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Between You and Us

Dear Reader,

The cover story this time is Christmas, and in particular, Christmas in Prashanti Nilayam. If you come to Prashanti at that time, you will find lots of overseas devotees, blissfully celebrating Christmas along with the locals. However, the celebration of Christmas by Baba did not start with the large-scale arrival of overseas devotees. In fact, it goes back a long time, when the number of overseas visitors was less than a handful.

Why did Baba start celebrating Christmas in those distant days? Because He wanted to remind humanity about the values that Christ stood and died for. Christ is always remembered for four things: Love, Compassion, Sacrifice, and Forbearance - in Baba's language, Prema, Daya, Tyaga and Kshama. That is the magnet that drew people in increasing numbers to Christ and to the faith that was later established in his name. And it is that very same magnet that is now drawing hundreds of thousands to Him who sent Christ, that is the Heavenly Father.

The so-called Middle East gave birth to three major religions - Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. They have many things in common, including the Prophets. Yet, how many conflicts history has seen between the followers of these religions! How come when religions preach Love, many who claim to profess these religions preach intolerance? The Mind holds the key to that puzzle.

Today, there is a lot of violence in that very region that gave birth to the three famous religions just mentioned. Why is that? The answer is, to use Swami's language, that the Mind is being turned towards the world instead of God. Tens if not hundreds of billions of dollars are being spent to fight terrorism as it is referred to. But, as one wise man wrote: "War is born in the minds of men and it is in the minds of men that war must be stopped". And that stopping cannot be achieved with more violence and the philosophy of an eye for an eye. Those days are gone.

There is no use mechanically chanting PEACE ON EARTH at Christmas time while promoting greed, desires, anger, venom, hatred, jealousy etc. In this context, Swami makes a reference to two words: SHANTI and PRASHANTI. What do they mean? Baba has explained. Shanti means Inner Peace and Tranquillity. Bhagavan adds: "When a person has achieved Inner Peace, the calm within radiates outwards and spreads Peace in the neighbourhood - that is Prashanti. Shanti is like the inherent beauty of a rose while Prashanti is like its fragrance; it reaches a long distance." Peace will reign on earth when each one of us achieves Shanti within. If there is Shanti within, there is automatically Prashanti outside. That then is the magic formula.

This issue which offers a glimpse of Christmas as celebrated in Baba's Divine presence would, we hope, arouse noble feelings in all our readers and genuinely contribute to the spread of Peace in this troubled world.



Volume 01: PDS / 08 Date : DEC 15 2003