Swami on ancient and modern culture
Bangalore, Brindavan (Sevadal Conference )
When Brahma manifests with the four faces, the devotee looks at the manifestation and gets absorbed and lost in contemplation. But if a tiny ant begins to crawl on the back, we whack it with our palm. There is a great difference between what we profess and what we practice. When you believe that God is present even in the ant and when you feel that the ant is giving you trouble, you can brush it aside instead of killing it. It is necessary that we follow these paths in little things. We must learn to show and realise the presence of God. The ancient people have demonstrated several methods which proved this great truth. One small example. In ancient times women never stirred out of their homes. They did not have the opportunity to come out of their homes and take part in service activities. There was a strong desire in the hearts of the women confined to their homes to render service to creatures and to satisfy them. Then they adopted a very beautiful method. With the rice flour they used to make patterns in their courtyard. These patterns served dual purposes. One, it beautified the courtyards rendering them auspiciousness and secondly it served as food for the insects like the ants and bugs and satiated them. These patterns fed not only the ants and insects but also some birds. During the festive time of Sankranthi, ‘Dakshinayana’ (when the Sun traces its path from North to South), women used to fill the streets with these beautiful patterns. They used to consider Dakshinayana as the auspicious period for attainment of enlightenment. Crows, pigeons and other birds used to consume these grains of rice and felt happy and satisfied. This is the inner significance of the white patterns. Today’s modern women are also decorating their homes with patterns but they are using lime instead of rice flour which is not consumed by any creatures. It is only a pattern which appears beautiful, but it does not provide any opportunity to satisfy any creature. From times immemorial India has taught to the world at large the great ideals of sacrifice and service.
India always prayed for the welfare of all00:00:38
From time immemorial the culture of Bharath by its spiritual strength has been bringing peace and security to all countries. It is only in Bharath that one prays for the peace and prosperity of all in the world, “Lokasamastha sukhino bhavanthu”. Everyone must be happy, all the countries should be happy. One should not be selfish by wishing for the welfare of only one’s country. All countries are parts of Bharath.
The greatness of India is forgotten by Indians today00:01:50
Isn’t Savitri, who could win her dead husband’s life back a woman of Bharath?! Isn’t Chandramati, who could put off the wild fire by the strength of her truth a woman of Bharath?! Isn’t Sita who could prove her chastity by entering the fire, the daughter of Bharath?! Isn’t Damayanti, who could burn the evil one to ashes by her anger a woman of Bharath?! Isn’t this land that is surrounded by the seven seas, fertile with the purity and sanctity of the Bharathiya race?! This treasury of great thoughts and feelings, Isn’t this a teacher for all nations?!! Bharath holds a place of a teacher to all other countries of the world. Such sanctity and greatness of Bharath is not known to the Bharathiyas today. A small progress of foreign countries is being considered as great achievement by the people of Bharath today. This is the plight of Bharath today. It is like the saying that one underplays the fresh and delicious home cooked food but relishes neighbour’s rotting food!! That is why people are after foreign countries without recognising the worth of homeland. What is this trend?
We need to develop patriotism00:01:39
One must develop good thoughts. This is called “Vyaktigata Seelamu”, individual character. One can become a leader when one has individual character. People must develop the individual character for it gradually leads to national character. Individual character and national character both are important. One must develop the spirit of patriotism. But the youth today does not have the spirit of nationality. They do not know what nationality is. They only travel to the extent of “I, my people and my family”. No, it must include the country as “My Country”, Idi naadu matrudesamu, Idi naadu matrubhasha, Idi naa matamanchu, Yadagotti nudavanerani brathikina Peenugungokandu vasudhanu kalada?? “Is there anyone on earth who would declare With all pride that this is my motherland, this is my mother tongue, this is my religion?” Without the love for one’s motherland one would become a walking corpse. Hence one must develop the love and affection for one’s motherland. Attachment to one’s motherland is as important as one’s attachment to one’s body. Motherland is a reflection of one’s own body. Deha, the body and Desha, the country are but the object and its reflection.
Swami on India and its culture; Analogy00:02:12
There are ideals in the world at every needed time. There are certain prescribed ways of conduct in our society. The day we give up our tradition and prescribed procedures, we ruin ourselves. The culture of bharath is highly sacred. In spite of the passage of time, it continued eternal and steady. Here you find a gigantic tree, the gigantic tree has got into roots that has gone to the depth and drawing the water. If the roots do not grow to that extent, it is bound to fall. The culture of the remaining countries are lost and forgot. It is only the culture of bharath that had remained to be one of continuity and eternity. Why? Because the culture of bharath has got its roots that have gone to depth of Divinity. And it is the water available at the bottom that has been supplied to the roots. Culture of bharath is not merely ideal. The culture of bharath is permanent ideal. Anything may change, but this is changeless. The changeless culture of bharath is not known fully well.
India has proclaimed that truth is one00:02:24
However, the same Atma was present in both of them. Truth is one and age becomes irrelevant where Truth is concerned. Truth is always one and there is no such thing as different truths for different castes such as Brahmins and Sudras, who represent the two, ends of the caste spectrum. Truth is one, not two. The Vedic declaration “Ekameva adviteeyam Brahma,” means that God is only one. The ancient tradition of India is rich in scriptural declarations that proclaim Truth. The wisdom and cultural tradition of India have diffused widely into the world. That is the culture and tradition into which you are born. You should therefore never forget or give up your heritage, which is profound, sacred, and divine. You should not allow your mind to wander as it pleases. You must restrain and regulate it to follow ancient culture and thus stay on the right path. Your mind may waver and stray into the wrong path but you must remain firm and steadfast. You should be the master of your mind and not its servant. God alone must be your ultimate Master. Saint Ramdas a great devotee of Lord Rama declared, “Lord, I want to serve your servants and thus become a servant of servants and remain so at all times, be it morning or evening.
India is a sacred Land of Love00:00:57
Develop this principle of love more and more. Think of the welfare of your country. Bharath is noblest of all. In fact, there is gold in this country and then why do you have to go outside. When once you've got the gold with you, why do you want the brass and copper. Divinity is in every form. Experience this blissfully. You may go anywhere, develop this love and this love is enough. We have to live our life and carry on our life sojourn, basing on love and enjoy this love.
Respect your Motherland00:01:24
Embodiment's of love! The sanctity, the sacredness in this country is not there anywhere else. Therefore, Bharat has been the land of several incarnations. Bharat is akin to a mother of the whole world. In what way are we thinking of our motherland. The present procedure is wrong. You have to respect your mother land and that should be the goal of your life. and Lord Rama said, Mother and Motherland are much greater than heaven or paradise. He considered his physical mother and motherland as one and the same. That we have to know and practice. You think and pray to Rama, you glorify Rama but who is practising the teachings of Rama. No one is practicing. You are a hero in chanting the name of Rama but you are a zero in practicing his teachings. Why don't you follow the teachings of Rama.
Swami on the role of youth in uplifting India00:04:42
Sacred students! There are two things which are important for man’s life. One is confidence in one’s own self and the other is cleansing one’s own mind. Man cannot live by himself in isolation. The entire world depends upon the social structure and on the manner in which individuals are knit together into a society. It has been the good luck of our country to have had a society which is well knit on the basis of sacred principles. The quality of forbearance of our society is not to be seen elsewhere. It is blood that flows through the arteries of Indian youth. It is not water. You have to make a determined effort to revive our sacred culture and demonstrate to the rest of the world the vitality that is contained therein. The youth of India should be prepared to sacrifice even their lives for the sake of truth. This country has been such that it had always traversed along the path of truth, had lit the lamp of truth and shed the light of truth. Today, Indians have apparently been subdued by the situations that prevail in the country, by the times in which they are living and by the environment through which they are passing. They have forgotten the greatness of their own culture and are being ridiculed by others. The sacred tenets of our scriptures such as: respect your mother as God, respect your father as God, respect your teacher as God and respect your guest as God, no longer convey any meaningful messages to us in the social makeup of today. Such undesirable changes have come about in our country today, and it is with a view to expose you to our original and ancient culture that these gatherings have been arranged. Experienced people have been invited to these gatherings to let you know what the greatness of our culture is, and thereby change your hearts. Our purpose is to take you all through experiences by which you will appreciate the true culture of our country.
Develop patriotism towards your country00:01:00
My country is India. My religion is the religion of India. My ideals and traditions have been born in India. You must develop such thoughts in your mind. You must develop great respect and attachment to the culture that has flourished in this country from time immemorial. Our culture is ancient and immortal. You will have to dedicate your life to the future of this country.
Swami on the deterioration of Indian culture00:03:42
Young students! Today, the question arises in the mind of every youth, whether our country Bharath, deserves to be called by that name. We are experiencing Indian culture at the present moment in a most ridiculous manner. For instance, the only significance that has remained in respect of the Gayatri Mantra is the ritual of holding tight the tip of your nose. The sanyasi is carrying a burden on him which is perhaps even more than the burden that the head of a family carries. When we talk of pranayama (regulation of breath), it looks to us as something trivial. It has deteriorated into a meaningless process. In this context, there should be no surprise if we get a doubt whether India really deserves to be called by her ancient name Bharath, and whether in Indian culture there is any significance left for us at all. It is true and natural that in every country, after some time, a situation of this kind arises and such deterioration sets in. Depending upon the nature of the country, the passage of time and the individuals who live in that country, such deterioration sets in at different times. When such a deterioration sets in, God will appear in human form either in the garb of a Paramahamsa (Realised sage) or as an Avatar for the purpose of re-establishing righteousness and restoring the original traditions.
Significance and greatness of India00:03:33
From stone to a precious gem, from an inert thing to the most illuminated, from the lowest caste to the highest, from an ant to an elephant - Bharat has believed that God exists in all these aspects. Bharat is a country which has firm faith that every object is worthy of worship. That is why in Bharat you find that even a stone in the form of an idol finds acceptability and worship. Trees like Asvattha tree and tulasi have also been worshipped here. Animals like cow, elephant and horse also are being worshipped in Bharat. Bharat is one which wants to foster even ants by providing them sugar and flour as food. Bharat is a country which offers worship recognising divinity in all sorts of animals whether it is a donkey, monkey or a dog. Unfortunately people who cannot recognise this basic truth foolishly describe Indians as foolish. But this is not true. Bharat is a country which is extending the love of God not merely to human beings but to every living being, be it animals, birds or bees. The type of social justice that is obtained in Bharat cannot be obtained in any other country in the world. No country has been able to recognize this philosophy of Bharat. Bharat is one which combines spirituality in day to day life.
Significance of Indian Culture00:00:30
All ancients extolled the culture of Bharat. The culture of Bharat demonstrates and proves unity in diversity. There may be many forms and many names but there is oneness in divinity.
Kerala is the center for God00:01:32
The people of Kerala should strengthen sacred ancient culture. They have the seeds of ancient culture hidden within them. The sacred thoughts can be improved upon day by day. Emperor Bali was one who fostered these values. Maha Bali - very strong Emperor. Maha means mighty, valuable. And in fact, he was very strong in all noble qualities. Kerala, being the birth place of Bali, is not an ordinary place. We just locate it on the map. No, Kerala is the center of God. It is the center of bliss. It is the birth place of Bali, the birth place of Vamana. It was the place where Vishwamitra conducted the sacred ritual. The sacred teaching of Gayathri Mantra was given there in Kerala.
True greatness of Kerala00:01:00
Though Kerala was under communist rule, it stands for devotion - people visit temples every day and observe all the rituals. The love and devotion one notices among the people of Kerala are not seen anywhere else. Kerala is such a beautiful state. Everyone from the state of Kerala has got the spiritual feeling latent in them. But with the passage of time, depending on the circumstances, the human heart changes.
Swami on the Sacred texts of India00:06:29
When one wants to fell a tree or destroy a tree, he can do so only by cutting the roots. By working on the leaves and the branches, how are you going to bring down a tree. From vedic times in understanding the basic truth, the rishis have learnt the knowledge of the atma.This secret has been recognized even by those who live in foreign countries as well and they have been praising Bharat's tradition and culture and they realized that the Atmic knowledge is the one which gives worldly as well as spiritual happiness. Such sacred learning is really what can be called learning, has been recognized world over and this learning has been shining like a Jyoti world over, yet citizens of bharath have been living under the shadow of this Jyothi and not learning the brightness of the Jyothi in itself. Our ancestors, parents have all been learning from these sacred texts, which give the culture of Bharath and they have been enjoying in many ways peace of mind. They have taken Bharatha, Bhagavata, Ramayana, Bhagavad Gita to their hearts. They have learnt the essence of these texts and they have been putting it at a high pedestal and have been performing pooja and enjoying these great texts. They have filled their minds with the contents of these texts and in their daily life, they have been practicing what the texts have been teaching them and have been serving the society in that way. Unfortunately, with the advent of the modern age and civilization, people of today have lost faith in these things and they think that, to believe in these things is a mark of lack of civilization and neglect the contents of these texts. In this manner the texts and the scriptures that have been discarded by the citizens of the Bharat have been taken up by the Westerners and by an effort they have understood the secrets that are contained in these texts and they have regarded them as a gift of this great land to them and they have been regarding the citizens of this country as great people who have produced those texts. People of Germany, who have accepted the contents of the 'Atharvana Veda' have recognized that in those texts, secrets of education and principles of modern medicine are present . They have been giving them back to us as a very great basis of modern medicine. It has been said that, instead of accepting the food that is prepared well in ones home, one goes after stale food from another home. So also, the citizens of Bharath instead of accepting what belonged to them in the beginning, are now accepting something which is coming from an outside country, as if it is something greater than what they have in their own country.
True Vidya is Atma Vidya00:02:59
Just by getting educated and having learning in you and just by creating more and more machines and feeling proud that you are wise, it is not possible for you to recognize the human nature or the secret of human nature. To realize the secrets of creation, it is not this kind of education that will help you. By knowing that secret, after which you will know all the secrets in this creation, by solving that problem, after which you can solve all problems in this world, by getting that education, which will help you to learn all knowledge in this world, that part of secret is only one thing and that is the divine knowledge. When one wants to fell a tree or destroy a tree, he can do so only by cutting the roots. But by working on the leaves and the branches, how are you going to bring down a tree. From vedic times to understand this basic truth, the rishis have learnt the knowledge of the Atma. This secret has been recognized even by those who live in foreign countries as well and they have been praising Bharat's tradition and Bharat culture. It is this knowledge which gives you worldly happiness as well as spiritual happiness.
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