Non Violence And Truth: Sai Baba’s Core Values
Sai Baba’s birthday tomorrow:
By: Dr. C. SRIDEVA
November 23rd is the birthday of our beloved Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, who was born in the village of Puttaparthi in the State of Andhra Pradesh, in India. Bhagavan has given innumerable discourses on spiritual topics, to His devotees, irrespective of caste, creed or religion. It is well worth to know what He had said about Human values. In His discourse Swami had said:
“Sai educational institutions are based on equal respect for all religions. They are wedded to unity and harmony.”
A society without values will cease to be human. The more human values are cherished, the better will be the growth of society, the nation, and the world. We cannot rest content with an educational system which is confined to academic achievement.
It has to promote simultaneously human virtues. The main problem of our education is how to adapt the spiritual and cultural traditions that we have inherited from the past to the needs of daily life today.
The relationship between the individual and society has to be rightly understood. Why should the individual serve others? What claims has society on the individual? When we examine these issues, we realize that the individual can find fulfilment only in society. Born in society, growing up in society, living in society, man ends his life in society.
Society may be viewed as a many petalled flower. Every individual is like a petal. All the petals together make for the beauty of the flower. Without the petals there will be no flower. Likewise every individual is a petal making up the flower of society. Each one should manifest the glory of the Divine. Society may also be compared to a four-wheeled chariot. The four wheels are:Unity, Control, Knowledge, and Power.
How are human qualities to be promoted in society? Living amidst fellow human beings, man has to sow the seeds of love, rear the plants of harmony, and offer the fruits of peace to society. Thereby his humanness is manifested. In the language of Vedanta, non-violence, truth, non-stealing, celibacy, and non-acquisitiveness, are the five human values to be cultivated.
Non-violence does not mean causing harm to others. It really means that one should not cause harm to any one in thought, word, or deed. Only when this is developed, one can experience Truth. Truth does not change with time. It must be spoken with complete purity of mind, speech and body.
Non-stealing means the thought of taking another’s property should not arise in the mind. Nor should one tell others to commit theft. The fourth is celibacy (Brahmacharya). This means what ever one thinks or says or does should be filled with thoughts of God (Brahman).
All thoughts, words, and deeds should be dedicated to the Divine. The Ego arises from the Atma. The thoughts are produced by the ego and give rise to speech. Hence all actions are based on the Atma. When all these (thoughts, desires, and speech) are sanctified by dedication to God, the consciousness of oneness with Brahman (God) ensues.
The next human value, non-acquisitiveness, means performing actions without expecting any reward or acquisitive motives and done in selfless spirit.
Today man is afflicted with insatiable desires, unlike the birds and animals which have no desire to hoard or to exploit others. Man forgets his natural human qualities and behaves worse than animals. When these tendencies are given up, the inherent divinity in man will manifest itself.
Human virtues cannot be nourished by study of books or got readymade from teachers. They have to be cultivated by each person. The world sorely needs today human values. Without developing devotion to God no human quality can grow. The first requisite is faith in God. Only with this basic faith can one develop one’s human personality.
The Vedas declare “Speak the truth; adhere to Dharma and right conduct”. In practising Dharma, there should be no secret desires. Actions performed with such secret motives result in bondage.
A righteous life leads to peace. Love is to be experienced in the depths of peace. Where love prevails, there is no room for doing harm or violence to others. All these basic values have to be demonstrated in action and not limited to preaching.
The world cannot be changed by mere preaching. Only through action and practical example can the impulse for change be intensified. Only when human values are practised by teachers and elders, will students practice them. Educationists must note this fact. If transformation is to be effected in students, the process must start from a very early age.
To propagate human values, it is advisable to keep as far away as possible from the powers that be. It is not possible to promote sacred values through the help of governmental authorities.
It is essential to be self-relient and stand on out own legs. Educational institutions must promote the spiritual outlook among students. When students acquire spiritual values, human values will grow in them, of their own accord.
Human values are in every one. What we need are persons who will provide the stimulus and the encouragement to bring them out.
If the feeling that the divinity that is present in everyone is one and the same, is promoted among all, human values will sprout naturally in every person. Students should not allow success or failure to ruffle their minds unduly. Courage and self – confidence must be instilled in the students.
There should be equal respect for all faiths and beliefs. There should be no hatred towards any faith. Other creeds and beliefs should not be condemned or derided. What ever studies you may pursue, do not give up your faith in God. To give up God is to give up life itself. Life is God. Truth is God. All that you do as an offering to God will be an expression of human values.
If faith in God is strengthened, all values will develop in due course. Sublimate your lives by remembering, worshipping and adoring God.
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