Between You and Us
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.
WHEREVER YOU ARE, HERE IS WISHING YOU A MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM
ALL OF US IN THE SGH TEAM!