and service to the God who dwells in all hearts (Source)
Bhagawan’s Divine Sankalpa (Will) to create this edifice of the Sri Sathya Sai Organization for the emancipation of humanity, is like a potent seed sown in the 1960s which has now spread out with innumerable branches across the globe. To comprehend the power and determination behind this Divine Sankalpa is mind boggling. However, it is very important for us to understand and recognize how Bhagawan Baba, notwithstanding all the Divine Powers at His command, in a very human way, through a very natural process, built this edifice brick by brick, laying out its blueprint in all its enormity, phase by phase. He communicated its vision, mission, and modus operandi in every possible detail to all the stakeholders. Studying the “construction” of this Divine Organization and appreciating its “architecture”, in the backdrop of its Divine Creator, is a matter of great thrill and joy, a source of profound wisdom and message and a matter of immense fulfilment and satisfaction. This will be the focus of this posting. Needless to say, what will be covered is just a drop in the ocean, for there is so much that Bhagawan Baba has said and done, and only part of which is documented and even less is available as audio files in His Voice. Therefore, what is included here is just a part of what is available to us, audible in His own Voice.
This posting on Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba and the Sri Sathya Sai Organization (SSSO) will be covered in the following seven parts:
Part
Theme
Part-I
Genesis and Management Model
Part-II
Emphasis on “No connection between SSSO and Money”
Part-III
Discipline – The undercurrent of all activities in SSSO
Part-IV
Love-Service-Sacrifice – The Three Pillars of the SSSO
Part-V
Expected Profile of SSSO Members
Part-VI
Ten Directives for SSSO Members
Part-VII
Concept of Ceiling on Desires
Part-III focuses on the need for discipline in all activities of the SSSO. Bhagawan gives the example of the sapling and the fence to illustrate the need for discipline on the spiritual path. He emphasizes the need for a uniform code of conduct for all members of the SSSO. Bhagawan touches upon few aspects where He has observed the violation of such discipline and cautions the concerned members to rectify the same. The four audio extracts in this posting are taken from the Discourses delivered by Bhagawan in the years 1975 and 1980. 
In Clip-1, Bhagawan explains the significance of following discipline on the spiritual path. He says that until one becomes a Sarva Sangha Parityagi, one needs to follow discipline, just as a small sapling needs a fencing for protection, until it becomes a big tree. Clip-2 stresses on the need for a uniform code of discipline for members of the SSSO across all nations. Clip-3 and Clip-4 specifically focus on one aspect of discipline, which is about ladies and gents being seated separately during Bhajans, meetings and conferences. Bhagawan comes down heavily on this issue and makes His stance very clear – Either follow the discipline or do not be part of the Organization.
Each audio clip has a name that adopts the following code: Serial number, Title appropriate to the key content, Duration of the clip, Year-Month-Date of the Clip. Below the title is the translation in English of the select excerpt of the Discourse, followed by the audio player. The post ends with a short quiz that would help you evaluate your assimilation of Bhagawan’s Message from these extracts.  
Note: Those receiving this blog by email may see words bunched together due to a technical glitch. That is beyond my control. Please click on link at the top of the email to read the blog directly. Sorry about this. If anyone has a solution to this please help me out.
01-Need for regulations in the SSSO-Example of the Sapling and the Fence-1.50-1980 November 21
To protect a sapling, we need a fence

Today, we have decided to accept certain regulations and discipline for the Sathya Sai Organization. Why do we need all such controls and regulations? Many enquire whether such regulations are necessary even on the spiritual path. A small example to illustrate this point: A plant would not grow just by watering it. It is necessary to protect it by building a fence around it, thus preventing any damage to it by animals. Once the plant becomes a tree, we would not need any fence. In the same way, we have planted the sapling of our spirituality in us. There are so many forces in this world which try to attack it. In order to protect (this sapling), we will have to have some regulations in the form of a fence. When it grows fully and bears fruits, we would not need any of these regulations. By that time you would be a total Sarva Sangha Parityagi(total renunciant). But before becoming a Sarva Sangha Parityagi, if you do not practice this discipline, you will make no progress.

02-In SSSO all are brothers-Need for Standardization of Code of Conduct across countries-1.12-1980 November 21
All are Brothers and Sisters

Here, we consider all as brothers and sisters. In the Sri Sathya Sai Organization, we are practising with faith, specifically, the discipline of the brotherhood of man and the fatherhood of God. Therefore, be it America or Germany or Japan or Russia, he remains your brother only. But in the name of brother, brother (brotherhood), we cannot have a separate rule for America, a separate rule for Japan and a separate rule for Russia. All Sai brothers (members of the Sai Organization) must follow the same path.

03-Code of Conduct for SSSO-Ladies and Gents to be seated separately-3.31-1975 November 21
Ladies and Gents
must be seated separately

A small example to illustrate the point: In Bharath, in sacred Prasanthi Nilayam, men and women are seated separately; and in such conferences, each one goes about doing her/his own work and discharging her/his own duty. This is the tradition in the Sai organizations. In the same way, so many of you have come from America, South Africa, Germany, Italy, etc. This same discipline has to be observed even in your own respective countries.

However, this is not happening in many countries. Men and women are mixing with each other; they are behaving in an indecent manner, getting up (and moving out) in the midst (of meetings), entering in the midst (of meetings) and so on. Such practices can have nothing to do with Sai Organizations. Those using the name of Sathya Sai Organization must primarily follow the ideals of Sathya Sai. Those who feel that in their nations, they cannot move around without men and women mixing, they need not follow the ideals of Sai Organizations and we too do not need such Centres.
Rather than sitting with purity and peace and thinking about God for some time – at least for some 10 minutes, without any connection to the sense organs; those who wish to engage in actions that excite their senses have no place in the Sai Organizations. I wish that the Westerners and even the office bearers who have come here (for the Conference), must sincerely put in an effort to practice this discipline from tomorrow itself. 

04-No mixing of men and women in SSSO-Control of mind is necessary-1.24-1980 November 21
Control of Mind is necessary

Some Westerners argue “We men and women sit together (in a mixed manner and not separately) and sing Bhajans; it is not possible for us, men and women to sit separately; this is our tradition; this has been our culture right from the beginning”. But this culture has to be changed. Only when it is changed, you will become devotees. If you keep saying, it is our culture, our culture, then you will never become devotees any day. Be it Westerners or the Bharatiyas, we have to sacrifice some of our past practices and unnecessary traditions. This is the spiritual path. Chanchalam Hi Manah Krishna Pramaathi Balavad Dridham(Gita 6:34 – O Krishna, this mind is restless, stubborn and strong). The courageous and heroic Arjuna himself says that he cannot control his mind. Therefore, the mind is like a mad monkey. To control this mind we have to practice very rigorously some type of discipline. 

A Short Quiz
01-What according to Bhagawan is the need for discipline in the form of rules and regulations, in a spiritual Organization?
02-What according to Bhagawan, is the reason for ladies and gents to be seated separately in Bhajans and other congregations of the SSSO?
03-What is the meaning of the verse “Chanchalam Hi Manah Krishna Pramaathi Balavad Dridham” from the Gita? In what context does Bhagawan quote this verse?
Part-III of this posting would have given you an understanding of the need for discipline with specific reference to a spiritual Organization like the SSSO. Control of the mind is essentially the prime objective on the spiritual path and discipline is the prerequisite to even start walking along this path. In Part-IV of this posting, Bhagawan Baba focuses on the three pillars of the SSSO – Love, Service and Sacrifice. Kindly click on this link to read Part-IV….
http://hismessagehisvoice.blogspot.in/2012/09/bhagawan-sri-sathya-sai-baba-and-sri_7.html
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Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba and the Sri Sathya Sai Organization (SSSO) – Part – I: Genesis and Management Model

Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba and the Sri Sathya Sai Organization (SSSO) – Part – I: Genesis and Management Model

The Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisation was founded in the 1960s by Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba to enable its members to undertake service activities as a means to spiritual advancement. The Sathya Sai Organisation derives inspiration, guidance and strength from Bhagawan Baba’s mission and message of propagating the truth of man’s inherent divinity, which is proclaimed and preached by all religions of the world. In consonance with this truth, the Organisation has as its main objective selfless love and service without any distinction of religion, nationality, race, socio-economic status, either for those who work in the Organisation or for those who are served by them. Thus, it transcends all barriers, leading humanity towards the ideal of ‘Fatherhood of God and Brotherhood of Man’. In fact, this spiritual basis enables everyone in the Organisation to pursue his own religion better by putting its teachings into practice by way of love and service to the God who dwells in all hearts (Source)
Bhagawan’s Divine Sankalpa (Will) to create this edifice of the Sri Sathya Sai Organization for the emancipation of humanity, is like a potent seed sown in the 1960s which has now spread out with innumerable branches across the globe. To comprehend the power and determination behind this Divine Sankalpa is mind boggling. However, it is very important for us to understand and recognize how Bhagawan Baba, notwithstanding all the Divine Powers at His command, in a very human way, through a very natural process, built this edifice brick by brick, laying out its blueprint in all its enormity, phase by phase. He communicated its vision, mission, and modus operandi in every possible detail to all the stakeholders. Studying the “construction” of this Divine Organization and appreciating its “architecture”, in the backdrop of its Divine Creator, is a matter of great thrill and joy, a source of profound wisdom and message and a matter of immense fulfilment and satisfaction. This will be the focus of this posting. Needless to say, what will be covered is just a drop in the ocean, for there is so much that Bhagawan Baba has said and done, and only part of which is documented and even less is available as audio files in His Voice. Therefore, what is included here is just a part of what is available to us, audible in His own Voice.
This posting on Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba and the Sri Sathya Sai Organization (SSSO) will be covered in the following seven parts:
Part
Theme
Part-I
Genesis and Management Model
Part-II
Emphasis on “No connection between SSSO and Money”
Part-III
Discipline – The undercurrent of all activities in SSSO
Part-IV
Love-Service-Sacrifice – The Three Pillars of the SSSO
Part-V
Expected Profile of SSSO Members
Part-VI
Ten Directives for SSSO Members
Part-VII
Concept of Ceiling on Desires
Part-I elaborates on the sacred origins of the SSSO and the Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust. It highlights Bhagawan’s specific instructions to the leaders and the office bearers of the Organization on how to run the Sri Sathya Sai Organization. The nine audio extracts in this posting are taken from the Discourses delivered by Bhagawan in the years 1975, 1980, 1985 and 1999. 
Clip-1 highlights the reason for which Bhagawan has given His name to the Organization. He says, it is for inspiring devotion in the members and not for propagating the name of Sathya Sai. In Clip-2, Bhagawan stresses on the need to name these Organizations as Sri Sathya Sai Centres and not merely as Sai Baba Centres. Clip-3 focuses on the noble intention behind setting up of the Health and Education Trust. In Clip-4, Bhagawan explains the need for a Council of Management in every country to oversee the various activities of all the units of the SSSO. He highlights the need for group decision making instead of individual authority. In Clip-5 Bhagawan Baba stresses that representatives and coordinators in SSSO must be identified by Selection and not Election. Clip-6 emphasizes that all the individual units of the SSSO must work in perfect harmony and unison. In Clip-7 Bhagawan states that use of the term “Sai Family” is a very narrow mind set. He says, the whole world is one family, so why use the term “Sai Family”. Clip-8 makes it clear that Publicity must not be the way of the SSSO at all. Bhagawan explains that silent practice must be the only means through which others must come to know about the SSSO. In the final Clip-9, Bhagawan explains the need and significance for holding World Conferences, like the one He organized once in every five years.  
Each audio clip has a name that adopts the following code: Serial number, Title appropriate to the key content, Duration of the clip, Year-Month-Date of the Clip. Below the title is the translation in English of the select excerpt of the Discourse, followed by the audio player. The post ends with a short quiz that would help you evaluate your assimilation of Bhagawan’s Message from these extracts.  
Note: Those receiving this blog by email may see words bunched together due to a technical glitch. That is beyond my control. Please click on link at the top of the email to read the blog directly. Sorry about this. If anyone has a solution to this please help me out.
01-SSSO has not been established for propagating the name of Sathya Sai-It is for inspiring devotion to God-3.15-1975 November 21
SSSO has not been established
to propagate the name of Sathya Sai

It is essential to recognize the truth that these organizations have not been established to propagate the name of Sathya Sai. As so many other organizations have come forth in the world on account of which atheism is on the rise and theism is on the decline, such organizations (SSSO) have been started so that at least a few people will spread across the nation and across the world and preach the noble ideals. 

Let us take into consideration some organizations other then the Sathya Sai Organization. If there is some indiscipline or some Adharmic activities going on there, the members of the SSSO will have no right to go and ask them as to why they are engaging in such activities. If asked so, the members of those organizations may question, “Who are you (to tell us)?” Thus, we would have no authority. Therefore, to empower the members (of SSSO) with such authority, to prevent them from going astray and adhering onto the right path, a strict code of discipline and conduct has been laid down for the SSSO. 
The SSSO name has been specifically given to the organization so as to grant some authority to the members, so that they would be able to correct people going on the wrong path and bring them on to the right path. This name has not been given for Sathya Sai. The right or authority for the SSSO members and office bearers comes only when they follow the ideals of Sathya Sai along with the prescribed code of discipline.  

02-SSSO Centres should be called Sri Sathya Sai Centres and not Sai Baba Centres-2.51-1975 November 21
Call the Centres as Sathya Sai Centres

Sathya Sai Organizations in America, Mexico and other countries are called as Sai Baba Centres. There is no difference between Sai Baba and Sathya Sai Baba. However, the physical body of Sai Baba and the related organization is different. The physical body of Sathya Sai and the related organization is different. Therefore, if we enquire from a worldly point of view, differences do arise between Sai Baba Centres and Sathya Sai Baba Centres. In the name of Sai Baba Centres, a lot of preaching and propagation goes on. If we become one with them, we will have no authority to point out the good and bad in them. We will have every right to go to those who call their Centres as Sathya Sai Centres and point out the good and bad aspects in them and help them to walk on the right path. It is not only from the authority (to speak) point of view that we need to have this practice, but coming together like this, will make it possible to help them to lead an ideal life along the righteous path. It is not right for members of one organization to go and join another organization or to have relationships and connections between two different organizations.

03-Objective of setting up the Health and Education Trust in 1975-1.25-1975 November 21
In our Bharath, the youth are getting onto the wrong path and are not making any effort to uphold the Bharatiya culture. At such times, with the noble intention of inspiring the students and making them into citizens who will promote the welfare of Bharath, the Central Trust deliberated a lot and then started a separate Trust called the Health and Education Trust and through this they wished to promote Educational institutions and hospitals. It is also their noble wish that the youth must be inspired in the moral, worldly, spiritual and Dharmic domains and through them the Bharatiya culture must be promoted.

04-Advise to the Overseas members of the SSSO-Need for Council of Management-4.31-1975 November 21
Set up a Council of Management

In the Western countries it is not possible to have the name “Sathya Sai Seva Organizations”, because they would not understand the meaning of the word “Seva”. They would mistake it for just “Service”. Calling it “Service Organizations” would also not convey the right meaning. Hence it is advisable to call them as just “Sathya Sai Centres”. Members of the Western nations, it is necessary to address you all in specific. There are certain differences in the traditions and practices of Bharath and your nations. Each Samithi, each Bhajan Mandali, each Seva Centre, each Study Circle, and each Satsangh may operate as independent units. However, for each nation it is necessary to have a Council of Management consisting of 5 or 10 members who would oversee the activities of all these units.

Do not give any scope to individual authority. In the Council of Management each member should take up the responsibility for a particular unit of the Sathya Sai Organization and the Council must ensure proper interactions and interrelationships between the various units. The independent units must never have any dislike for each other, or consider one as low and the other as high or encourage any type of differences amongst themselves. If any differences are noticed in any one of the units of the organization, the Members of the Council must make an effort to get together and immediately resolve the issue, thus bringing about good cooperation among the various units. 

It is essential for all members to work in a united manner, like the fingers of one hand. It is My Wish and Blessings that bearing this feeling in your mind, and thus promoting the organization; you must soon, in a very short time, put an end to the disturbances in the world today and experience peaceful bliss; you must pray for the peace of all nations, for the happiness and welfare of all the nations, and of all the people. I thus bring My Discourse to a close.  

05-Representatives and Coordinators in SSSO must be identified by Selection and not Election-2.12-1980 November 21
Selection and not Election

Some people are being troubled by some doubts. There are few who do not understand the feelings of the office bearers of the International Sathya Sai Organization. They are also not recognizing the connection and interrelationship with the World Council. An effort is being made to have some specific individuals as representatives for certain nations. How do we determine these representatives? Who will determine these representatives?  Some people have lot of misunderstanding regarding this. Basing on the wishes of the devotees over there and according to their likes, they would like to select a representative. If we go by this approach, then there will be politics and it will be followed by election. In election, the love is completely destroyed. We will be misusing our love. If we wish to truly promote our love, then we must have selection and must not get into election. This selection must be done through the Central Trust. Fighting and creating chaos amongst themselves, they must not divide themselves in the course of arguing over matters.

06-All wings of the SSSO must work in Unison and Harmony-2.05-1980 November 21
Work in Unison and Harmony

Be it the Samithi, or the Study Circle, or the Seva Dal; some wish that these should operate completely independent of each other, without any relation or connection between them. This is not correct. There must be a close link between all these units. A small example. This finger is the Seva Samithi. This other finger is the Mahila Vibhag – Women’s Wing. The middle finger is the Seva Dal. The next finger is the Bal Vikas. The last finger is the Bhajana Mandali. If these five fingers are chopped off and made independent, what remains? It is only when these five work collectively that we can accomplish any task. Therefore, in our organization, it is not possible for any unit to operate independently. All these units are like the rivers that flow into the ocean. Rivers have different names and forms before they merge into the ocean. Even the taste (of their water) is different. But once they merge into the ocean, they lose their individual name, form and taste and assume the name, form and taste of the ocean. Therefore, all citizens of all nations must become one with respect to the ideals of Sai.

07-Do not use the term Sai Family-This is narrow mindedness-We belong to the Human Family-1.37-1985 November 21 Evening
Entire Humanity is One Family

Every individual, with a narrow minded feeling refers to “Brothers and Sisters of the Sai Family”. “Sai Family, Sai Family”, this is such a narrow minded feeling. Therefore, henceforth, do not use the term “Sai Family”. That is, do not use the term “Sai”, because all belong to the human family. Some may like Sai, others may like Rama, yet others may like Krishna. In this congregation, there are so many people with different tastes and likings. I do not have such narrow minded feelings. You are all not members of a “Sai Family”. You are all members of the Divine Family of God. God is the same for all nations, for all families, for all times. One Name and one Form is a narrow minded approach. We must develop the broad mindedness that all Names and all Forms are One.

08-SSSO Members must work Silently-Spread the Message through Love-Not through Publicity-1.14-1999 March 18
Spread the Message through Love

We do not need any great publicity. We do not need to have any advertisement. Silence is our advertisement. We must work silently. There must be only mind to mind, love to love and body to body connection. You must acquire love only through love. Love will expand in the entire world. What is spoken somewhere, when broadcast on the radio, can be heard this very second in Kadugodi (Whitefield, Bangalore). Similarly, our noble thoughts are like radio waves. These waves have to spread only through love and not through broadcast. Prachaaram (publicity) is not at all the Aachaaram (practice) of the Sathya Sai Organization. Aachaaram (practice) is our Prachaaram (publicity). Therefore, with such sacred practice, we must develop our Organization, making it well known across the world. With the love principle, we must make the entire world stand like one family. 

09-Need for large congregations like the World Conference-2.01-1975 November 21
Spiritual Conferences purify our Minds

When we are unable to see our own form, we hold a mirror in front of us. Similarly, when we are unable to recognize our Satvic (pious) qualities and Divine nature, we need to participate in such conferences, hold the Satsangha (good company) as a mirror and make an attempt to see our own true form. Whatever we see and hear in this world are all a reflection of our own inner feelings. When we think and reflect on our good and noble feelings, we will become deserving of witnessing our true form. Without cleaning the impurity that engulfs our mind, even if we take bath ten times, we will continue to remain impure. Therefore, we must recognize that these conferences are instrumental in purifying our minds. 

A Short Quiz
01-What is the purpose behind Bhagawan Baba setting up the Sri Sathya Sai Organization?
02-What are the various units that come under the banner of the Sri Sathya Sai Oragnization? (Though this has not been stated in the above audio clips, it would be an interesting exercise to list all of them).
03-When there is essentially no difference between Sai Baba and Sathya Sai Baba, why does Bhagawan say that the Centres must be called Sri Sathya Sai Centres?
04-What is the genesis of the Health and Education Trust started way back in 1975?
05-What is the role envisaged by Bhagawan for the Council of Management in the SSSO? What is the specific purpose that it would serve?
06-Why does Bhagawan prefer Selection to Election for identifying the Representatives and Coordinators of the SSSO?
07-How does Bhagawan illustrate the need for the various units of the SSSO to work in harmony and unison?
08-Why does Bhagawan discourage members of the SSSO from using the term “Sai Family”?
09-What is the form of publicity (prachaaram) that Bhagawan expects the members of the SSSO to follow?
10- What according to Bhagawan is the significance of holding large gatherings like the Sri Sathya Sai World Conference?
11-How many World Conferences were organized by Bhagawan Baba?

 

Part-I of this posting would have given you a tiny glimpse into the Genesis and Management of the Sri Sathya Sai Oragnization. You could read Bhagawan Baba’s Discourses in “Sathya Sai Speaks” Volumes to know further details about the same. In Part-II of this posting, Bhagawan Baba strongly emphasizes that there must be “No connection between SSSO and Money”. Bhagawan has been unequivocal in this regard and He goes to any extent to drive home this point to His devotees and the world at large. Please click on this link to read Part-II….http://hismessagehisvoice.blogspot.in/2012/09/bhagawan-sri-sathya-sai-baba-and-sri_5.html

 

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Four Defects of the Antahkarana (Inner Instruments) Braanthi, Pramaadam, Karanaapaataanaa and Vipralipsa

 

Mano Moolam Idam Jagath. The mind is the basis for all creation. Therefore, the mind is the key for getting either bound to or liberated from this world. Mana Eva Manushyaanaam Kaaranam Bandha Mokshayoho. Turning the mind towards the world gets us bound to it whereas turning the mind towards God liberates us and takes us to eternal freedom. However, this is easier said than done. Controlling the mind is an uphill task. Bhagawan often refers to the human mind as a monkey mind. To add it further, He says, it is like a monkey that is drunk and also bitten by a scorpion! How then can we put a check to the vagaries of this mind and turn it inwards towards our true Self (God)? For this, just like any doctor would do, we need to conduct a diagnostic check and identify what the disease is, in the very first place. Our dear Lord as the Divine Doctor comes to our rescue here. Being the very creator of the mind and the world, He is the only one who could give us a detailed explanation of the anatomy of our mind, and that is precisely what He does in this posting.
In the previous posting Bhagawan explained to us three critical vagaries of the human mind that are responsible for the illusion that it creates and for subjecting us to Self-forgetfulness, thus binding us to this illusory world. These three vagaries of the mind being Mala, Vikshepa, and Aavaranaa. In this posting Bhagawan delves further into the various aspects of the mind itself, called the inner instruments or the Antahkarana. In Vedantic literature, the Antahkarana is organised into four parts: Manas (mind), the part that controls sankalpa (will or resolution) or the thinking mind; Buddhi (intellect), the part that controls discrimination and decision making; Chitta (memory), the part that deals with remembering and forgetting; and Ahamkara (ego), the part that identifies the Atman (the Self) with the body as ‘I’. Having introduced the four inner instruments, Bhagawan elaborates on the four defects associated with these inner instruments. The four defects being: Braanthi (delusion), Pramaadi (danger), Karanaapaatana (weakness of the senses) and Vipralipsa (jealousy). All the 14 audio extracts in this posting have been taken from the Discourse delivered by Bhagawan on the 25thMay 1990, during the Summer Course in Indian Culture and Spirituality, held at Brindavan Ashram, Whitefield, Bangalore. 

Clip-1 introduces the four inner instruments of the mind called the AntahkaranaManas(mind), the Buddhi (intellect), the Chitta (memory / awareness), and the Ahankaara (ego). Bhagawan then makes a reference to the four defects associated with the AntahkaranaBraanthi (delusion), Pramaadi(danger), Karanaapaatana (weakness of the senses) and Vipralipsa(jealousy). In Clip-2, Bhagawan elaborates on the first two defects of Braanthi(delusion), and Pramaadi (danger). Clip-3 and Clip-4 talk about how sense organs have no life of their own and how the human body can be compared to a big torch light. In Clip-5, highlighting the aspect of Braanthi(delusion), Bhagawan talks about the ephemeral nature of worldly relationships. In Clip-6, He makes a special reference to the students of modern times and their nature. Clip-7 elaborates on the third defect Karanaapaatana(weakness of the senses). In Clip-8, Bhagawan narrates the story of the Landlord, the middle class farmer and their bulls to illustrate how sense organs behave in a very relative way based on the context and situation. Clip-9 elaborates on the disease that affects the senses, through the example of ailments like Malaria and Jaundice. Clip-10 focuses on the fourth defect of the Antahkarana called Vipralipsa (jealousy). In Clip-11, Bhagawan explains how selfishness manifests in students, giving very simple, yet profound examples of students travelling in a bus and students checking for their examination results in a newspaper. In Clip-12, Swami appeals to the students to give up the bad quality of jealousy. Clip-13 highlights the key to cleanse the mind and remove the defects of the Antahkarana. Finally, in Clip-14 Bhagawan stresses on the fact that youth is the right time and age for engaging in the process of cleansing the mind and getting rid of the defects in the Antahkarana.  
Each audio clip has a name that adopts the following code: Serial number, Title appropriate to the key content, Duration of the clip, Year-Month-Date of the Clip. Below the title is the translation in English of the select excerpt of the Discourse, followed by the audio player. The post ends with a short quiz that would help you evaluate your assimilation of Bhagawan’s Message from these extracts.  
Note: Those receiving this blog by email may see words bunched together due to a technical glitch. That is beyond my control. Please click on link at the top of the email to read the blog directly. Sorry about this. If anyone has a solution to this please help me out.
01-Antahkaranas and their Four Defects-2.19-1990 May 25
The Four Inner Instruments (Antahkarana) of the Human Mind
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Students, the Manas (mind), the Buddhi (intellect), the Chitta (memory / awareness), and the Ahankaara(ego), constitute the Anthahkarana of the mind. What is the meaning of Antahkarana? Karana means instruments. Therefore, Antahkarana means inner instruments. Many describe these in so many complex ways like Vedanta (but it is very simple). The eyes see outside, the ears hear outside, the tongue speaks outside, the hands perform activities outside, the nose detects smells outside. All these have a certain form. But mind has no form. The intellect has no form. The memory or awareness has no form and even the ego has no form. The collective formlessness of these four instruments constitutes their true form. These (inner instruments) have four kinds of defects. The first is Braanthi(delusion), the second is Pramaadi (danger), the third is Karanaapaatana(weakness of the senses) and the fourth is Vipralipsa (jealousy). It is these four defects that pollute the Antahkarana.

    
02-Braanthi and Pramaadam-First two defects of the Antahkarana-1.44-1990 May 25
Braanthi (Delusion) is what makes us see the unreal as real
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The first defect is Braanthi. It is delusion. What type of delusion is this? It refers to a state of mind in which a person mistakes, for instance, a rope for a snake and a snake for a rope. In other words, he regards the unreal (temporary) as real (permanent) and the real (permanent) as unreal (temporary). Such delusions invariably lead to accidents or dangerous situations (pramaadam). If you hold a snake thinking it is a rope, you are certainly in for trouble. Man today regards the body as real. No. No. The body is like a water bubble. We never know when, where and in what way it will burst. This is not real. The body is just a cage of bones (skeleton). It is full of faeces, urine, bad odour and flesh; and does not emanate any good fragrance (Bhagawan here uses a phrase “Punugu Javadi Puttabodu” Punugu is a civet cat, a nocturnal mammal native to tropical Asia and Africa, which historically has been the main species from which was obtained a musky scent used in perfumery; Javadi refers to a perfume like Pomatum. Therefore, Bhagawan says that the human body does not emanate any such fragrances). Assuming such a body to be real, we are losing the strength that is needed to put this body into proper use.

03-Braanthi and Pramaadam-Sense Organs have no life of their own-0.57-1990 May 25
Sense Organs have no life of their own
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Students understand one thing clearly. Eyes, ears, mouth and nose all do exist. If we consider that it is the eyes which see, ears which hear, tongue which speaks (and nose which smells); then after death, we have the same eyes, same ears, same nose, and same tongue. Why does it not speak, why does it not see, why does it not hear? If you are the body verily, then why can you not see then (after death)? Because, the power that enables the eyes to see is absent.   

04-Braanthi and Pramaadam-Human Body is like a Big Torch Light-1.17-1990 May 25
Human Body is like a Big Torch Light
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The human body is like a big torch light. The eyes are like the bulb of the torch. Buddhi (intellect) is like the switch. A big torch, a big bulb, and the switch is also on, but there is no light. Why? What is the reason? There are no cells in the torch. Because there are no cells in the torch, we do not get light. Our blood cells are like these cells and each blood cell is embedded with Divine energy. Sometimes, the cells may be there but their power would have been exhausted. That power is the Divine power. So long as this Divine Power is in the body, the body performs various functions.    

05-Braanthi and Pramaadam-Ephemeral Nature of Relationships-2.23-1990 May 25
Who belongs to whom? Who is related to whom?

Considering this (human body) as real, we subject ourselves to danger. We do not repose our faith in those whom we ought to, but we place our faith in things in which we ought not to. How long can you have people whom you consider as “mine” and “belonging to me”. Who belongs to whom? Can you consider your parents who have brought you up all along and nurtured you in so many ways, as yours? Yes, so long as they are alive, you must respect them, you must serve them and you must satisfy them. This is your duty, your dharma. Everybody have their own respective duties. While coming into this world, nobody gets even a piece of cloth and while leaving the world, nobody even gives their address. Who is related to whom?

However, we consider this as Truth (real). This is not Truth (Sathyam). It is Mithyam. A Vedantin (philosopher) once came to Me. “Swami, Shankaracharya has said, Brahma Sathyam, Jagath Mithya. But, I see this world literally, I even experience this world empirically, I exist in the waking, dream and deep sleep state (Jaagrath, Swapna and Sushupthi states). How then can this be Mithya(delusion)?” He so questioned Me. Son, leave the fact that the world is Mithyato the world. Let it judge for itself. First of all find out whether you are True (Sathya) or Mithya (Delusion). If each one can discover whether he is True or Mithya, then he will be able to understand the same about the world too.             

06-Braanthi and Pramaadam-Nature of Students today-1.04-1990 May 25
You are not thinking about the nuisance
coming from within you

Students of today are also like this. They are not making an attempt to understand their true nature. They aspire to know everything that is going on in foreign countries. What is going on in that country, what is going on in this country, you are trying to know everything that is going on in foreign regions; but are you putting in an effort to know what is going on in your own body? You are only receiving the news that is coming from outside, but you are not thinking about the nuisance that is coming from within you. Therefore, first of all realize your own Self (who you truly are). Try to rectify and correct yourself. Then you can try to mend others. This is the primary aspect that students must recognize first. Therefore, on account of delusion, danger sets in.   

07-Karanaapaatanaa-Third defect of the Antahkarana-1.04-1990 May 25
Karanaapaatana is the weakness of the senses
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The third defect is Karanaapaatanaa. What is Karanaapaatanaa? Karana means the sense organs (instruments). Apaatana means weakness. Therefore, the third defect is the weakness of the senses. The senses get affected by a disease. The mind experiences through these senses that are affected by the disease. Consequently, the mind also becomes diseased. What is this disease that affects the senses? Senses never represent to you things as they are. They always behave in accordance to the time (context).   

08-Karanaapaatanaa-Story of the Landlord-Farmer and the Bull-4.13-1990 May 25
Your Bull killed my Bull or my Bull killed your Bull?
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A small example: There was a great landlord who stayed in a village. He was the most senior person in all aspects in that village. In the same village, there was a farmer who came from the middle class of the society. One day, in a field on the outskirts of the village, the bull of the landlord (by name Reddy) and the bull of the middle class farmer were grazing. On account of some reason, the two bulls started fighting with each other. Due to this fight, there were some injuries in some parts of the body and the bull of the landlord fell down and died. The middle class farmer was terrified. The landlord is the head of the village, a very wealthy person, having a very great name. My bull has killed his bull. I wonder what punishment he will give me, thought the middle class farmer. Very frightened, he came running to the house of the Landlord.

On account of the fear, he was very nervous. The nervousness is indeed a weakness. He said exactly opposite to what he was supposed to say! He said, “O landlord, your bull has beaten my bull and killed it”. Reddy garu (respectful way of referring to a great person) heard everything very peacefully. “O son, human beings themselves, being well educated and very intelligent, kill each other at times. After all, these animals are dumb. They have no Sujnaana, Prajnaana and Vijnaana (3 types of intelligence). If they fight among themselves and kill each other, what can anyone do? You do not need to worry about this at all, my son. This is very natural in the world. Thus the landlord replied in a very peaceful state of mind. 
However, the farmer realized the mistake he had made in his communication. He said, “O Master, I have committed a big mistake. It is my bull that has actually killed your bull”. Reddy garu was furious with anger. “What! Have you become so arrogant? Who do you think I am? If your bull has killed the bull that belongs to me – the head of this village, this is a great disaster. Your ego has gone up. Thus abusing him with great pride, the landlord said, “you have to pay a fine of Rs. 500”.
Do you see; when he was told that his bull killed the other bull, he (the landlord) said that this was but natural. When he came to know that the other bull killed his bull, he said that this was a big mistake. Thus, since the senses behaving in this manner according to the context and circumstances, is on the rise in this world; the good becomes bad and the bad becomes good.

09-Karanaapaatanaa-Diseases of the Sense Organs-1.31-1990 May 25
When you get Jaundice, you see everything as yellow
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Thus senses suffer from a type of disease. Let us say you get malaria fever. Prior to this fever, whatever food you ate, spicy tasted as spicy, salty as salty, bitter as bitter, and sweet as sweet. But once you caught the Malaria fever, even when you ate a Laddu (sweet ball), it tasted bitter. Now, is this the defect of the object? No, it is the defect of the senses? When you are good and healthy, you see white as white, red as red and black as black. But once you get Jaundice, everything appears yellow to you. Thus, as the mind follows the senses that are affected by this disease, the mind also becomes diseased. Karanaapaatana implies that on account of the defects of the senses, humanity is deteriorating.

10-Vipralipsa-Jealousy-Fourth defect of the Antahkarana-1.50-1990 May 25
There is no medicine  in this whole world  for jealousy
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Vipralipsa means jealousy. Jealousy is a very bad quality in humans. One can never tolerate seeing someone else happy. When one sees someone else happy, one is not able to bear with it. There may be a medicine for any other disease in any nation, but for curing the disease of jealousy, there is no medicine in this entire world. Not being able to accept and bear with somebody else being happy, is a very bad quality in humans. Be happy when you see goodness / happiness (in others). Be happy when you see others giving happiness. But never develop jealousy towards this or that person.

Do not feel jealous about the other student who gets more marks than you. Instead, feel happy that if not you, at least your brother secured good marks. (Have the feeling that) All are my brothers; Brotherhood of man, Fatherhood of God. These are the types of sacred feelings that one needs to develop. What is the reason for developing this quality of jealousy? Selfishness, selfishness, selfishness.     

11-Vipralipsa-Manifestation of Selfishness in Students-2.53-1990 May 25
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How is this selfishness present in students? When you get into any bus while travelling, there would be many old people, women, children and even sick people in the queue. Do you have a broad mind to think thus: “I am a student with a strong physique. Oh poor people, let them get a seat.” No. No. You feel that I alone must get a seat in the bus. Let anything happen to others. Because of such extreme selfishness, jealousy sets in. Give first priority to weak people, children and women. If you get a seat, fine. If not, walk a little distance. By walking you will get two types of conveniences and benefits. By walking, the body will have a good exercise. And also, if you walk for a mile, you will save the money that you would have been otherwise charged (had you taken the bus). This is the type of broadmindedness that you must develop.

After the Examinations, the results are published in the paper. Lakhs of results (numbers) are printed across 2 to 3 pages in the paper. You are also waiting to see your result. When you open the newspaper, be it The Indian Express or The Hindu, you will find so many numbers there. Truly, you must feel so happy to see so many numbers over there. You must be happy thinking that “Oh, so many have passed!” But selfish ones will never experience such happiness. Among the lakhs of numbers, you will be focusing on finding only your number. “Is my number there? Is my number there?” First you must experience happiness, then you may proceed to find your number; nothing wrong. But such broad mindedness is not to be found at all.           

12-Vipralipsa-Students give up Jealousy-0.55-1990 May 25
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Students, in the very first instance, destroy the jealousy in you. You are the very embodiment of sacredness. The Vedas declare as such – Shrinwantu Vishwe Amritasya Putrah (Hark yea on the earth, the children of immortality). It declares – Son, you are the child of immortality. Therefore, develop Vishaal Buddhi(broad mindedness). Reduce the unsteadiness of your senses. Thereby, you will achieve purity of the mind. Then alone you will be a man with Trikarna Shuddhi (purity of three instruments – purity and unity of thought, word and deed). 

13-Removing the defects of the Mind and the Antahkaranas-1.25-1990 May 25
See good, Hear good, Think good, Talk good, Do good

Thus we can purify the mind and the Antahkarana and remove the dirt therein by Satkarma (good actions), Sadbhuddhi(good intellect), Sadaalochana (good thoughts) and Satchintana (good feelings). Thus it is said that you must see only good and should not see bad, you must hear only good and should not hear bad. So, first of all develop such feelings. There is only one requirement for Chitta Shuddhi (purity of the mind):

See no evil, see what is good
Hear no evil, hear what is good
Think no evil, think what is good
Talk no evil, talk what is good,
Do no evil, do what is good
This is the Prasadam(gift) of the five elements, five life forces and the five senses. If we enhance this gift, then we will acquire Chitta Shuddhi (purity of the mind), Jnaana Siddhi (gift of wisdom), and we will be able to experience Divine Bliss.    

14-Removing the defects of the Mind and the Antahkaranas-Youth is the right age-1.29-1990 May 25
Youth is the right age to undertake cleansing of the Mind

Therefore, students, mind by itself cannot see. It can see only through the senses. It cannot talk on its own. It can speak only through the senses. Thus, if we keep the senses in good shape, the mind will also remain pure and sacred. Therefore, you youth, when you have Deha Shakti (physical strength), Mana Shakti (mental strength), Adhyaatmika Shakti (spiritual strength) and Indriya Shakti (strength of the senses) all intact in this age; if you do not control your senses, how then can you control them in your old age? This is the time when you must earn God’s Grace to the maximum extent possible. When the tank is filled with rain water in Monsoon, the water can be used during the Summer. This is the best season for you. In this age you must increase God’s Grace on you and you must fill your heart with it. Only if you develop this now, you will have the opportunity to put it to good use in the future.     

A Short Quiz
01-What are the four Antahkarana(inner instruments) associated with the Human Mind?
02-What are the four defects associated with the Antahkarana?
03-What the meaning of the first defect of the Antahkarana called Braanthi? What is the analogy Bhagawan uses to illustrate this defect?
04-The example of the rope and the snake given by Bhagawan to illustrate Braanthi, is elaborated upon by Sri Adi Shankaracharya and explained by Bhagawan several times in His Discourses. Can you explain this analogy with all its nuances?
05-What is the Pramaadam(danger) that one gets into by getting caught in Braanthi (delusion)?
06-Bhagawan says – Body is like a water bubble……..Can you complete this quote of Swami?
07- How does Bhagawan illustrate that the sense organs have no life of their own? Do you recall the Chinna Katha of the mother who passed away- the young hermit son crying over her body inconsolably and the wise sage who advises the young hermit; that communicates the same message?  
08-Explain the analogy drawn by Bhagawan between the human body and a torch light.
09-What is the answer that Bhagawan gives to people like the Vedantin, who are unable to believe the truth that this world is a delusion?
10-What is the nature of the students of today according to Bhagawan, and what is the news and nuisance that Swami talks about in this regard?
11- What is the meaning of the third defect of the Antahkaranacalled Karanaapaatana?
12-What is the message that Bhagawan communicates through the story of the Landlord, the middle class farmer and their bulls?
13-How does Bhagawan further explain the limitations of the sense organs using the examples of diseases like Malaria and Jaundice?
14-What is the meaning of the fourth defect of the Antahkarana called Vipralipsa?
15-Talking about how selfishness manifests itself in students, Bhagawan gives the example of students travelling in a bus. Explain.
16-How according to Bhagawan must a student demonstrate selflessness while checking for her/his examination results in a newspaper?
17-What is the one major requirement for Chitta Shuddhi (cleansing of the mind)?
18-How does Bhagawan explain the fact that youth is the right age for one to exercise control over the mind and the senses and earn God’s Grace?
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Three Vagaries of the Mind – Mala, Vikshepa and Aavarana

 

Mano Moolam Idam Jagath. The mind is the basis for all creation. Therefore, the mind is the key for getting either bound to or liberated from this world. Mana Eva Manushyaanaam Kaaranam Bandha Mokshayoho. Turning the mind towards the world gets us bound to it whereas turning the mind towards God liberates us and takes us to eternal freedom. However, this is easier said than done. Controlling the mind is an uphill task. Bhagawan often refers to the human mind as a monkey mind. To add it further, He says, it is like a monkey that is drunk and also bitten by a scorpion! How then can we put a check to the vagaries of this mind and turn it inwards towards our true Self (God)? For this, just like any doctor would do, we need to conduct a diagnostic check and identify what the disease is, in the very first place. Our dear Lord as the Divine Doctor comes to our rescue here. Being the very creator of the mind and the world, He is the only one who could give us a detailed explanation of the anatomy of our mind, and that is precisely what He does in this posting. Bhagawan explains to us three critical vagaries of the human mind that are responsible for the illusion that it creates and for subjecting us to Self-forgetfulness, thus binding us to this illusory world. These three vagaries of the mind are Mala, Vikshepa, and Aavaranaa. Bhagawan explains each of these in detail, and also gives the solution, the road map to overcome these vagaries and realize our True Eternal Self (God).      
In order to have a comprehensive understanding of the vagaries of the mind, audio clips from different discourses on the explanations for Mala, Vikshepa and Aavaranaa have been included. At times, there may be slight repetitions of some points. Hope it would help in reinforcing the point further. There are 17 excerpts from Bhagawan’s Discourses on the five values of Yama, in this posting. These excerpts have been selected from Discourses given by Bhagawan Baba in the years 1990 and 1991. 
  
Clip-1 explains how, though all that we see is God, we fail to acknowledge the same. It goes on to elaborate the cause for this delusion as the three vagaries associated with the mind – Mala, Vikshepa and Aavarana.  In Clip-2, Bhagawan explains the mechanics of the mind. He explains how mind is the basis for all creation, how mind is responsible for both bondage and liberation, and finally focuses on the three defects associated with the mind. Clip-3A and Clip-3B describe the first defect of the mind called Mala. Clip-4 and Clip-5 provide a roadmap for removing the defect of Mala. In Clip-6A and Clip-6B, Bhagawan describes the second defect of the mind called Vikshepa. Clip-7, Clip-8 and Clip-9 give the solution to overcome and get freedom from Vikshepa. In Clip-10A and Clip-10B, Aavarana, the third defect of the mind is explained in detail. Clip-11, Clip-12, Clip-13 and Clip-14 all focus on the solution for overcoming Aavarana.  
Each audio clip has a name that adopts the following code: Serial number, Title appropriate to the key content, Duration of the clip, Year-Month-Date of the Clip. Below the title is the translation in English of the select excerpt of the Discourse, followed by the audio player. The post ends with a short quiz that would help you evaluate your assimilation of Bhagawan’s Message from these extracts.  
Note: Those receiving this blog by email may see words bunched together due to a technical glitch. That is beyond my control. Please click on link at the top of the email to read the blog directly. Sorry about this. If anyone has a solution to this please help me out.
01-Pashyanapicha Na Pashyati Moodho-Three Reasons-Mala-Vikshepa-Aavarana-1.51-1991 March 17
Seeing and yet, Not Seeing

Likewise, it has been said: “Pasyannapicha Na Pasyathi Moodho” (Even while seeing, the fool does not see). That is, even while seeing God, experiencing God and enjoying God, he deludes himself saying, “I want to see God”. Such a person is a Moodho – a fool. Everything that man sees – is it not a manifestation of God? Everything that man experiences – is it not an expression of the Divine? All that man enjoys – is it not a form of the Divine? Is God to be found in any distinct place? Bliss is the very form of God. Everything that is seen is Divine. The world itself is God. Therefore, “Pasyannapicha Na Pasyathi Moodho”. Thus, man performs actions, but is under the delusion that he is not doing any action. He sees God, but is under the delusion that he is not seeing God. There are three reasons for this aberration. Mala, Vikshepa and Aavarana.

02-Three Defects of the Mind-Mala-Vikshepa-Aavarana-3.11-1990 May 25
Mind is the basis for all this Creation

Mano Moolam Idam Jagath – The entire creation is based on the mind. Whether it is happiness or sorrow, merit or sin, truth or untruth, injustice or violence; all these take place inside the mind of man. The mind is the cause for everything. Mana Eva Manushyaanaam Kaaranam Bandha Mokshayoho – The mind is the cause for both bondage and liberation. The mind is like a clean mirror. But it does not have a self-luminous capacity. It takes shelter under the sense organs. The mind sees through the eyes. It cannot see on its own. It hears through the ears, but has no capacity to hear on its own. In this manner, the mind carries out its work and functions through all the sense organs. Consequently, the offences committed by the senses are reflected in the mirror of mind. These sense organs are associated with the thought processes. Then, who is to be blamed and held responsible? The sense organs or the mind? No blame attaches to the mind per se. It is only the association with the senses that pollutes the mind. According to the Scriptures, the mind is subject to three kinds of defects: Mala, Vikshepa, and Aavarana.

03A-Mala-The First Defect of the Mind-1.14-1991 March 17
Mala is dust on the mirror of the mind

Mala refers to a mental state comparable to a dust-covered mirror. One can see one’s reflection clearly only when the dust on the mirror is wiped away. The heart that is naturally pure is covered by impurities created by the three gunas related to our life (Satva, Rajas and Tamas). These impurities can be removed only when we put in an effort. However, instead of removing these impurities, we are adding on more impurities to them. Consequently we are unable to perceive the unsullied, eternal Spirit (Atman) within us.

03B-Mala-The First Defect of the Mind-2.37-1990 May 25
Mala is the dirt accumulated in the mind over births

What is Mala? In life, man commits many offences, knowingly or unknowingly. Not only in this life but also in previous lives, birth after birth, many mistakes are committed. The dirt associated with these defects is imprinted on the chitta (memory), life after life, birth after birth. When dirt /dust gets accumulated on the surface of the mirror (of the mind), we cannot get a true reflection of ourselves in the mirror. On account of this, man is unable to see clearly the reflection of his real identity, recognize his true Self, in the mirror of his mind. Hence, it is necessary to put in efforts to cleanse the mirror of the impurities covering it. How can we clean this mirror? What is the methodology? What is the approach to be followed to clean the (mirror of the) mind? This cleansing is done by regulating one’s food and other living habits. Past is past. What is gone is gone. At least in the present we must follow the right path and make an effort to cleanse the mind.

04-Removing Mala through Purity of Food-Paatra-Paaka-Padhaartha-Shuddhi-5.50-1990 May 25
Mala can be removed gradually by consuming pure food

Students who are youth should consume pure food that is free from all defects. Under any circumstances, we must not partake of food that is associated with defects. Bhiksham Deharakshaartham, Vastram Sheetarakshanam (Food is for the purpose of nurturing the body and clothing is for protection from the cold). Food is given to protect the body. However, food that causes diseases in the body is not the right type of food. This is what the Bhagavad Gita preaches as an important dictum – Paatra Shuddhi (purity of the vessel), Paaka Shuddhi (purity of the cooking process, which includes purity of the cook), Padaartha Shuddhi (purity of the materials used).

How have we procured the material that we use for cooking food today? We must enquire whether these materials have been bought by fair means or by unfair means. Food procured by unfair means is the main cause for ailments in the body and lack of peace in man today. We are not acquiring food in a proper, fair and just manner. Carried away by temporary worldly and physical satisfaction, without thinking and without exercising our discriminatory power, we are taking to the wrong path and acquiring food in unfair ways.
First of all, to clean the Mala (impurity of the mind), we need to partake of pure food. However, the power to discriminate as to what is fair and what is unfair is very less in ordinary people. They would not know whether the cooking vessel is pure or not (Paatra Shuddhi). Purity of the material (Padaartha Shuddhi) is even more difficult to determine. What are the feelings of the cook (Paaka Shuddhi– feelings of the cook influence the process of cooking) is totally unknown to us. If we have to wait to determine the purity of all these three aspects, our stomachs will disintegrate! Therefore, if we offer the food to God while partaking of it, the food will become pure.
If anyone asks the question as to where God is, a reply comes from within them.
Aham Vaishvaanaro Bhutvaa, Praaninaam Dehamaashritaha
Praanaapaana Samaayuktaha, Pachaamyannam Chaturvidham
Aham Vaishvaanaro Bhutvaa – The reply comes – I am in the form of Vaishvaanara in your stomach and am digesting the food eaten by you. But then, when does He digest the food? Only after eating, the food is digested. Therefore, if we partake of food without offering it to God, many defects, many pollutants and many sins enter into the food. That is why,
Brahmaarpanam Brahma Havir
Brahmaagnou Brahmanaa Hutham
Brahmaarpitam – As we eat the food considering it as an offering to God, it no more remains as food, but becomes Prasaadam, and all the defects are removed from the food. By this, the dirt that is accumulated on the mirror of our mind (Mala) can be removed slowly and gradually. Once again the mirror of the mind will become clean and pure.          

05-Removing Mala-Importance of Constant Practice-2.09-1990 May 25
A Diamond has to be cut a number of times to make it valuable

By the above method (of consuming pure food that is free from defects), the dirt sticking on to the (mirror of the) mind can be removed gradually. Once again the mirror of the mind will become clean and pure. However, this cannot be achieved in one day, in one year or in just one trial.

Sreyo Hi Jnaanam Abhyaasaat
Jnaanaad Dhyaanam Vishishyate
Dhyaanaat Karma-Phala-Tyaaga
Tyaaga Shantir Anantaram
ll 12 – 12 ll
(If you cannot take to practice, then engage yourself in the cultivation of knowledge. Better than knowledge, however, is meditation, and better than meditation is renunciation of the fruits of action; for by such renunciation one can attain peace of mind)
One has to practice. Every human who is born is able to learn the art of walking, talking, reading, writing and eating only through practice. Therefore, practice is essential even for this purpose (i.e. for removing the dirt from the mirror of the mind).
Anaga nanaga raga mathisayinchu chundu
Thinaga thinaga vepa thiyyanundu
Sana rapidi chetha sagamayai povunu
Apaina varmetlu Anubhavinthuru
As you keep hearing the Raga (tune) you will feel happier
As you keep eating neem leaves you will feel it sweeter
As you keep rubbing (refining) your bad thoughts, they will be reduced to half
Otherwise how can you enjoy the boon?
Even for a diamond to get value, it has to be cut a number of times. For gold to be made pure, it has to be burnt in the furnace and purified again and again. In the same manner, the human mind also has to be refined or cultured. By this process, the dirt sticking on to the mind can be removed to some extent.

06A-Vikshepa-The Second Defect of the Mind-1.05-1990 May 25
Vikshepa is the unsteadiness of the mind

The second defect (of the mind) is Vikshepa. The mind is like a mirror. So long as the mirror is wavering, the reflection in it also keeps wavering. Therefore, as the wavering mind keeps oscillating here and there, your reflection in it also keeps wavering. That is why Arjuna told Lord Krishna, “Chanchalam Hi Manah Krishna Pramaadi Balavadrudam”. He prayed to Lord Krishna, “I am unable to live with this wavering mind Krishna. It is highly dangerous and overpowering”.

06B-Vikshepa-The Second Defect of the Mind-3.15-1991 March 17
If one has total faith doubts can never arise

What do we mean by Vikshepa? Vikshepa refers to the phenomenon of constantly moving or wavering. What do we mean by this movement or wavering? The nature of the three Gunas (Satva, Rajas and Tamas) and the impact of the likes and dislikes of man, influence the mind and result in constant doubt in all aspects of life. Man’s entire life is filled with doubts. Whatever we undertake to do, the doubts as to “whether this will happen or not”, “whether I will be able to accomplish or not”, cause the mind to waver constantly. What is the reason for this? Lack of total faith is the cause for this doubt. If one has total faith, such doubts can never arise.

Man has been making an effort to free himself from such doubts. However, he is deteriorating to a point wherein he is unable to have belief in his own self. Unable to have faith in the safety of the money in his own pocket and with the fear that it may get lost, he asks somebody else to keep the money in his pocket. Even if he hands over the money to someone else to keep in his pocket, does he remain free from fear with the confidence that the money will be safe? No. He is now haunted by the doubt whether that person will give back the money or not.
Thus man’s entire life is getting transformed into an anthill (mound) of doubts. In this anthill of doubts, the snakes of attachment and hatred (Raaga and Dvesha) make their entry. Therefore, man’s life has become an anthill. One never knows when the snakes of attachment and hatred will spring forth from this anthill. Man is bound by this attachment and hatred. And the cause for this attachment and hatred is doubt.

07-Removing Vikshepa-Navavidha Bhakti-2.57-1990 May 25
The nine types of devotion are prescribed to steady the mind

What is the method to make this unsteady mind into a steady one? The nine forms of devotion (Navavidha Bhakti) have been prescribed for meditation, prayer and contemplation, so as to gradually steady the wavering mind.

Sravanam, Keertanam, Vishnu Smaranam, Paada Sevanam, Vandanam, Archanam, Daasyam, Sneham, Atma Nivedanam.
When man prays with a pure heart along the path of the Navavidha Bhakti, he will be able to gradually steady the wavering mind. However, the youth of today are further polluting their already polluted minds. When a mossy object covered with moss, is washed with moss itself, can it ever become clean? A mossy object has to be washed with clean water. But, unfortunately such wisdom is absent in the youth today. In the current education system, the aspect of discrimination and wisdom is missing. Therefore, selfishness and self-centeredness is on the rise. Students are clamouring for worldly and materialistic comforts and pleasures. Students are the leaders of the future. If the hearts of the students who are going to be responsible for the progress of Bharath is polluted, the administration and governance of Bharath will also be polluted.  

08-Removing Vikshepa-Bend the body-Mend the senses-End the mind-5.02-1990 May 25
We have right only on our actions
Bend the body, Mend the senses, End the mind

We need to make an effort to gradually reduce the wavering nature of the mind. That is concentration. What should we do in order to develop this concentration? We need to bend the body, mend the senses and end the mind. This is the process of attaining immortality. Therefore we need to bend the body, put in effort and perform our actions. Mend the senses – we need to earn the strength to keep the sense on the right track. We need to keep the mind under our control. Only when we keep the body, the senses and the mind under our control, will we be Masters. Else, we will be slaves.

Students are referred to as Masters. Master is the one who has his senses under control. If one exceeds and transgresses the status of the Master, he will then become a Mister. You are now in the stage of Master. Having the name of a Master and leading the life of a slave becomes a black mark in our life. Students, yielding to the dictates of our senses, for the sake of the senses, we must never take to the wrong path. We should learn education, but should never divert our mind towards anything else – be it worldly, material, or political. Then only will you be a student – Vidyaarthi. If not, you will become a Vishayaarthi (seeker of sensual pleasures). Only if you maintain the mind in the right manner, you are a student; if you take it along the wrong path, you are a stupid.
Dear students, you all must transform yourselves into true students. To get such an accomplished stature, we need to develop Chitta Shuddhi – purity of mind. We must develop steadiness. Spirituality is the right path to develop such steadiness.
Karmanyevaa Adhikaaraste – We have right only on our actions. We must perform actions. We must bend our body. We must purify our heart. It is not in accordance with our duty to merely eat and laze around. Laziness is rust and dust. Realization is best and rest. Therefore we must realize – Who am I? Who am I? Who am I? Am I an animal or a human being? This must be investigated thoroughly. In the same manner, we have religion. To realize is religion. With this sort of enquiry, the dirt that has got into us can be cleaned to some extent.

09-Removing Vikshepa-Develop firm Faith-Discover who you are-3.14-1991 March 17
Find out “Who am I?”

Man must develop firm faith. Even if he does not have faith in God, it is fine; let him at least develop faith in himself. Faith in oneself is faith in God. There is no God separate from him. Whether one is an old man, a youth, a young child, a woman, a king, a farmer or a beggar; each one while referring to oneself will say, “I”, “I”. “I am a beggar”, “I am a king”, “I am a woman”, “I am a man”, “I am an old man”, “I am a youth”, “I am a young child”. In all these, we find the common principle of “I”. This principle of “I” is the Atma. Man is using this word “I” from dawn to dusk without understanding its true significance. The word is being used in a futile manner and thus life is getting wasted. We say, “My body”. That means the body exists separate from you, is it not? Then, who are you? Man is not making an effort to enquire into this Truth. Vikshepa means having doubts. This makes man’s life unstable. Unsteadiness can never result in peace. Peace runs away from an unsteady heart (mind). We should therefore put in an effort to develop steadiness (of the mind).      

10A-Aavarana-The Third Defect of the Mind-1.01-1991 March 17
Aavarana is the desire that has engulfed the mind

The third defect is Aavarana. What is it that has engulfed us? Our desires have engulfed us. Man is bound by his desires. He is engulfed by desires in front of him, behind him, above him and below him. In whatever state man is; in whatever he talks, hears, does or thinks; his desires do not leave him. Man is bound by the rope of desires. Dhana vancha (desire for wealth), Adhikara vancha (desire for power), Aarogya vancha (desire for good health), Keerti vancha (desire for fame and repute), and many more desires engulf him.   

10B-Aavarana-The Third Defect of the Mind-1.42-1990 May 25
Aavarana is the thick cloth that covers the mirror of the mind

What is Aavarana? If you cover the mirror with a thick cloth, will you be able to see your reflection in it? Certainly not. On account of the Mala, we are seeing our reflection as a dirty one; on account of Vikshepa, we are seeing our reflection as a wavering one. We consider this wavering as our nature. We defend ourselves saying that all this is natural as I have this human body. On account of Aavarana, we think that we have no true form at all. We start considering this body itself as our true form.

Students whatever we see, experience and enjoy are all reaction, reflection and resound. But there is one reality, which we are forgetting. We are going by the reaction, we are hearing to the resound and we are seeing the reflection; but it essential to recognize that there is a basis for all this.    

11-Removing Aavarana-Reduce your Desires-1.04-1991 March 17
Offer all your actions to God
Sarva Karma Bhagavat Prityaartham

Desires are not wrong. One needs to have desires, but there must be a limit to it. Man is getting bound on account of limitless desires. We have to make an effort to gradually reduce our desires. Perform all your actions, experience all the worldly joy and comforts, but recognize the truth that the results of all your actions are in the hands of God. Whatever actions you do, do it with the feeling that you should please God (Bhagavat Prityaartham). Such a sacrifice alone will enable the blossoming of man’s nature.   

12-Aavarana-The Cloth of Six Vices cover the Mind-0.20-1990 May 25
The six vices cover the mind as Aavarana

What is the thick cloth that covers the mirror (of the mind)? It is the cloth of six vices – Kaama (desire), Krodha (anger), Lobha(greed), Moha (attachment), Mada (pride), Maatsarya (jealousy). 

13-Aavarana-The Cloth of Eight Forms of Pride cover the Mind-3.50-1990 May 25
Eight forms of pride cover the mind as Aavarana

Dhana madam (pride of wealth), Vidya madam (pride of scholarship), Kula madam (pride of lineage), Aishwarya madam (pride of prosperity), Saundarya madam (pride of beauty), Yauvana madam (pride of youth), Tapa madam (pride of penance) [the eight one is most likely Pada madam – pride of position or status based on Discourse given on 07-07-1990] – these are the eight forms of pride that are covering the mirror (of the mind). For how long does this wealth last? It will slip away. Just like the water slips away below your feet, so too one can never say when wealth will slip away. How long does youth last? Just like a flash of lightning, youth comes and goes away. What is Vidya madam – pride of scholarship? Are there not people far more scholarly than you in this world? Compared to them, what is your level of scholarship after all? If we enquire in this manner there is no scope for us to feel any pride at all. This is just an illusion or delusion. 

Chaduvulanniyu Chadhivi Chaalaa Vivekiayi
Madini Thannerungadu Manda Mathudu
Enta Chaduvu Chadivi Ye Neethi Unnanu
Heenudava Gunambu Manaledu
Tarachi Chaduvu Chaduva Tharka Vaadame Kaani
Poorna Jnaanambu Epudu Pondaledu
Chaduvu Chaduvu Chadhivi Chaavanganetiki
Chaavu Leni Chaduvu Chaduvavelenu
After studying all the types of education, the foolish person does not know who he really is. Whatever education one may acquire, with any kind of principles; if a person is mean, he will never give up his mean qualities. While discriminating all kinds of education, it only leads to argumentation but never gives you complete wisdom. Why keep on studying such education and dying? It is far better to study that education which confers immortality on you.
Do not be proud that you are educated. What is the type of education you have acquired? Vidyaku Vinayame Satya Roopam. Humility is the true form of education. Humility must be cultivated in students. As there is no humility and obedience, pride enters into the head. Because of the pride of wealth, scholarship and youth, man is forgetting his very human nature. All these are qualities that make man forget his human nature gradually. They are not sacred qualities that promote human nature.
Dhanamechhina Madamechhunu
Madamechhina Durgunambu Maanaka Hechhunu
Dhanamudigini Madamudugunu
Madamudigina Durgunamulavi Maanunayya
When wealth increases, arrogance will increase,
When arrogance increases, bad qualities in man increases;
When wealth is depleted, arrogance will diminish
When arrogance diminishes, all bad qualities will come to an end
When there is increase in wealth, it leads to increase in pride. When there is increase in pride, it leads to various bad qualities. For the bad qualities to go, the pride has to go. It is these forms of pride that have covered the mirror of the mind.

14-Removing Aavarana-Love is the only way-Analogy of the Light and Pot and the Human Body-3.31-1990 May 25
   
Love is the only way to remove Aavarana

Therefore, to remove the thick cloth (that has covered the mirror of our mind), we need to develop love. This love is primary. It is the manifest form of God. Thus, Love is God, live in Love. With this sacred love, we would be able to conquer anything. Other than the rope of love, there is no other way to unite all the people and enable their progress.

Here is a small example. You think there is multiplicity. Take a lighted candle and place it on the floor. Cover it with a pot that has many holes. Now though the light is one, on account of the multiple holes, it will appear that there are many lights. Now cover this pot with a thick cloth. Then you will not be able to see any light at all. Therefore, first we need to remove the thick turkey towel covering the pot. Then you will be able to see many lights. Next, if you break the pot having the multiple holes, you will be able to see just one light. That one light is the Atma Jyoti (light of the Soul). This Atma Jyoti is covered with the pot of the physical body having nine holes in it and hence it appears as though there are many lights. You see one light through every hole. But truly there are no multiple lights. There is only one light, but through the holes of the physical body, you see many lights. This body is covered with the thick cloth of Mamatvam (mineness). The two thick coverings are the ego of “I” (Nenu) and the possessiveness of “Mine” (Naadi). If we can remove these two coverings and if we can control our identification with the body, then we will be able to see that the One has actually become the many – Ekoham Bahusyaam.         

A Short Quiz
01-What is the meaning of the phrase, Pasyannapicha Na Pasyathi Moodho?
02-What is the meaning of the declaration, Mana Eva Manushyaanaam Kaaranam Bandha Mokshayo? Can you explain the analogy of the lock and the key that Bhagawan gives in relation to this declaration.
03-What is Mala? What are the different descriptions given by Bhagawan for Mala?
04-What are the three defects that are associated with the food which we eat?
05-What solution does Bhagawan give to remove the three defects that are associated with the food which we eat?
06- What are the examples that Bhagawan gives to emphasize the importance of constant practice that is necessary for eliminating Mala in the mind?
07- What is Vikshepa? What are the different descriptions given by Bhagawan for Vikshepa?
08-What complaint does Arjuna make to Lord Krishna regarding his mind?
09-What does Bhagawan communicate to us through the analogy of the anthill and the snakes?
10-What are the nine types of devotion that can help us remove Vikshepa?
11- In what context does Bhagawan use the phrase: Bend the body-Mend the senses-End the mind? What does he wish to communicate through this?
12-What lesson does Bhagawan drive home through the use of the two terms – Master and Mister?
13-What is the difference between a Vidyaarthi and a Vishayaarthi?
14-How does enquiry into Truth help to remove Vikshepa?
15-What are the four types of desires that engulf the mind of man as Aavarana?
16-What is the way to get over the desires that engulf the mind of man as Aavarana?
17-What are the eight forms of pride that cover the mind of man as Aavarana?
18-In the poem on education, what defects does Bhagawan point out in the current mode of education and what type of education does Bhagawan actually want students to acquire?
19-What is the hallmark of a truly educated person?
20-How does Bhagawan explain the concept of Aavarana through the example of a candle light and a pot full of holes?
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Five Human Values Prescribed in Niyama – The Second Step of the Ashtanga Yoga

 

The five universal Human Values that form the anchor of Bhagawan’s Message are well known to all of us. These are Sathya (Truth), Dharma (Righteousness), Shanti (Peace), Prema (Love) and Ahimsa(Non-violence). However, lesser known to all of us is the fact that Bhagawan has, on more than one occasion, drawn attention to the five practices prescribed in both Yama and Niyama – the first two steps of the Ashtanga Yoga that form part of the Patañjali Yoga Sūtras; calling them the true human values to be followed by mankind. Bhagawan says it is enough if people follow these values prescribed in Yama and Niyama. It would amount to following all the human values.
A Brief Introduction to Ashtanga Yoga:
The Yoga Sūtras of Patañjali are 196 Indian Sūtras (Aphorisms) that constitute the foundational text of Rāja Yoga. In the Yoga Sutras, Patañjali prescribes adherence to eight “limbs” (Ashta-Anga) or steps. The sum of these constitutes the “Ashtanga Yoga”, the purpose of which is to enable one to quiet one’s mind and help one achieve Kaivalya (liberation).
Ashtanga Yoga consists of the following limbs. The first five are called external aids to Yoga (Bahiranga Sadhana). These are listed below.
a) Yama refers to the five abstentions (similar to the five vows of Jainism). These are: Ahimsa, Sathyam, Aastheyam, Brahmacharyam, Aparigraha.
b) Niyama refers to the five observances: Shaucha (cleanliness of body and mind), Santosham (satisfaction/contentment), Tapas (austerity and associated observances for body discipline and thereby mental control),
c) Svaadhyaaya (study of the Vedic scriptures to know about God and the soul, which leads to introspection on a greater awakening to the soul and God within), Ishvarapranidhana (surrender to or worship of God).
d) Aasana refers to the discipline of the body: rules and postures to keep it disease-free and for preserving vital energy. Correct postures are a physical aid to meditation, for they control the limbs and nervous system and prevent them from producing disturbances.
e) Praanaayaama refers to control of breath. Beneficial to health, it steadies the body and is highly conducive to the concentration of the mind.
f) Prathyaahaara refers to the withdrawal of senses from their external objects.
The last three levels are called internal aids to Yoga(Antaranga Sadhana). These are listed below.
f) Dhaarana refers to concentration of the Chitta (Awareness) upon a physical object, such as a flame of a lamp, the mid-point of the eyebrows, or the image of a deity.
g) Dhyaana refers to steadfast meditation; undisturbed flow of thought around the object of meditation. However, the act of meditation and the object of meditation remain distinct and separate.
h) Samaadhi refers to oneness with the object of meditation. There is no distinction between the subject of meditation, the act of meditation and the object of meditation.
This post focuses on the second “Limb” of the Ashtanga Yoga called Niyama. Bhagawan refers to the five aspects of Niyamaas the five human values most essential in the life of human beings. There are 7 excerpts from Bhagawan’s Discourses on the five values of Niyama, in this posting. These excerpts have been selected from Discourses given by Bhagawan Baba in the years 1989 and 1996. 
Clip-1 gives an introduction to Ashtanga Yoga and highlights the eight “limbs” contained in it, with specific focus on the second limb Niyama and the five values prescribed therein. Clip-2 presents the first value called Soucham, which means cleanliness. Bhagawan explains the two kinds of cleanliness – internal and external. Clip-3 is about the second value Tapas that means penance. Swami elaborates on the true meaning of penance. In Clip-4, Bhagawan highlights the third important value of Santhosham. He goes on to explain what true happiness is and how one can attain it. Clip-5 presents the fourth value of Swaadhyaayam, which is all about reading and contemplating on sacred texts. In Clip-6, Bhagawan elaborates on the fifth value of Easwara Pranidhaanam, the essence of which is to make an enquiry before performing any action, whether the said action will please the Lord and satisfy Him or not. In Clip-8, Bhagawan winds up stressing that students must follow these five values and must enter into all domains of life and make a positive impact therein. 
Each audio clip has a name that adopts the following code: Serial number, Title appropriate to the key content, Duration of the clip, Year-Month-Date of the Clip. Below the title is the translation in English of the select excerpt of the Discourse, followed by the audio player. The post ends with a short quiz that would help you evaluate your assimilation of Bhagawan’s Message from these extracts.  
Note: Those receiving this blog by email may see words bunched together due to a technical glitch. That is beyond my control. Please click on link at the top of the email to read the blog directly. Sorry about this. If anyone has a solution to this please help me out.
01-Introduction to Ashtaanga Yoga-Focus on Niyama-1.10-1996 January 18-1989 September 03
The Eight Fold Path of Yoga

In spiritual saadhana, there are eight Yogic disciplines to be observed: Yama, Niyama, Aasana, Praanaayaama, Prathyaahaara, Dhaarana, Dhyaana, and Samaadhi (sense restraint, observing rules, discipline of the body, breath-control, withdrawal of senses from objects, concentration, meditation and the Super Conscious state). Of these, the first is Yama. The second set of disciplines is covered by the term Niyama. It consists of five practices: Soucham (purity); Tapas (austerity); Santhosham (contentment); Swaadhyaayam (study of scriptures); Easwara Pranidhaanam (offering to the Lord).

02-Soucham-The first Human Value prescribed in Niyama-2.33-1989 September 03
Inner and outer Cleanliness – Both are Important

Soucham (cleanliness) is of two kinds–external cleanliness and internal cleanliness. External purity is achieved by the use of water and cleaning agents. But apart from bodily cleanliness, everything that we use in our in daily life must be clean. The clothes that we wear, the bed that we sleep on, the books that we read, the house where we live, all these must be pure and clean. All organs/limbs of the body have to be kept completely pure and clean. That is why early in the morning, as soon as we arise, practices like brushing the teeth, washing the mouth, washing the face are prescribed not only for maintaining perfect health, but also to enjoy a state of bliss. The environment around us should also be kept clean. As regards internal purity, it should be noted that the mind is polluted by bad thoughts and by attachments and aversions. There is no scope for sacred thoughts to manifest in such a polluted mind. Qualities like love, kindness, compassion, forbearance and sympathy have to be developed to purify the polluted mind.

03-Tapas-The second Human Value prescribed in Niyama-2.45-1989 September 03
Real Penance is to Purify the Mind with Sacred Feelings

The second value is Tapas. Tapas does not mean merely practising certain postures like keeping the head down and the legs up. Real penance consists in constantly thinking and striving for the realisation of one’s higher aims by maintaining purity in thought, word and deed. Such Taapamu (thirst or striving) becomes Tapas. I must achieve my goal – you must constantly keep thinking of this at all times and in all situations. “Sathatham Yoginah” (Always be established in Yoga), it is said. We must always yearn for the realisation of the Formless and Attributeless Absolute (Atman). That yearning turns into penance in due course. We must experience the unity between what we think, what we say and what we do. This is the contemplation of God with purity and unity of thought, word and deed. With this type of Tapas (penance) it is possible to attain the Paratatva(Transcendental principle) which is attributeless and formless. Merely leaving the hometown, going to the forest, wearing leaves and thus wasting one’s life in futility does not constitute penance. To free ourselves from evil thoughts is true penance. Penance is not giving up property and home and going to the forest. To get rid of evil thoughts and passions is Yoga or penance. To purify the mind with sacred feelings is real penance.

04-Santhosham-The third Human Value prescribed in Niyama-1.05-1989 September 03
Contentment gives Real Happiness or Santhosham

Next value is Santhosham. When can we get Santhosham (happiness)? Man can experience joy and happiness only when he has contentment. As desires grow, discontent grows and worries multiply. We must learn to be content with what we have. We must enjoy with whatever we have. We must never entertain excessive desires. Therefore, we will experience happiness only when we remain contended. He who has got much satisfaction is the richest man. Thus, we must always remain contended, that is what will give us happiness.

05-Swaadhyaayam-The fourth Human Value prescribed in Niyama-0.52-1989 September 03
Swaadhyaayam means we must always
keep reading some sacred texts.

The fourth value is Swaadhyaayam. This does not mean merely study of the Vedas. All the basic triple scriptures (Prasthaan Trayee) – the Bhagavad Gita, the Upanishads, and the Brahma Sutras shouldbe studied. One must be acquainted with all sacred literature. Swaadhyaayam means we must always keep reading some sacred texts. Thereby one gets rid of impurities in the mind.

06-Easwara Pranidhaanam-The fifth Human Value prescribed in Niyama-1.40-1989 September 03
Sarva Karma Bhagavat Prityaartham

The fifth value is Easwara Pranidhaanam. Whatever actions that we undertake should be pleasing to the Lord. In whatever action we perform, the question must be asked, “Will this please the Lord or not?”, “Will God be satisfied by this act or not?” We must undertake this kind of enquiry in every action of ours and we must perform only such actions that will please the Lord. God means in effect your conscience. You should not do anything which does not give you Atma-trupti (self-satisfaction). Your own conscience will punish you if you go against it. Your own mind will cause pain to you if you perform actions that do not give self-satisfaction. Therefore, we must nurture good feelings and undertake only such actions that yield self-satisfaction. In the Vedantic parlance, this is called, ‘Sarva Karma Bhagavat Prityaartham”. Only when you undertake actions that are pleasing to the Lord, good things will be bestowed on you.

07-Students must practice Yama and Niyama and make an impact in every walk of life-1.29-1989 September 03
Students must enter into all domains of life
and make a positive impact therein.

Only when one observes Yama and Niyama, it would amount to achieving the four Purushaarthaas (goals) of life (Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha). It would also amount to the practice of Samaand Dama. We are not able to see the practice of these human values as prescribed in Yama and Niyama, in the students of these days. That is why the hearts of students is polluted today. Students must have a sacred heart. They should shape themselves into future responsible citizens. The good or bad of the nation rests on the shoulders of these students. Students must enter into all domains of life – worldly, ethical, moral, spiritual and scientific; and make a positive impact therein. 

A Short Quiz
01-What are the eight “Angas” or “Limbs” in the Ashtanga Yoga? Give their English meaning.
02-What are the five human values prescribed in the second “Limb’ of the Ashtanga Yoga called Niyama??
03-What is the meaning of Soucham and what are the two kinds of Soucham?
04-What constitutes true Tapasor penance? What does “Sathatham Yoginah stand for in this context?
05-When and how can human beings attain true happiness or Santhosham?
06- Is Swaadhyaayam limited only to chanting and reading of the Vedic texts? If not, what does Swaadhyaayam  truly constitute?
07- What is the meaning of Easwara Pranidhaanam? What has it got to do with the Vedic injunction “Sarva Karma Bhagavat Prityaartham”?
08-What is Bhagawan’s wish with respect to students and the practice of Yama and Niyama?
This posting would have given you a comprehensive understanding and clarity of the five Human Values prescribed in Niyama, the second “Limb’ of the Ashtanga Yoga. In case you have not yet read the earlier post that elaborates on the five Human Values prescribed in Yama, the first “Limb’ of the Ashtanga Yoga, please click here to read the same….

http://hismessagehisvoice.blogspot.in/2012/05/five-human-values-prescribed-in-yama.html

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Five Human Values Prescribed in Yama – The First Step of the Ashtanga Yoga

The five universal Human Values that form the anchor of Bhagawan’s Message are well known to all of us. These are Sathya (Truth), Dharma (Righteousness), Shanti (Peace), Prema (Love) and Ahimsa(Non-violence). However, lesser known to all of us is the fact that Bhagawan has, on more than one occasion, drawn attention to the five practices prescribed in both Yama and Niyama – the first two steps of the Ashtanga Yoga that form part of the Patañjali Yoga Sūtras; calling them the true human values to be followed by mankind. Bhagawan says it is enough if people follow these values prescribed in Yama and Niyama. It would amount to following all the human values. 

A Brief Introduction to Ashtanga Yoga:

The Yoga Sūtras of Patañjali are 196 Indian Sūtras (Aphorisms) that constitute the foundational text of Rāja Yoga. In the Yoga Sutras, Patañjali prescribes adherence to eight “limbs” (Ashta-Anga) or steps. The sum of these constitutes the “Ashtanga Yoga”, the purpose of which is to enable one to quiet one’s mind and help one achieve Kaivalya (liberation).
Ashtanga Yoga consists of the following limbs. The first five are called external aids to Yoga (Bahiranga Sadhana). These are listed below.
a) Yama refers to the five abstentions (similar to the five vows of Jainism). These are: Ahimsa, Sathyam, Aastheyam, Brahmacharyam, Aparigraha.
b) Niyama refers to the five observances: Shaucha (cleanliness of body and mind), Santosham (satisfaction/contentment), Tapas (austerity and associated observances for body discipline and thereby mental control), Svaadhyaaya (study of the Vedic scriptures to know about God and the soul, which leads to introspection on a greater awakening to the soul and God within), Ishvarapranidhana (surrender to or worship of God).
c) Aasana refers to the discipline of the body: rules and postures to keep it disease-free and for preserving vital energy. Correct postures are a physical aid to meditation, for they control the limbs and nervous system and prevent them from producing disturbances.
d) Praanaayaama refers to control of breath. Beneficial to health, it steadies the body and is highly conducive to the concentration of the mind.
e) Prathyaahaara refers to the withdrawal of senses from their external objects.
The last three levels are called internal aids to Yoga(Antaranga Sadhana). These are listed below.
f) Dhaarana refers to concentration of the Chitta (Awareness) upon a physical object, such as a flame of a lamp, the mid-point of the eyebrows, or the image of a deity.
g) Dhyaana refers to steadfast meditation; undisturbed flow of thought around the object of meditation. However, the act of meditation and the object of meditation remain distinct and separate.
h) Samaadhi refers to oneness with the object of meditation. There is no distinction between the subject of meditation, the act of meditation and the object of meditation.
This post focuses on the first “Limb” of the Ashtanga Yoga called Yama. Bhagawan refers to the five aspects of Yamaas the five human values most essential in the life of human beings. Bhagawan refers to the five aspects of Niyamatoo as the next five human values essential for human living. However, Niyama and its five aspects will be dealt with in the next posting. Coming to Yama, Bhagawan has expounded on the five values prescribed in it on a number of occasions in various Discourses. Therefore, to make the posting comprehensive and to understand Yama in all its dimensions, audio clips from different discourses on the same values have been included. At times, there may be slight repetitions of some points. Hope it would help in reinforcing the point further. There are 17 excerpts from Bhagawan’s Discourses on the five values of Yama, in this posting. These excerpts have been selected from Discourses given by Bhagawan Baba in the years 1987, 1989 and 1996. 
Clip-1 gives an introduction to Ashtanga Yoga and highlights the eight “limbs” contained in it. Clip-2 gives an introduction to the first limb of the Ashtanga Yoga called Yama and highlights the five human values prescribed in it. Clips 3A, 3B and 3C deal with the first human value of Ahimsa (Non-violence) prescribed in Yama. In Clips 4A, 4B and 4C, Bhagawan explains the true meaning of Sathyam (Truth), the second human value. Clips 5A and 5B elaborate on the meaning of the third human value called Aastheyam (non-covetousness). Clips 6A, 6B and 6C deal with the various dimensions and inner meaning of the fourth human value of Brahmacharya (remaining tuned to Brahman) as prescribed in Yama. In Clips 7A, 7B and 7C, Bhagawan delves into the nuances and subtle implications of the fifth human value of Aparigraha(non-possessiveness).
Each audio clip has a name that adopts the following code: Serial number, Title appropriate to the key content, Duration of the clip, Year-Month-Date of the Clip. Below the title is the translation in English of the select excerpt of the Discourse, followed by the audio player. The post ends with a short quiz that would help you evaluate your assimilation of Bhagawan’s Message from these extracts.  
Note: Those receiving this blog by email may see words bunched together due to a technical glitch. That is beyond my control. Please click on link at the top of the email to read the blog directly. Sorry about this. If anyone has a solution to this please help me out.


01-Introduction to Ashtanga Yoga-Focus on Yama-1.48-1996 January 18

 

Sage Patanjali – Author of Ashtanga Yoga

In spiritual saadhana, there are eight Yogic disciplines to be observed: Yama, Niyama, Aasana, Praanaayaama, Prathyaahaara, Dhaarana, Dhyaana, and Samaadhi (sense restraint, observing rules, discipline of the body, breath-control, withdrawal of senses from objects, concentration, meditation and the Super Conscious state). Of these, the first is Yama. It is enough if this single discipline is understood and observed. All human values are comprised in it. Humanness is embedded in it. Yama includes the Pancha Praanaas (five-breaths), Pancha Bhuthaas (five elements), Pancha Koshaas (five sheaths), Pancha Thathvaas (five basic principles), and Pancha Rupaas (five forms). The five forms are the form of Gaayathri. The five basic principles are: Ahimsa, Sathyam, Aastheyam, Brahmacharyam and Aparigraha (Non-violence, Truth, Non-covetousness, Celibacy, and Non-possessiveness). These five constitute Yama.

02-Introduction to Yama as consisting of the main Human Values-0.45-1989 September 03
Ashtanga Yoga

What are the human values? Only when the inner significance of Yama and Niyama is properly understood, humanity will find fulfilment. Yama includes the following practices: Ahimsa (Non-violence); Sathyam (Truth); Aastheyam (Non-stealing); Brahmacharyam (Continence/Celibacy) and Aparigraha (not receiving anything from others).

03A-Ahimsa-The first Human Value prescribed in Yama-01-3.28-1996 January 18
Ahimsa Paramo Dharmah

The first value is Ahimsa. Buddha attached great importance to Ahimsa. He considered it the foremost Dharma (duty). “Ahimsa Paramo Dharmah” declared Buddha. What does Ahimsa signify? It is not merely refraining from causing harm or injury or pain to others. Just by not hurting others, one cannot be called non-violent. Non-violence, apart from not causing harm to others, also implies refraining from causing harm to oneself. One who harms oneself cannot avoid harming others. Whoever desires to observe Ahimsa must first see to it that she/he does not commit violence unto herself/himself. How is this to be ensured? By constantly examining whether one’s conduct is right or wrong. For instance, in the matter of speech, one must examine whether one’s words are causing pain to others or not. One must ensure that one’s looks are not tainted by evil intentions or thoughts. One should not listen to evil talk. All these cause harm to the individual. Hence, one should give no room for bad looks, bad hearing, bad speech, bad thoughts and bad actions.

How do you determine what is bad? Any action done against one’s conscience is bad. Whenever you act against the dictates of your conscience, bad results will follow. The conscience is the form of the Divine within everyone. Whatever you do, the conscience tells you whether it is right or wrong. However, to ascertain the directive of the conscience you have to wait for some time. You should not be in a hurry. When you want to say something, you must consider for a moment whether it is right or wrong, good or bad; and then speak. When you want to listen to something, you must examine whether it is good or bad to listen and then decide what is proper.

03B-Ahimsa-The first Human Value prescribed in Yama-1.12-1987 September 26
Abhor Violence in Thought, Word and Deed

Ahimsa does not mean, as is commonly understood, not causing harm to others. How can we not cause harm to others? What is the true meaning of Ahimsa? It really means that one should not cause harm to anyone in thought, word or deed. Therefore, not harming anyone with the purity of thought, word and deed is non-violence. This is the most important human value. Only when this has been developed, will one be qualified to practise and experience the second value of Truth.

03C-Ahimsa-The first Human Value prescribed in Yama-02-2.34-1996 January 18
Dedicate all your actions to the Divine
This will save you from the consequences of  involuntary violence

You should be careful not only with regard to how you relate to the five elements, but also with regard to your food. Excessive eating amounts to violence to the body. Moderation in food is conducive to happiness. Thus, Ahimsa (non-violence) is what confers happiness on you. That which hurts you is Himsa (violence). Not just this. Even in drinking water, you should observe restraints. Likewise, one’s entire life should be governed by the principle of non-violence. Many germs die when one takes a bath or walks or does any other action. Even in the process of breathing many germs die. Violence is present in all these activities. Therefore, to avoid the consequences of such involuntary violence to living creatures, one is advised to dedicate all actions to the Divine. But, there is no meaning in dedicating to the Divine, conscious acts of violence. The conscience will not approve of such conduct. In Vedantic parlance, the conscience is called Chith. It is also called Awareness. Awareness is total understanding. This total understanding is within the capacity of every human being. Everyone must strive to acquire this awareness. Thus, Ahimsa is the primary duty of man.

04A-Sathyam-The second Human Value prescribed in Yama-0.53-1987 September 26
Adhere to Truth in Thought, Word and Deed

Truth does not mean merely speaking honestly with the tongue. Truth remains unchanging in all the three times. Truth must be adhered to with the purity of thought, word and deed. One must not take recourse to falsehood either through the mind, or words or actions. Therefore, speaking the truth with the unity of thought, word and deed is Sathyam. This is the second human value.

04B-Sathyam-The second Human Value prescribed in Yama-2.01-1989 September 03
Speak the Truth that is Pleasant and Soothing

The second value is Sathyam. Truth does not merely mean speaking factually about what is seen or heard or done. Truth transcends all the three times. Anudvega Karam Vaakyam, Satyam Preeti Hitam Chayat. The truth which is spoken must be pleasant and soothing. It must not agitate the one who hears it. Truth must not be spoken in a way that it hurts others. At the same time, just because it is pleasant for others to hear, one must not speak the untruth. That which is spoken with humility, with unity of mind-tongue-body and in a way that appeals to others is Truth. Students must necessarily follow this path of Truth. Human being’s life is based on Truth. It is sacred, Divine and most precious. It is a life worthy of living. However, treading along the path of untruth, for the purpose of selfishness and self-interest, we are wasting our life in futility.

04C-Sathyam-The second Human Value prescribed in Yama-1.18-1996 January 18
Sathyam, Jnaanam, Anantham Brahma

The second value is Sathyam (Truth). What is Truth? Truth is not merely telling the facts about what you see or hear or do. These are temporal truths. In its full sense, Truth relates to what comes out of your heart in the form of the voice of conscience. This Sathyam (Truth) is also called Ritham. It is true for all time: past, present and the future. It is not affected by changes in time, place or circumstances. It is unchanging and cannot be suppressed. Truth is its own proof. It is the form of the Divine as declared in: Sathyam, Jnaanam, Anantham Brahma (Truth, Wisdom and Infinite is Brahman – the Absolute Self). Truth is thus the second human value.

05A-Aastheyam-The third Human Value prescribed in Yama-0.53-1987 September 26
Refrain from Stealing in Thought, Word and Deed

Astheyam means refraining from stealing what belongs to others. Not just refraining from stealing with the hand, but even the thought of taking another’s property should not arise in the mind. Nor should one encourage others to commit theft. Therefore, Aastheyammeans refraining from stealing others’ property with purity of thought, word and deed. This is the third human value.

05B-Aastheyam-The third Human Value prescribed in Yama-3.41-1996 January 18
You may use others’ property, but only with their permission

The third value is Astheyam (non-stealing). What is Astheyam? Astheyam means not stealing the properties of others. Property should not be confined to physical objects like a book or a pen. When you need anything, there is nothing wrong in your taking it with the permission of the owner. To take or use any object without such permission amounts to stealing. Even to criticize someone in a way that harms her/him amounts to theft (of her/his good name). What is the meaning of theft? To take hold of an item that does not belong to you. Every object has an owner. We may make use of that object only after seeking permission from the owner.

It is common among students to borrow a friend’s camera and use it. You can certainly use the camera after taking permission from the owner. However, even if you take permission and use the camera, if the camera is damaged, the responsibility for getting it repaired is that of the user. If you spoil the camera it amounts to betrayal. In this manner, you can understand how the concept of stealing applies to even trivial incidents in daily life. Thus, we should never take objects belonging to others. Even if we do use the object, with due permission, it is quite possible that something may go wrong with it or it may get damaged. This will cause pain to the user’s mind and also to the owner’s mind. This in turn amounts to Himsa – violence. Therefore, these aspects (of Yama) are interrelated with each other. Aastheyammeans, one should not accept any object, be it a pen, a book, a camera, a watch, or a coat. However, if you truly need it, take it with the permission of the owner. Again, you must also use it properly. If you misuse it, you will be hurting the owner. This is the third primary duty of human beings, the third value.

06A-Brahmacharyam-The fourth Human Value prescribed in Yama-3.06-1996 January 18
Brahmacharyam means living in Brahman

The next value is Brahmacharyam. Brahmacharyam is interpreted in many ways by the people of the world. One meaning is remaining unmarried. This is not the correct meaning. This meaning is only from the worldly point of view. The true literal meaning of the term is “Moving in Brahman.” Brahmacharya means ceaseless contemplation of God. Charya means moving or treading. Brahmacharya means “moving in Brahman”, or “treading along the path of Brahman”. Brahmacharya should not be imagined to be related to the physical losses, difficulties, sorrow or worry. Mere bachelorhood is not Brahmacharyam. Such a person may be called as just “unmarried”.

A married man is called Girhastha (house-holder). There is Brahmacharyam even in a householder’s life. This consists in his leading the conjugal life with his wife (Ardhaangi) alone. If a married man leads a promiscuous life he is not observing Brahmacharya. Not just physically, even in thoughts and feelings, one should observe continence. Brahmacharyam acquired its importance as a human value because of its strict observance by our ancient sages. Therefore, there is lot of inner significance in this aspect of Brahmacharyam. Unconsciously or otherwise, human beings tend to waste their energies. All these are lapses from Brahmacharya. Sense control is vital in practising continence. It is easier to conquer Indra (the Lord of Gods) than to subdue the Indriyas (senses). Control of senses is thus the fourth important human value.

06B-Brahmacharyam-The fourth Human Value prescribed in Yama-3.01-1989 September 03
Brahmacharyam is like the Foundation for the other stages of life

It may be impossible to observe Brahmacharyam in the way that it is normally understood by the world. We should not allow the mind to get into wrong thoughts, wrong words or wrong actions. True Brahmacharyam means living constantly in Brahma (the contemplation of the Absolute). Brahmavid Brahmaiva Bhavati. In practical life, this means dedicating all thoughts, all speech and all actions to the Divine. Sarva Karma Bhagavat Prityaartham. Considering oneself as Brahma and performing everything as an offering to Brahma is true Brahmacharyam. Continous study of the Vedas, Upanishads, Puranas, Brahmasutraas and other scriptures also constitutes Brahmacharyam. Brahmacharyam is the foundation for the other stages in life: Grihastha (householder), Vaanaprastha (recluse) and Sanyaasa (renunciant). If the foundation of Brahmacharyam is not strong and firm, the other stages of Grihastha (householder), Vaanaprastha (recluse) and Sanyaasa (renunciant) will get shaky and may even fall. Therefore, for the mansion of life, Brahmacharyam is very important. It must be pure, unwavering, unselfish and egoless.

06C-Brahmacharyam-The fourth Human Value prescribed in Yama-4.13-1987 September 26
Atma-Aham-Thought-Word-Deed

The fourth value is Brahmacharyam. Many interpretations are given to this value from the worldly point of view. These are not correct. Observance of Brahmacharyam means: whatever one thinks, says or does should be filled with thoughts of Brahman, the Supreme Divinity. To be ever immersed in the consciousness of Brahman is Brahmacharyam. All thoughts, words and deeds should be dedicated to the Divine. This is called “Sarva Karma Bhagavat Prityaartham”.

Maintaining physical or bodily purity alone is not adequate. The physical body is impermanent. Our actions are lasting. If there is no mind, there can be no actions. There is an intricate relationship between the mind and actions. Therefore, all actions based on Truth and arising out of our thoughts must be offered to God. When the thoughts, which are prelude to action, are centered on God, they are unlikely to go astray.
Aham (the Ego) arises from the Atma. Thoughts are produced by the Aham (ego). Thoughts give rise to speech. Therefore, the basis for speech is thought. The basis for thoughts is Aham (ego). The basis for Aham(ego) is Atma. Hence all our actions, words and thoughts are based on the Atma. Atma is like the father. Aham is like the son. Thought is like the grandson. Word is like the great grandson. All these belong to one family. When all our thoughts, words and actions are sanctified by dedication to please God, the consciousness of oneness with Brahman—Aham Brahmaasmi (I am Brahman) ensues. Brahman is Prajna (Constant Integrated Awareness). Everything originates from Prajna. This is the fourth value called Brahmacharyam.

07A-Aparigraha-The fifth Human Value prescribed in Yama-2.28-1987 September 26
Perform all actions without any expectation of reward

The fifth practice is Aparigraha. This is usually interpreted as not accepting other’s property as gift or in charity. This is not the correct meaning. It really means performing actions without expecting any reward; without any acquisitive motives. We must perform all actions without any ego, attachment, self-interest or selfish motive. Only then can we claim to have practised Aparigraha. Today because actions are done out of self-interest and selfishness, out of ego and attachment, they lack true human quality. If we wish to foster human values then we must perform all our actions with purity and unity of thought, word and deed. We must undertake all work without any expectations of the fruits thereof. Even worship, religious ceremonies, pilgrimages and the like are done with some kind of expectations and not in a spirit of disinterested devotion or worship or sadhana. This cannot be called true human value.

07B-Aparigraha-The fifth Human Value prescribed in Yama-4.41-1989 September 03
Receive benefits only from Parents, Guru or God

The fifth value is Aparigraha. The Upanishads have regarded Parigraha (acquiring things from others) as sinful. Whatever help we may render to others, we should do it without expectation of any return. It is natural for human beings to reap the fruits of their actions. However, the scriptures advise exercise of caution in this regard. One is entitled to receive benefits only from one’s father, mother, Guru and God, but not from others. As God is the creator, sustainer and protector, you have the right to claim anything from God. From your parents you can receive what they are in a position to give, according to their capacity. But you should not trouble them by seeking more than that from them. From the preceptor you must receive only knowledge. From the preceptor, who teaches you what promotes your well-being, you have to seek ways of satisfying him and not any other benefits.

Unfortunately, today students lack these qualities. The result is that we are bound to take birth again; we become indebted to others. No one can tell what sort of births we will have to take to discharge these debts in future lives.
Unless it becomes very essential, we should not even partake food in the houses of our friends. It is wrong to overstay in the houses of friends, for a long period of time, say 10 to 15 days, as they themselves might be dependent on their parents. They themselves may not have full freedom and under such circumstances, it would not be appropriate for us to go and accept their hospitality. The friend does not serve you from her/his earnings; it is the earnings of the parents. It is only the children who have the right to enjoy from the earnings of the parents; and not anybody else. Under such circumstances, without exercising our discrimination, to go and stay in our friend’s house is not appropriate. This is not a healthy practice for educated people. Hence, Aparigraha is very essential. You should be ready to offer a fruit, flower, water or any other simple thing to a guest, but you should be wary in accepting anything from others. This is another human value prescribed in Yama.

07C-Aparigraha-The fifth Human Value prescribed in Yama-6.16-1996 January 18
Never accept dowry during marriage. It is a sin.

The fifth discipline is Aparigraha. This means not accepting things from others. You have every right to receive gifts or other things from your parents. You are the very reflection of your parents and hence you can accept from them whatever they give. Aparigraha has certain subtle implications. For instance, it is not proper to accept gifts from one’s in-laws or even from one’s brothers. When any gifts are received from these relatives you have to make good by giving them back some equivalent presents. Today the Aparigraha aspect is being blatantly violated.

For instance, when students get married after their education and upon taking up jobs, they receive dowry at the time of marriage. This is very wrong. It even amounts to a sin. You must not be willing to accept anything. Then, what should be your approach and mindset? You must think like this: “A girl who has been brought up for 20-22 years, taken care of and well educated, is offered in hand to a young man in marriage. That itself is a great gift. Why should one ask for money along with the bride?” The parents of the girl may give her whatever they choose. There is no mistake in that. But if the bridegroom expects or accepts anything from the in-laws, then it is a mistake. This is the feeling of satisfaction that one should develop. In fact, going by the Vedic standards, one should not even accept clothes from the in-laws.
It is because many of these Dharmic practices have been given the go-by that today Bhaarath is experiencing various challenges, troubles and sorrows.
Gifts can be accepted from parents, the preceptor and God. These are the exceptions to the rule of Aparigraha. From these four, you can receive anything, because you are their very reflection, reaction and resound. You think that you have come from your parents. No. You have come through them. The child is the reflection and the second form of the parent. Therefore, you can accept anything from them. But even from parents, you should not seek to get anything by fighting, by compulsion or through litigations. What is offered by the parents with love should be received with love. You should not fight with them, thinking that you have the right. If you fight with them for receiving something, it will amount to Parigraha. Thus there is so much of sacredness in Aparigraha. There are certain limits to what you can receive from the parents. But there is no limit to what you can receive from God. You can accept anything from God because He is the Lord of everything; He has the strength to do anything. He can free you from sin and redeem you from the consequences of the sin. Hence you can accept anything from Him. Why? Because:
Tvameva Maatacha Pitaa Tvameva
Tvameva Bandhuscha Sakhaa Tvameva
Tvameva Vidyaa Dravinam Tvamevaa
Tvemeva Sarvam Mama Deva Deva
God encompasses all relationships. He is the father, mother, friend, companion…Therefore, since He is everything for us, we must not separately categorize Him and limit Him as our father or mother. If you say, He is your Mother, He becomes separate from you. Similarly, if you say He is your father, He becomes separate from you. Therefore, do not bind God and limit Him with all these relationships. The Truth is that “I am you” and “You are Me”.

08-Students must practice Yamaand Niyama and make an impact in every walk of life-1.29-1989 September 03
Students – Enter all domains of life and make a positive impact

Only when one observes Yama and Niyama, it would amount to achieving the four Purushaarthaas (goals) of life (Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha). It would also amount to the practice of Samaand Dama. We are not able to see the practice of these human values as prescribed in Yama and Niyama, in the students of these days. That is why the hearts of students is polluted today. Students must have a sacred heart. They should shape themselves into future responsible citizens. The good or bad of the nation rests on the shoulders of these students. Students must enter into all domains of life – worldly, ethical, moral, spiritual and scientific; and make a positive impact therein. 

A Short Quiz
01-What are the eight “Angas” or “Limbs” in the Ashtanga Yoga? Give their English meaning.
02-What are the five human values prescribed in the first “Limb’ of the Ashtanga Yoga called Yama??
03-What is the true meaning of Ahimsa?
04-Why does Ahimsaalso constitute the aspect of not harming oneself?
05-While attempting to avoid bad looks, bad hearing, bad speech, bad thoughts and bad actions; how does one determine what is bad and what is not?
06-How do we practice Ahimsain our eating and drinking habits?
07-How can we avoid the consequences of involuntary violence to living creatures that is caused by us, while bathing, walking, breathing etc.?
08-What is the true meaning of Sathyam?
09-What are the caveats prescribed by the scriptures with respect to speaking the truth?
10-What is the difference between the three forms of Truth known as Nijam, Sathyam and Ritham?
11-What is the true meaning of Aastheyam?
12-What is the protocol to be followed when we wish to use the property or object owned by others? What type of caution needs to be exercised in this matter?
13-What is the true meaning of Brahmacharyam?
14-Is remaining unmarried a prerequisite for Brahmacharyam? If not, how can we explain the aspect of Brahmacharyamwith respect to a householder’s (Grihastha’s) life?
15-What is the significance of Brahmacharyam with respect to the other Ashramas of life viz: Grihastha (householder), Vaanaprastha (recluse) and Sanyaasa (renunciant).
16-Atma, Aham, Thought, Word and Action – All these belong to one family. Establish the correct relationship between them.
17-What is the true meaning of Aparigraha?
18-Who are the four people from whom we can freely accept anything without any reservations? Why?
19-Though it is said that we are a reflection of our parents and hence we can accept anything from our parents without amounting to Parigraha; what is the caution we need to exercise here?
20-What is the gift we can freely accept from our Guru or Preceptor according to the dictates of Aparigraha?
21-Why should we exercise caution in accepting freely the hospitality of our friends (especially during our student days)?
22-What is the right approach and mindset that the bridegroom needs to have towards the bride and her family, so as to discourage the practice of accepting dowry?
23-Why is there no limit to what we can expect or accept from God, as per the norms of Aparigraha?
24-“Tvameva Maatacha Pitaa Tvameva…” What is the meaning of this sloka (verse)? How does Bhagawan interpret this verse and what does He caution us against?
25-What is Bhagawan’s wish with respect to students and the practice of Yama and Niyama?
This posting would have given you a comprehensive understanding and clarity of the five Human Values prescribed in Yama, the first “Limb’ of the Ashtanga Yoga. Watch out for the next post which will elaborate on the five Human Values prescribed in Niyama, the second “Limb’ of the Ashtanga Yoga. Coming soon…
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Guidelines on Dietary Habits – What, When and How to Eat Food – Part Four

Guidelines on Dietary Habits – What, When and How to Eat Food – Part Four

 

Part-IV: Give up Smoking, Drinking and Meat eating
Food forms a critical part of our life not just from the point of view of mere survival. From a scientific point of view, the quality and composition of food we partake is very important as it supplies all the nutrition that our human body needs for sustaining itself and discharging the various activities on a continuous basis. This apart, even from a spiritual point of view, food plays a very significant role as the essence of the food we partake, constitutes the mind and therefore the consequent thoughts and feelings that arise there from. It is said, “As is the Food, so is the Mind”. Bhagawan Baba has spoken extensively about the role of food in our life. He defines food as not just the edible items we eat through our mouth; but all the inputs we receive through all our sense organs. Therefore, what we see, what we hear, what we smell, what we feel, and what we eat – all these collectively constitute our food. However, this posting that will appear in four parts, are all related to the edible food that we partake of, using our mouth and tongue. To present all facts and details that Bhagawan has mentioned in various Discourses about the What, Why and How of eating food; the contents have been logically categorized into four parts. Part-I deals with the purity of food and its impact on the mind. Part-II discusses the process of offering food to God before partaking of it and avoiding distractions while eating food. Part-III focuses on moderation in eating habits and very significant dietary tips. Finally, Part-IV touches upon the harmful effects of eating non-vegetarian food and of consumption of alcohol (specifically from a spiritual point of view).  
Part-IV deals with the ill effects of consuming non-vegetarian food, consuming alcohol/liquor and smoking. Bhagawan explains logically, the need to give up each of these undesirable habits. There are 8 excerpts from Bhagawan’s Discourses on the harmful effects of eating non-vegetarian food, consumption of alcohol and smoking; presented in this posting. These excerpts have been selected from Discourses given by Bhagawan Baba in the years 1990, 1994, 1998, and 2001. 
In Clip-1, Bhagawan gives a general introduction to the harmful effects of all the three habits: eating non-vegetarian food, consuming alcohol/liquor and smoking. In Clip-2, Bhagawan focuses on eating non-vegetarian food. He condemns this practice from a aspiritual point of view stating that true devotees of God must give up this habit. In Clip-3, Bhagawan focuses on the negative impact that consumption of non-vegetarian food has on one’s physical body and the mind. He explains how eating non-vegetarian food makes humans prone to so many diseases. He also gives alternatives to people who are made to believe that meat is the only good source of proteins. I the next Clip-4, Bhagawan illustrates through a conversation between a son and a mother, how chidren should cultivate the good habit of eating vegetarian food and then also inpsire their parents to do the same. Clip-5 focuses on the harmful effects of drinking alcohol/liquor. Clip-6 once again enlists several negative impacts and diseases that are associated with consuming non-vegetarian food and alcoholism. In Clip-7, Bhagawan explains how giving up these habits cannot be an outcome of external force but has to come about as a result of internal transformation through right understanding. Finally, in Clip-8, Bhagawan appeals to all His devotees to give up these three habits as an offering; as a gift to Bhagawan on His Birthday.  
 
Each audio clip has a name that adopts the following code: Serial number, Title appropriate to the key content, Duration of the clip, Year-Month-Date of the Clip. Below the title is the translation in English of the select excerpt of the Discourse, followed by the audio player. The post ends with a short quiz that would help you evaluate your assimilation of Bhagawan’s Message from these extracts.  
Note: Those receiving this blog by email may see words bunched together due to a technical glitch. That is beyond my control. Please click on link at the top of the email to read the blog directly. Sorry about this. If anyone has a solution to this please help me out.
01-Partake only sacred food – Give up Smoking, Drinking and Meat eating-3.41-1998 October 01
Give up Meat eating, Drinking and Smoking

Truth, Righteousness, Peace and Love are the human values. The one who nurtures these values is a true human being. Food plays a very significant role in nurturing these human values. Embodiments of Love! Do not take what I am saying in a wrong way. On this sacred day of Vijaya Dasami, take an oath to give up vices such as smoking, drinking, and partaking of non-vegetarian food. Give up these three habits and you will develop a sacred heart.

Many do not know, but smoking leads to many other bad habits. It also leads to many deadly diseases. If a smoker takes a deep puff and then blows air on a white handkerchief, she/he will find dark spots on it. Smoking is one of the main causes for cancer. You are ruining your health and losing your sacredness because of smoking.
Drinking is a demonic quality. It makes you forget yourself. You would not even know in what state you are or what words you are uttering. It makes you intoxicated and forget yourself. What sort of behaviour can you expect from such an individual? Therefore, never get into the habit of drinking.
Next is the consumption of non-vegetarian food. The human body is made up of five elements, food and muscles. The body is full of dirt and diseases. It cannot cross the ocean of Samsara. O mind, never think that body is permanent; surrender to the feet of God. (Telugu poem). When the human body itself is made of flesh, where is the need to consume flesh again? Does anyone consume human flesh? No. Why? Because the body itself is made up of the very same flesh! The human body is very dirty. You should offer it only sacred food and good food. Only then you will be able to engage in good deeds. For sacred thoughts and sacred deeds, sacred food is very essential. A noble soul like Bhishma himself suffered on account of unsacred food. As a consequence, though he was alive, he had to lie on a bed of arrows for 56 days.

02-A True Devotee of God must give up Eating Meat-2.24-1994 November 23
A True Devotee of God must give up eating Meat

How do we get rid of bad feelings, selfishness and self-interest, pomp and ego? These qualities arise on account of food and habits. Today, be it anyone, but those who consider themselves as devotees of God, must give up eating non-vegetarian food. Why? Because consumption of the meat of animals, nurtures animal qualities in man. In Hindi language it is said, “Jaise Anna, Vaise Man” meaning “As is the food, so is the mind”. As is the food, so is the belching. If you eat a mango, can you get the belching with the taste of a cucumber? No, you will get belching with the taste of a mango only. When you partake of the meat of cruel animals, the quality of cruelty develops in you too. Not only this. What a great sin it is to consume life that is made up of five elements and which we see manifest with the senses of sound, feeling, form, taste and smell? Apart from developing demonic qualities, what a great sin it is to kill another being that is made up of the same five elements that the human body is made up of. Committing such a sin gives rise to worry. Therefore true devotees and those who aspire to be true devotees, must give up eating non-vegetarian food. People say they are Sai devotees, Rama devotees, Krishna devotees; but they sit and eat chicken! How can such people be true devotees? They are actually demons. They will never be the recipients of God’s Grace. Therefore, be it Indians or people from overseas; those who wish to follow Bhagawan’s command must give up meat eating immediately.

03-Eating Non-vegetarian food makes man prone to many Diseases-3.48-1990 May 21
Non-vegetarians are prone to many more diseases than vegetarians

The name of this world is “Jagath”. “Ja” means “Coming” and “Gath” means “Going”. The very name of this world – “Jagath” means “Coming and Going”. Once we know this truth, why should we worry? We must not give any scope for such worry. Only then, will human beings gain the deservedness to realize the Divinity in them. Except for human beings no other beings have this unique opportunity of realizing Divinity. For this, food and habits play a very important role. Among 84 lakhs of spices that exist in this creation, 83,99,999 species enjoy food that is provided by Nature. All birds and animals live on natural foods and are therefore not prone to many diseases. But human beings alone, swayed by the taste of the tongue, carried away by various tastes, transform the natural food into various forms based on their imaginations. They cook the food and make it into Kurmas (a dish originating in South Asia or Central Asia; it is usually considered a type of curry). But they do not realize how this reduces their life span. Even among human beings, those who consume vegetables are less prone to diseases. But those who consume meat are prone to more diseases. Why? Because, vegetarian food alone provides the right type of balance that is needed by human beings. This is a human body and that is an animal body. The two do not gel well each other.

Doctors advise people to consume more meat saying that it is a good source of proteins and it will keep them fit and healthy. However, this is a weakness. Is there no protein in the milk you drink? Is there no protein in curd, in vegetables, in pulses? Proteins are there in so many items. Meat eating not only leads to diseases of the body but it also leads to mental diseases. There is a relationship between Food, Head and God. When people eat animal food, it gives birth to animal thoughts in them. As is the food, so are the feelings.

04-Inspire Parents to give up eating Non-vegetarian food-1.39-2001 November 21
Inspire your parents also to give up non-vegetarian food

A small example: In a house, once every week, they used to prepare mutton. When our students go home, parents say, “Oh my dear son, you have been in Puttaparthi for one long year, you have not eaten any chicken, sheep or fish”. Saying so, they prepare all the dishes and serve the children with love. However, the son should say, “Mother, I will not do this bad act. Why should I kill one being to keep this being alive? This is not good for me. You are going just by the body. You are offering flesh to this body which is made up of the very same flesh. We must offer nectar to this body made up of flesh. We must partake of sacred food. We must partake of food given to us by God. We should not eat non-vegetarian food that enhances our bad qualities and bad actions. When once the children keep telling like this again and again, parents too will get transformed. I know of many such cases. After the children have come to our college, through them, their parents too have given up non-vegetarian food.

05-A True Devotee of God must give up Consumption of Alcohol-1.36-1994 November 23
A True Devotee of God must give up drinking Alcohol/Liquor

The second aspect; we drink water. There is life in water. It contains life force in it. Water is a sacred aspect of God. Water originates from God; from the hair locks of Lord Shiva (as the Ganges). Giving up such sacred water and taking to drinking liquor / alcohol is a big mistake. Alcoholism is very cruel. It makes you forget yourself. It makes you lose your respect, lose your human qualities and makes you forget God. A drunken man does not even know what he is doing, talking or listening. He keeps on rambling. How shameful it is to see people in this state. One tends to laugh to see how such people, though being born as human beings, behave like beings without life. This is not good. Drinking (liquor/alcohol) also leads to destruction of many families. All the money that one earns is spent on this evil habit and the man is not able to take care of his own wife and children. With all the wealth, what is the use if one cannot foster one’s own parents, wife and children? The root cause of these evils is alcoholism.     

06-Non-vegetarians and Alcohol addicts are more prone to Heart Ailments-2.39-1994 January 21 (This audio clip has only the Telugu Discourse and does not have the English Translation)
Non-vegetarians and Alcohol addicts are
more prone to Heart Ailments

It is the primary responsibility of human beings to prevent themselves from becoming a victim of any disease. When one’s food and habits is well regulated, there would be no scope for any disease at all. It is said that proteins and vitamins are very essential for human beings. Non-vegetarian food and addiction to alcohol are the root causes for heart ailments and other major diseases. Research has revealed that people who consume vegetarian food are far less prone to heart ailments than those who consume non-vegetarian food and alcohol. Even the vegetarian food that is consumed should be balanced and wholesome. It should contain liberal doses of Vitamin C and Vitamin E, which are available amply in green leaves and carrots. The presence of these vitamins prevents heart ailments in a large measure. Therefore one should ensure the intake of these vitamins in good quantity.

We must ensure that we eat our food in time. Health is wealth. Wealth cannot be enjoyed by a person with poor health. Therefore good health is man’s greatest wealth and strength. We must exercise necessary restraint and regulation even in the consumption of good and healthy food. Birds and beasts also take food but they do not suffer from cardiac and digestive ailments to which man is prone. The cause can be traced to the natural food which the animals consume.
Human beings, becoming the slaves of their stomachs and the servants of their tongue are shackling their own hands and legs. Birds and beasts do not have any such compulsions. Human beings are violating all limits and taking to extreme ways in their food and other habits.
“Ahaara nidra bhaya maithunaani, Saamaanyam etat pasubhir naraani
Jnaanam naraanam adhika visheshaat, Jnaanena shunyaha pasu hi samaana”
“The propensity to eat, sleep, mate and defend are equal in animals and human beings. Only one extra aspect is rewarded to humans, and that is Jnaana. Any human being bereft of Jnaana is considered to be equal to an animal.”
Human beings alone have the discrimination power related to day to day matters. It is because of this power of discrimination, that we find a significant difference between birds and beasts on one hand and the human beings on the other. Therefore, when humans exercise moderation in their food habits, they can be saved from such major diseases.

07-A True Devotee of God must give up the Habit of Smoking-1.43-1994 November 23
A True Devotee of God must give up the habit of Smoking

Along with drinking (alcohol), some also smoke cigarettes. Because of smoking, humans are subject to many diseases. Asthma, Eosinophilia and Cardiac ailments arise on account of smoking. If an individual smokes even once, she/he is prone to get cancer. The impact of smoking can be actually demonstrated. Take a white cloth and after having taken a deep puff, blow air onto the white cloth. You will find dark spots appearing on the cloth. If it can make such an impact on the cloth itself, you can imagine what impact it can make when it gets into the human blood stream. It ruins one’s health and shortens one’s life-span. Therefore, those who aspire to become true devotees of God have to give up meat, liquor and smoking. No government can stop these habits. The feelings have to transform individuals from within. It is only mental transformation that can bring about a change. Each one must recognize the truth and conduct oneself accordingly.

08-Offer your Birthday Gift to Swami by giving up Meat Eating, Drinking and Smoking-1.41-1994 November 23
I am always Happy!!
If you wish to offer me a Gift on My Birthday,
give up Eating Non-vegetarian food,
Drinking Alcohol and Smoking

Embodiments of Love! You are deeming this day as the 69th Birthday of Swami. I have no desire to celebrate such birthdays. As I was coming (for Darshan), I was greeted by many wishing Me “Happy Birthday”. I am always happy. Why should anyone wish “Happy Birthday” to Me? Be happy yourselves. Your happiness is My happiness.

Today, as an offering to Swami, give up meat eating, consuming liquor and smoking. By renouncing these three, you will benefit yourselves as well as the society and the nation. Swami’s sole aim is to promote the welfare of the family, the society and the nation. If you wish to carry out Swami’s command, renounce from this moment itself these three bad practices. Do not put if off to tomorrow. If you keep saying “next”, “next” it will become a “test” and then it will become a “taste”. No. Take the resolve from this moment. This is what I expect from you today!

A Short Quiz
01-What is the logic given by Bhagawan regarding the meaninglessness in the human body consuming flesh as food?
02-What are the various reasons that Bhagawan gives discouraging humans from consuming non-vegetarian food? Can you list them out as bullet points?
03-Why are birds and beasts less prone to diseases than human beings?
04-What are the vegetarian food items that Bhagawan mentions as good sources of proteins?
05-How does Bhagawan, through an illustration, encourage children to inspire their parents to give up non-vegetarian food?
06-What are the various ill effects of alcoholism mentioned by Bhagawan? Can you list them out as bullet points?
07-What are the two most important Vitamins necessary for a healthy body according to Bhagawan?
08-How does Bhagawan bring about the significant difference between birds and beasts on one hand and human beings on the other hand, through a Sanskrit verse? What is this major difference?
09-How does Bhagawan illustrate the negative impact that smoking can cause to the human body, through the example of a white cloth?
10-What does Bhagawan seek from His devotees as a gift on His Birthday?
 
With this posting, we complete the four parts of this Module on Guidelines on Dietary Habits – What, When and How to Eat Food. 

 

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Guidelines on Dietary Habits – What, When and How to Eat Food – Part Two

 

Part-II: Offering Food to God and Avoiding Distractions While Eating
Food forms a critical part of our life not just from the point of view of mere survival. From a scientific point of view, the quality and composition of food we partake is very important as it supplies all the nutrition that our human body needs for sustaining itself and discharging the various activities on a continuous basis. This apart, even from a spiritual point of view, food plays a very significant role as the essence of the food we partake, constitutes the mind and therefore the consequent thoughts and feelings that arise there from. It is said, “As is the Food, so is the Mind”. Bhagawan Baba has spoken extensively about the role of food in our life. He defines food as not just the edible items we eat through our mouth; but all the inputs we receive through all our sense organs. Therefore, what we see, what we hear, what we smell, what we feel, and what we eat – all these collectively constitute our food. However, this posting that will appear in four parts, are all related to the edible food that we partake of, using our mouth and tongue. To present all facts and details that Bhagawan has mentioned in various Discourses about the What, Why and How of eating food; the contents have been logically categorized into four parts. Part-I deals with the purity of food and its impact on the mind. Part-II discusses the process of offering food to God before partaking of it and avoiding distractions while eating food. Part-III focuses on moderation in eating habits and very significant dietary tips. Finally, Part-IV touches upon the harmful effects of eating non-vegetarian food and of consumption of alcohol (specifically from a spiritual point of view).  
Part-II deals with the process of offering food to God before eating. This transforms the food into Prasaadam, thus removing all the defects from the food. It elaborates on the ill effects of watching television or discussing inappropriate topics while eating food. There are 7 excerpts from Bhagawan’s Discourses on offering food to God and the code of conduct to be followed while consuming our food; presented in this posting. These excerpts have been selected from Discourses given by Bhagawan Baba in the years 1993, 1994, 1996, 2001, 2002 and 2003. 
In Clip-1, Bhagawan explains about the three types of defects that can get into the food we eat. These are Paatra Shuddhi (defect related to the vessel used for cooking); Paaka Shuddhi(defect related to the process of cooking); and Padaartha Shuddhi (defect related to the materials used for cooking). Bhagawan also offers the solution of chanting the Bhagawad Gita sloka –“Brahmaarpanam…” as a means to purify the food that we eat. In Clip-2, Bhagawan illustrates the importance of chanting the prayer before eating our food and thus offering our food to God, by narrating the story of a Sanyasi in Hrishikesh and how his mental state was deeply affected on account of the type of food he had consumed. Clip-3 explains the meaning of the Bhagavad Gita sloka – “Brahmaarpanam…” – that we chant before eating food. In Clip-4, Bhagawan instructs His students to inspire and appeal to their parents also, to begin the parctice of chanting this prayer before eating their food. Clip-5 is a description of the modern age life style wherein parents encourage their chidren to sit in front of the television and eat their food while watching the television. Bhagawan explains the harmful effects of eating food in this manner. In Clip-6, He further elaborates on this issue of how one should conduct oneself while eating food. Finally in Clip-7, Bhagawan once again appeals to all, to give up the practice of watching television whle eating food.   
Each audio clip has a name that adopts the following code: Serial number, Title appropriate to the key content, Duration of the clip, Year-Month-Date of the Clip. Below the title is the translation in English of the select excerpt of the Discourse, followed by the audio player. The post ends with a short quiz that would help you evaluate your assimilation of Bhagawan’s Message from these extracts.  
Note: Those receiving this blog by email may see words bunched together due to a technical glitch. That is beyond my control. Please click on link at the top of the email to read the blog directly. Sorry about this. If anyone has a solution to this please help me out.
01-Paatra Shuddhi-Paaka Shuddhi-Padaartha Shuddhi-Brahmaarpanam-2.49-1993 May 29
Paatra Shuddhi, Paaka Shuddhi and Padaartha Shuddhi

Our students know this very well. Before eating food, we offer the food to God – Brahmaarpanam Brahmahavir. Why should we offer the food to God? There are three types of defects that are associated with the food items: Paatra Shuddhi (purity of the vessel in which the food is cooked), Paaka Shuddhi (purity of the process of cooking) and Padhaartha Shuddhi(purity of the materials used for cooking). When all these three are pure, the mind will also be pure. When these three are not pure, impure feelings will arise in us. So first is Paatra Shuddhi– to some extent we may be able to take care of this aspect; but Padhaartha Shuddhi – purity of the materials; how do we take care of this? What you may have bought from which shop? How would the shopkeeper himself have bought these materials? From whom would he have bought the vegetables? It is not possible to look into all these details. Thus it is not always possible to ensure the purity of the materials used for cooking. Next is Paaka Shuddhi– how do we know what feelings the cook may entertain while cooking the food? If he cooks the food with bad feelings, these bad feelings will get into the cooked food too.

Therefore, as it is not possible to ensure the three forms of purity: Paatra Shuddhi, Paaka Shuddhiand Padhaartha Shuddhi; it is essential on our part to offer food to God in the form of a prayer – Brahmaarpanam. Once the food is offered to God with this prayer, it gets sanctified. Then it is no more food, but it gets transformed into Prasaadam. But then, what is the reason within, which sanctifies the food?  
When you chant Brahmaarpanam, the answer comes from within:
Aham Vaishvaanaro Bhutvaa, Praaninaam Dehamaashritaha
Praanaapaana Samaayuktaha, Pachaamyannam Chaturvidham
“Sir, the food that you send within while eating, is digested by me in the form of ‘Vaishvaanara’ in the digestive system”. Since God exists in the form of Vaishvaanara (digestive fire), and digests the food Himself, it gets purified. If we do not offer this prayer before sending the food into the digestive fire in our stomach, it would amount to throwing some item in the fire and it will get extinguished. We must offer the prayer with full faith that God is present in our stomach in the form of Vaishvaanara.

02-Have your food only after chanting the prayer-Story of Sanyaasi in Hrishikesh-6.56-2002 November 23
The disturbed Sanyasi and the impact of food

Embodiments of Love! Even if it may take some more time, have your food only after praying and offering it to God. Only then the food will become sanctified and will illumine your intellect. Once upon a time there was a hermitage near Sivananda’s Ashram in Hrishikesh. There lived a number of celibates over there and free Chapatis (food) were distributed to all. The residents of the hermitage also partook of the same food. In that hermitage, there lived a sacred and noble Sanyasi (recluse). One day a businessman donated money to prepare food for the ashramites on the eleventh day after the demise of his young wife. However, this food turned out to be poisonous. What was the poison? How did the young girl (wife of the businessman) die? The businessman was aged. However, being rich, he somehow had enticed the girl’s father with money and married his young daughter. The young girl spent her time languishing that her father had destroyed her life in this manner. Disgusted by leading such a life, one day she jumped into the Ganges and ended her life. The businessman was performing the obituary rites on the eleventh day. He distributed the food so prepared, to all close by ashrams.

There was a convention in the ashram that cooked food was not accepted. However, one could pay the necessary amount for the purchase of materials, so that the ashram residents could cook their own food and partake of it.  So, the businessman gave the required amount of money for preparing the food. The food was prepared and all partook of the same. The pure-hearted Sanyasi also partook of the food along with other residents of the ashram.
He could not get proper sleep that night. He felt very miserable. He could visualize a young girl in his dream. He thought to himself, “I never had any such thought nor do I have a craving for sensual pleasures. Then, why do I get such bad dreams?” He got the same vision even in his meditation. He felt very miserable that he got such thoughts and dreams. So the next day, he went to his Guru by name Satchidanandam and explained his predicament, “Swami, why am I getting such unsacred visions?” The Guru told him not to worry and that he would enquire into the matter. Next day, he sent word for the businessman’s family; spoke to them and found out the reason behind performing the obituary rites on the eleventh day. He discovered that the young girl (wife of the businessman) had committed suicide. Nobody knew the exact details of how she went about committing suicide but they were performing the obituary rites for the same. Satchidanandam called his disciple the next day and explained to him that this young girl had committed suicide in this manner, and her languishing soul was appearing in the dream of the Sanyasi because he had partaken of the food prepared as part of her obituary rites. Therefore, impure feelings can lead to such impure visions. From that day, the Sanyasi stopped eating such food and lived merely on fruits and milk. Bhikshaannam Deharakshaartham – food is essential to sustain the body. A car needs petrol to run. In the same way, any body; even the body of a Sadhaka (spiritual aspirant) requires the petrol of food to run (sustain itself). So, one has to eat something or the other to sustain the body. Thereafter, the Sanyasi did not get any such visions.
Sometimes, people get bad dreams in sleep and bad visions during meditation. This is the result of food. The food and the one who provides the food are responsible for these defects. That is why in ancient days, people followed the principle of Svayam Paakam (cooking food oneself). When you go to the market, you must find out from where the vegetables have been sourced. Have they been stolen or have they been accepted as bribe? We must consume only that food which is free from such defects. But, at the same time, it is difficult to investigate into such defects.  
That is why, before partaking of food, you should pray:
Brahmaarpanam Brahma Havir
Brahmaagnou Brahmanaa Hutham
Brahmaiva Thena Ganthavyam
Brahmakarma Samaadhinaha
This is the prayer you all chant in the College before eating. If you pray with sacred feelings, the food gets sanctified. Whatever defects one may commit, it will not have any impact on you.

03-God is always within us in the form of Vaishvaanarah digesting the four types of food that we eat-1.17-2003 April 14
God is always within us in the form of Vaishvaanarah

You are aware that everyday you chant the following prayer before partaking your food:

Brahmaarpanam Brahma Havir
Brahmaagnou Brahmanaa Hutham
Brahmaiva Thena Ganthavyam
Brahmakarma Samaadhinaha
The food is Brahman, the process of offering it is Brahman, it is being offered to the fire of Brahman. He who thus sees Brahman in action, alone reaches Brahman.
You offer everything to God stating that food is Brahman, one who is offering is Brahman and the ultimate destination is also Brahman. Immediately the reply comes from within:
Aham Vaishvaanaro Bhuthva
Praaninaam Dehamaasrithaha
Praanaapaana Samaayuktaha
Pachaamyannam Chathurvidham
I am the fire of digestion in the stomach of all living entities, and I join with the air of life, incoming and outgoing, to digest the four types of food (solid, liquid, semifluid, and fluid) which they eat.
God replies “My dear one, I am in your stomach in the form of Vaishvaanara. Why do you worry? I receive and digest the four types of food that you partake of. You don’t need to send any special invitation to Me nor extol Me. You do not need to specially invite Me. You do not need to give Me any interview! You do not need to utter any words at all! I am yours and you are Mine. I am with you, in you, above you, below you, around you.” God has given you such a great promise that He will be always with you. But you are not able to understand this.

04-Inspire parents also to chant Brahmaarpanam-0.54-2001 November 21
Inspire parents also to chant the mantra before eating food

When you pray, “Brahmaarpanam, Brahmahavir…” before eating your food, parents too will watch you and think, ‘Wow! See how much devotion he has”. Then you must tell your parents, ‘Mother, the food that is gifted to us by God, must be offered to God first and then we must consume the same. Once we offer the food to God, it no longer remains as food. It gets transformed into Prasaadam. There will no defects in the Prasaadam. Once you tell your parents like this, they too will get the desire and will start chanting the prayer. This, if we wish to bring about a change in the parents, we can do so through their very children.

05-Today instead of offering food to God before eating, we watch TV while eating-1.35-1993 May 29
It is not desirable to watch TV while eating food

Some foolish students consider this practice of chanting the prayer before consuming food in the Hostel, as a forced discipline. Such students chant the prayer so long as they are in the Hostel. Once they go home, they do not chant any prayer. They eat food with useless thoughts and lead a meaningless life. And do you know how the process of dining takes place these days?

Parents feel that their children have been living for one long year in Puttaparthi, Bangalore or Anantapur (in Swami’s college) and they have been deprived of the opportunity of watching any TV or video. Thinking so, when their children come home, parents say, “Oh! My dear child, please watch the TV”; saying so they lay the table before the TV, they serve the food over there and the children even eat their food watching the television. As they watch TV and consume their food watching (the actors’) feelings on TV, the same thoughts come into the minds of these children too. This is one of the primary reasons for children getting spoilt during the holidays, as they do not offer the food that they eat to God. Sitting on the dining table, they fight with each other.
Thus Saankhya philosophy stresses on the need for purity in the food that one consumes.    

06-How should we conduct ourselves while eating food-0.59-1994 January 21
We must eat food with a serene and peaceful mind

While eating our food everyday, we should not indulge in discussion of topics which will cause agitation, sorrow, or anger. It is essential to partake our food with a serene and peaceful mind, with sacred feelings, and with Divine thoughts. Mental tension is responsible for ill health. These days, in the modern age, we engage in some perverted acts while eating. We tend to watch TV, video, etc., while eating food. This leads to impurity in the mind. We must make every effort to prevent our minds from becoming impure.

07-Do not watch Television while eating food-2.24-1996 January 14
We must ensure that no negative vibes get into us while eating food

Even while eating food, the T.V. is kept in front, in the Dining Hall. People watch T.V. even while partaking their food. The result is that, not just the food, but even all the foul things seen on the T.V. are being consumed by the viewer. Full concentration is only on the T.V. This concentration in viewing T.V. (Drushti) affects one’s view of the world (Srushti). The scenes, thoughts and actions displayed on the T.V. give rise to similar thoughts and feelings and actions in the viewer. Unknowingly, agitations and ill feelings enter the minds. One starts wondering as to why such thoughts and feelings that were never there in her/him before, have started appearing now. All these thoughts and feelings arise because of the seed sown while watching television. In due course the seeds take root and sprout in the minds.

Hence while taking food; we should not discuss dreadful incidents. No room should be given to topics that excite the mind. We should not argue with each other while eating. Silence should prevail during eating. Even sound waves enter into our hearts and affect our minds. Based on the sound waves that enter into us, thoughts too arise in our minds. Hence we should take care that such vibrations do not enter into us.

A Short Quiz
01-What are the three types of purities that one must ensure in the food that we are to eat?
02-What is the message that we get to learn from the story of the Sanyasi in Hrishikesh that Swami narrates to us?
03-What is the meaning of the sloka, “Brahmaarpanam, Brahmahavir…” that we are supposed to chant before consuming our food? What is the source of this sloka?
04-How can children inspire their parents to chant the food prayer before eating food?
05-What are the harmful effects of watching television while eating our food?
06-Apart from not watching television while eating our food, what are the other codes of conduct that Bhagawan lays down that needs to be followed while eating our food?
Now we are aware of the necessity for purity in the food that we eat. We know the impact that impure food can have on our mind. Bhagawan has already given us the solution to ensure purity and sacredness of the food that we partake. He has also taught us “how” to eat our food. In the next post, we will listen to Bhagawan talking about “how much” food to eat. Tips on moderation in food habits and other dietary tips constitute Part-III of this posting.  
To read Guidelines on Dietary Habits – What, When and How to Eat – Part Three: Moderation in Eating Habits – Dietary Tips, Click Here. http://hismessagehisvoice.blogspot.in/2012/04/guidelines-on-dietary-habits-what-when_28.html
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Guidelines on Dietary Habits – What, When and How to Eat Food – Part Three

Guidelines on Dietary Habits – What, When and How to Eat Food – Part Three

 

Part-III: Moderation in eating Habits – Dietary Tips
Food forms a critical part of our life not just from the point of view of mere survival. From a scientific point of view, the quality and composition of food we partake is very important as it supplies all the nutrition that our human body needs for sustaining itself and discharging the various activities on a continuous basis. This apart, even from a spiritual point of view, food plays a very significant role as the essence of the food we partake, constitutes the mind and therefore the consequent thoughts and feelings that arise there from. It is said, “As is the Food, so is the Mind”. Bhagawan Baba has spoken extensively about the role of food in our life. He defines food as not just the edible items we eat through our mouth; but all the inputs we receive through all our sense organs. Therefore, what we see, what we hear, what we smell, what we feel, and what we eat – all these collectively constitute our food. However, this posting that will appear in four parts, are all related to the edible food that we partake of, using our mouth and tongue. To present all facts and details that Bhagawan has mentioned in various Discourses about the What, Why and How of eating food; the contents have been logically categorized into four parts. Part-I deals with the purity of food and its impact on the mind. Part-II discusses the process of offering food to God before partaking of it and avoiding distractions while eating food. Part-III focuses on moderation in eating habits and very significant dietary tips. Finally, Part-IV touches upon the harmful effects of eating non-vegetarian food and of consumption of alcohol (specifically from a spiritual point of view).  
Part-III deals with the aspect of moderation in eating habits. In addition Bhagawan gives several simple yet very significant tips on dietary habits. There are 6 excerpts from Bhagawan’s Discourses on moderation in eating and other dietary tips; presented in this posting. These excerpts have been selected from Discourses given by Bhagawan Baba in the years 1990, 1994, 1996, and 2007. 
In Clip-1, Bhagawan stresses on the need for moderation in eating as well as talking. He says, one should stop eating even when one still has the feeling that one can eat some more. Clip-2 reminds us of Lord Buddha’s gudielines on the principle of moderation. Bhagawan also points out the harmful effects of eating meat, fatty foods and consuming alcohol. In Clip-3, Bhagawan gives the definition of a Yogi, Bhogi and a Rogi. He also provides details on the desirable calorie intake for leading a happy and healthy life. Clip-4 gives the relationship between food, mind, thoughts, conduct and health. Bhagawan points out how Worry, Hurry and Curry (fatty foods) are the root causes of cardiac ailments. He also gives examples of how some people consume less food but the calorie value is very high. He illustrates this point with the examples of consumption of pappad and ghee. In Clip-5, Bhagawan advises restraint in consumption of meat, fish, cheese, milk and curd. Finally, Clip-6 is about Bhagawan Himself. Bhagawan gives His own example to show how moderation and discipline in eating habits can keep one always healthy and trim.   
Each audio clip has a name that adopts the following code: Serial number, Title appropriate to the key content, Duration of the clip, Year-Month-Date of the Clip. Below the title is the translation in English of the select excerpt of the Discourse, followed by the audio player. The post ends with a short quiz that would help you evaluate your assimilation of Bhagawan’s Message from these extracts.  
Note: Those receiving this blog by email may see words bunched together due to a technical glitch. That is beyond my control. Please click on link at the top of the email to read the blog directly. Sorry about this. If anyone has a solution to this please help me out.
01-Students-Talk less and Eat less-1.05-1996 January 14
Talk less, Eat less

Students should get into the world, and transform all the restlessness that is troubling the people, into peace. Develop restraint in your talk. We do not need excessive talk. Ati Bhaashaa Mati Hani, Mita Bhaashaa Ati Hayi – Excessive talk will make you mad (lose your mind); Restraint in talk will lead to happiness and welfare. Similarly, Ati Tindi Mati Hani, Mita Tindi Ati Hayi – Eating too much will make you mad (lose your mind); Restraint in food will lead to happiness and welfare. If you simply keep on eating till you get a full throated belching, then what work can you do? You must stop eating when you still have the feeling that you can eat some more. If you eat excessively, you can neither do any work, nor can you achieve success. Thus talk within limits, eat within limits. Work more and experience more joy. You may undertake any activity, but never forget the name of God!    

02-Exercise moderation in all activities including eating of food-2.27-1994 January 21
Observe moderation in eating habits

Embodiments of Divine Atma! It is essential to observe the principle of moderation in food habits, daily conduct, work and sleep. The Buddha preached the same principle of moderation to his disciples. “Be always moderate, never indulge in excess,” proclaimed the Buddha. In fact, moderation is the royal road to happiness. Excesses in any field of activity will lead to lack of peace. Today, man does not exercise any moderation in his eating habits. On account of eating whatever and wherever he gets anything, he loses his good health. Man spends his entire time in filling his stomach only. On account of this, not only does man lose his health but his digestive system also gets damaged. Food is very necessary for good health. The food consumed by man should be proper, pure and wholesome.

Apart from this man also consumes food with lot of fat content. Large content of fat leads to toxicity in the body. Consequently, man suffers from a number of toxicity related diseases. This toxicity also affects the mind of man and leads to his downfall to some extent. Man should not eat excess of fatty foods. Meat and alcoholic drinks too take a heavy toll on man’s health, causing many a disease in him.

      
03-Yogi-Bhogi-Rogi-3.36-1990 May 21
1500 to 2000 calories of food per day
is adequate to keep you healthy

It is atrocious that men today are experiencing ignorance that is making them behave in a manner that is against human nature. Their mind is becoming worse than those of wild animals in the forest. They have become cruel, pitiless, hard-hearted and are hurting others. There is no interpersonal relationship and understanding between man and man. The main reason for this condition is the kind of food that is consumed. Students! Be careful about the food you eat. Enquire as to what type of food will give you health and happiness. The ancients used to eat twice a day.  The Rishis and sages used to eat only once a day. They declared that the man who eats only once is a Yogi (God-centred person), the one who eats twice a day is a Bhogi (enjoyer) and the one that eats thrice a day is a Rogi (a sick man). Today, not just thrice; people go on consuming food at all times, not to mention drinks, coffee and snacks in between. Thus when the inert body with an impaired digestive system is overfed with all such varieties of food, what else can one expect other than the onset of indigestion?

Every minute one calorie is digested and consumed by the body. Youth can partake upto 2000 calories of food per day. If you wish to enjoy a very good balance, then 1500 calories a day would be sufficient for retaining good health. But today, many consume 4000 to 5000 calories of food per day! This leads to sleeplessness. Lack of sleep leads to perverted feelings. These perverted feelings make man forget his true form and nature. He becomes a victim of diseases too. Thus maintain the body within limits to the extent possible. Nurture good health and discharge your duties and responsibilities on the right path. Also, do not develop excessive attachment to the physical body.

04-Be conscious of the calorie value of the food that you eat-2.58-1994 January 21
As is the food, so is the mind

Today man is becoming a victim of limitless desires. The food that man eats has also got to be Satvic in nature. Apart from intoxicants like non-vegetarian food, alcohol and cigarettes; living on ill-gotten money also causes ill-health to some extent. Living on earnings got by unjust means causes many unknown diseases to take root in us. It is said in Hindi “Jaise Anna Vaise Man” (as is the food, so is the mind).

As is the food, so is the mind;
As is the mind, so are the thoughts;
As are the thoughts, so is the conduct;
As is the conduct, so is the health.
Therefore our conduct has to be appropriate. Man today is a victim of worry. What is the cause of this worry? The poor man also worries and the rich man also worries. Lack of contentment is the cause of worry. The rich man is not contented in spite of the accumulation of wealth. The one who is discontented will always suffer losses. Even while eating food, he keeps worrying. Worry causes hurry and both together bring about ill-health. So, Worry, Hurry and Curry (fatty foods) are the root causes of cardiac ailments. The consumption of large quantities of fat is the cause of cardiovascular diseases. Doctors advise against the consumption of fatty food stuffs which cause increase in weight, resulting in susceptibility to cardiac diseases. The presence of toxins in blood also inflicts equal damage. So one should eat in moderate quantity the right type of food and avoid intoxicating drinks to safeguard his health. Therefore, man should place a restraint on his food to protect his health. The intake of food should be gradually reduced after crossing 50 years.
Some people consume less food but the calorie value is very high. The calorie intake must also be limited. This helps in keeping away cardiac diseases, paralysis and eye cataract. Some people consume food indiscriminately, unmindful of the caloric content of the food taken. For example, people eat pappads (thin circular flour preparations) fried in oil which have high calorie content. People also consume ghee which is also a high calorie food. A single pappad has 100-150 calories of energy. A single spoon of ghee has 100 calories of energy. Even when the quantity of food intake is reduced, the quality is high (reductions in the calorie content is not ensured). Therefore, this aspect also has to be kept in mind while eating food.
Thus to protect one’s health, man has to consume limited and Satvicfood that ensures welfare of the body.  

05-Tips on good dietary habits-Regarding non-veg-cheese-milk-curd-3.04-2007 July 28
Exercise caution while consuming cheese, curd and milk

You must have your food at the right time. With regard to food, you have to know certain subtle things and observe some restrictions. You should not consume non-vegetarian food like meat and fish. In fact, foreigners are used to non-vegetarian food only. This type of food causes diseases like cancer. Hence, give up such food, totally. Not only that. They also like cheese very much. The more you consume cheese, the weaker you become. You should also not take milk in excess quantity. Too much milk is very bad. It should be in limit. The milk should be diluted with water in equal proportion. Same is the case with curd. We consider thick curd as very good. No, it should not be thick. It should be semi-solid. Thus, you have to control the food you eat daily. Proper control of food is very much necessary for contemplating on God. If you take proper food and observe discipline in your habits, you are sure to have God’s Darshan (Vision) at that very moment. You need not undertake rigorous sadhana for months and years. You can always be blissful.

06-Swami-the ideal example of good health and fit body-1.04-1994 January 21
“My weight is always constant at 108 pounds”

How to lead a healthy life? Here is an example, whether you believe it or not. I am a witness to it. Since the last 54 years; now I am 68 years old; therefore from the age of 14 years; My weight has been constant at 108 pounds only. It never went up to 109 pounds nor came down to 107 pounds. You can lead a healthy life once you achieve this kind of balance and moderation. But doctors would not believe this. They say that if you do not eat well, the bones would get damaged. But that is not the case with Me. Why? My discipline is very strict. I never eat even a little bit excess. I observe the principle of moderation whether I am invited for food by a millionaire or a pauper. Even though I am sixty eight years, My body is in perfect trim! I do not suffer from aches and My heart is as sound as a rock. There is none who can work like Me and exert himself as much as I do! The secret of My sound health is My regulated food habits. This is how one has to achieve the unity and harmony of food, head and God. Today we are making many mistakes with respect to our food. If we modify our food habits, we can enjoy very good health.

A Short Quiz
01-What are the harmful effects of excessive eating and talking?
02-What are the benefits of practising moderation in eating?
03-How can we identify a Yogi, Bhogi and a Rogi?
04-What is the ideal calorie intake required for a youth to enjoy a happy and healthy life?
05-What is the root cause of cardiac ailments according to Bhagawan?
06-How many calories are contained in a Pappad and in a spoon full of ghee?
07-What is the advise Bhagawan gives with respect to consumption of cheese, milk and curd?
08-What has Bhagawan’s weight been since He was aged 14 years?
09-What is the secret of Bhagawan remaining healthy throughout his life?
Now we are aware of the necessity for moderation in the food that we eat. We have also heard from Bhagawn several tips on consumption of different items of food. In the final post on this theme, we will listen to Bhagawan specifically talking about consumption of non-vegetarian food, alcohol and smoking of cigarettes; and their harmful effects in our life.
Watch out for Guidelines on Dietary Habits – What, When and How to Eat – Part Four: Give up smoking, drinking and meat eating. Coming up very soon!
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Guidelines on Dietary Habits – What, When and How to Eat Food – Part One

Guidelines on Dietary Habits – What, When and How to Eat Food – Part One

 

Part-I: Purity of Food and Its Impact on Mind
Food forms a critical part of our life not just from the point of view of mere survival. From a scientific point of view, the quality and composition of food we partake is very important as it supplies all the nutrition that our human body needs for sustaining itself and discharging the various activities on a continuous basis. This apart, even from a spiritual point of view, food plays a very significant role as the essence of the food we partake, constitutes the mind and therefore the consequent thoughts and feelings that arise there from. It is said, “As is the Food, so is the Mind”. Bhagawan Baba has spoken extensively about the role of food in our life. He defines food as not just the edible items we eat through our mouth; but all the inputs we receive through all our sense organs. Therefore, what we see, what we hear, what we smell, what we feel, and what we eat – all these collectively constitute our food. However, this posting that will appear in four parts, are all related to the edible food that we partake of, using our mouth and tongue. To present all facts and details that Bhagawan has mentioned in various Discourses about the What, Why and How of eating food; the contents have been logically categorized into four parts. Part-I deals with the purity of food and its impact on the mind. Part-II discusses the process of offering food to God before partaking of it and avoiding distractions while eating food. Part-III focuses on moderation in eating habits and very significant dietary tips. Finally, Part-IV touches upon the harmful effects of eating non-vegetarian food and of consumption of alcohol (specifically from a spiritual point of view).  
Part-I deals with the purity of food and its impact on the mind. There are 5 excerpts from Bhagawan’s Discourses on purity of food and its impact on mind, presented in this posting. These have been selected from Discourses given by Bhagawan Baba in the years 1993 and 2002. 
In Clip-1, Bhagawan explains how the Saankhya philosophy (one of the six schools of Hindu philosophy and classical Indian philosophy) stresses emphatically on the need for purity in food. In Clip-2, Bhagawan elaborates on the impact of food on our mind. He describes how the gross, subtle and subtlest parts of the food and water we partake, become various parts of our human body-mind complex. Clip-3 tells us how the food that we eat must be first offered to the five life principles – Praanaa, Apaanaa, Vyaanaa, Udaanaa and Samaanaa. Clip-4 briefly touches upon the three aspects of Annam Brahma, Raso Vishnuhu and Bhoktodevo Maheswarah (Food is Brahma, the Essence of Food is Vishnu and the Consumer of Food is Maheswarah). Finally, in Clip-5 Bhagawan explains how important it is to consume sacred and pure food so as to develop a pure heart – Chitta Shuddhi.   
Each audio clip has a name that adopts the following code: Serial number, Title appropriate to the key content, Duration of the clip, Year-Month-Date of the Clip. Below the title is the translation in English of the select excerpt of the Discourse, followed by the audio player. The post ends with a short quiz that would help you evaluate your assimilation of Bhagawan’s Message from these extracts.  
Note: Those receiving this blog by email may see words bunched together due to a technical glitch. That is beyond my control. Please click on link at the top of the email to read the blog directly. Sorry about this. If anyone has a solution to this please help me out.
01-Saankhya Philosophy stresses on the purity of food that we consume-1.49-1993 May 29
Purity of the food that we consume

Saankhya philosophy (one of the six schools of Hindu philosophy and classical Indian philosophy) stresses emphatically on the need for purity in food. Food is verily the undercurrent of the five life principles (Pancha Praanaas). The (physical) body is the very form of food. This food eats food again. Enquire clearly – the body which is the form of food once again consumes food. Our body is the essence of the food consumed by our parents. This body which is verily the form of food, partakes of the very same food. Thus food eats food. That is why Saankhya gives primary importance to the aspect of food. The sacred texts do not enable people to enquire into these subtle points. Profound meaning is embedded in very subtle and small aspects. If we neglect aspects that appear small, they will take the form of gigantic waves. We find very small termites attacking the wood. In no time, they completely destroy the wood. Thus, we must never ignore the finer details. We must nurture noble thoughts and noble feelings.  

02-Impact of Food on the Mind-2.08-1993 May 29
The type of food that you eat, decides the nature of your mind

When people who have hatred, jealousy, desire, and other such wicked feelings in their heart, eat their food, the wicked tendencies present in their digestive system will affect their mind. When these wicked tendencies reach the mind, bad thoughts emerge there from. When one does not observe discipline in food habits, all such problems arise on account of food and water. Where does the mind originate? The mind originates from food. Food decides the nature of your mind. That is why our ancestors recommended the partaking of Sathvic food.

What is Praanaa (life force)? The water that we drink is verily Praanaa. The gross part of the food we take is converted into excreta; the subtle part of it goes into the making of muscles; the subtlest part of the food becomes the mind. Similarly, the gross part of the water we drink becomes urine; the subtle part of it becomes blood. The subtlest part becomes ‘Praanaa.’ We can say for certain that water contains Praanaa. That is why when anybody faints; water is splashed on his face. Water enables the fainted man to recover as it contains Praanaain it.

03-Offer Food to the five life principles before consuming-1.01-1993 May 29
Offer food to the five life principles before consuming

We must have good feelings when we partake of our food and drink. Based on ancient traditions, before eating food, people would make an offering – Praanaaya Svaaha, Apaanaaya Svaaha, Vyaanaaya Svaaha, Udaanaaya Svaaha. They used to make such an offering to God and then consume the water. Offering the food to the five principles, partaking of it as Prasaadam, would eliminate all defects from the food. Thus Saankhya emphasizes that the food should be first offered to the five life principles – Praanaa, Apaanaa, Vyaanaa, Udaanaa and Samaanaa.    

04-Annam Brahma-Raso Vishnuhu-Bhoktodevo Maheswarah-1.02-2002 November 23
Food is God – Annam Brahma

While eating our food, we must utter the words, “Annam Brahma” (food is God); Raso Vishnuhu (the essence of food is Vishnu). Food is God. It gets into the body and provides its essence to all the parts of the body. It indeed gets transformed into blood and energy. Bhoktodevo Maheswarah (the one who consumes the food is Maheswarah). This principle teaches wisdom to the whole world. Annam Brahma, Raso Vishnuhu, Bhoktodevo Maheswarah – these three are like three attributes.   

05-Partake sacred food to attain purity of heart-2.33-2002 November 23

Partake sacred food to attain purity of heart

Embodiments of Love! What you need to focus on today is that you must strive to attain purity of heart (Chitta Shuddhi). Let this be your foremost endeavour. With purity of heart, you can achieve anything. In order to attain purity of heart, there must be unity between the food we partake, the feelings we entertain while eating, and the happiness we experience thereof.

One who cooks food should have sacred feelings. In olden days, orthodox Brahmins used to insist on partaking of food prepared by their wives only. The reason being, housewives wish for the well-being of the entire family while preparing food. On the other hand, if you employ cooks, God alone knows with what thoughts and feelings they prepare the food! The unsacred thoughts of the cook enter the food, which in turn, poison your mind. Therefore, they never entertained any outsider to cook their food.
Annam Brahma (food is God). Food assumes the sacred form of Brahma. Raso Vishnuhu (the essence is Vishnu). The essence of the food we eat is also sacred. Mere physical cleanliness will not suffice; the mind also should be pure. While cooking food, you should look into the details of the materials used for preparing the food. For example, the husband brings vegetables from the market. How does one know how he brought these vegetables? He might have misused his position of authority, threatened others and brought them or the vendors themselves might have procured the vegetables by stealing or other unfair means. These actions make the food polluted and such pollution poisons the mind of man. You do not realise that the food you eat is responsible for all the actions you perform. It leads you to commit so many mistakes.

A Short Quiz
01-What do you understand by the phrase “Food eats Food”?
02-What happens to the gross, subtle and subtlest aspects of the food we eat and the water we drink? In this context, explain how food is related to the mind and water to Praanaa(life force)?
03-What are the five life principles? What is the mantra that is chanted to offer the food to these five life principles before we consume the same?
04-What aspects of the food are represented by Brahma, Vishnu and Maheswarah?
05-In olden days, why did orthodox Brahmins insist on partaking of food prepared by their wives only?
06-What are the types of defects that can get into our food through the materials that are procured for cooking the same?
If the purity of food that we consume is so important, how do we go about ensuring the purity of the food that we consume everyday? It sounds like a herculean task. But in this world, there is no problem without a solution! And Bhagawan Baba, through His Messages, gives us all the solutions that we need for our life related problems.
To read Guidelines on Dietary Habits – What, When and How to Eat – Part Two: Offering Food to God and Avoiding Distractions while Eating, Click Here . http://hismessagehisvoice.blogspot.in/2012/04/guidelines-on-dietary-habits-what-when_26.html
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The Downside of Television

The Downside of Television

TV can be a good way to pass time. It is entertaining and even informative. But there is also the negative side to consider; the negative influence of Television. As with all outcomes of Science and Technology, TV too is like a double edged sword. It can make or mar our life. A knife can be used by a doctor to operate a patient and cure her. It can also be used by a robber to kill and steal. The positive influence and impact of television needs no elaboration for we are all witness to it and are literally an integral part of it. Television has become such an inseparable part of our lives that we barely make any attempt to even think about the downside of it. It takes great courage and understanding to press the ‘pause’ button of the rat like race that we humans are running, and ponder over the long term impact of these inventions on our life. This is where Avataars and great Spiritual Masters intervene and bring these insights into the focus of human intelligence. Bhagawan Baba has, on a number of occasions, highlighted the negative impact of television on our lives. He has cautioned us and even given us tips on the “do’s” and “don’ts” of watching television. It is imperative on our part to take note of these injunctions and modify our life styles suitably, for our own benefit and redemption.This posting is a compilation of the advice given by Bhagawan Baba on a number of occasions regarding watching television. There are 7 excerpts from Bhagawan’s Discourses presented in this posting. These have been selected from Discourses given by Bhagawan Baba in the years 1985, 1991, 1996, 1999, 2001 and 2002. 
In Clip-1, Bhagawan explains the harmful effects of watching Television, especially watching while eating our food. He also explains the code of conduct to be observed while partaking our food. In Clip-2, Bhagawan questions as to what extent the television has helped to redeem mankind. Clip-3 is once again about the negative impact of television. Bhagawan urges youth to spend their free time in other nobler ways. In Clip-4, Bhagawan explains how in earlier years, parents would spend time with their children in worshipping God and in explaining to them the lessons taught in the classes. In Clip-5, Bhagawan again urges people not to watch T.V. while eating their food. Clip-6 and Clip-7 is all about the care that needs to be taken by pregnant women to protect the foetus in their womb from external negative influences. Here Bhagawan quotes the stories of Abhimanyu and Prahalada from our epics. Finally, in Clip-8, Bhagawan talks about the scientific investigations of Anthony James DeCasper, a scientist who intensely studied the impact of external influences on foetal development and confirmed the truth expounded by Lord Krishna in the Mahabharatha (about the negative impact of Arjuna’s explanation of the Padmavyuha on the child Abhimanyu; and on the other hand, the positive impact of the words of Narada on the child Prahalada).      
Each audio clip has a name that adopts the following code: Serial number, Title appropriate to the key content, Duration of the clip, Year-Month-Date of the Clip. Below the title is the translation in English of the select excerpt of the Discourse, followed by the audio player. The post ends with a short quiz that would help you evaluate your assimilation of Bhagawan’s Message from these extracts.  
Note: Those receiving this blog by email may see words bunched together due to a technical glitch. That is beyond my control. Please click on link at the top of the email to read the blog directly. Sorry about this. If anyone has a solution to this please help me out.
01-Harmful effects of watching Television-6.04-1996 January 14
From the time T.V. made its appearance,
the mind of humans have been polluted

Youth, men and women should understand this point clearly. Who is responsible for the bad feelings that arise in us? Who is responsible for the bad thoughts, the bad actions? Enquire well by going deep into the matter. The root cause for all these is the food. As is the food, so is the mind. The mind attracts the objects of the external world. If you wish to have a good example for this, you will find it as the very undercurrent in the daily experience of all men and women.

There is a television set (T.V.) set in every house today. The rich people have a colour T.V. The more richer have Star T.V. (connection). T.V. sets are kept not just in the drawing room and the dining room, but in the bedroom too.  From the time television made its appearance, the mind of man has been polluted. Enquire well; before the advent of T.V., people’s minds were not so much polluted. Never was the mind so full of bad feelings previously. Prior to the advent of T.V. such bad acts were never so common. One in a hundred or one in a crore would act in a perverted way.
Today T.V. is installed in huts too. What is the impact of T.V. on our life? Even while eating their food, the T.V. is kept in front, in the Dining Hall. They watch T.V. even while partaking their food. The result is that, not just the food, but even all the foul things seen on the T.V. are being consumed by the viewer. Full concentration is only on the T.V. This concentration in viewing T.V. (Drushti) affects one’s view of the world (Srushti). The scenes, thoughts and actions displayed on the T.V. give rise to similar thoughts and feelings and actions in the viewer. Unknowingly, agitations and ill feelings enter the minds. One starts wondering as to why such thoughts and feelings that were never there in her/him before, have started appearing now. All these thoughts and feelings arise because of the seed sown while watching television. In due course the seeds take root and sprout in the minds.
Hence while taking food; we should not discuss dreadful incidents. No room should be given to topics that excite the mind. We should not argue with each other while eating. Silence should prevail during eating. Even sound waves enter into our hearts and affect our minds. Based on the sound waves that enter into us, thoughts too arise in our minds. Hence we should take care that such vibrations do not enter into us.
Now, we have what is called “Star TV.” It is doing great harm to human life. The gem of human life is just sold away like coal. We think that watching this channel confers peace. No, no. It just gives us temporary peace and joy. Later, you do not know what type of damage it causes to you and in which direction it takes your life. It is like a knife coated with honey. As you lick the honey, the knife will cut your tongue. Not Bhaarath alone, but the whole world is suffering from the consequences of youth watching such scenes on the T.V. The world is racked by restlessness, agitation and disturbance. There is no enthusiasm anywhere.

02-Ill Effects of Television and Cinema-1.23-2002 May 06
Videos and T.V. are ruining the life of youth

Today’s education is transforming the children into devils. There is no humility or obedience in this system of education. They learn the books by rote, go to the examination hall and write the paper, and return home with an empty head! Is this education? No. The education that you receive should be imprinted on your heart. It should never be forgotten even after many years. Today’s students do not have such sacred feelings. Everybody pretends to be a devotee. Why this acting?

Because of the coming of cinemas (movies), this pretension is on the rise. Videos and T.V. are ruining the life of the students. The world respects all this, but Swami does not approve of it. To what extent have these inventions redeemed mankind? How have they helped man to live like a man? Every human being must first make an attempt to live like a human being.  

03-Television has become the disease of modern times-2.15-1999 November 22
Television T.V. has become a disease like T.B. Tuberculosis

Students, you all know. Everything is a like picture. So long as you are here, you are very comfortable, safe and you live a peaceful life. But once you go home, you gather all the gadgets like Cinemas, T.V., Videos, etc. They pollute your heart. Human life is ruined by Videos and T.V. The advertisers put up their advertisements on the T.V. for their profits and not for your benefit. If the shows are educative, you can surely watch them. If they are noble and related to moral values, you can definitely see them; nothing wrong.

But, today, the T.V. has inflicted the people with incurable diseases. It is no more T.V.; it has become like T.B. (Tuberculosis). With such diseases, how can we ever have sacred thoughts in us? Take in some fresh air. If you have no work, go for a walk on the road outside. Do not simply sit there and watch the T.V.
When you sit and watch the T.V., you find the smoke coming into the room from the kitchen. The sound in the kitchen disturbs your attention on the T.V. and so you go and express your anger with your mother. This leads to such misfortunes. Instead make your mother happy. Go and help her in the work she is doing. Help her. This is the main principle of Bhaaratheeya culture – Help Ever Hurt Never.    

04-On returning home after office or school-Parents and children watch TV-0.48-2001 November 19
The parents need to give good advice to their children. But today this does not happen. As soon as parents return from office, the mother switches on the T.V. The father comes and joins her in viewing. Father and son both sit and enjoy viewing the T.V. Is this what parents should be preaching to the children? Not at all. In earlier days, as soon as one would return home, the mother would take the children to the prayer room. They would explain in detail the lessons taught to them in the class.

05-Students-Do not watch TV while eating food-1.17-1991 May 31
Do not watch T.V. while eating food

Because of the effect of the Kali age, we have all these gadgets like the T.V. and the Video. When the students go home, they have their food also in front of the Video. They watch the video while eating their food. As is the food, so is the Head. As you keep watching all the scenes, those thoughts enter your food. Therefore, as is the food, so is the Head and as is the Head, so is your God. You may watch good programmes on the T.V., nothing wrong. But, why should you not read sacred books that show you the path to Divinity? You get a headache when you are asked to read sacred books. But while reading mad and foolish novels, you do not even notice the passing of time. This is indeed the impact of the Kali age on the students.     

06-Women must be cautious while watching TV during Pregnancy-1.34-1991 May 31
Pregnant women must be cautious of what they feel, see and hear

It is highly important for women also to study sacred books and nurture sacred scenes. When the women are pregnant, they watch 3 to 4 movies in a go. That is why they give birth to only “cinema children”! (Women must avoid seeing sensuous films and TV shows, especially during pregnancy. The child in the womb is likely to be influenced, by the kind of things they read or see). What is the reason? You must note one very significant example in our sacred Bhaaratheeya epics.

When Subhadra (wife of the Pandava brother Arjuna) was pregnant, Arjuna started narrating to her the secrets of the Padmavyuha. But Subadhra was unaware that the foetus (future child Abhimanyu) in her womb was listening to all this. When Leelavati (wife of the demon Hiranyakasipu) was pregnant, Narada came there and started speaking sacred things about Brahma. The foetus (future child Prahalada) in her womb, listened to all this carefully.
Thus, the child in the womb receives all these feelings. There is a unified bond between the mother and the child in the womb. Both receive food from the same source. Therefore, expecting mothers too should determine to nurture sacred thoughts, see sacred scenes and hear sacred things.       

07-Need to maintain sacred ambience for Pregnant Women-Impact on the child in the womb-1.10-1985 November 22
The foetus in the womb is affected by external  sights and sounds

What do we find today? Pregnant women are engaged in seeing Television, Cinemas and other deleterious media which portray heinous and vulgar scenes. The result is that the children who are born develop such undesirable tendencies in them. When Arjuna was narrating insights regarding the Padmavyuha to Subhadra, Krishna entered the scene, intervened and said, “Brother-in-law, do you think it is Subhadra alone listening to you? No. No. The foetus in the womb is also listening to all that you are saying”. Krishna revealed this truth to Arjuna.

08-Scientific studies on the impact of external influences on the child in the womb-Anthony Casper-4.58-1985 November 22
Anthony DeCasper conducted scientific investigations to study the
impact of external influences on the foetus in the womb

There were critical scientists in earlier years, who ridiculed Krishna and regarded what he said (about the impact of external influences on the foetus in the womb) as meaningless and baseless. But today, scientists in the West who ridiculed and sneered at these matters are now realising that what was said in the Mahabharata is true. The Research Institute of Child Health and Human Development, attached to the Carolina University in America, has been conducting experiments on the factors influencing development of children. An eminent professor (scientist) in this Institute, performed a number of investigations for several years, to verify whether what Krishna had said was true or not. This professor was Anthony Casper (Anthony James DeCasper).

Anthony Casper after various experiments, came to the conclusion that what Sri Krishna had said was true, though our ill-equipped minds cannot fully understand the profound truth underlying Krishna’s statement. Only the broad minded scientists with the power of discrimination can understand this truth.  As part of the experiment, certain chemicals (apple juice and lemon juice) were injected into the womb of the pregnant mothers. After the babies were born, it was found that these babies had grater liking for these juices than their mother’s milk. It was also demonstrated that these babies (as foetuses in the womb) had the wonderful capacity to respond to whatever the mother was saying or feeling. Whatever the mother was saying or feeling during pregnancy, the babies after birth, were shown to express the same feelings and make the same sounds. Anthony Casper announced his findings on 3rd January 1984 at a conference of scientists and published the same in papers. He confirmed that whatever Krishna had said was indeed true.
Therefore all scientists are not narrow-minded. Some of them have investigated into the truth, and have dedicated their entire life to present the eternal truth to mankind.

                                               
A Short Quiz
01-Why does Bhagawan discourage one from watching T.V. while eating food?
02-How should one conduct oneself while eating food? Why?
03-Why does Bhagawan compare the Television to a honey coated knife?
04-What type of programmes does Bhagawan approve of, for students and children to watch on television?
05-How would parents spend time with children after returning to their homes from office or school, in earlier years??
06-Explain the relationship between Food, Head and God.
07-Why must pregnant women be cautious while watching the T.V.?
08-How does Bhagawan explain the impact of external influences on the foetus in the womb, using the anecdotes of Subadhra and Leelavati?
09-Have you heard of Professor Anthony James DeCasper and his studies on foetal development? You may be interested in doing some google search and you will be amazed with the results. To start with, you could visit:
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Lessons for Life from Ramayana

Lessons for Life from Ramayana

Bhagawan has spoken extensively on the great epic of Ramayana and on the life and message of Lord Rama. A book by name “Ramakatha Rasa Vahini” has been penned by Him, which literally is a flow (Vahini) of the nectarine essence (Rasa) of the life of Lord Rama. Several insights and subtle nuances that are rarely found and in some cases not revealed so far, in the different versions of Ramayana are explained by Bhagawan Baba in great detail. His central focus has always been on the eternal values and teachings of Sanatana Dharma and the contemporary relevance of the epic to our daily lives. His Discourses on the Ramayana are like a vast ocean! This post is a humble attempt to present a few pearls from this ocean for our benefit and for inculcation of the message in our lives.      

 

There are 16 excerpts from Bhagawan’s Discourses presented in this posting. These have been selected from Discourses given by Bhagawan Baba in the years 1988, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2001, 2002 and 2003. 
In Clips 1 and 2, Bhagawan explains that Ramayana is truly “Rama” + “Ayana” – the path of Rama and the true purpose of Ramayana is to install the path laid down by Rama in our hearts. Clip 3 explains how the Divine power of attraction is inherent in every human being while Clip 4 highlights that the Ramayana is verily the Vedas come down to the earth. Clips 5, 6 and 7 focus on the charcater of Lakshmana. Bhagawan explains how Lakshmana was the ideal brother and praises his keen sense of intellect. In this context Bhagawan narrates a very humorous and joyful episode that took place during the wedding of Rama and Sita. Clip 7 demonstrates the love between Ram and Lakshmana. In Clip 8, Bhagawan describes the love between Rama and Bharatha. Clip 9 is about ideal governanace. It explains how unlike modern day, King Dasaratha was ready to give up his kingdom the moment he discovered that he was getting old. Clips 10 and 11 focus on the Moral and Dharmic stature of Rama, illustrating His greatness through various anecdotes. It shows how Rama expounded Dharma appropriate to the time and the circumstances. In Clip 12, Bhagawan highlights the greatness of Sumitra, the mother of Lakshmana; while in Clip 13, Bhagawan draws our attention to the nobility and greatness of Urmila, the wife of Lakshmana. Clip 14 differentiates between Rama and Ravana and explains how both Rama and Ravana are truly within us. What we become depends on what we adhere to. Clip 15 describes Lava and Kusha (the two sons of Rama) as the ideal messengers of God, who went about spreading the glory of Rama, without any apprehension or shyness. This post ends with Clip 16, wherein Bhagawan appeals to all of us to experience Rama within our own heart!
Each audio clip has a name that adopts the following code: Serial number, Title appropriate to the key content, Duration of the clip, Year-Month-Date of the Clip. Below the title is the translation in English of the select excerpt of the Discourse, followed by the audio player. The post ends with a short quiz that would help you evaluate your assimilation of Bhagawan’s Message from these extracts.  
Note: Those receiving this blog by email may see words bunched together due to a technical glitch. That is beyond my control. Please click on link at the top of the email to read the blog directly. Sorry about this. If anyone has a solution to this please help me out.
01-Ramayana is indeed the Path of Lord Rama-1.06-1988 March 26
Ramayanam = Rama + Ayanam – The Path of Lord Rama

The sacred Ramayana story illustrates the greatness and sacredness of Bharateeya culture. This epic is called the Ramayana. The Ramayana is not merely a story of Rama. Rama + Ayanam is Ramayanam. “Ayanam” means “The Path”. The inner meaning of Ramayana is that the path shown by Rama should be followed.

02-True Purpose of Ramayana is to install the path laid down by Rama in our hearts-2.13-1988 March 26
Install Rama’s Message in our Heart

The life stories of Rama and Krishna are indeed treatises on righteousness. They are sacred scriptures. They teach mankind how to sublimate human life. The need of the hour today is for a man to live like a true human being. Without humanity, a man cannot be truly called a man. The message is clear: adhering to Truth, practising Righteousness, spreading Love everywhere, remaining ever peaceful, life should be sanctified. This day should not be celebrated merely as the anniversary of Rama’s birth or His advent. The day we manifest in our hearts the Rama Bhaava(Feeling of Rama), that day is the real birthday of Rama. Celebrating of holy days should not mean just having a good feast on those days. We should seek to make the teachings of the Avatars concerned, a part of our lives. We must obey their command. We should follow the path laid down by them. Only then, the story or the epic has any meaning. Our lives also get sanctified. All studies of the Vedas and Shastras, recitations, and listening to discourses are of no value, if practice does not follow precept.

03-You are Rama-Everybody has the Divine power of attraction of Rama within him-2.42-1996 March 28
Everybody has the Divine Power of Attraction Within

God does not exist separately in this world. The entire world is the very form of God. However getting deluded by their attachment to the physical body that is merely an instrument; humans are considering themselves to be merely men and are forgetting their Divinity. We consider Rama and Krishna to be Avataars. No, all are mere human beings only. We are all verily, forms of the Divine. We must recognize this feeling today and must develop faith in it. We must give up the feeling that God exists separately from us. We have to develop the faith that God is not different from us. On the occasion of Ramanavami, people hail the advent of Rama and recall his various achievements of establishing Dharma on earth. No, no. Everyone should remember that he is himself an image of Rama. The meaning of Rama is “Ramayathi Ithi Ramah” (One who attracts others is Rama). In every person there is this power of attraction. Rame Raame Manorame (Rama is the power of attraction in the mind). Every man has got this power of attraction or the magnetic power. Because of this magnetic power man is able to experience this world. He develops many worldly desires and fulfils them. But he is never satisfied. He derives satisfaction from discontent. That is a sign of the divine power of attraction. There is no limit to this power. Everyone can experience and manifest this Divinity within him.

04-Ramayana is verily the Vedas come down to Earth-3.57-2003 April 11
Ramayana is verily the Vedas come down to Earth

The sacred epic Ramayana is verily the Vedas descended from heaven to earth. The Vedas are classified into four: RigVeda, Yajur Veda, Sama Veda, and Atharvana Veda. The RigVeda helps, sustains and protects the Yajnas and Yagas. In the epic of Ramayana, Rama symbolises the Rig Veda. Lakshmana signifies YajurVeda, which contains mantras that are nurtured, protected and chanted during the performance of Yajnas and Yagas. When Rama was away in the forest, Bharata left Ayodhya and stayed in Nandigrama; singing His Divine Name day in and day out. Hence, he symbolises Sama Veda. To secure the Rig, Yajur and Sama Vedas, being obedient to his brothers, Shatrughna joyfully played the role of protecting them. He stands for the AtharvanaVeda. The essence of Atharvana Veda lies in destroying the wrong, wicked, bad actions and evil company; and in fostering sacred acts, good conduct and good virtues. Shatrughna was born to destroy the enemies and protect the friends and the pious people. The Ramayana is verily the Veda. The Veda is not different from the Ramayana. True humanness lies in understanding this.

05-Lakshmana the ideal Brother-5.11-1988 March 26
Lakshmana the ideal Brother

Every notable character in Ramayana stands out as an ideal for the world. All of them are embodiments of Dharma and sacred masters. Consider the example of Lakshmana. Valmiki has described Lakshmana in many ways. He has called him “Rama’s other self”. In the Kamba Ramayana, Lakshmana is described as the “second virtue of Rama”. Tulasidas characterises Lakshmana as “Rama’s right hand”. Rama and Lakshmana were associated inseparably as “Bimba and Pratimba” i.e. one was just the reflection of the other. In his great quality, his immaculate purity and spirit of sacrifice, Lakshmana is his own example.

In accordance with his father’s commandment, Rama had to go to the forest. Lakshmana was under no such compulsion. Making the supreme sacrifice of his own accord, he elected to accompany Rama.  Ayanam  (Rama’s path) was the apple of his  nayanam (eye). Hence Lakshmana had a key role in Ramayana (Rama Ayana – The path of Rama). Leaving his mother, forsaking his wife and rejecting royal pleasures, Lakshmana sacrificed everything and chose to follow Rama as the be-all and the end-all of his life. He considered Rama as his father, friend and brother. By his sterling quality and exemplary character, Lakshmana stands out as an ideal to the world.
In the forest while Rama and Lakshmana were going in search of Sita, they came to the Rishyamooka mountain. There they made friends with Sugriva and Hanuman. A bag containing ornaments was given to Rama by Sugriva, who told Rama that the bag was dropped by a woman who was going in an aerial chariot. When the bundle was opened, Rama could not identify any of the ornaments. Rama handed the ornaments to Lakshmana and asked him whether he could identify any of Sita’s ornaments amongst them. Lakshmana said: “Naaham Jaanaami Keyure – I cannot recognise these bangles. Naaham Jaanaami Kundale – I cannot recognise these earrings too. Noopuretvadi Jaanaami – I can recognise only the anklets among these jewels as the ones belonging to Mother Sita. Nityam Paadabhi Vandanaat – I can recognise them because everyday, when I prostrate at her feet, I see these anklets. In all these years, not even one day did Lakshmana see Mother Sita’s face. We can never find such a noble and virtous character in any story. He considered all women as his mother.

06-Lakshmana and his subtle intellect-Sukshma Buddhi-4.30-2002 April 21
Seizing the opportunity, Sita immediately garlanded Rama!

First the eldest son (of Dasaratha) must be married. Sita the daughter of king Janaka was born from the mother earth. As a baby, she was, discovered while ploughing the land. Urmilla was the eldest daughter of king Janaka. Both the daughters, Sita and Urmilla were presented as brides for Rama and Lakshmana respectively. On the following day, Bharatha and Shatrughna also came there. Looking at all four of them, Dasaratha was feeling very happy within and considered himself to be very lucky. Mandavi and Shrutakeerti were the daughters of Kushadhwaja, the younger brother of king Janaka. It was a perfect match between the four sons (of Dasaratha) and the four daughters (of Janaka and Kushadwaja).

During the wedding, the garlanding had to take place. Rama garlanded Sita. But Sita being short in stature could not do so as Rama was Aajaanubahu (tall personality). Rama was expected to bend His head before Sita so that she could garland Him. However, He would not do so, lest people should say that Rama, one of valour, the one who broke the bow of Shiva, bowed His head before such a large assembly. The masculine quality manifested even then. Bowing the head is not the Dharma of a king. That too, bowing the head in front of a woman, in such a large gathering, is even more embarrassing and shameful. Rama stood erect. Sita was making every effort to garland Rama. She had no idea where Rama’s head was and so she had no clue how to garland Him. Women in those days did not look into the face of men. Hence, Sita was looking down holding the garland in her hand. But there was no way she could reach out to garland Him. Rama softly and in a tender way signalled to Lakshmana, indicating that he had to use his knack to resolve this issue. (Lakshmana was the incarnation of Adisesha who carried mother earth on his hood. Rama looked at Lakshmana as if to say, “Look, why don’t you raise that part of earth where Sita is standing, to enable her to garland Me.” Then Lakshmana indicated to Rama that it was not possible to raise any particular area.) If Lakshmana would try to raise that part of the earth where Sita was standing, simultaneously Rama would be raised and so also the others. The onlookers became anxious and were wondering as to why Rama was not bending His head so as to enable Sita to garland him. Lakshmana, being one of intelligence, thought of a plan to solve the problem. All of a sudden, he fell at the feet of Rama and did not get up for a long time. Rama waited for a while and then bent down to pick up Lakshmana. Seizing this opportunity, Sita immediately garlanded Rama. This is the intelligence of Lakshmana.
Tyagaraja also said: “Kapivaaradi Daatunaa (will the monkey be able to cross the ocean?), Kalikirota Gattunaa (is it possible to bind him?) Lakshmanundu Valachunaa (will Lakshmana serve Him?), Lakshmi Devi Kolachunaa (will His consort Lakshmi love Him?), Sookshma Buddhigala Bharatudu Choochi Choochi Mrakkunaa(will the intelligent Bharatha bow to Him?), Appa Rama Bhakti Ento Goppa Ra!(the power of Rama is so mighty, so great!). This is the power of intense devotion. No one has discovered it.

07-Love between Rama and Lakshmana-1.09-2003 April 11
During the war in Lanka, when Lakshmana fell unconscious in the battlefield, Rama was crestfallen. He considered Lakshmana as His very life. He lamented saying, “If I were to search in the world, I may get a mother like Kausalya and a wife like Sita, but not a brother as noble as Lakshmana. What is the use of this life without Lakshmana?” The four brothers had such unity, harmony, joy and love among themselves.

08-Love between Bharatha and Rama-Ideal brothers-4.05-1996 March 28
The ideal brothers!

Rama lived an ideal life. He respected His parents and followed their command. He was never concerned about any difficulties or loss. He lived harmoniously with His brothers. He had great love for them. There was no conflict whatsoever among them. The entire family was united.

After reaching the forest, Raama, while sending him home, sent word through Sumanthra (who had driven the chariot) as follows: “My brother Bharatha would have returned to Ayodhya by now. Tell Bharatha that there should be complete unity in the family. He should love Kausalya and Sumithra in the same manner in which he would love his mother, Kaikeyi. He should not make any distinction between them. However, unable to bear the pangs of separation from Rama, Bharatha used very harsh words against his mother. He did not spare even the family preceptor Vashishtha. Vashishtha approached Bharatha and told him, “Rama has left for the forest. You must get ready for the coronation. As soon as you are ready I shall fix the auspicious moment for the ceremony.”
Bharatha lost for a moment the sense of respect he should have for the word of the preceptor. Rama was the very life-breath of Bharatha. He spoke to Vashishtha in great anguish, “Am I to rule over a kingdom which banished Rama and plunged the whole of Ayodhya in grief? Do not mention the name of the kingdom that sent my Rama to the forest. I have no use for such a kingdom tarnished by a grievous wrong.” This was the kind of love that existed between the brothers.
Once, when the brothers were children and were playing, Rama came running to his mother Kausalya and sat on her lap in great joy. Kausalya asked him what was the reason for his joy. Rama said, “Mother, I am immensely happy today because Bharatha won in the game that we were playing.” Rama rejoiced in the success of his brothers. As this conversation was going on, Bharatha came weeping to Kausalya. She asked him, “Bharatha! Why are you crying? Rama is so happy over your victory.” Bharatha replied, “Mother! I am very sad because Rama deliberately chose to lose so that I may win.” The elder brother rejoices over the younger brother’s victory. The latter feels sad about his victory and the defeat of the elder brother. What mutual love prevailed among the brothers! Such was the pure and sacred unity that existed among the brothers at that time. The respect that the parents commanded was also so high.

09-King Dasaratha’s Readiness to give up the throne-3.52-1997 April 16
King Dasaratha was ready to give up the throne

In the story of Rama many great ideals shine forth. Here is one episode: Dasaratha was sleeping in his palace. He had a dream. In that dream he saw that the whole ocean had dried up, the moon was falling and breaking into myriad pieces, an elephant in rut was tumbling down and collapsing with the howdah on its back falling apart. He woke up with a start and wondered “What is this strange dream?” “It is said that a dream in the early hours of the morning portends what is to happen. It is now the fourth quarter of the night. What does this dream portend?” thought Dasaratha. He got up from his bed. He stood before a mirror. He noticed a bizarre change in his face. He saw grey hairs stretching out between his two ears. He realised that old age was creeping on him. He tried to drink a glass of water by pouring water from a jug into a glass. He noticed that his hand was trembling. He could see that his sense organs were beginning to fail. He felt that he could carry on his reign as long as his senses were perfect. But now they were declining. One can rule a kingdom only so long as his senses are strong.

He went out and summoned all his ministers and the preceptor. He told them, “I have reigned for as long as I could. I sought always to please my subjects in every way. I looked after their welfare as that of my own children. This kind of feeling is possessed only by Rama. The time is appropriate to install Rama as the heir to the throne.” The subjects and ministers present suggested that the king was fit to continue to rule for some more time. Dasaratha felt that perhaps they were not in favour of Rama’s coronation as the king. They submitted to the king, “Mahaaraaja! We are well aware of Rama’s greatness and sterling qualities. But he still does not have the experience that you have in the art of administration. You may install him as Yuvaraaja (Crown Prince), but you continue as the king and give him guidance.” Dasaratha told them that when his senses had begun to weaken, it was not proper for him to continue as the king.
Today let alone the senses, even if the eyes cannot see, the ears cannot hear, the hand cannot put a signature; people want to cling on to their kingdom. The kingdom in ancient times was one of Dharma, one of Neeti (Morality) and one of Nijaayati (Integrity).

10-Rama stood as an example for upholding moral values-1.36-1999 March 25
Rama stood as an example for upholding moral values

Today, morality is on the decline among human beings. Narrow mindedness is on the rise. Divinity is forgotten. Demonic nature is nurtured. This is not what we need to do. We must forget demonic qualities and hold on to Divinity. How sacred is the principle of Rama. When Rama was prepared to be coronated as the king, the very next moment, He went into the forest on exile, with the same smile on His face. Sukhadukhe Samekruthva Labhalabhau Jayajayau (Equal mindedness amidst the dualities of life – pain and pleasure, victory and defeat, gain and loss). Rama displayed this virtue of equanimity. Rama experienced the same happiness in going to the forest, as He enjoyed in getting prepared to be the king. Where is this virtue of equanimity in man today? Man aspires for positions of authority though he does not deserve them. An undeserving person expects deservedness. But Rama relinquished the position even though He deserved it. Rama was courageous in the face of adversities. He never gave any scope for weakness. The one who is in the company of Rama will always be a Dheera(courageous one), and not a Deena (weak-minded one).

11-Rama-The embodiment of Dharma in all circumstances-7.55-2001 April 02
Rama followed Dharma perfectly, according to the time and circumstances

Rama propagated the principle of “Vyakti Dharma” (individual Dharma). In adherence to the command of His father, Rama went on exile to the forest and suffered a lot. But He never considered this as suffering. He truly upheld the Dharma of the family. He demonstrated to the entire world that any member of the Ikshavaaku clan, based on his family Dharma, would never go back on the given word. The social aspect of the Ramayana highlights that under any circumstances; one must respect one’s parents, wife and children and bring repute to ones brothers. How did Rama protect the family in the given circumstances?

Wearing bark clothes, He came to Kausalya to take leave of her. Kausalya was astonished at the attire of Rama, who was about to be crowned as the emperor. Smilingly Rama told Kausalya, “Today I have been commanded by My father to become the ruler of the forests. To rule the forests is also part of our family tradition.” As this conversation was in progress, Lakshmana arrived there in a furious state. He said, “Mother, this is not what happened. Father, compelled by the words of Kaikeyi, has fallen victim to this evil path.” Lakshmana narrated all that had happened. He said, “I am only waiting for Rama’s command. Let Him just give me permission. I will go immediately and destroy Manthara and Kaikeyi and restore Rama as the king. I am not going to be constrained even by the words of my father”.
Even as Lakshmana was speaking thus, Rama rushed to him and physically closed Lakshmana’s mouth. He said, “Lakshmana, this evil way is not in keeping with our family tradition. Our family tradition is the upholding of Dharma.  We have to uphold the individual and family Dharma. Nothing happens in this world without a cause. Father wouldn’t give Me such an instruction without proper reason. Please keep your emotions under control.” On hearing Lakshmana’s narration, Kausalya fainted. Later, she said, “Rama, is it not a son’s duty to equally obey father and mother? Do I not bear half of your father’s rights?  Therefore, You have to fulfil your mother’s orders also (So, I shall also come along with You to the forest).”  Then Rama pleaded to His mother, “Father is highly distressed because of separation from Me. In this condition, it is not proper for you to desert him. You are his Ardhaangini (better half i.e. you carry half his burdens). It is your duty now to console and protect him. This is your Dharma. The duty of a Bharateeya woman is to obey the command of her husband. You must focus only on serving him and nothing more. I (as a son) have come only later (into the family). You do not need to take me into account. You must obey the command of your husband.”
Sita, who was standing by heard this conversation.  She asked Him, “Rama, You seem to be changing words according to time and circumstance. When I wanted to accompany you to the forest, You asked me to stay back and look after our aged father and mother. Whether they are young or old, You are my husband and I am Your wife, is it not? To Your mother, You are telling that obeying the command of the husband and serving the husband is the prime duty of a wife. Is not my husband, my God? Serving my husband is my prime goal. Are the norms different for the wife and the mother? This is not proper on your part”
Rama was pleased that Sita understood her duty well and even contradicted Him! One has to be tactful to follow the Dharma according to the time and situation. Rama thus promoted such Dharma by protecting His own family Dharma and upholding the honour of the family. When Lakshmana used abusive words against Kaikeyi, Rama advised him, “Lakshmana, Kaikeyi is not My step-mother, she is like my own mother. I indeed love Kaikeyi much more than My own mother. Kaikeyi too loves Me even more than Bharata.  Such a mother should not be abused like this. Maatru Devo Bhavaa, Pitru Devo Bhavaa(revere the mother and father as God). I am obeying the words of My father implicitly. I respect all My mothers. This is our family tradition.” In this manner Rama expounded Dharma appropriate to the time and circumstances.

12-Greatness of Sumitra-Mother of Lakshmana-1.58-2002 April 21
Sumitra, a noble woman, had all virtues of an ideal Mother

It is impossible to describe the great qualities of Sumitra and Shatrughna. It was the time when the coronation of Rama did not take place and He went to the forest in exile. According to the wish of Kaikeyi, Rama was to spend fourteen years in exile. Before going to the forest, Rama went to mother Kausalya to seek her blessings. She wept inconsolably. Not only she; everyone in the Antahpura (inner chambers) were in tears. There was no joy to be seen anywhere. Later Lakshmana went to mother Sumitra and sought her blessings. She said, “My dear one, Lakshmana. Do not feel sad that you are going to the forest. Truly that is not a forest. In fact, this Ayodhya is like an Aranyaa (forest) without Sita and Rama. The forest where Sita and Rama live is verily Ayodhya. So even when you live in the forest, consider it as living in Ayodhya. Rama is your father and Sita, your mother. Let nothing come in your way of serving them.”

Will any mother speak in such a manner? She could have argued, “As per the boon granted to Kaikeyi, only Rama is supposed to go to the forest.  You don’t need to go with Him.” Any other mother would have stopped him from going to the forest. But Sumitra, a noble woman, had all the virtues of an ideal mother.

13-Greatness of Urmila-Wife of Lakshmana-3.55-2002 April 21
Urmila’s broad-mindedness and utter selflessness moved Lakshmana to tears.

Then Lakshmana, as he would be away for 14 long years, went to his wife Urmila to inform her about his decision to go with Rama. Urmila, the first daughter of king Janaka, was highly virtuous. Her spirit of sacrifice and generosity was unparalleled. Being unaware of the happenings, she was painting a picture of Rama’s coronation ceremony that was to be held the next day. She was painting the close relationship that existed between Rama and Sita and she wanted to send it to her father Janaka. As she was deeply engrossed in her work, all of a sudden Lakshmana entered and called her in a raised voice, “Urmila!”. She was startled and at once stood up. As she got up in a hurry, she accidentally spilled the paint on the picture she was painting.  She felt sad for having spoiled the picture.

Then Lakshmana said, “Do not worry. Rama’s coronation is stalled because of Kaikeyi, and the picture of coronation that you are painting is spoiled because of your husband Lakshmana. So, don’t worry about it.” He informed her that he was accompanying Rama to the forest to serve Him. She was very happy with his decision and she readily gave her consent. She never pestered him saying that she too will follow him or that he should take her along with him. She said, “Dear husband, my mother-in-law Sumitra gave birth to you and your brother Shatrughna to tread the path of service and serve your brothers. You are meant to serve Rama, and Shatrughna is meant to serve Bharata. So, discharge your duties”. She then stressed, “At no point of time should you remember me during your stay for fourteen years in the forest”. Will any wife speak in this manner? Urmila continued, “You should not think of me even for a moment. If you do so, it will come in the way of serving Sita and Rama wholeheartedly. Think of Sita and Rama all the time and protect them such that no harm comes to them. Forget me completely for the next 14 years.”
Her broad-mindedness and utter selflessness moved Lakshmana to tears. He praised her, saying, “Urmila, I never knew that you were so broad-minded. I will always treasure your broad-mindedness in my heart.” Urmila said, “Don’t think of my broad-mindedness too. Think of the broad-mindedness of Sita and and obey the command of Rama. See to it that they are never put to any inconvenience.” It is impossible to find anywhere such examples as those demonstrated by the Motherhood of Sumitra and the virtuous quality of Urmila.

14-Difference between Rama and Ravana-4.09-1996 March 28
Ravana was Great but Rama was Good

See the difference between Rama and Ravana. Both were equally eminent intellectually and were great scholars. Ravana was a great man. Rama was a good man. The difference between greatness and goodness should be understood. Rama is good, whereas Ravana is great. How is he great? Ravana had lot of worldly and physical powers. He was very well educated. However, he could not assimilate all that he had learned. Therefore, Ravana suffered from the disease of indigestion in the form of egoism and attachment. Therefore, though he was great, he fell victim to this disease. Rama is good. He put His knowledge into practice, experienced it, shared it with the people and experienced joy. He digested His knowledge. With assimilation alone comes strength and satisfaction. It is not enough if we just learn. Only when we put it into practice and digest it, we gain strength. Only if the food is digested, the body will get strength. Only when we practice all that we have learned, we will get peace and security.

Sathya (truth) and Dharma(righteousness) were dear to Rama. He loved to practice them. Ravana liked only Asatyam (falsehood) and Adharma. Sathya and Dharma became the life breath of Rama, whereas, Asathyaand Adharma became the life breath of Ravana. Ravana was a victim of desires. Rama was bereft of desires. The difference between Rama and Ravana was that between Dharma (righteousness) and Adharma (unrighteousness).
Where is Rama and where is Ravana? We are verily Rama and we are verily Ravana. When a person takes to falsehood and unrighteous courses, he becomes a Ravana. When people pursue the path of truth and righteousness, and contemplate on Divinity, they become Rama.

15-Lava and Kusha-Ideal messengers of God-2.45-1997 April 16
Lav and Kusha – The Ideal Messengers of God

When Lava and Kusha went about singing the glories of Rama they had no nervousness or apprehension. Today, in the modern age, if young people have to sing among many people, they feel very shy. Young persons hesitate to put on any auspicious marks on the forehead when they visit temples and do not venture to fold their palms in reverence. On the contrary, Lava and Kusha forgot all bodily consciousness and sang from their hearts the glory of Rama. They thus taught a very great message to the youth of today. There is nothing greater than chanting the name of the Lord.

Ears of people are eager to listen to gossip.
But the ears are deaf to the sweet names of God.
You do not hesitate to go to the films endlessly;
But your eyes find it hard to look at God in the sanctum.
What for are the eyes given? What for do you have ears? You should remember God’s name, hear God’s name and go to the abode of God. In this manner Lava and Kusha went about glorifying the greatness of Rama joyously without any apprehension or shyness.
Today’s youth should take a resolve to spread the love of God among the people without any hesitation or ego. They should make every man realise the sweetness of the Lord’s name, the divinity enshrined in remembering the name, and the purity associated with thinking of Him. These feelings should emanate from the heart. That is true naamasmarana (reciting the Lord’s name).

16-Experience Rama in your heart-2.10-1997 April 16
Practice is the touchstone of devotion

Such a sacred scripture that can delight one to such an extent cannot be found in any other country or in any other language. Any number of years have passed by, but still, even today, everybody thinks of Rama. In Bhaarath, there is no place where Rama’s name is not chanted and there is no hand that does not practice Daanam (charity). Even in the tiniest hamlet there will be a small Rama temple. But these temples are not so very important. The temple in which Rama should be worshipped is your heart. God is the Hridayavaasi (indweller of the heart). He does not reside in Tirupati or Bhadrachalam. He is neither in Vaikunta nor in Kailaasa. They are all only branch offices. But the Head office is the heart alone. God resides in the heart of man. Therefore, you need not go anywhere or travel anywhere to seek Rama. Without going out anywhere, without incurring any expense, you can experience Rama in your heart and achieve liberation.

Today, on Shri Raamanavami Day, in spite of the good fortune of being born in the Raama Janmabhoomi (sacred birth place of Rama), we are not recognising the Rama Principle. There is nothing great about celebrating the birthdays of great persons. You must put into practice the teachings of those great masters. What is the use in celebrating birthdays and ignoring the teachings? Practice is the touchstone of devotion.

A Short Quiz
01-What is the meaning of Ramayana?
02-What is the true purpose of Ramayana?
03-What is the meaning of the phrase “Ramayathi Ithi Ramah”?
04-Explain the relationship that exists between Ramayana and the Vedas?
05-Why could Lakshmana not identify any ornaments of Mother Sita other than her anklets? What is the lesson that we learn from this anecdote?
06-How did the intelligent Lakshmana save Rama from the embarrassment of bowing down in front of Sita, during the wedding ceremony?
07-Illustrate with examples, the love that existed between Rama and Lakshmana and also between Rama and Bharatha.
08-What ideal example of governance does King Dasaratha set before the world?
09-Illustrate how Rama upheld Dharma in various situations and circumstances in a perfect manner.
10-Illustrate the greatness of Mother Sumitra and wife Urmila, by presenting the advice given by them to Lakshmana before he went to the forest along with brother Rama.
11-Explain the difference between greatness and goodness by giving the examples of Ravana and Rama, according to Bhagawan.
12-What is the example that Lava and Kusha have set for the youth today, according to Bhagawan?
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Always Speak the Truth – Case Studies

The blog statistics so far show that the posting “Always Speak the Truth” has had the highest number of viewers, since 27 January 2012, when it was posted. In this post Bhagawan mainly spoke about the importance of speaking the Truth. He explained how Truth is the life for our spoken word. He described the code to be followed while talking. Satyam Bruyaat – Speak the Truth. Priyam Bruyaat – speak in a pleasing way. Na Bruyaat Satyam Apriyam – (but) never speak the truth in an unpalatable way. The post concluded with Bhagawan explaining how easy it is to speak the Truth rather than speaking lies.
As the audience seem to find this aspect of Bhagawan’s message very interesting, here is one more posting on the same theme. Whereas the earlier posting furnished the theory about speaking the Truth, in this posting, Bhagawan illustrates the concept with case studies from Bharateeya scriptures.
 
There are five excerpts from Bhagawan’s Discourses presented in this post. These have been selected from Discourses given by Bhagawan Baba in the years 1996 and 2003
In Clip-1, Bhagawan once again explains how speaking the Truth is very straightforward and easy while telling a lie involves a lot of manipulation. In Clip-2, Bhagawan gives the example of the King Satya Harischandra who went to the extent of giving up his life for the sake of upholding Truth. Clip-3 describes how Mahatma Gandhi, owing to one significant incident in his childhood and inspired by his mother, took a vow never to speak a lie; a vow that he kept up till the end of his life. Clip-4 narrates the story of King Bali Chakravarti, who stands as a role model for the quality of keeping up one’s word. Even at the cost of giving up his life, King Bali kept up his word. Finally, in Clip-5 Bhagawan praises Hanuman and presents him as a model to all of us for following a dignified and respectful mode of speech.
Each audio clip has a name that adopts the following code: Serial number, Title appropriate to the key content, Duration of the clip in minutes, Year-Month-Date of the Clip. Below the title is the translation in English of the select excerpt of the Discourse, followed by the audio player. The post ends with a short quiz that would help you evaluate your absorption of Bhagawan’s Message from these extracts.  
Note: Those receiving this blog by email may see words bunched together due to a technical glitch. That is beyond my control. Please click on link at the top of the email to read the blog directly. Sorry about this. If anyone has a solution to this please help me out.
01-Truth Speaking is Easy-Telling Lies very Tough-1.40-1996 July 07
Speaking the Truth is so easy!

A boy said in his talk, Satyam Vada, Dharmam Chara – Speak the truth and Follow righteousness. He said, this is not easy, it is very difficult. This is wrong. There is nothing easier than speaking the truth and practising Dharma. It is truthful to say that today Swami came early at 4 pm and He started His Discourse before time. It is so easy to state facts as they are. You do not need to think over or have any worry. But if you wish to speak a lie, you have to think a lot. You have to package the lie in a manner that it will be believed. You have to use a lot of knack in speaking and finally you will become a crack! Therefore, it is so difficult to speak a lie. Speaking the Truth is so easy. We think it is difficult to speak the truth. This is very wrong. We have got used to speaking lies. Because of this we are unable to understand the truth. The world is also giving scope to such weaknesses. This weakness is present in every man.  

02-Always Speak the Truth-Case Study of Satya Harischandra-1.36-1996 July 13
Do not give up Truth under any circumstances

Rama is the very embodiment of Truth. But we utter all lies. We perform the Satyanarayana Vratam (a Hindu religious observance) once a year; that is all. That is not right. Satatam Satyam. We must speak the truth always. Sarvada Sarvakaleshu Sarvatra Harichintanam. We must think of God always, at all times and everywhere. We must at least make an effort to speak the truth. But we are not doing that. The moment we open our mouth, it is lies. Whatever we say, it is lies. It is not even possible to know what truth is. Therefore students; do not give up truth under any circumstances, even if it comes to losing your very life. It is truth that will be with you, around you, front of you, behind you and will protect you like the eyelid of the eye. This is how Harischandra got transformed into Satya Harischandra. He was faced with so many difficulties and pains. He sold his wife and children, he sacrificed his kingdom, and finally became a cemetery worker. But he did not get shaken and he never gave up the truth. Finally, God Himself had to submit to him. God manifested before him, gave him back everything that he had lost and honoured him with the tile “Satya Harischandra” (The Truthful Harischandra).

03-Always Speak the Truth-Case Study of Mahatma Gandhi-3.14-2003 November 23
Mahatma Gandhi took a vow never to speak a lie
A vow that he kept up till the end of his life!

Gandhi too became Mahatma Gandhi because of the great qualities of Putlibai (his mother). Putlibai had taken a vow wherein she would not partake food or water, not even take a morsel of food until she heard the sound of the cuckoo bird in the morning. It was not possible for the son to have his food until his mother had her food. On one occasion, it became 12 noon, 1 pm and even 3 pm in the afternoon, but the mother was not willing to take her food (as she had not heard the cuckoo’s sound). At that time, Gandhi planned a strategy. He went behind his house and made a sound like the cuckoo bird. He then came in and told his mother that he had heard the cuckoo bird sing, though she could not hear, and therefore they could have their food now. The mother felt very sad. She thought to herself, “Has such an evil son been born to me from my womb? Just for the sake of food, he is betraying me by speaking lies. Making the sound of the cuckoo himself, he is lying to me that he heard the cuckoo sing”. Out of anger she caught his ears and dragged him. “Bad boy, for the sake of my food, are you speaking lies in this manner”, saying so, she slapped him. Gandhi felt very repentant and begged her for pardon. The mother said that it was not possible for her to pardon him and he must undergo the punishment for his mistake. It was from that moment that Gandhi promised that he would never utter a lie and he kept up his promise till the end of his life.   

04-Always Keep up Your Word – Case Study of Bali Chakravarti-1.36-1996 July 12
King Bali kept up his word even at the cost of disobeying his Guru

We must have a very good speech in society. Only then we will win the faith of all. When it comes to the matter of truth, we can even disobey our Guru (teacher). Guru Shukracharya advised king Bali that Vamana was not an ordinary man. He may have come as a three feet tall dwarf but he is verily Lord Narayana Himself. If you agree to give him anything you will become a beggar. King Bali replied, “Swami, when God Himself has come asking, can I ever refrain from giving? I will give, even if I may be put into any situation. God’s hands are below and mine are above. The one who receives, his hands are always below. This itself is my good luck. It is not an ordinary person who is seeking alms from me. It is Lord Narayana Himself. Can there be any other greater fortune than this? To avail this good fortune, I am ready to forego anything. The true respect lies in keeping up ones word”.

05-Speech must be Respectful-Case Study of Hanuman-1.43-1996 July 12
The Peaceful, Virtuous, Strong, Respectful and Dignified Hanuman!

If you slip, you can retrace your leg and get up. But a slip of the tongue cannot be taken back. Kaalujarithe Kalagadu Nashtam, Naalagu Jarite Narakamera (A Telugu saying). If you slip (physically), there is no loss, but a slip of the tongue takes you to hell. Students, considering your words as your very life, when you talk to elders, your parents, your friends and other respectful people; you must speak the truth in a respectful and meaningful way. Hanuman being the minister of Sugriva, seeking the permission of Sugriva, came to speak to Rama and Lakshmana. Listening to the sweet words of Hanuman, Rama was very delighted. Brother Lakshmana, he is Shantudu (peaceful), Gunavuntudu (virtuous), Balavantudu (strong), Hanumantudu. Peace is verily manifest in his face. His respect and dignity speaks of his qualities.

A Short Quiz:
01-Why is it easier to speak the Truth than to speak a lie?
02-Why did God Himself honour king Harischandra with the title “Satya Harischandra” (The Truthful Harischandra)?
03-What prompted the young Gandhi to take a vow never to speak a lie in his entire life?
04-What was the justification given by King Bali to his Guru, for keeping up his word and giving charity to the young Brahmin (Vamana)?
05-In describing the virtues of Hanuman, what are the three titles Bhagawan uses to extol him? 
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Significance of Yugaadi / Ugaadi (Hindu New Year) Festival

The New Year festival is celebrated in all parts of India under different names. Unlike the internationally accepted Christian calendar, wherein the New Year commences on the first day of January; the Hindu calendar follows a different cycle. Accordingly the New Year for different cultural traditions in different states of India typically fall in the month of March/April. The people from Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka refer to the New Year as Yugaadi (or Ugaadi). The Keralites call it Vishu. The Tamilians from Tamilnadu celebrate the New Year under the banner of Puthandu. The Maharshtrians call it Gudi Padwa while the Punjabis refer to it as Baisakhi. The Sindhis call it Cheti Chand. This posting is very elaborate and exhaustive as it captures various aspects of the festival and its inner significance through a number of Discourses delivered by Bhagawan Baba on the occasion of the New Year, almost every year. Though Bhagawan focuses on the term Yugaadi, the principles and significance highlighted by Him remain universal and applicable for all New Years celebrated by different people at different points of time.
There are 21 excerpts from Bhagawan’s Discourses presented in this posting. These have been selected from Discourses given by Bhagawan Baba in the years 1989, 1991, 1992, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2002 and 2003.

Being a long post, it has been divided into 7 sections to facilitate ease of reading and understanding. These seven sections are:

1. Purpose of Bharateeya Festivals (Clip 1)
2. Genesis of the Yugaadi (New Year) Festival (Clips 2 to 5)
3. Celebration of the New Year Festival (Clips 6 & 7)
4. New Year does not bring any special gifts or fortunes (Clips 8 & 9)
5. True Purpose of celebrating the New Year (Clips 10 to 18)
6. Misnomers about the New Year (Clips 19 & 20)
7. Summing up (Clip 21)

Clip 1 stresses on the fact that all Bharatheeya festivals have one purpose in common and that is to promote worship to the Divine. Clips 2 to 5 explain how Yugaadi is actually one of the names of God and therefore how the festival is named after God Himself, who is the embodiment of Time. Clip 5 highlights how the Yugaadi festival is associated with Prakruti (Nature). Clip 6 elaborates on the inner significance of the “Yugaadi Pachchadi”, while Clip 7 explains the inner meaning of reading the Panchaangamon the Yugaadi evening. Clips 8 and 9 highlight the fact that it is not the Yugaadi festival which brings joy or happiness or fortunes; but it is the fruits of one’s own actions. Clips 10 to 18 are all about the true spirit of celebrating Yugaadi. The main purpose is to purify the heart, develop sacred feelings, thoughts and qualities and not just wearing new clothes and eating sweets. It is new ideas and new enthusiasm that is required. Clip 19 explains how mere spending of money for rituals cannot burn away one’s sins. In Clip 20 Bhagawan explains how one need not wait for the New Year to undertake good acts like feeding of the poor. These must be done every day of the year. Finally Clip 21 highlights that Yugaadi celebration is an annual reminder of man’s obligation to express his gratitude to the Divine.
Each audio clip has a name that adopts the following code: Serial number, Title appropriate to the key content, Duration of the clip, Year-Month-Date of the Clip. Below the title is the translation in English of the select excerpt of the Discourse, followed by the audio player. The post ends with a short quiz that would help you evaluate your assimilation of Bhagawan’s Message from these extracts.  
Note: Those receiving this blog by email may see words bunched together due to a technical glitch. That is beyond my control. Please click on link at the top of the email to read the blog directly. Sorry about this. If anyone has a solution to this please help me out.
PURPOSE OF BHARATEEYA FESTIVALS
01-All Bharatheeya festivals are intended exclusively for the worship of the Divine-1.56-1989 April 07
Worship of God is the  primary purpose of all Festivals

We must not consider Yugaadi as a mere festival. We must consider it as a day of Paramaatma (God). We must consider the spiritual aspect of the day. All Bhaarateeya festivals have a special inner significance. However, we go by the mere external rituals and celebrate the day by making sweets and other delicacies. These festivals have come into being to specifically remember God, experience happiness and get rid of our sorrows. These festivals have been started to get rid of our ignorance and manifest Prajnaana, Sujnaana and Vijnaana (Awareness, Wisdom and Knowledge). Man has been gifted with intelligence along with the physical form. However, the span of the body is limited; we must not forget this. In the short span of our life, we must use our intelligence and experience true happiness. But, unfortunately man is misusing the intelligence given to him.  

GENESIS OF THE YUGAADI (NEW YEAR) FESTIVAL
02-New Year is based on the name of God as he is the Master of Time-Source of Yugas-3.25-1991 March 17
God is the Master of Time and the source of all Aeons

God has been envisaged as the embodiment of Time. As He is the beginning (source) of the Yugas, the name Yugaadi has come. Yugaadiyai Namah extols God with the name of Yugaadi. He presides over Time. He is the Spirit (Atmic principle) of Time. That is why he is called Kaalatmakaaya Namah.  As God contains Time in His womb, He is also called Kaalagarbha (container of Time). Time is the devourer of the physical form; whereas the Lord is the devourer of Time itself. The New Year festival (Samvatsaraa) is an expression of the name of the Divine Itself. Therefore, Time is the very form of God. Among the 1000 names of the Lord are Samvatsaraa, Yugaadi, Kaalakaalaaya, Kaalaprasannaya, Kaalaatheethaaya, Kaalaswaroopaaya, Kaalanirmitaaya, and the like. All these are names associated with Time. The New Year festival is therefore associated with the name of the Lord. There is no need to entertain fears about the losses and difficulties that may occur during the year. When God Himself is coming down as the New Year, anything may happen, good or bad. The Lord (Maha Vishnu) may come down to protect devotees like Prahlada and Dhruva. He may also destroy demons like Hiranyakasipu and Bhasmaasura. The same Vishnu confers bliss on some and the same Vishnu destroys some others. The Lord acts according to the qualities of the persons concerned. They are either protected or punished.

03-God is the beginning of all Yugas and is therefore called Yugaadi-Yugas are defined based on human behaviour-2.26-1991 January 01
God is the beginning of all Yugas
He is therefore called Yugaadi

Hence, God who is the embodiment of Time / Samvatsaraa should be put to right use. We have classified the aeons into four, viz: Krita Yuga, Treta Yuga, Dwapara Yuga and Kali Yuga. These are not distinct from each other. The divisions have been identified based on our experiences. Whether it be Krita Yuga or Kali Yuga, it has no separate form. According to the conduct of the people at the time, the Yugas have come into being. Even during Krita Yuga there were people filled with attachments and aversions. There are even in Kali Yuga people wedded to truth and leading virtuous and peaceful lives. God is the origin of all the Yugas. Hence, one of the names bestowed on God is Yugaadi (One from whom all Yugas begin). The Yugaadi festival is celebrated for this very reason. Everything is a manifestation of the Divine. There is no second object in this world other than the Divine. He is the one who gives and He is the one who takes. Not realising this, man becomes elated when he is given something and feels depressed when something is taken away. You should therefore develop the state of equanimity which neither makes you elated nor depressed.

04-In Yugaadi the first of all have come together-Season, Month, Paksha and Theethi-1.38-1992 April 04
Today is the beginning of the New Year (Yugaadi). What is the first Rithu (season) of the year? It is Vasantha Rithu (the Spring season). What is the most important month in the year? It is Chaithramaasa (the first month of the year). With respect to the Pakshaa (fortnights of the lunar calendar), the Shuklapakshaa (bright fortnight) is the first part of the month. Among the Tithis (lunar days), Paadhyami is the first one (first lunar day). Since the first and most important part of the season, month, pakshaa and tithi come together on this day; it is called the New Year (Yuga). The first among the Tithis being Paadhyami, the first among the Pakshaas being Shuklapakshaa, the first among the Months being the Chaitra and the first among the Seasons being Vasantha; as all these are present today, it becomes the first among the year i.e. Yugaadi. This is the meaning of the word “Aadi” – “First”. In this Kali age, the first of all aspects have come together.

05-Yugaadi is not the celebration of any great person’s Birth Anniversary or Death Anniversary-It is only related to Prakruthi (Nature)-1.24-1992 April 04
Yugaadi is related to the Prakruthi (Gross World)

Bharatheeyas have been observing the birthdays of Avatars (Incarnations) as festival days. The birthdays of the founders of various faiths (Mathaadipathis) have also been observed as festivals. The death anniversaries of wicked persons as well as of holy men have been observed as festivals. But the Yugaadi celebration is not related to the birth of any Avatar or the birth of any saint, prophet or the birth of any wicked person. It is related purely to Prakruthi (the phenomenal world or Nature). This is important for one and all. It is an occasion for comprehending the Nature of the universe. When we want to know who is God, the answer is Prakruthi. Prakruthi is the visible manifestation of God.

CELEBRATION OF THE NEW YEAR FESTIVAL
06-Significance of Ugaadi Pachchadi-The message of equanimity for life-2.03-1992 April 04
Yugaadi Pachchadi teaches us the message of equanimity

On Yugaadi day, it is the practice to eat what is called “Yugaadi Pachchadi” (New Year savoury), as soon as they get up in the morning. What is this “Yugaadi Pachchadi”? This chutney made from neem flowers, mango juice, honey, sugar and other ingredients with different tastes, is to be consumed early in the morning. The inner significance of consuming this preparation is to indicate that life is a mix of good and bad, sin and virtue, joy and sorrow; and all of them have to be treated alike. All experiences have to be treated with equanimity. Everyone should make a resolve right at the beginning of the year that whatever may come his way in the course of the year, he will face the same with equanimity. It is with this feeling that the Prasaad (chutney) must be consumed. The Prasaadammust be consumed with all satisfaction. If you criticize the Prasaadam, abusing that why consume such bitter chutney at the beginning of the year, then all along the year you will face criticism only. Welcome whatever comes your way. Consider everything as for your own good. The main goal for man is to develop such equanimity. We should exhibit the principle of equanimity by not getting elated with happiness nor getting depressed with sorrow. This is the primary message of the Yugaadi festival.

07-Significance of reading the Panchaangam on the evening of Yugaadi-0.42-1992 April 04
Panchaanga Sravanam reveals the good and bad
associated with the five senses (human life)

There are five elements in Nature. Those very five elements are also there in our human body. Reading of the Panchaangamis the narration of the good and bad associated with these five elements in the human body. In the evening of the Yugaadi day, in villages and cities, Panchaanga Sravanam (hearing of the Panchaanga) is conducted. Panchaangameans to let one know about the good and bad associated with the five senses. 

NEW YEAR DOES NOT BRING ANY SPECIAL GIFTS OR FORTUNES!
08-It is not the New Year which brings good or bad-It is our own actions-2.42-1997 April 08
Our own actions are responsible for good or bad  results

We are celebrating this day as New Year Day. This New Year (Hindu Year starting from April 1997) is called Eeshvara. Eeshvara means one who is endowed with all forms of wealth. People greet the New Year as if it is going to confer on them some new happiness, joy and fortunes. The good or evil, the sin or virtues, the renown or infamy experienced by people are not the outcome of the passage of years. They are the consequences of our own actions, which we experience every second. Samvathsara(the year) is one of the names of God. Because God is associated with time, He is also known as Kaalaathmaka(Time-spirit). Hence, we should not consider the New Year (Kaalaathmaka), who is the spirit of Time, as likely to bring good or bad to us. Our actions, good or bad, bear fruits according to their nature. There is no need to wait for a New Year to bring new tidings. Every moment is new. Many are wondering what will be the situation in the world, what troubles and losses the New Year will bring. For all our troubles, difficulties, sorrows and happiness, the year is not responsible. Our conduct alone is responsible. If our actions are good the results will be good. Bad actions will lead to bad consequences. People think that good and bad are related to bad time or bad actions; No – not at all. The thoughts are the cause. Hence, we should develop good thoughts and perform good deeds. We should cherish good feelings and associate ourselves with good persons.

09-New Year does not bring any new Happiness, Prosperity or Pleasure-1.29-1998 March 29
Turn your thoughts to God and surrender to Him

We are today celebrating Yugaadi, the beginning of yet another New Year. Many New Year days have come and gone. Do you expect the New Year to bring you new happiness? Are you imagining what joy the New Year has in store for you? New Years do not offer you pleasure, prosperity or fortune. This New Year day will be like any other day with the same sunrise and sunset. Many people eagerly expect some good benefits to turn up on this day. This is all 100% negative thought. The New Year will not bring you anything new. The calendar merely tells you that a New Year has begun on a particular day. We need to find out a new path, a new life and seek a new source of joy. But unfortunately we do not think about this. We speculate on what gifts the New Year is likely to bring to us. We have to look to ourselves and not to the succession of years. Think within yourself about your condition. Turn your thoughts to God and surrender to Him. Then you will realize what you desire.

TRUE PURPOSE OF CELEBRATING THE NEW YEAR
10-So many Yugaadis have come and gone by but what is the change it has brought about-1.20-1992 April 04
Has the New Year brought about even a little change in us?

What is the primary essence of the festival of Yugaadi? On this Yugaadi day, Bharatheeyas get up early in the morning, have a sacred bath, put on new clothes, eat sweet preparations and celebrate the day as a festive occasion. These celebrations have been going on for many years. People have celebrated so many Yugaadis. But how far have the people transformed themselves with each Yugaadi? The garments are new, but the mind remains unchanged. It is not enough to wear new clothes. Good qualities must be nurtured. There is no use of changing clothes, qualities need to change. Without a reformation in mind and character there is no meaning in observing any number of festivals.

11-What should we do on the day of Yugaadi-Resolve to live in the present and purify your heart-2.27-2002 April 13
Live in the present. Present is most important.
It is not ordinary present. It is Omnipresent!

What should we do on the day of Yugaadi? From this day onwards we must take a firm resolve to make attempts to purify our heart. Past is past. It cannot be retrieved. When you are walking on the road, what is the point in looking behind? You do not need to see back, you should look at the path ahead of you. Future is not sure. It is not certain. Within seconds it will pass away. What is the guarantee that you will be alive until tomorrow? So, do not worry about your future. Do not brood about it. Live in the present. Present is most important. It is not ordinary present. It is omnipresent! When you make the present sacred, the past will also become sacred and the future will also become sacred (meaning the results of past and seeds of future are contained in the present; so when you make proper use of the present, you can be rest assured that your future is safe and secure). Embodiments of Love! Today is Yugaadi, the New Year day for the people of Andhra Pradesh. Tomorrow happens to be the Tamil New Year day and the day after, Vishu, the New Year Day for the people of Kerala. There are many festivals coming one after another. There is no shortage of festivals. There are so many festivals. But we must have the understanding to experience the festival in the right manner. Embodiments of Love! From tomorrow onwards, right from this moment, embark on a new life giving up bad thoughts and bad qualities. Purify your heart. Only then will your life be blissful. There is no point in reading sacred texts or visiting noble souls unless you purify your heart in the first instance. Let your thoughts, words and deeds be sacred. Then alone will you get fulfilment in life. This is the true transformative experience of celebrating Yugaadi.

12-Celebration of Yugaadi must not be limited to wearing new clothes and eating sweets-1.36-2002 April 13
Do not limit the New Year celebration to
wearing new clothes and eating sweets

On Yugaadi day, people get up early, have a sacred bath, put on new clothes and partake of sweets and various delicacies at home. Observing external cleanliness and donning new clothes is very easy, but we are polluting the inner feelings in our heart with evil qualities, evil thoughts and evil feelings. One can claim that one has truly experienced (and benefited from) the festival of Yugaadi only when one purifies one’s heart, makes it sacred and nurtures selfless feelings.

13-True celebration of Yugaadi-Nurturing new and noble ideas-Decorating with buntings of love-1.28-1999 March 18
Decorate your house with the buntings of Love!

People have celebrated many Yugaadi (New Year) festivals in their life. We believe in certain traditional practices that go along with every festival, such as wearing new clothes, cleaning the house and decorating it with buntings of green leaves. Greatness lies in making an effort to purify our thoughts and feelings; not merely in purifying this transient human body, which is worldly, impermanent and unstable. The significance of a festival does not lie in wearing new clothes but in cultivating new and noble qualities. The house should be decorated not merely with the buntings of green leaves, but with buntings of love. We must share our love with everyone who visits our homes. Only when we celebrate the festival with such transformation, would we be celebrating the festival realizing its true spirit.

14-True spirit of Yugaadi is to give up narrow mindedness and selfishness-3.39-2002 April 13
Give up narrow mindedness and selfishness

Embodiments of Love! We have been experiencing the bliss of celebrating Yugaadi (New Year) for the past many ages and generations. The Bharateeyas have been spreading peace and security to all the nations of the world with their power of spirituality. Since time immemorial the prayer of the Bharateeyas has been: Loka Samastha Sukhino Bhavantu (May all the people of the world be happy!). They prayed for peace and security of the entire world. Today, humanity has made great progress in the physical and worldly plane. But morally man has regressed. He is not able to give up his narrow-mindedness and criticism of others. When each one conducts a self-enquiry, he would find that the main reasons for this state of affairs are selfishness and self-interest. Today, man does not love objects for the sake of the objects. He does not love others for their sake. He does not worship the nation for the sake of the nation. Anything that he sees, does or thinks is out of selfishness. The day we would be able to give up our narrow mindedness, we would have achieved the true benefit of Yugaadi.

15-Sanctify the New Year with sacred thoughts and broad feelings-Befriend Truth-2.40-1999 March 18
Sath (Being or God) is your true eternal friend

Today, we are celebrating Yugaadi, which means the commencement of a new era. It denotes the beginning of every Yuga, be it Krita, Treta or Kali Yuga. This is the beginning of Nuthana Samvathsaraa(New Year). Vathsaraa is another name of God. That is why God is extolled as Vathsaraswarupaaya Namah (salutations to the one who is the embodiment of Vathsaraa). Time is God. Vathsaraais its cosmic form. So, Time and Vathsaraaconnote the same Divinity. The New Year has to be sanctified by new thoughts and new feelings. Today, humanity is stricken with fear and restlessness. Courage and strength are on the decline, because people have unsacred thoughts and wicked feelings. Your enemies are not outside. Your bad thoughts are your worst enemies and thoughts based on Truth are your best friends. But today, people do not befriend the thoughts based on Truth, which are essentially Divine. You have to make friendship with Sath, the eternal truth. Sath means Being, the ever-existent God. The worldly friends and enemies change with changes in time, action and responsibility. But Sath is the true and eternal friend. This friend is always with you, in you, around you, above you, below you and protects you just as the eyelid protects the eye.

16-We must bring in new ideas, feelings, words along with the New Year-1.21-1998 March 29
God is ever smiling! Happiness is union with God

Even with the passage of the New Year, we still hold on to our old practices. Sacred feelings, sacred behaviour, sacred actions, sacred sacrifice and sacred talk do not come forth at all. We repeat the same old songs, same old talk, same old behaviour. We say this is a New Year, but then where are the new feelings? We must develop new ideas and new enthusiasm. If we are depressed all the time, when will we learn to express the joy of good living? We must be cheerful all the time. We must never worry. That is the mark of the Divine within. Happiness is union with God, not with dog! We must have a smiling face always. God is eternal bliss. If you too smile always, you will become God.

17-Happiness associated with Yugaadi must be permanent-not short lived-0.47-2003 April 02
True Bliss is permanent. It does not “come and go”

Today the New Year has dawned. We observe the festival at home and derive happiness in so many ways. But how long does this happiness last? It does not last even for a day. This is not true happiness. This is not the real New Year. The happiness that we get must be permanent. True bliss does not “come and go”.  It is not like a passing cloud. Once it comes, it remains permanently with us. We have been born with this very bliss.

18-The day we cleanse our heart and nurture good feelings, love and sacrifice-that day is true Yugaadi-1.18-2002 April 13
Purify your hearts and nurture good  feelings

Embodiments of Love! Today is Yugaadi, the beginning of the New Year. Since ancient times, people have celebrated many Yugaadis, but they are yet to give up bad qualities. True Yugaadi is the day when you purify your heart, develop sacred feelings, fill your heart with love and take to the path of sacrifice. Do not limit the celebration of Yugaadi to merely putting on new clothes and partaking of delicious food items. Today you may wear a new shirt, but how long will it remain new? Tomorrow it becomes old. In the same way, we read a newspaper today. Nobody reads the same old newspaper every day. Today’s newspaper becomes tomorrow’s waste paper.

MISNOMERS ABOUT THE NEW YEAR
19-Mere spending of money cannot ward of evils-Troubles will go when heart is purified-1.53-1998 March 29
Mere spending of money cannot wash away our sins

This New Year (starting from 29th March 1998) is called the Bahudhaanyaa. Bahudhaanya means there would be plenty of grain. There is plenty of grain even now, there is no shortage. But are we consuming the grain properly? No. Are we feeding some few hungry people? No. Thus good names have been given to each of the New Years. All these are names of God only. Prabhava, Vibhava, Shukla,…Angirasa, Bhava, Yuva…Vikrama, Vishu…Sarvadhaari, Virodhi…(Bhagawan gives the names of a number of New Years). All these are such sacred names. You cannot underestimate any name. Some say that certain New Years are bad and will bring bad results. Do you know why they say so? So that they can earn money by prescribing rituals for attaining peace! Can spending of money ward away the sins?  In fact, we are becoming mad. Money cannot solve the problem. It is only our heart which can solve the problem. How much ever bad we may do, always contemplate on God.

20-One need not wait for New Year day to feed the poor-Feed them everyday-0.42-1998 March 29
Feed the poor everyday

Devotees come and suggest to me that they should be allowed to organize “poor feeding” on Yugaadi. Why should they call it “poor feeding”? Can they not call it “feeding of poor”? “Poor feeding” means serving very less quantity of rice. Even in use of words, we are so negative! Swami never uses such negative words at all. Should this “feeding of poor” be done only on one day of the year? What will the poor people eat on other days? You must feed the poor on all days. That is the broad heart of Bhagawan! You can never estimate the broad heartedness of Bhagawan! Bhagawan’s is expansion Love, whereas yours is contraction love.

SUMMING UP
21-Yugadi celebration is an annual reminder of man’s obligation to express his gratitude to the Divine-1.09-1989 April 07
Yugadi celebration is an annual reminder of
man’s obligation to express his gratitude to the Divine

Expressing gratitude is the foremost duty of man. This gratitude is called Bhakti (Devotion). It is not just chanting the name of God. Naamasmaranaa(chanting the name of God) is just a part of the gratitude. Oh God! For having given me this sacred human birth, what is the gratitude that I can express to you? I will chant your name continuously. This is my gratitude to You. All the nine paths of devotion are symbolic of gratitude to God. Without gratitude, man will become worse than a beast living in the forest. Therefore, the Yugaadi celebration every year is an annual reminder for man to transform his heart for the purpose of seeking God.

            
A Short Quiz
01-What is the main purpose of any festival?
02-What is the meaning of the word “Yugaadi”?
03-What according to Bhagawan, is the basis for classifying the Yugas into Krita Yuga, Treta Yuga, Dwapara Yuga and Kali Yuga?
04-What is the first season, month, pakshaa and tithi that come together to mark the commencement of the New Year?
05-What is the inner significance of preparing and consuming the Yugaadi Pachchadi early in the morning of the New Year?
06-What is the meaning in reading the Panchaangam in the evening of the New Year day?
07-What does Bhagawan tell us about the expectations that people have regarding the New Year bringing them good fortune, happiness and joy?
08-What is the resolve that we need to make on the New Year day?
09-Bhagawan says that the celebration of Yugaadi must not be limited to wearing new clothes and eating sweets. Then what should mark the celebration of Yugaadi?
10-When would we have experienced the true benefit of celebrating Yugaadi?
11-Why according to Bhagawan, do many Pundits claim that certain New Years will bring bad effects and calamities?
12-What does Bhagawan say about feeding the poor on the New Year day?
13-What does the Yugaadi (New Year) remind us of every year?
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Spending Vacations Fruitfully – Tips for Students

Vacations are something that every student looks forward to. It is time for lazing around, touring, playing, watching TV and movies, spending time with friend and relatives, and what not…the list goes on. However, vacation was the one thing that Bhagawan was always very concerned about. He provided a sacred ambience in His educational institutions that facilitated selective isolation of external influences on students, thus enabling them to progress in a focused manner along the noble path. Therefore, come vacation and He was always worried as to how His students would conduct themselves when they went home. Would they retain the good habits that they developed in His Presence? Would they resist yielding to the myriad temptations that the world amply offered? Driven by His motherly concern, Bhagawan has, on various occasions, provided guidelines to students as to how they should spend their vacations. He has delved into the nitty gritty of daily conduct, food habits, service initiatives, etc. This post presents a few excerpts of these gems of wisdom given by Bhagawan to His students.
In no way is this compilation exhaustive. Bhagawan has spoken on so many occasions giving His advice to students on such diverse topics that it would be impossible to cover all of them in one posting. Therefore, we will bring more of these gems of wisdom in later posts.
A point to be noted is that though Bhagawan apparently addresses students of His educational Institutions in these Discourses, His message, as is always the case, is universal and is meant for all students studying in any school or college in any part of the globe.

There are six excerpts from Bhagawan’s Discourses presented in this post. These have been selected from Discourses given by Bhagawan Baba during the years 1996, 2001, 2005 and 2006.

In Clip-1, Bhagawan reminds the students about the great merit earned in the past and the great good fortune that has brought them to Him. He points out that students must engage in service when they go home for vacations, as service is the goal of life. In Clip-2, Bhagawan cautions students not to be obsessed with marks in the examination. He tells them not to keep an eye on “number” alone, but to instead become a “number one” individual. In Clip-3, Bhagawan explains that the fulfilment of having been educated in Sathya Sai Colleges lies in serving one’s parents. Clip-4 deals with the details of maintaining good company, tips on serving one’s mother and father and serving patients in hospitals. In Clip-5, Bhagawan focuses on how transformation of parents can be brought about through ideal examples set by their own children. Hence, He expresses His wish that teachers must take up the task of transforming students. Finally, in Clip-6, Bhagawan talks about ideal food habits and the responsibility of students to live up to the expectations that the world has from students of Sri Sathya Sai Hostels.
Each audio clip has a name that adopts the following code: Serial number, Title appropriate to the key content, Duration of the clip in minutes, Year-Month-Date of the Clip. Below the title is the translation in English of the select excerpt of the Discourse, followed by the audio player. The post ends with a short quiz that would help you evaluate your absorption of Bhagawan’s Message from these extracts.  
Note: Those receiving this blog by email may see words bunched together due to a technical glitch. That is beyond my control. Please click on link at the top of the email to read the blog directly. Sorry about this. If anyone has a solution to this please help me out.
01-It is your great fortune that you have come to Swami-Serve parents and serve in Samithis during vacation-2.06-1996 March 31
Because of your past merit and good fortune
you have come to Swami

Because of your past merit and good fortune you have come to Swami. You do not know this. At this age you cannot understand, however in future you will be able to understand the principle of Swami. You have received the great fortune which rarely people can get, but you are giving it up easily and going away. You are disobeying the command. You are not following the command. You are not able to appreciate the good words.

Even if good words are told from the depth of the heart, you do not listen. But, you go out of the way to hear bad things. Can such people ever understand me? What is then, the use of all this education?
You will not hear good words, but you will hear bad words with both ears. You hear all this and spoil your mind. How can such ones understand me? An ant wanted to know the depth of the ocean. However, with one wave, it is completely washed away. Can the ant ever know the depth of the ocean? In the same way, you too can never understand the principle of Swami.
But experience that which has been given to you. This Sai has come to you on account of great merit. Make use of Him. You will never again get this opportunity of serving His Lotus Feet. Awake, awake, awake from this ignorance.
You are going home in your vacations. Behave in a proper way. Bring good name to your parents. Get a good name in the society. If you have no work, there are so many Sai centres, go and serve there. Service, service, service – that is the goal of life. If you live in this way, the country will prosper so well.

02-Do not go for number of marks-Be a number one man instead-3.03-2006 March 30
Become a “Number One” individual

Students, first have a control over your mind. Offer your mind to God alone. God can do everything for you. He can do anything for that matter. Therefore, with all devotion, have the conviction that He is everywhere. Never entertain the doubt that God is here and not there. God is present everywhere, wherever you look for Him, you will find Him there.

Therefore, having devotion, discharge your duties, pursue your studies, practice all that you have learned and get a good name. Bhagawan never tells you not to study. You must study. But that gives you only secular knowledge – worldly Dharma. But spiritual knowledge is transcendental. Therefore, efforts to have a steady heart and proper enquiry into one’s heart is a must.
Students, you have completed one full year and are going home. Tomorrow onwards you will be going through the paper, “Will my number come or not? Will my number come or not (in the examination result sheet)?” You will concentrate only on this. The one who keeps on focusing on the number will never get a good number (pass percentage in the results). It is not the number that you need to look for. You must enquire into your heart. “Did I write the paper well or not? If I have written well, I will surely pass. If I have not written well and still my number comes in the paper, then I should actually not feel happy. Therefore, do not keep an eye on the number alone. Rather, you should become a “number one” man. (Applause)

03-Serve your parents during vacation and make them happy-2.30-2006 April 07
Serve your parents during vacations and
make them happy

Students, from tomorrow, you all will be going to your respective home towns. Recapitulate what you have studied here, what you have listened here and what you have eaten here and be happy. Make your parents also happy. Do not give scope for them to be worried thinking that Oh my son has come, but he looks so worried. Make them happy. When you are happy, your parents will also be happy. Parents are very important. It is our duty to make them happy. If we enquire why we have been born, it is to make our parents happy. It is not enough if you eat well for yourself and be happy individually. That is not important. Khana, Peena, Sona Marna (eating, drinking, sleeping and dying) – these are very natural. We are born to make our parents happy. Once we make our parents happy, others will also make their parents happy. So, we should have good ideals. Then you will get fulfilment. Therein lies the fulfilment of having been educated in Sathya Sai College. Bhagawan desires that you should get this good name.

04-Keep good company-Serve mother and father-Visit hospitals and do service-3.09-1996 March 31
Serve your mother and father. Visit hospitals and serve patients.

The sages in the past used to assemble all the graduands and give them good advice before sending them away to enter into their Grihastashrama after the completion of their studies. This occasion was called the Convocation. In the coming vacations, some among you are completing your education and going away, whilst others will return again. But whenever you go from the college to your homes, you must give lot of happiness to others and you must also experience lot of happiness. Never get into bad company. One of the boys who spoke said, “Satsangatve Nissangatvam, Nissangatve Nirmohatvam”. Join good company. Even if you have to pay money, do so, and get away from bad company. Even if you have to give up your life, do so and get into good company. Associate yourself with good company. Do not associate yourself with bad company. What will happen if you associate yourself with bad company? Tell me your company, I shall tell you what you are. You will also become bad, in the company of bad people. Therefore, run away from bad company and serve your parents.

At times, your mother will go to the market. You too go with her. Carry the items purchased by your mother. How happy your mother will be! She will feel, “Oh, how much my son is serving me”. This is the happiness you must give to your mother who has nurtured you for nine months in her womb. Even while seeing your mother carrying all the items, if you sit on a chair and ask, “Oh, mother, when did you come?”, she will think, “Oh, what a worse child has been born from my womb”. Therefore never give pain to your mother. Help your mother. Serve your mother.
If your father is doing some work at home, ask him, “Father, do you want me to help you? I will surely do?” This should be the way and not simply sitting on a chair and whiling away all the time eating and sitting, eating and sitting.
Enter the society and undertake service. Many of you who know Bhajans, go and sing Bhajans. Or else, go and partake in social work. Go to the hospitals and help the patients. If you cannot do any other help, look out for poor patients and buy the medicines prescribed for them. If they are feeling cold, get them some clothes. But never give them money. If you give them money, you will be encouraging them to become beggars. Give them food, give them clothes, give them necessary medicines, and help them. This is the type of service you must participate in. If you undertake service in this manner, you will receive great repute. You will be fulfilling the human birth that you have taken.

05-We can bring about change in parents through students-Swami does everything through students-5.18-2001 November 21
I do everything through students…

Parents do not know anything about Sai Baba. Students know because they come here. We have to develop the spirit among such children. You must call those children and tell them, “Your parents do not like your staying here and studying here, but you explain to them in a nice way. Never speak untruth. You must say – mother, father, you are telling me not to follow the path of Sai Baba, but Sai Baba is showing us such a good path. Truly speaking, if I had not gone to Sai Baba’s school, I would have got spoilt by now. Because of going to Sai Baba’s school, I have become so good now. So, you must explain nicely to your mother that this is your situation.

Even before eating your food, you will be praying, “Brahmaaparnam Brahmahavir…”. Parents too will witness this and feel, “Oh! See how much devotion he has”. Then you must tell your mother, “Mother, the food that is gifted to us by God, must be first offered to God before partaking it”. When we offer the food to God, it no longer remains as food. It gets transformed into Prasaadam. There will be no defects in the Prasaadam. When you explain like this to your parents, they too will take liking to this and will start chanting the prayer.
Therefore, if we wish to bring parents onto the right path, it must be done through their children. Therefore, we must set the children on the right path and through them we must make an attempt to advice the parents. Whatever we do, we should do it perfectly well.
When we go home, we should go out and do some service. If some friend comes home, we must talk to them with respect and courteously. “Please sit down, my father will be coming shortly”, saying so you must give them a glass of water and make them happy. Witnessing such a conduct and behaviour, will bring about a change in parents too.
We cannot advice parents in our schools. We must advice students to conduct appropriately and through them show the right path to parents.  Therefore, it is not possible for us to change the parents. We cannot go that far. First, change our students. When the students are transformed, they will go and transform their parents.
A small example: In a house, once every week, they used to prepare mutton. When our students go home, they say, “Oh my dear son, you have been in Puttaparthi for one long year, you have not eaten any chicken, sheep or fish”. Saying so, they prepare all the dishes and serve the children with love. Then the boy should say, “Mother, I will not do this bad act. Why should I kill one being to keep this being alive? This is not good for me. You are going just by the body. You are offering flesh to this body which is made up of the very same flesh. We must offer nectar to this body made up of flesh. We must partake sacred food. We must partake food given to us by God. We should not eat non-vegetarian food that enhance our bad qualities and bad actions. When once the children keep telling like this again and again, they too will get transformed.
I know of many such cases. After the children have come to our college, through them, their parents too have given up non-vegetarian food. Therefore, everything is through students, through students. This is a very easy path!

06-Maintain Satvic diet during vacations and inspire your parents too-4.40-2005 November 22
Maintain Satvic diet.
When food and head go together in the wrong direction, one forgets God.

Today we need good students. That is why I have established these educational institutions. There are no bad books in our library. Students will not do anything wrong even if told by teachers. Students will never entertain bad thoughts. When they go home to their parents, during their leave, they do not stay there for long. The mother tells her son, “Oh son, you have stayed away for one year in Brindavan, you have stayed away for one year in Puttaparthi, how is it you do not relish any other types of preparations that I make here at home?” The son will get up and say, “Mother, this is not good for you also. This food is related to Rajoguna. As is the food, so is the head and the thoughts. When this food and head get together in the wrong direction, one forgets God. Therefore, do not change your food habits. Eat a lot of green leafy vegetables. Eat more vegetables. Do not partake junk food. Bangaru (dear ones, literally gold), once you have these good food habits, you will become good.

When you go outside, everybody will say, “Oh these boys are from Sathya Sai Hostel, they are very good boys!”. Supposing our boys act in a perverted way, they will only teach them a lesson. “Ayya (Mister), you are from Sathya Sai Hostel, should you be eating such food?” It is not good. Give up that habit. In this manner, they will only teach the boys a lesson. Therefore, you must teach others, but never give scope to be taught by others.
Many students who came here earlier, with lot of devotion and sincerity, exhibited very bad behaviour after going out. Very few are like that, rest all are very good boys. Those who have joined our Hostel and our College currently are good boys. Such students were not available earlier. I desire and Bless that from today onwards our students should cultivate good qualities and get prepared to teach others. Thus, I bring My Discourse to a close.

A Short Quiz
01-What according to Bhagawan should be our approach towards the results of our examinations?
02-Wherein lays the fulfilment of having been educated in Sathya Sai College?
03-How does Bhagawan stress on the need to run away from bad company?
04-How does Bhagawan expect us to serve our mother?
05-How does Bhagawan expect us to serve the patients in hospitals?
06-When parents are not in favour of children following the path laid down by Bhagawan, how should they explain the truth to their parents?
07-How does Bhagawan expect us to treat guests and friends who visit our homes?
08-In the pretext of the son answering to the mother, Bhagawan actually tells us why one should not consume non-vegetarian food? What is the message He conveys to us?
09-How does Bhagawan expect students from Sathya Sai Hostel to conduct themselves? What is the type of peer pressure that they would face according to Bhagawan?
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Ancient Bharatheeya Culture and Traditions

One aspect that Bhagawan has always stressed on in most of His Discourses is the richness and the wisdom of the ancient Bhaaratheeya culture and traditions. It is very important to note that “Bhaarath” according to Bhagawan is not a country with geographical boundaries. It is indeed a way of life and therefore anyone who follows this “way of life” is a true Bhaaratheeya. In this posting, we will hear Bhagawan talking to us precisely about this point. Also, Bhagawan gives a number of examples of ancient Bhaaratheeya traditions, demystifying the myths associated with them and explaining their true significance. In many instances the true significance is spiritual in nature whereas in many other cases, the underlying principle is very scientific and intended for human welfare. Understanding the true significance helps us go beyond the mere rituals and experience the “spirit” behind them. Adding the “spirit” to mere “rituals” makes it “spiritual”.
However, there are certain examples which are very relevant but unfortunately the audio version of the corresponding Discourse is not available. Hence, these have been presented only in text format with appropriate references. If anyone has the corresponding Discourse, please pass it on to [email protected] so that we could include the audio clip for the same.
In no way is this compilation exhaustive. Bhagawan has spoken so extensively about Bhaaratheeya culture and traditions that it would be impossible to include all points in one post. We would therefore bring you more posts on this topic in the coming future.
There are fourteen excerpts from Bhagawan’s Discourses presented in this post. Of these 11 excerpts have audio clips while the remaining 3 excerpts do not have audio clips. These have been selected from Discourses given by Bhagawan Baba during the years 1966, 1972, 1986, 1991, 1997, 1999, 2003 and 2004.

In Clip-1, Bhagawan defines who a true Bhaaratheeya is. Clip-2 is about the tradition of offering our respect and salutation to any work before commencing the same. Clip-3 and Clip-4 give the inner significance of offering coconuts to God when we visit temples. In Clip-5 and Clip-6, Bhagawan explains the true purpose of tying green leaves festoons during festivals. In Clip-7 and Clip-8, He explains the inner significance of spraying cow-dung water in front of our homes. Clip-9 explains the inner significance of smearing turmeric on the dorrsteps of houses, while Clip-10 gives the inner significance of women, in olden days, smearing turmeric on their faces. Clip-11 is about the principle behind having low doors for big mansions in ancient times whereas Clip-12 is about the need to perform Bhoota Yajna wherein we raise pets, take good care of them and also feed insects and animals. In Clip-13, Bhagawan narrates a very humorous anecdote to illustrate the significance of the Sandhya Vandanam (a religious practice performed by Hindu men initiated into the rite by the ceremony of Upanayanam – Sacred Thread ceremony) ritual. Finally, Clip-14 tells us about the inner significance of waving the camphor flame (called Arathi) in front of God.
Each audio clip has a name that adopts the following code: Serial number, Title appropriate to the key content, Duration of the clip in minutes, Year-Month-Date of the Clip. Below the title is the translation in English of the select excerpt of the Discourse, followed by the audio player. The post ends with a short quiz that would help you evaluate your absorption of Bhagawan’s Message from these extracts.  
Note: Those receiving this blog by email may see words bunched together due to a technical glitch. That is beyond my control. Please click on link at the top of the email to read the blog directly. Sorry about this. If anyone has a solution to this please help me out.
01-Who is a true Bhaaratheeya-1.31-1997 February 13 Evening
One who adheres to the twin principles of Sathya and Dharma
is a true Bhaaratheeya

Embodiments of Love! When people from every part of the world have gathered here at Prasanthi Nilayam to rejoice in a great celebration, they are being considered as “foreigners” and the residents of Prasanthi Nilayam as “natives”. Who are the natives and who are the foreigners? When this difference is examined, it will be seen that wherever Truth and Righteousness are being promoted and manifested, people there are to be deemed as Bhaaratheeyas. By merely taking birth in Bhaarath, people do not become Bhaaratheeyas. Bhaaratheeya culture proclaims the two virtues: Sathyam Vada; Dharmam Chara (speak the truth; follow righteousness). Whoever adheres to these two principles is a Bhaaratheeya.

02-Offer respect to any work before commencing the same-Tasmain Namah Karmane-2.15-2003 April 15
Offer respect to any work before commencing the same

During Upanishadic times, people would offer their salutations to the karma (action) before undertaking it —Thasmai Namah Karmane(salutations to the action). We have to offer our salutations to the action in the first instance so that the action gives us good results. In Bhaarath, people follow this sacred tradition even today before starting any work. A cricket player pays his respects to the ball before starting to play. A dancer salutes the anklets before tying them to her feet. Even an uneducated driver offers his obeisance to the steering wheel before driving the vehicle. These are all ancient traditions and culture. But today, we are forgetting these ancient traditions and culture. That is why accidents are on the rise. There is a sense of fear and delusion among people everywhere. What is the reason? We are not saluting to our actions first. First of all, we have to offer our obeisance and then pay our respect to the action so as to express our gratitude before undertaking it. Before you start any work, you must salute that work and then start working (Here Bhagawan corrects the translator saying – not salute. Respect the work). Therefore, every man has to understand his duty properly and discharge the same. Before the commencement of any music programme, musicians pray to Vinayaka. They do so in order to make sure that there are no obstacles.

03-Offering coconuts to God at temples-1986 April 10 (No Audio Clip)
Offer the inner pure Satvic core without the
external fiber of Tamas and the shell of Rajas

In many of the religious practices today, there is concern only for observing the external forms, with little regard for the inner significance of these rites. For instance, one wishes to offer a coconut to the idol in a temple. No care is taken to see whether the coconut is a good one or not. The mere breaking of a coconut, even if it is a rotten one, is considered enough for fulfilling the offering. Note the inner significance of the ritual. The coconut is a symbol of the heart. Before it is offered to God, all the outer fibre has to be removed. In the spiritual sense, this means, removing the Tamasictendencies from our heart. The shell of the coconut symbolises the Rajoguna in us. The white kernel inside the coconut represents the Satvaguna. What we have to offer to God is a pure heart, without the Tamasic and Rajasicqualities such as anger, hatred and attachment. It is this purity of heart that must be manifested in making any offering to God and not the mechanical breaking of a coconut as a meaningless ritual.

Discourse in Prasanthi Nilayam, Ugadi Festival, April 10, 1986
04-Comparing the human body to the coconut-1972 (No Audio Clip)
Eliminate the water of tendencies in us and the core of our heart
will drift away from the  kernel of body consciousness

The word Narikelastands for a coconut. Every Bhaaratheeya must grasp the inner meaning of offering a coconut to God. We never offer the coconut as it is. We remove the fibre that covers it and offer the fruit that is free from all the external fibre. Only then is it possible to break the coconut. By breaking the coconut, the water in it flows out. The heart is the coconut and it is covered by the fibre of desire. The water that flows out is the samskara or purification (of tendencies). The fibres on the surface are the desires. We must strip the heart of all desires and offer the core without the fibre. It then becomes an offering to God.

If we aim at a state of no birth and want liberation from the cycle of birth and death, the core of the coconut acquires a different significance. If we plant a coconut as it is, in course of time, by watering it, another plant will grow out of it. At the time of germination, there is water in it.  At that time, the kernel will be clinging to the sides of the fruit. The water in due time gets dried up and the kernel shrivels and begins to drift away from the external surface of the coconut. If we try to get the kernel out, plant it and water it, nothing will happen. Our body may be compared to the shell and our life to the kernel. Our samskaras (tendencies) are the water inside the coconut. As long as there are samskaras within us, the heart will always cling to the body consciousness just as the kernel clings to the fruit.
Discourse in Brindavan, Summer Showers, 1972
05-Tying green leaves festoons during festivals-Never forget ancient traditions-3.38-2003 April 15
Green leaves festoons bestow health and happiness on people

Since ancient times, in Bhaarath, traditions are being adhered to implicitly. People decorate their houses with buntings of green leaves on festival days. This practice assumes great significance in the state of Kerala. Big pandals (fabricated structure during religious ceremonies) of green leaves and plantain stalks and leaves are erected. Green leaves are given place of prominence in such decorations. This decoration is done during marriages too. Why do we decorate with these green leaves? Can’t we pay some money and have a Shamiana (popular Indian tent shelter) instead? No, that is not in accordance with our ancient tradition. What is the logic behind this decoration of pandals with green leaves and green festoons? At the time of marriages, many people gather at one place. As you are aware, we inhale oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide. Too much carbon dioxide in the air affects our breathing. The green leaves absorb this carbon dioxide and release oxygen. In this manner, they bestow health and happiness on the people.

Thus, every tradition of Bharat has a profound inner meaning. Such sacred traditions are forgotten today. Wherever a function is being performed or a big meeting is held, people prefer decorative Shamianas to Pandals. It may be aesthetically pleasing but serves no other purpose. Even in small homes, they tie green festoons at the entrance of the main door. Why? Because these green leaves festoons bestow good health and happiness on man, apart from being aesthetically pleasing. This gives us great enthusiasm and joy. However, as per modern fashion, we make use of plastic leaves festoons. Can these plastic leaves absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen? No. We are focusing only on the aesthetics without any concern for welfare and progress. We should therefore, never forget our ancient traditions.

06-Tying green leaves-mango leaves-plantain saplings at home entrance-3.58-1991 September 02
Green leaves absorb Carbon Dioxide and release Oxygen
Image Source

There are some practices that have a subtle scientific meaning. Our Bharatiyas, during festivals, marriages and other auspicious occasions; tie mango leaves, green leaves at the entrance door. We also tie plantain saplings. The foolish scientists, who do not understand the inner significance of this practice, wonder why these Bharatiyas so foolishly tie all these stupid things. They ask, “Why can they not tie plastic mango leaves that will remain permanent? Why should we cut these branches and leaves from the tree? Why should we destroy them? Instead we can tie plastic festoons”.

It is not that. Our ancients were not foolish. They were highly intelligent, wise and full of Divine feelings. The inner meaning of this practice is that, when ten (or so) people assemble together, the atmosphere gets polluted. When they breathe out, they release carbon dioxide into the air. This carbon dioxide spreads across to all and proves harmful to them. The green leaves (tied as decorations) take in this poisonous carbon dioxide and release oxygen. Therefore, when many people gather at a place, the green leaves prevent the air from becoming poisonous (on account of CO2) and keeps it clean and pure. Today the houses are built in a modern fashion with big halls, doors and windows. But in the past, houses were not built in that manner. In ancient times, houses had very small doors. In these small houses, when 20 and odd people would assemble on occasions such as a marriage, the breath exhaled by them would make the air poisonous. The green leaves would take in all this carbon dioxide and release fresh oxygen into the air. It is having this meaning in their view, that the elders started this practice of tying green leaves decorations. Can you call this foolishness? The one calls this (practice) foolish, is indeed a fool.



07-Spraying cow-dung water in front of the houses-Promote ancient traditions-2.14-2003 April 15

Cow dung keeps away disease causing germs and
helps heal wounds

When there is any festival, people sprinkle cow dung mixed with water in front of their homes. It is considered to be auspicious. Some even prepare Rangoli (decorative designs) on the floor. What is the reason for spraying cow dung water? Cow dung destroys disease-causing germs and keeps them away because of its odour. Cow dung can cure many diseases. Today people of other countries have recognised this truth and are taking full advantage of it. But the Bhaarateeyas are not making efforts to understand its importance.

In earlier days, cow dung was used as a remedy for wounds. People used to bandage the wound with cow dung. In modern times, people have a wrong notion that the wound would become septic if cow dung is bandaged over it. It may become gangrenous also leading to amputation, they argue. No. This is not true. If cow dung is applied, the wound will be healed in three days. Cow dung has such sacred power. Even cow urine has sacred properties. It is mixed in water and sprinkled on people infected with pox. But people despise such remedies. These remedies, in fact, are beneficial to one and all. The Bhaarateeyas have to revive such ancient traditions. Let people say what they want, we have to follow our sacred traditions for our satisfaction.

08-Spraying cow-dung water at the entrance of the house-Inner significance-2.18-1991 September 02
Cow-dung has antiseptic properties
Image Source

In olden times, there was a practice that on festivals and other auspicious occasions, cow-dung mixed with water used to be sprinkled at the entrance of the houses. Today we think, why should we sprinkle this cow-dung paste, can we not lay a marble or marblex floor and keep the place clean and tidy? No. No. This cow-dung has antiseptic property; it has the power to kill (microorganisms). When the cow-dung paste is sprinkled at the entrance of the homes, poisonous insects and organisms around the houses would get destroyed. Thereby, people progressed with good health.     

Let any scientist today experiment with the use of cow-dung. Unfortunately, they do not experiment with cow-dung. They instead experiment with the sun and the moon. The mindless scientists experiment with objects that lie crores of miles away from us, instead of experimenting with organisms that lie so close to us and cause harm to us. Thus, our ancients started all these practices to correct and promote a sacred, healthy and happy life for mankind.


09-Use of turmeric by women to decorate the home entrance-Inner significance-1.25-1991 September 02
Smearing steps with turmeric and vermillion
Image Source

In the past, women made extensive use of turmeric powder. They used to smear the doorstep with turmeric and place kumkum (vermillion) on it. These have antiseptic properties, the power to destroy (microorganisms). They helped to destroy any microorganisms and insects that would otherwise enter the houses. Today we ask, “why should we apply that turmeric, is it not enough if we use yellow paint”. The yellow paint may help to decorate, but it does not have the (antiseptic) power to kill. Thus our ancients had some inner meaning and scared use in every small practice that they initiated.       

10-Application of turmeric and kumkum by women on their faces-Inner significance-2.17-1991 September 02
Smearing turmeric on face
Image Source

Our Bharatiyas (mostly women) placed kumkum (vermillion) (on their foreheads). They also used to smear turmeric (on their faces). The ancients! That is why, at one point, I wrote a song:

Oh! What times have come now? The practice of smearing turmeric on the faces is gone and instead face powder has taken its place. (Telugu poem)  

By smearing turmeric, the faces (of the women) would take on a golden complexion. The application of turmeric also helped to prevent the growth of hair on the face. The antiseptic properties of turmeric and vermillion helped in preventing any microorganisms from getting into the body through the nose or the mouth. By the giving up of these practices today, diseases like Eosinophilia and asthma are spreading, as microorganisms are entering inside the body easily. Health and happiness are the two goals of life. Only when we are healthy, can we be happy. If we go on speaking like this, in our Bharatiya culture, there are so many day to day practices that lead only to welfare and cause no harm.   




11-Significance of low doors for homes in ancient times-2.11-2004 January 12

In ancient Bhaarath one had to bend the head  in reverence to enter homes

Do you know the ancient customs and traditions? They used to build big mansions with small doors. Do you know why they kept such small doors? We think that these small doors were placed to prevent thieves from entering the houses and escaping with ease. No, that was not the reason. These doors were purposely kept low to enable the visitors and guests to observe the custom of entering the houses with their heads bent in reverence to the inmates. Even the windows and doors of homes teach the lesson of respect. Such ancient traditions have been forgotten today. Nowadays you will not find even a ‘gadapa’ (threshold) to the door frame of the main entrance to the house. They think that the threshold is an unnecessary hindrance to enter the house. Why the extra effort to step over and cross the threshold? No, it is not a hindrance at all! In ancient times, they would keep broad thresholds at the doorstep. Again people think that these thresholds were placed to prevent thieves from entering the houses and escaping with ease! No. No. Whether we go to the houses of others or whether others visit our homes, we all need to bend our heads in respect and enter the homes. This is the true reason and not preventing escape of thieves. The ancient traditions of Bhaarath are thus practised with utmost humility, obedience and sincerity.

12-Raising pets and feeding animals and insects-To atone for sins committed unknowingly-2.32-1986 October 07
Feeding insects and animals helps one to atone for sins committed unconsciously

When we take a bath, wash our clothes, or sweep the house, many living creatures may be losing their lives. To atone for the death of such creatures, Bhoota Yajnas (offerings to the Bhoothas – Beings) have to be performed to satisfy these creatures. This practice has come down from the times of ancient sages. The rishis used to maintain satvic animals like deer, peacocks and cows in their ashrams and look after them with loving care; both for their own requirements and also as an expression of their love for them. Following this tradition, people used to scatter sugar or flour near the anthills for feeding the ants. To offer the remains of one’s food after a meal, to birds or dogs or other creatures is also a form of Bhoota Yajna. Even today many people keep cows, dogs, birds or other pets at home and take good care of them. By showing love towards living things in this way, some atonement is made for the unconscious harm done to various creatures in daily life.

13-Significance of Sandhya Vandanam-Inkpot and Inkpen-Understand ancient culture-4.23-1999 November 22
Each spoonful of water taken with the chanting of the
right mantra reaches the appropriate Deity
 

The modern students do not understand our ancient culture. How sacred it is. Samasta Lokaa Sukhino Bhavantu. Our culture always prayed for the welfare of all beings.

In one home, there was an old man, a grandfather, who followed his rituals strictly and performed his prayers (Sandhya Vandanam) in the prescribed manner, early in the morning and at dusk. He had a grandson, a modern boy, who  used to sit in the  verandah  doing  his  day’s  homework, dipping  his  inkpen  in  the  inkbottle  every  time  he  wrote  a few lines. Regarding this as a part of the modern education trend, the grandfather did not specifically converse with him. As the house was small, in the evening, the grandfather came out to the same verandah and taking spoons full of water, started chanting the mantras, “Kesavaya Namah, Madhavaya Namah, Narayanaya Namah, Govindaya Namah, Madhusudanaya Namah” etc. Taking water from a little vessel, he sipped a spoonful at a time with each mantra, as per the ritual.
The modern lad stopped his study and started watching his grandfather.  He thought what a foolish thing his grandfather was doing! Taking one spoonful of water at a time, and then repeating the same thing again and again. Instead of attending to his homework, he was now concerned with his grandfather’s work. He did not stop at that. He called out, “Grandfather, why are you drinking water sip by sip, spoonful after spoonful? If you are really thirsty, why don’t you drink it in one gulp from the vessel?”
The grandfather was an intelligent person, though he did not have this modern education. He said, “My boy, you do your work in your way, I shall do mine in my way.” But modern lads do not keep silent. They have the habit of arguing with elders. So the boy questioned his grandfather again, “Grandfather, why are doing like this?” The grandfather shot back, “You madcap, you dip your pen in the ink bottle every time you write a few words; and repeat the same thing over and over again. Why don’t you just pour the whole bottle of ink over the paper and be done with it?”
The boy then came to his senses and got the message. The grandfather continued, “Dear boy, you have to dip the pen in ink to write every word. Only then will it be neat. When I chant a mantra like ‘Keshavaya Namah”, and take water, it reaches the particular deity whose name is chanted. When you write a letter and write the address correctly on the cover, it will reach the right person. Similarly, the mantras are addressed to the respective deities. If you don’t understand, you should keep quiet. You must participate in activities concerned to you.”
Today’s students neither know their own job nor understand the work of others. This kind of general knowledge has to be acquired by direct experience, not from any institutional study. Hence try seriously to understand the significance of our ancient culture.

14-Burn away your sensual cravings like camphor-1966 September 08 (No Audio Clip)
Sensual Cravings must be burnt away like Camphor

The waving of the camphor flame at the end of the bhajan sessions is to remind you that your sensual cravings must be burnt away without leaving any trace behind, and you must offer yourself to God for being merged with His Glory.


Discourse in Prasanthi Nilayam, Krishna Janmaashtami,
September 08, 1966
A Short Quiz
01-Who is a true Bhaaratheeya according to Bhagawan?
02-Why should we salute to every action before we perform the same? Can you think of some examples of this principle in action in our day to day life, other than those stated by Bhagawan.
03-What is the inner significance of offering coconuts to God in temples or elsewhere?
04-What is the analogy that Bhagawan draws between a coconut and our human body? According to this analogy, what is the way to escape from the cycle of birth and death?
05-What is the underlying principle in tying green leaves festoons during festivals and other large gatherings? Can you locate any scientific studies conducted in this context? (Clue: there are a few!)

 

06-What are the sacred qualities of cow dung and cow urine? In what ways are they beneficial to humans?
07-Why does Swami call the scientists mindless?
08-Why did women, in olden days, smear turmeric and vermillion on the doorsteps of their houses?
09-What are the benefits of women smearing turmeric on their faces?
10-Why did big mansions have low doors in ancient times?
11-What is Bhoota Yajna? Incidentally there are five types of daily Yajnas and Bhagawan has extensively spoken about them. Can you name the other four.
12-What is the lesson Bhagawan communicates through the story of the old grandfather and the modern grandson?
13-What is the inner significance of waving the camphor flame (Arathi) in front of God?
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Human Body is like a Chariot / Vehicle


One of the greatest obstacles to spiritual progress is the “Ego” or the “Ahamkaaram”. Bhagawan in His inimitable way makes it so easy to understand this, by splitting the word “Ahamkaaram” as “Aham (I) + Aakaaram (Form)”, which means “I am this body (form)”. Getting over this attachment / obsession to the physical body is indeed a great challenge. In this posting, Bhagawan explains to us the right approach we need to have towards the human body.

There are six excerpts from Bhagawan’s Discourses presented in this posting. These have been selected from a single Discourse given by Bhagawan Baba in the second Summer Course in Indian Culture and Spirituality, conducted by Him in the year 1973. The theme of this Summer Course was “Adi Shankara and Bhaja Govindam”. 

In the 1st audio clip, Bhagawan compares the human body to a chariot / vehicle and states that we need to protect it to the extent necessary but keep our eye always on the ultimate goal of life. In the 2nd clip, He explains how today we are steering our vehicles (human bodies) on the wrong path and thus facing so many difficulties. He gives some interesting statistics that reflects the state of affairs today, with respect to our approach to the physical body. In the 3rd clip, Bhagawan draws an analogy between a car getting stuck up in a slush with our human body getting stuck up in this Samsaara (worldly life). In the 4thclip, Bhagawan condemns our over obsession with the physical body, which has no use without the life force that activates it. In the 5th clip, Bhagawan clarifies that He does not expect us to completely ignore our human body, but is only asking us to give the right attention to it; without getting too obsessed with it. Finally, in the 6th clip, Bhagawan advises us to regard our body as a vehicle meant for journeying to the ultimate goal of life. He finally cajoles the students to uphold Dharma and protect the Bhaaratiya Sanskruti (Culture) acting as its custodians. It is to be noted here that Bhagawan has clearly stated that “Bhaarath” does not mean the geographical country of “India”. However, “Bhaarath”, Bhagawan says refers to a “way of life”.

Each audio clip has a name that adopts the following code: Serial number, Title appropriate to the key content, Duration of the clip, Year-Month-Date of the Clip. Below the title is the translation in English of the select excerpt of the Discourse, followed by the audio player. The post ends with a short quiz that would help you evaluate your assimilation of Bhagawan’s Message from these extracts.  

Note: Those receiving this blog by email may see words bunched together due to a technical glitch. That is beyond my control. Please click on link at the top of the email to read the blog directly. Sorry about this. If anyone has a solution to this please help me out.
1. Body is like a chariot-Protect it to the extent necessary and keep your eye on the ultimate goal-0.48-1973 June 05
The Human Body is like a Vehicle

We must consider our human body as a chariot and no more than that. We must make sure that the various components of this chariot do not come to any harm or face any difficulties. That is all. All other efforts must relate only to the principle of the Brahman, and we must use this chariot to return to the principle of Brahman, from which we have started the journey of our life.

2. Today we are driving the vehicle of our bodies in wrong paths-2.29-1973 June 05
People are driving their vehicle (body) on crooked paths and damaging the spare parts of the vehicle.

Today we are not driving our chariot (of the human body) on the right path. We are driving our vehicle on to crooked paths are thus facing many difficulties and are also damaging many of the spare parts of this vehicle in the process. Nearly 80% of the human beings are spoiling and damaging their vehicles in this manner. From the balance 20%, close to 15% of the human beings are treating their vehicles (of the human body) like cars in a show room. They are decorating them very well, eating all the time, not realizing the true goal of life and are getting totally drowned in the darkness of this worldly life, and are leading a life and enjoying happiness worse than animals. Having got this vehicle (of the human body) that is meant to be used for travel, if we do not put this vehicle into any use, for the purpose of travelling or for helping others to travel, then we may as well regard this vehicle as a mere mass of metal. 

An unused car is equivalent to a mere mass of metal!

 

3. Our body is like a vehicle-If we drive it into undesirable areas we will get into difficulty-2.23-1973 June 05
Like a car caught up in slush, we are caught up in Samsaara (worldly life)

There is one aspect that we have to bear in mind. Just because we can sit in the car and take the vehicle wherever we want, if we drive the vehicle onto roads that are not good, we would to face many difficulties. That is, if we drive the car into places where there are no roads, or onto the hills or into the river, then we would have to undergo many tribulations and losses. In the same manner, if we take this human body into places where it should not be taken, where it is forbidden to go, then we would have to face lot of criticism, abuse, difficulties and losses too. Just as when the car gets stuck up in slush, we would need the help of so many people to lift the car out; so too when this car of the human body enters into the world and gets stuck up in the mud of Samsaara (worldly life), we would need the help of Satsang (company of noble souls) and the advice of elders to help us come out of this fix.

4. We are giving too much importance to our body and forgetting the goal of life-1.20-1973 June 05
We are giving too much importance to our physical body

As we are giving too much importance to this human body which is of no great use, we are not able to understand our state, our destination and our sacredness. The skin of a dead animal may be used for so many purposes, but the body of a dead human being can be put to no use. Youth must understand that it is against the duty of mankind to be so obsessed with the insignificant human body, as to forget what is truly sacred and what the true goal of our life is.

5. Swami is not asking you to completely ignore your physical body-Give it the attention that is due like a vehicle-Not more-2.41-1973 June 05
If we keep decorating our vehicle (body) and polishing it all the time, what is the use of having such a vehicle?

Students, Swami is not saying that you must completely ignore the human body, or not take care of its upkeep, or ignore its health. We have so many vehicles – cycle, scooter, motorcycle, car, bus or even a bullock cart. We need to regularly keep them clean, fill oil or petrol and make sure they are in proper condition. This forms part of one’s duty. In the same manner, our human body is like a chariot. Just as we take care of a cycle or a car, by wiping it, filling oil or petrol and maintaining it in good condition, in the same manner, for this human body that has been given to us to make the journey of life, we need to clean it from time to time, offer it food that is required, and keep it in proper condition. This is of utmost importance. But, forgetting our very life, if we keep decorating our body, filling it with petrol, and keeping on polishing it all the time, then what is the use of having such a vehicle?

6. Take care of the vehicle of the physical body so as to protect it for the journey to God, for establishing Dharma and for protecting Bharatiya culture -2.25-1973 June 05
Use the vehicle (body) for reaching your true destination and for upholding Dharma

Therefore, as we have donned this vehicle of the human body, we must see to it that there is no harm to this body, there is no obstacle to our journey, and that we reach our goal safely. To this extent we must take care of our human body. Beyond that we must always keep our focus on the goal, on our destination and travel along the journey of our life in this world. This is the supreme path.

Students, embodiments of love! You do not need to be careless in taking care of the health of your body and keeping it strong and capable. But, you must consider the truth that this human body has been given to bring victory to Dharma in this country of Bharath. Thus you must engage in Dharmic actions, fulfil the command of elders, and uphold the Bharatiya culture as its custodians. You must keep your body strong and fit, and your mind sacred, for the establishment of Dharma in the future and for upholding the sacred culture. It is my wish that you participate in this noble endeavour.

A Short Quiz
1. With respect to the approach that human beings have towards their physical bodies, what statistics does Bhagawan give us?
2. If the vehicle is not used for the purpose for which it is intended, then what do we regard it as? What is the message Bhagawan drives home through this analogy?
3. What message does Bhagawan communicate by giving the example of a car that gets stuck up in slush?
4. Does Bhagawan advise us to completely ignore our human body? If not, what does He truly expect us to do?
5. What wish does Bhagawan express towards the end, with respect to our duty towards our human body?
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True Spirit of Upaasanaa, Upanyaasam and Paaraayanam

We need to be extremely grateful to our Spiritual Master Bhagawan Baba who has so clearly presented to us the true spirit of the various prescribed spiritual practices. This gives us a right perspective and prevents us from missing out the wood for the trees. In this posting, we have Bhagawan Baba explaining to us the true spirit of all Upaasanaa (Worship), listening to Upanyaasam (Spiritual Discourses) and Paaraayanam (Chanting the name of God / study of spiritual texts / sharing the Glory of God).

There are six Discourse excerpts presented in this posting. These have been selected from the Discourses given by Bhagawan Baba in the years 1996 and 1997.

In the 1st audio clip, Bhagawan condemns the lame excuses that people give stating that they have no time for worship or for chanting the name of the Lord. In the 2nd clip, He highlights the importance that He gives to devotees who always contemplate on God or sing the glory of God, saying that He installs Himself in the pure and noble hearts of such devotees. He then goes on to explain in clip 3, how being “near” to God is not enough. One has to be “dear” to God also. In the 4th clip, Bhagawan laments over the modern trend wherein spirituality also has become a sort of fashion. In the 5th clip, Swami narrates a very humorous story to explain how people may attend spiritual congregations for years, they may listen to spiritual discourses a number of times; but no transformation takes place in their mind and hearts. This, He says, is a mere waste of time. In the final 6th clip, Bhagawan concludes stressing once again that all sacred texts are written not for the purpose of mere intellectual study and reading, but for understanding the message and practicing the same. He ends with His favourate analogy – “one teaspoon of cow’s milk is enough, why barrels and barrels of donkey’s milk?”
Each audio clip has a name that adopts the following code: Serial number, Title appropriate to the key content, Duration of the clip, Year-Month-Date of the Clip. Below the title is the translation in English of the select excerpt of the Discourse, followed by the audio player. The post ends with a short quiz that would help you evaluate your assimilation of Bhagawan’s Message from these extracts.  
Note: Those receiving this blog by emailmay see words bunched together due to a technical glitch. That is beyond my control. Please click on link at the top of the email to read the blog directly. Sorry about this. If anyone has a solution to this please help me out.
1. We have time for everything else but God-2.03-1997 April 08
Time is God. Don’t waste time. Time waste is life waste

Vyasa composed the 18 Puraanaas. But eventually, where are the people who read these Puraanaas? There is just no free time for all this. Many people think they must read these Puraanaas, but they say that they do not have the time to read these. In case they have to undertake some Vratam (spiritual vows), they say they have no time at all, they have lot of office work, they have a number of business errands or they have lot of studies to cope up with. In this way, they give reasons based on their position and status in life.

However, all these words are false. Truly speaking if you want to think about God or chant His name, you have enough time for this. Some people return from the office and settle down on the chair, stating that they are very tired. If their wife says, “Listen, today is the New Year day, let us go to the temple”, they say, “No, I have no time now, I am very tired today”. Such a person is a pucca (hard core) lazy man. Sitting on the chair does he take rest? No. He puts on and watches the Television. Are you not tired to watch the television? Are you not tired to go to the club and play cards? Is this the excuse to be given for not having time? Lot of time is there. But you are wasting this time, you are misusing this time. Instead of wasting this time, make good use of it. This is the true human value. We must sanctify our time. Don’t waste time. Time waste is life waste. Time is God. Therefore, we must make proper use of time. God is the embodiment of time.

2. Head Office of the Lord-Human Heart-1.58-1996 July 05
I install Myself in the hearts of those who sing the glory of God

At one time, Narada asked Lord Vishnu. Swami, all the time, in order to have your Darshan, I come to the place where you are there. But at times, there may be an emergency. At such times, if I need to see you or send word to you, where would you be? Where is your head office? Is it at Vaikuntam, or at Kailasa or in Heaven? Then Lord Vishnu said, “Narada, take down my address. Mad Bhaktaaha Yatra Gaayanti, Tatra Thishthami Narada. Narada, this Kailasa, this Vaikuntam, this heaven; these are all branch offices. My head office is – Mad Bhaktaaha Yatra Gaayanti – where my devotees sing my glory – Tatra Thishthami Narada – therein I install Myself Narada. At other places, I am just a procession idol. However, in the head office I install Myself. He said “install Myself” and not just “reside therein”. Therefore, every heart is the dwelling place of God. Hence, man should not imagine that he is just a man. All are verily forms of God Himself!

3. How to do Paaraayanam – Practice the message and connect to God-2.29-1996 June 29
For true experience, both “nearness” and “dearness”  are essential

We study the Ramayana, the Bhagavata, the Bhagavd Gita and perform so many Paaraayanaas(chanting the name of God / studying scriptural texts / sharing the glory of God). But what is the use? Everyday we do Paaraayanaaof the Bhagavatha and the Bhagavd Gita. Everyday we chant the Sahasranaamaa (1008 names of the Lord). All this is merely textual knowledge. But we need practical knowledge. It is enough if we practice at least one teaching (of these scriptures). If we enquire in this manner, it is a matter of shame and embarrassment to call ourselves devotees. We are there very close possibly. But we are like frogs on the flower. On the other hand, honey bees come from far off places and suck the nectar from the flower and go away.

In this context, “near” and “dear” – both are important. You are “near” but you are not “dear”. The honey bees are “dear”, but they are not “near”. For the true experience, both “near” and “dear” are essential. We must make an effort to practice at least one teaching. When it (teaching) is not put into practice, any amount of hearing (of sacred texts) is just like a tape recorder. When you merely watch a tape recorder, you do not hear anything. Even if you cut the tape into several small pieces, you will not be able to see or hear anything in it. But if you place the tape in the recorder and connect it to the electric current, by placing the batteries / cells, only then you will be able to hear the sound. Therefore, all the feelings in your heart must be connected to Love, to God. Then, all that is within will come out. All the collectionof matter must be subject to connection with God. That will lead to selection; you will be selected by God.

4. Harikathaa – A Spiritual Fashion-Temporary Renunciation-2.35-1996 July 11
Spirituality has become a sort of fashion these days!

How is the practice these days? If there is some spiritual discourse, some Harikatha (story of God), or some other narration of the glory of God, all the people go there to listen. So long as these discourses, talks and Harikathas go on, vibrations of renunciation keeps manifesting in the people, over and over! How long do these vibrations, emotions and renunciation last? The moment the discourse gets over, these too vanish. What is heard, is not treasured even till they reach their homes. So what is the use of listening to any number of discourses that preach “Anityam Asukham Lokam” (this world is ephemeral and full of sorrow). It is all only listening, but no practice. Only when we practice, we will realize the benefit. Only when you eat, you come to know the taste and the hunger is satiated. We can also assimilate its strength. We do not know the taste. Why? Because we are not eating. We are unable to get rid of the weakness. Why? Because we are not digesting what is eaten. What is heard has to be eaten (absorbed) and what is eaten has to be digested (assimilated).

This is all the effect of the age of Kali. Spirituality has become a sort of fashion these days. Fashion and not compassion. Once we nurture compassion, this fashion will run away. So to listen (to spiritual discourses) has become a fashion these days. “Where had you gone”? The person answers, “I had gone to attend that (spiritual) discourse”. “What happened there?” The person answers, “Oh! So many things happened there”. “Can you tell me at least a little of what was told there?” The person answers, “Oh! But nothing went into my head!”. Then why should the person go there?

5. Merely attending Paaraayanam is of no use-Example of Businessman-3.50-1996 July 11
By the time you leave the  Hall, the spiritual discourse is forgotten!

There was a devotee. He had been attending spiritual discourses since 16 years. What were these discourses about? They were the stories of Lord Rama. Everyday, there would be a discourse on the life of Lord Rama. The quality of detachment is found extensively in the story of Lord Rama. His whole life was full of difficulties. To add to it, the Pundit was narrating the story with all the more feelings and emotions. The Pundit laid down the discipline that whosoever attends these spiritual discourses should do so without absenting themselves even for a day. Because, if people miss the discourse, the crowd will appear less! The Pundit wanted the pride of having large crowds attending his discourse. Therefore the Pundit had laid down the rule that unless one attends these discourses everyday without missing even one day, they would not receive the benefits / results of this Paaraayanam.

One day, this devotee had to mandatorily go elsewhere on some work. The devotee asked the Pundit whether for that one day, his son could attend the discourse instead of him. The Pundit was concerned only with filling up the seat; therefore how would it matter as to who came for the discourse. Thinking so, he told the devotee that his son could come for the discourse. The devotee went home. He then thought, “Oh, this Pundit is talking so much about renunciation. Asthiram Jeevanam Loke, Asthiram Yauvanam Dhanam (Life in this world is ephemeral, youth and wealth are ephemeral). If my son goes and hears his discourse, he too may imbibe the quality of detachment. What if he leaves everything and goes away”? Thinking so, the devotee went the next morning to the Pundit and told him, “Sir, your discourses are very good. But if young children of today, like my son, develop detachment and leave their family and house; what will be my fate? The Pundit replied strongly and in a straight forward manner, so as to make a deep impact on the devotee’s heart. “Sir, you have been attending my discourses for the last 16 years. How much of detachment have you developed? Do you think your son will develop detachment just by attending one day of the discourse? It is not so easy to develop detachment.
In the same manner, people have been coming here for years to listen to discourses. But not an iota of detachment or devotion has taken roots in their hearts. It is very nice when you are hearing the discourses. It gives lot of happiness. But the moment we leave this compound – Yathaa Sthaanam, Yathaa Bhaavam, Thathaa Sthithi (as is our residence, as is our feelings, so is our position). We go back to status quo.

6. Scriptures are meant for Practice and not just Paaraayanam-1.31-1996 July 11
One teaspoon of cow’s milk is enough, why barrels and barrels of donkey’s milk?

Therefore practice is most important. All these texts like the Ramayana, Mahabharatha, Bhagawatha, Koran, Bible, etc. have not been written for the sake of Paaraayanaa (i.e. sacred reading or chanting). For that matter, any religious text is not meant for mere Paaraayanam. They all have been written for the purpose of practising. However, today there is no practice. We just study / read / chant these texts. We say, “Oh! From so many years we are doing Paaraayanam of the Ramayana, the Bhagavad Gita. We are regularly chanting the Vishnu Sahasranaama. But what is the use of doing all these Paaraayanas? All these Paaraayanaas are leaving us and running away! Why then should we undertake these Paaraayanaas? Take up at least one Paaraayanam (in the true spirit). Practice at least one teaching. That is enough. Why? Because, one spoonful of cow’s milk is enough, why barrels and barrels of donkey’s milk? A teaspoon of cow’s milk is useful. Therefore, put into practice.

A Short Quiz:
 
1. Where is the head office of the Lord and which are His branch offices?
2. What is the message Bhagawn conveys through the analogy of the flower, frog and the bee?
3. Referring to the current day practice of spirituality, wherein it has become a fashion to attend spiritual congregations and listen to spiritual discourses, Swami draws the analogy of food, taste and hunger. Explain this analogy.
4. After narrating