Spiritual Blossoms
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Continuing our feature Getting Spiritually Better, we offer below the ninth instalment. We hope you like it, and would share it with others who are interested in enquiry and self-improvement. Do write and tell us what you think, how you find it, whether it is useful, and in what ways this feature can be improved.

Thank you and Jai Sai Ram.


Swami says that new-born babies are Pure. That is why He often cites Jesus Christ who always wanted us to be Pure like children. Swami adds, “Be like a child for at least five minutes a day!” If babies are Pure at birth, then what happens to them when they grow up? How does impurity get in and spoil the person? Why is it that some are more susceptible and vulnerable to contamination while others are able to resist? All these questions have an answer.

Getting Spiritually BetterA new-born baby does not know anything about the external world. It barely knows even its mother. It is in its natural state, which is a state of Bliss. We have all seen tiny babies smiling beautifully sometimes. Why does the baby smile? Has it won a huge fortune? It knows nothing about the world, and yet it smiles; how come? Swami gives the answer. He says the baby is in communion with God and that is why it is smiling – Happiness is Union with God, that is all. However, very soon the situation changes drastically. Day by day, the baby becomes increasingly aware of the external world, and pretty soon it develops attachments – to people, to objects, and so on. It learns to be possessive – that is why children fight intensely over toys, for example. Incidentally, it is increasing contact with the external world that makes past tendencies to surface and further shape the attitude as well as the behaviour of the child. What are these past tendencies? They are the ones that have been acquired in earlier births. As Swami has told us many times, when a person dies, it is the body that perishes; the mind does not. It is the so-called subtle body and it survives death. This subtle body then enters a womb, and brings with it all past tendencies.

These past tendencies are called Vasanas. There could be good Vasanas as well as undesirable ones. In life, we must get rid of the bad ones. Swami says that getting rid of bad tendencies is what spirituality is really all about!

How do these bad tendencies or spiritual impurities arise? Impurities arise basically from attachments of one type or the other. Attachments are born of desires and desires are promoted by the senses. If the desires are fulfilled, then it leads to one kind of problem. If the feeling of desire is there and it is not fulfilled, then it leads to another kind of problem; there is frustration, leading to jealousy etc.

One might ask: “So, what? What problems do these impurities cause, if any?” Well, to start with, impurities can push one deeply into the world of duality, which means that one would face a never-ending cycle of pleasure and pain, perhaps more of pain and sorrow than pleasure. That is the first problem with impurities. Second is that one can never get back to God and merge with Him. Swami says that from God we all have come and to Him we MUST return. If we focus on the world, we would get stuck in the world, indeed for eternity! If we want to go back to God, then perforce we have to focus on Him. And impurities prevent this focus in many ways.

Let us now get back to desires, worldly desires that is, because they form the starting point of all trouble. How come people develop desires? How does a baby that is innocent at birth, soon becomes afflicted with desires of one kind or the other? This is a deep and fundamental question, and Bhagavan Baba has given the answer. He says that basically all individuals want to be happy. Actually, they want Bliss because Bliss is their natural state – remember God is Bliss, and we all are sparks of the Divine. The tiny baby is blissful because it knows where to find it – instinctively, it seeks Bliss inside; it does so because it knows nothing about the external world yet. But soon it becomes increasingly preoccupied with the external world. It sees many attractive things in the world. Until now, the baby knew only Bliss; but now, it falls for the worldly attractions, wrongly imagining that they would lead to Bliss. They of course do not, and this is how the baby gets conned. It gets joy no doubt but there is also the pain that follows pleasure. The baby does not understand that pleasure and pain form an inseparable pair. In fact, even after the baby grows into an adult, the lesson is still not learnt. The adult hangs on to the same belief, i.e., one can find unalloyed and eternal pleasure in the world. Swami asks, “How can you, when the world itself is temporary? CAN THAT WHICH IS TRANSIENT EVER CONFER PERMANENT HAPPINESS?” But this obvious logic is not grasped by 99.999999% of humanity. People imagine that the anti-dote to pain is more pleasure, without realising that this opens the way for more pain!

Some are more gullible to the false attractions of the world while others are not. Why? This depends very much on the history of the previous births of the person concerned. Those who have practiced austerities in earlier births and evolved spiritually would be less susceptible to the ephemeral attractions of the world. Those who are still spiritually ‘raw’ would yield easily to worldly temptations. However, whatever the past, everyone can, if he or she so determines, change the course. A person may be born poor but can become rich through careful strategy and hard work – many have actually done so and the rags-to-riches story is not entirely unfamiliar. In the same way, everyone can alter his or her destiny, instead of being a prisoner of the past, provided the yearning is there. Incidentally, the appearance of the Avatar promotes this urge in many who would otherwise have remained indifferent to the Divine.

OK, we want to change, we want to improve, and we want to avoid succumbing to the false attractions of the world. What is the secret formula? Mind and sense control is the formula! In this context, Swami makes an important observation. He says that first there is the Atma or soul. The Mind is born of the Atma, and the body along with the sense organs comes later – it is gross, and therefore lowest on the totem pole. This therefore is the hierarchy: Atma, mind, senses. Seen in this light, the Mind is the boss of the senses, and the Atma is the boss of the Mind.

In practical terms it means that the mind must dictate the senses and control it, instead of the other way around. In turn, the mind must obey the Atma.

This is a very important point whose nuances need to be stressed. These days, the media in collusion with the market, is out to influence every person to go for everything that satisfies greed, lust etc. The newspapers and TV are all the time urging everyone to do this or that or buy this and that. They all do this because they want our cash; they couldn’t care less if in the process we degenerate. The senses are promptly tempted and the message is passed on to the mind, “Hey, listen, there is this great thing, don’t miss it. It is full of fun and pleasure,” or something like that. In a weak person the Mind yields – sometimes with a token struggle, sometimes with no struggle at all. The Mind, which ought to have an independent opinion and judgement, is now reduced to being a servant of the senses and goes by what they recommend. This is NOT correct. Swami says that the Mind should be the MASTER OF THE SENSES. It will be so if it follows the Atma. If the Mind follows the Atma and keeps the senses under tight control, then man can ascend to God. If, however, the Mind yields to the senses and comes under their control then man is sure to descend to the level of animals or even that of the devil.

In a nutshell, we become impure when we fall a prey to the worldly attractions. We fall a prey when we do not exercise control over the senses. To keep the senses under check, the Mind must follow the Atma on the one hand, and dominate over the senses on the other.

Ignorant people may ask the question: “Is this not a kill-joy prescription? If God did not want us to enjoy, why then did He create all the attractions in the first place?” Swami has given a clear answer to this question. Let us take the senses first. Yes, God gave senses to the animals for survival. The senses alert about external dangers, and also make the being conscious of the things that the external world can offer, like food, water, etc. Man, who has evolved from the lower form of species, also has been gifted with the senses; however, that does not mean that they ought to be used the same way that lower species use them; in fact, in some aspects, man behaves much worse than animals. The animals have not made the pursuit of sensual pleasures a full-time vocation; whatever they do is, to use Swami’s phrase, in accordance with ‘reason and season’. But for man, the pursuit of sensual pleasure has become an addiction, with no reason and season. Indeed, the ‘pleasure industry’ – taking all aspects of it – is a multi-trillion dollar industry. Day by day, the power of this industry is increasing, sucking more and more people into the turbulent whirlpool.

God did not intend man to misuse the senses in this manner. Take for example the eyes. Swami asks: “Why has God given you eyes? Is it look at filth and obscenity or to enjoy the Darshan of the Lord? Why has God given you the power of hearing? Is it to hear filthy gossip or the stories of the Lord and His Glory?”

To get back to the point about the so-called ‘kill-joy prescription’, God does not say, you should not derive happiness by eating; eat by all means, but not any and every foul thing; eat what is wholesome, and has been consecrated by first offering to the Lord. God does not say close your eyes and move about the world like a blind person. Rather, He wants us to see what is good and turn away from what is not good. In short, the senses must be used in a regulated manner; otherwise, they would behave like a runaway horse; and that could cause all kinds of problems, besides retarding spiritual progress. Finally, the prescription may sound like kill-joy but it only kills worldly joy; in its place, it leads to Bliss, which is nothing but permanent happiness – it is permanent because it is connected with the Divine.

OK, Mind and sense control is necessary; but is this not difficult? Yes, but not all that difficult, if one makes the effort. One must try and try again; if one is dogged and determined, one WILL succeed. Take eating meat, for example. Many have felt that they just could not live without meat but have successfully given it up. How did they manage to do it? They simply said: “I love Swami. Let me do this for Him.” The power of their Love was so strong that it gave them enough strength to overcome the craving for meat. Yes, thousands HAVE given up meat, drinking, smoking, watching TV endlessly, reading useless books, etc., as a ‘gift’ to Swami. In other words, if one uses Love as the anchor, the impossible does not seem impossible anymore. Yes it would take some effort but it can be done. Perhaps it may not happen instantly but can happen reasonably fast, if there is the will.

Doubts may exist: “OK, I have achieved Mind and Sense Control (MSC); but what good does it do to me?” Well, MSC helps in many ways. First and foremost, it promotes equanimity. Equanimity means that one does not get ruffled, carried away, or excited by what happens. It means that one is able to take everything in one’s stride. Krishna declares in the Gita that Equanimity is a Prince among the Yogas.

Equanimity is very valuable in practice. It is a virtue that enables one to be objective in one’s judgement and cool during a crisis. Actually, these qualities are much desired in Corporate Managers and Political Leaders. In that sense, equanimity is a virtue with many practical applications; but to achieve it, one must go inwards and quell the enemies that threaten balance. Let us say there is a certain unpleasant situation. The situation actually happens in the external world. If one allows external forces to dictate the Mind, then the reaction to the situation could be disastrous. One could end up losing one’s courage, or losing one’s balance by getting angry, or losing one’s capacity for correct decision making. If, however, the Mind is controlled from within, then the external situation can be faced calmly. Equanimity is of great importance in spirituality too. It cannot be achieved unless internal enemies are conquered; and conquest of ‘internal enemies’ is always high on the agenda of all spiritual aspirants.

We normally think that enemies exist outside. This is incorrect. We have greater enemies inside than the worst external enemy one can think of. Krishna teaches that one can never wage a successful war against external enemies unless one has first vanquished or at least brought under control the internal enemies. It has already been mentioned that by internal enemies, we mean things like lust, anger, jealousy, etc. There is only one weapon for annihilating these monsters – Mind and Sense Control.

In this context, it is pertinent to recall the circumstances under which Krishna preached the Bhagavad Gita to Arjuna. The Pandavas wanted to wage war with the Kaurava clan, because the latter were consistently resorting to Adharma and causing suffering to them [the Pandavas]. Arjuna, in particular, was very keen to fight. But when he enters the battlefield, he is overwhelmed. He wants to withdraw, and gives various reasons why there should be no war. Superficially, the reasons advanced by Arjuna seem convincing. However, the principle defect in his line of reasoning is that he was not objective in his analysis; rather, he has allowed himself to be swayed by various personal considerations. This is what Krishna objects to, adding that Arjuna’s faulty reasoning was entirely the result of his body attachment. Krishna then prepares Arjuna for battle by ‘educating’ him in such a manner that attachment is removed. Attachment cannot be removed while the deadly internal enemies are still hanging around; they have to be eliminated first, and that is why MSC is important. Life is a battle; and if we are to face it, then we must perforce get rid first of all our internal enemies.

OK. MSC is achieved, and all internal enemies are kept in check. Then what? Well, one is now ready to go though life performing one’s duty as the Good Lord intends us to. How? Let us again refer to the Gita. Arjuna refused to fight. Krishna says, “Nothing doing; get up and fight.” Now Krishna could have contented Himself with just giving a military-style pep talk like generals do on the eve of battle. However, Krishna went far beyond such a routine pep talk. He explained the whole purpose of action, duty, etc., and how exactly they must be performed, in the context of God, Creation and man.

This is a very important point. Action is the essence of the Universe – there is always action, action of various kinds and in various places. Nothing can ever remain still; things are always happening. Now action can be divided into two broad categories – meaningful action and meaningless action. Unfortunately, most of the actions performed these days by man belong to the latter category. What then is a meaningful action? This is what Krishna explains clearly and in great depth.

Meaningful action is that which is in consonance with the spirit of the Atma. This might sound like a mysterious statement. However, the mystery would be removed soon with adequate explanation. Action in consonance with the spirit of the Atma is often referred to as Atma Dharma. The Bhagavad Gita, is, if one might say so, a manual for the practice of Atma Dharma. Now what is this Atma Dharma? It simply means righteous action performed in consonance with the nature of the Atma. Does that mean that there are other kinds of Dharma? Yes of course there are. One might perform what one honestly believes is righteous action that is in accord with the perceptions of the body and the mind. Here, the Mind and body-consciousness are the motivating factors for the action. Therefore, this does not come under the category of Atma Dharma. Action of this type is described as Para Dharma. Does that mean that all the people who follow Para Dharma are on the wrong track? Not exactly; just that they are on a track that is inadequate. In what way? Well, following Para Dharma might be safe most of the time, but, because of its limited perspective, it can land persons in tough moral dilemmas; on such occasions, one is left high and dry, and totally clueless. This precisely is where Atma Dharma comes to the rescue; all this would be duly amplified in a later issue.

Meanwhile, the following can be said. Arjuna was making a faulty judgement because he was being guided by considerations of body attachment. In other words, he was facing a dilemma because he was trying to follow Para Dharma. Krishna says, “You must follow Atma Dharma. In that case, the course of your action becomes crystal clear; there would be no dilemmas.” From there on, Krishna explains what is meant by the Atma, what Atma Dharma implies, etc. Incidentally, Mind and sense control are absolutely essential for following Atma Dharma. This Atma Dharma must be followed not merely for avoiding moral dilemmas and so on. The prime purpose is that it would lead one rapidly towards God. Atma Dharma is what enables one to spiritualise every activity in life. And it is only when life is spiritualised, that one can eventually merge with God.

In the following chapter, some of the nuances of Atma Dharma are spelt out in some detail. Before concluding this chapter, two points may be made. Firstly, Swami attaches a lot of importance to Atma Dharma. Secondly, He sometimes links the last word of the last chapter of the Gita with the first word of the first chapter. When so combined, the word that results is Mama Dharma. It means ‘my Dharma’. Swami says that ‘my Dharma’ is nothing but Atma Dharma. Once again, Mind and sense control is a vital prerequisite for the practice of Atma Dharma. And following Atma Dharma is a must for getting back to God.


  • Senses are physical organs that allow the body to contact the outside world, obtain information about it and also communicate with it. In the language of computers, they are like I/O [Input/Output] devices.

  • There are two aspects to the senses: The information gathering part and the cognitive part. To give an example, the eye is like a TV camera; it receives a picture and transmits it to the brain, where the information is processed and then recognised. Swami sometimes uses the Sanskrit words related to these two apsects. They are: Karmendriyas or organs of sensing and Jnanedriyas or organs of perception.

  • In spirituality, the term Mind and sense control is often used. Lest the word ‘control’ is misunderstood, it is to be stressed that control really means regulation. Control implies an external force whereas regulation implies an internal stipulation.

  • Everyone would agree that soldiers must observe discipline, especially in regard to physical fitness. In the same way, the seeker or the spiritual soldier must observe sense and mental regulation; and this discipline must really come from within - there can be no two opinions about that.

  • Thus, sense and Mind control really refers to regulation rather than control. The use of the word control is unfortunate, especially as it arouses all kinds of suspicions. Regulation is always desirable. A simple example. A boy may like chocolates very much. If he eats too much, then he will have plenty of problems with his teeth, not to mention other kinds of problems also. Regulation means a strict watch on the amount of chocolates consumed. Though regulation may start off as the result of external advice or even compulsion, it can be sustained only through one’s own sense of determination.

  • Regulation is a kind of self-discipline. Such discipline is observed [though in a limited sense] even by people with worldly objectives. For example, a tennis star aspiring to win the Wimbledon title subjects himself to a strict timetable and life style. Such discipline is even more essential for the spiritual seeker.

  • Swami compares all this with the use of brakes in a car. He says that it is stupid to drive a car with one foot on the brakes. At the same time, one must not only make sure that brakes are in perfect condition but must also know how to use them properly when the need arises. In life, one must make sure there is a brake for every activity connected with the senses.

  • The senses which are outward looking would see something “attractive” and tell the Mind, “Hey, this is great, allow me to try it!” The Mind must be strict and sternly reply, “Nothing doing!”

  • Of course this is not what usually happens. So the question arises: “Why do the senses and the Mind often go astray?” Basically this is due to the traits inherited from earlier births. As has been pointed out, human birth comes after many earlier births in lower forms. In all these forms, the outlook is purely external. Some of the traits acquired in earlier births may still survive, and it is these past tendencies or Vasanas as they are called, that often lead the senses and the Mind astray.

  • Agreed that Vasanas can lay traps; so what is one to do? That precisely is where Mind and sense regulation comes into the picture. Like the aspiring tennis star, one must, for the sake of spiritual progress, make a conscious effort at regulation.

  • OK, but how does one do this? Here, the following analogy would help. Suppose we want to keep the body fit. Then one important requirement is that we stay away from “junk” food. In the same way, the senses and the Mind must be fed only healthy “food”, and kept away from junk.

  • Baba strongly emphasises this point about giving proper “food” to the senses and the Mind. He says that these organs consume subtle food, as opposed to the physical food that we feed to the body. Just as the physical food must be pure and healthy, so also the subtle food.

  • But what exactly does that mean? Swami has explained. Basically it means: See no evil, see what is good. Hear no evil, hear what is good. Do no evil, do what is good. Think no evil, think what is good.

  • Any simple way to achieve all this? Yes, and Baba has explained all that. He says, “Avoid bad company and seek good company. Then you are off to a great start!”

  • Add to these the simple teachings that Baba gives like, TALK LESS, HAVE LESS LUGGAGE, etc. All these relate to self-regulation.

  • In this context, mention must also be made of the six great enemies of man who are constantly on the lookout to penetrate within. They are: Kama, Krodha, Lobha, Moha, Mada, and Matsarya, meaning, lust and desire, anger, greed and miserliness, attachment, pride, and jealousy. Verily they are like cancer and must be kept out. Only strict regulation as discussed above can do that. As Baba says, these enemies will try to get a toe-hold, pretending to be friends. But once they get lodged inside, they will not stop short of total destruction.

  • Now why is regulation important in life? What if one indulges in self-gratification, but takes care of the body suitably? This is an important question. To appreciate the answer, one must first of all understand why God endowed beings with senses – remember, animals like the tiger, for example, also have eyes, ears, nose etc. God endowed beings with senses in order to survive in the external world and in order to protect themselves from danger. For example, thanks to the senses, the tiger is able to go in search of water, and the deer is able to run for its life when it sees a tiger.

  • Senses can and must perform similar functions in the case of man also. But man must be very careful about the use of the senses. In the case of animals, there is no question of misuse of the senses. They live according to a built-in program, and they have no mind that can distract, offer choice, etc. To use Baba’s words, they function in accordance with “season and reason”. It is only man who acts as if there is “no reason or any season”.

  • Man is liable to temptation, and the senses, in collusion with the Mind, play a great part in leading man down the path of sin to disaster. That is why regulation is required.

  • These days, people ask: “So what if man commits what you call sin? You may not like it but I do. What’s there to prevent me from acting the way I want?” The answer is simple: “There is nothing to prevent, but there is always a price to pay. In some cases Society will extract the payment and in the other cases, Destiny will, through the Law of Karma. There is no free lunch.”

  • There is a more important point that goes beyond mere punishment or retribution. The purpose of life is to go back to God. In other words, life must be a journey to God. And this journey is not possible without appropriate sense and Mind regulation. Without sense and Mind control, one would go in the opposite direction, only to be trapped in the cycle of birth and death. Incidentally, Baba often says in His Discourses: JANTUNAAM NARAJANMA DURLABHAM. It means that birth in human form is a rare and precious gift from God; we had therefore better make good use of the opportunity given to us.

  • In brief, regulation of the senses and the Mind is a must for a seeker; there is no escape from it. If a person claims to be a seeker, then that person must be prepared to voluntarily impose on himself/herself such regulation, and practice self-control.

  • One must appreciate that in a human being, the Mind plays a double role, a lower role, if one may say so, and also a higher role. The lower role is common to animals while the higher role is unique to humans. Naturally, one expects the higher role to be more dominant in humans.

  • Swami sometimes says, man is an M, B, A, meaning that he is a composite of the MIND, THE BODY, and the ATMA. Man’s life must exhibit a harmonious blend of these three aspects.

  • Buddhi is the vital link between the higher Mind and Conscience. If Buddhi is weak, then man will be dominated by the senses acting in collusion with the lower Mind. If Buddhi is strong, there will be balance.

  • The external forces are very strong [especially these days], and will always try to drag the Mind outside. The senses will say, “Hey! You got to try this thing; it is really great!” When the Mind yields, it makes a lower choice. If the Mind says, “Get lost!” then it is making the higher and of course the correct choice!

  • Man’s personality reflects internal hierarchy. In an evolved person, the Atma dictates the Mind, the Mind dictates the senses, and the body acts in accordance with a sacred discipline. In an inferior person, the senses and the Mind dwell in the external world, shutting out the influence of the Atma. The life of such a person is thus nothing to write home about.

  • Today, sensuality is being extensively encouraged by demonic forces organised as the pleasure industry, and acting in unholy collusion with money-greedy media. There is a reckless promotion of individuality, all in the name of “freedom”. As Baba says, the one who talks of such freedom is actually a slave, slave to the senses.

  • Promotion of and aggressive marketing of sensuality is severely disrupting modern Society. Civilisation grew by people coming together for common good. That is why Baba emphasises that man must seek spiritual elevation by seeking good company and doing good in Society [see, for example, the Divine Discourse delivered on 4th November, 2002, on the occasion of the Deepavali festival].

  • Sensuality has trapped man into the dungeon of “I”, “Me” and “Mine”. Indeed, even the concept of the family, held sacred for thousands of years by people of all faiths and all civilisations, is now being sacrificed in order to promote evil trades, desires, etc. Can one have a solid without atoms? Similarly, can one think of human Society without having the family as the basic building block? Yet, that is the impossible experiment that modern civilisation is currently trying.

  • Notwithstanding all this, people grumble: “Listen, there is no point in talking about all this. Let us face facts. When people are being constantly bombarded by the media to succumb to desires of all kinds, when one is literally forced to buy beyond one’s means in order to keep up with the Joneses, how can one practice Mind and Sense Control? Even Rishis would find it almost impossible! Such is today’s situation!”

  • One must concede that this is a powerful argument. Ordinary mortals cannot easily resist such sustained and massive pressure. But there is one agent that can make the impossible possible. That is Love. Suppose one simply says: “I don’t care whether this is possible or not. I will not get involved in all those arguments. Swami does so much for me. He gives me so much Love. I must do something for Him in return. So I will do this for Him, as an expression of Love”. Such a resolve is not all that naïve. People have given their lives for their country. Here, one is not asking life to be sacrificed, but only unwanted desires, and that too for God! Incidentally, Baba is most considerate and does not say, “No you should not have a car’, and things like that. If a car is required for various genuine reasons, then one can have a car. Only, one must get attached to it, or regard it as a status symbol, keep changing cars just to be one up, etc.

  • It is pertinent to mention here briefly, the kind of discipline that was prescribed in ancient India, since Baba makes references to it often. Swami points out the goals of life prescribed by the ancients that are enshrined in the Purusharthaas. Essentially they prescribe priorities in life, three important features of which are: 1) All actions must be based on Dharma, 2) Worldly desires must be kept in check, and 3) Liberation and merger with God must be the goal. It is worth looking and studying in detail what Baba has to say on this matter.

  • In ancient India, there was also a code that spelt out how a man must put into practice the dictats mentioned above. From the age of five to the age of say eighteen, the boy is supposed to live as a Brahmachari. A Brahmachari, as the term itself indicates, is supposed to focus on Brahman, i.e., God, which automatically implies not only being immersed in the study of the scriptures, but also turning away from worldly desires of ALL kinds. In fact, he must live like a renunciate or Sannyasi, and beg for food. A Sannyasi and a Brahmachari were expected to regard the entire world as their family; thus, seeking alms was not considered as begging or demeaning but as an expression of the feeling of Universality. After eighteen, the young man got married, entering what was called the Grahastha stage. In this phase, the man and his wife became partners in sustaining Dharma in Society. That is why the wife was called Saha-dharmini, meaning one who had equal share in sustaining Dharma in Society. How was this done? The man and wife took care of elders at home, gave charity as possible, welcomed guests as God extending due hospitality to them, worshipped God duly besides encouraging their children to do so, and in general helped the community in all possible ways. When the children grew up, the parents withdrew into themselves to focus more on God and observe all possible austerities as prescribed. This stage called Vanaprashta literally meant withdrawing into the forest; but operationally what it implied was simple and totally detached living. At a still later age, the man became a Sannyasi, snapping all bonds, including with his family.

  • What is to be noted here is that people belonging to every strata of Society had to follow Dharma, and at every stage in life. Dharma cannot be observed unless there is self-discipline, and that is why there was peace and prosperity in those days.

  • One cannot glibly say that Dharma will not work in today’s tech Society or irrelevant. Such myths are regularly being manufactured by vested interests. Morality cannot simply be dismissed for the entire Universe rests on a Moral Law. As Gandhi put it, there is a Moral Law governing the Universe.

  • There is also another important point regarding morals and morality. It just cannot be fragmented, as people, often driven by self-interest try to do. In eastern societies, people often think, mistakenly of course, that they can have a personal relationship with God involving rituals, prayers, etc., but can flout Dharma in Society in all ways that suits them. Thus it is one finds many unscrupulous businessmen, who think they can wipe out any possible sins they have committed by paying “conscience money”. In Western Society, on the other hand, people are often very fussy about community ethics but care two hoots about personal morality. Both are unacceptable, and both harm society in their own ways. Once again, Morality is one whole and cannot be trimmed as one likes.

    To summarise:

    One must go through life focussed on the real goal, i.e., God.

    For this journey, internal purity is a must.

    This internal purity cannot come without Mind and sense regulation.

    Such regulation does not mean that one has to live like a hermit. Baba is most emphatic about that. He merely says that one must not crave for things of the world and thus become a slave to desires.

    Self-regulation means using the “brakes” when required, and not driving with the foot on the brake.

    Mind and sense regulation is needed for several reasons. 1) Self-advancement, 2) playing a proper role in Society, and 3) for making the world a better place to live in.

    Mind and self-regulation would make an individual into a proper and concerned citizen. And when such concerned citizens work, say, in a company, that organisation would function as a corporate citizen.

    Regulation cannot be fragmented. Regulation must be with respect to one’s individual realtionship with God and also with respect to one’s relationship with the community and Society.

    In other words, one cannot say only private morality but no social morals or vice versa. Morality is one whole and cannot be split to suit individual convenience.

    Particular attention must be given to channelising the enormous and highly creative energies of youth along proper directions. Just to give an example, a very high percentage of the computer hackers, and virus producers are young people. They do such things for “kicks” and so-called excitement. Should one derive pleasure by causing problems for others?


  • These days when there is a tremendous bombardment by the media to enslave our Minds, we must give serious attention to Swami’s advice that “we learn to see not through the eyes of others but with our own eyes; not hear through the ears of others but with our own ears,” and so on.

  • Baba also often draws attention to the presence of the five elements within us. He says that the five elements outside, meaning the environment, cannot remain unpolluted if the five elements within are polluted. In other words, external pollution begins first with internal pollution. This is a very important point that does not receive as much serious attention, as it ought to, despite many Bal Vikas programs that are routinely staged. How many of these children are helped, for example to minimise TV viewing?

  • Look up the proceedings of the Summer Course held in Ooty in 1976. It is entitled, Summer Roses in the Blue Mountains. There, Swami begins many a Discourse with words like: “Why have you been given eyes? Is it for seeing anything and everything?” and so on.

  • Another thing that Swami sometimes says in His Discourse is: “You have come here. Before you return, offer at least one bad habit to Me! I do not want your gifts; it is enough if you give up and surrender at least one bad habit. I would be most satisfied with that!” Which Guru on earth would talk like that!

  • In some Sai centres, they sometimes have a sacred fire, and devotees are asked to write on a piece of paper one undesirable habit [e.g., smoking] that they would like to get rid of. They are then invited to drop that piece of paper into the fire. No one knows what has been sacrificed, but the devotee has made a solemn promise to the fire God and thereafter, it is up to the devotee to remain true to his/her promise. Community functions like this can lead to a lot of “cleaning up”.


  • Suppose a Teacher or a Parent were to come to me and ask: “How to motivate young children to be good? How to guide them?” What answer should I give? What guidance can I offer? How to deflect the minds of the young from the meaningless external attractions? [Trekking? Observing Nature? Creative Craft? Music?]


  • Swami is often so very child-like. How can I also be like that? [Swami often says, “Be like a child for at least five minutes a day!” This does not mean that one should be CHILDISH! Rather, it means that one must be INNOCENT AND PURE LIKE A CHILD!]

  • What bad Vasanas do I still have? How specifically should I get rid of them?


Volume - 2 Issue - 3 Radiosai Journal - PSN 2004