3 - Issue 3
TO BE DIFFERENT
Govindam, Bhaja Govindam,
“Chant the Name of Govinda, Chant the Name of Govinda! Chant the Name of Govinda, Oh foolish one! For when the end approaches, the rules of grammar which you have been learning will not be able to save you from the clutches of birth and death!”
Swami has on countless occasions repeated this famous verse from Shankaracharya’s Bhaja Govindam. The Lord in all His mercy has cautioned us so many times that the ‘rules of grammar’ – or secular, worldly knowledge that we clutter our brains with from dawn to dusk will not take us across the ocean of Samsara. It is only pure, selfless Love for God that is the ultimate key to open the door to the Kingdom of Sai.
Only recently, in one of His Discourses Swami was acting as a proud Mother! The Lord was explaining how some of His students, who have acquired even double degrees and were working in very reputable big companies for large salaries, gave it all up and pleaded with Swami to let them stay close to Him and serve at His Divine Lotus Feet. Mother Sai was so proud of Her children who were disinterested in the lures of the material world, but were contented to serve the Mother at home! No work was too low for them.
Unfortunately, schools today concentrate on filling young minds with mere book knowledge. They fail to inculcate Human Values, discipline and devotion in the students or guide them towards the goal of life.
GOAL OF LIFE
Then how to reach this goal? As Swami puts it so beautifully, we need to:
Follow the Master: the Master is Dharma. We must lead a righteous life, a life filled with Human Values. Face the Devil: We need to avoid falling prey to the temptations that come our way when we try and earn money. Fight to the End: We must fight off Kama or desires. For desires and attachments ultimately bring grief! Finish the Game: We must attain the feeling of Oneness with the Lord and Liberation from ignorance.
The Mind has been compared to a lake. The water on the surface needs to be completely still and free from dust and dirt for a clear reflection of the Sun above. Similarly, the Mind has to be cleansed of all pollution and stilled to get a glimpse of the Indweller or Atma within. Unfortunately, the lake of the Mind is subject to dust and dirt being thrown into it on a daily basis through the misuse of our senses. Through the agitations of the body, the water is constantly trembling on the surface. We see all around us how people fail to control their body for even a few minutes – these agitations ultimately affect the Mind.
Through the senses, we pollute the Mind. For example, the eye acts like a camera and takes a photograph of all that it sees. This ‘photographic film’ is imprinted on the Mind, which becomes polluted from the bad scenes we see. The ears send bad vibrations of the gossip we hear. The tongue tastes foods which excite the Mind!
Therefore, it is most essential that we practise first and then teach our children that control of the senses is the key to controlling the mind. Control of the Mind will lead to equilibrium in the midst of activity!
We should only
taste and consume Sathwik food which has been sanctified by the Name
of the Lord. This helps keep us calm, peaceful and healthy. Dare to
give up the tasty dishes that only serve to inflame or dull the Mind
and fills us with passion and lust.
We should have an unshakable faith in our Master. ‘Let the mountains be moved or destroyed, however my Faith in my Swami will not budge an inch!’
One day whilst he was out washing the clothes, the river rose suddenly in a storm and he could not get back to the dry land. He simply prayed to his Master and, to the surprise of the other disciples watching from the dry land, a stone lotus flower appeared wherever he put his foot. Then another appeared and so on, until he was able to walk back to the river bank supported by these stones. At once the other disciples recognised their mistake and shouted ‘Glory to Padmapaad, Glory to our Master!’ The Master rewarded him for his exceptional devotion, blessing him with great joy and all knowledge was instantly given unto him. This story highlights how devotion to God is of utmost importance and should be the focus of all endeavours.
Swami has emphasised that what is important is not the ‘marks’ that you get, but the ‘remarks’ that you get. Better to have Love for God and an exemplary character than to be a scholar. Better to be ‘good’ than ‘great’. Education can at best bring you to the doorstep, however it will not take you into the vast mansion of the Lord. Swami says ‘Education is the beginning of Character’ – it is not the Goal.
What education did Sabari have? Yet she was able to draw the Lord of the Universe, Sri Ram, to her little hut through her faultless devotion.
Let us intensify our love for God and practise control of the body, mind and senses to ultimately realise our Oneness with God. Let us be perfect examples for our children and the youth to follow. Let us 'Dare to be Different' from the crowd by following our Swami with Duty, Discipline, Devotion, Determination, Discrimination and Dedication. Let us not fall prey or allow our children to fall prey to the immoral behaviour that has been spawned by television, cinema, radio, internet and mobile phone culture.
DARE TO BE DIFFERENT!
Give up now, from today, as an offering to Swami for this glorious 80th year of His Advent, this artificial life and develop a Life full of Love and Sacrifice!
Nitesh Patel is an ENT Surgeon from UK who is currently working in
the Royal National Throat, Nose and Ear hospital in London)
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