Mass wedding on May 16th, 50 couples to tie knot

Sathya Sai Baba

Sathya Sai Baba

Mass wedding on May 16th, 50 couples to tie knot

The Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisation, Pune, will organise a mass wedding on May 16, the birth anniversary of Sathya Sai Baba, at Phulgaon village in Pune.

“We have booked 50 couples, which include some Muslim and Buddhist couples, who have agreed to get married on the appointed day,’’ said, Venkatesh Jalgi, district co-ordinator Pune, Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisation.

The couples have been chosen from different rural areas of Pune and are not able to afford marriages. “The couples have been drawn from diverse backgrounds and they came forward for the marriage, which is being held free of cost. We are providing utensils and clothes to the couples,’’ Jalgi said.

The marriages are being held in an austere setting without any pomp and show and the estimated expenditure incurred by the organisation on each marriage is between Rs 10,000 and 15,000, he said.

“Some of the couples are from slum areas and some belong to families of farmers. We took the initiative as in villages such as Phulgaon, couples have been running into debt and cannot afford weddings,’’ Jalgi said.

The organisation looks into the area of socio-economic development of the people from the rural backgrounds of Pune, and it is for the first time that it is organising the marriages on such a large scale.

“We are targeting the solemnisation of around 85 marriages on Sathya Sai Baba’s 85th birth anniversary. This is being held on the auspicious occasion of Akshaya Tritiya,’’ added Jalgi.

The Sathya Seva Organisation plans to keep the event sombre. He said the organisation booked the marriage offers through its Grameen Seva Kendra at Phulgaon village and has collected donations for the event.

“We have a well-established network of philanthropists, who have come forward to fund the event. We are doing this as there are hardly any organizations that work towards helping people conduct marriages, thus laying the base for the basic social unit of the society,’’ said Jalgi.

He added that most of the couples who have come forward have got their respective matches arranged by their parents.

Indian Express Reference

Why should we serve society?

Why should we serve society?
Sai Reflections
Published: 17 Mar 2010

Love is equally present in all. You make use of this love for selfishness, self-interest and for service.

Unfortunately, in the present day world, selfishness and self-interest predominate. Everything is done now with an attitude of “my people and for me.” If there is no society, where do you and your people stand? You get education out of society and earn money from it. Even the position and reputation you hold come from the society. Having received so much from society, what help are you rendering in return? While receiving the benefits from it you still keep harming the society! Over the years, Sri Sathya Sai Baba has placed great emphasis on the value of selfless service by saying, “Hands that serve are holier than lips that pray.” When we are engaged in any kind of activity, our mind is focused on the task at hand. The mind has a free run and takes us along its whimsical path only when the body is not engaged in any activity. The adage, “an idle mind is a devil’s workshop” is so true. In these times of fast communication and bombardment by the media, our lives are made stressful and peace of mind seems so far off. An idle mind can also trigger by itself all pent up negative feelings and imaginary fears. That is why Satya Sai Baba also defines rest thus: “Change of work is rest… otherwise it becomes rust!” The mind, which is a bundle of desires, is constantly fed by fleeting thoughts and hence it is virtually impossible to still the mind. We are mere expressions of our thoughts. Even prayers, meditation or singing the praises of the Lord cannot give quick results.

However, when the body is engaged in activity, the mind has a better chance to be focused away from useless and negative thoughts. Sri Sathya Sai Baba says, “Bend the body, mend the senses and end the mind.” Therefore, whenever we are engaged in good deeds, like selflessly serving others, we are not only purifying our senses but also filling our minds with positive and Godly thoughts. Bending the body signifies humility, an essential quality for a true spiritual seeker. To please God, to please our conscience, we have an inescapable duty to perform—ie, to give something back to the world that has and still is sustaining us. What is service? Every activity is service, as long as there is no selfishness or ego. We offer the fruits of our labour to the Lord without any reward. It is up to Him if He gives us something in return—greater than our input, lesser than our input or even nothing at all. The manifest world is God’s kingdom, our Father’s kingdom and we, as His children, have rightfully inherited everything in the world to enjoy, but not exploit and destroy.

We cannot enjoy anything unless we do our part to care and share. After all, no one enjoys a great meal without sharing it with another! All the resources of the world and the benefits which society has to offer for our happiness are not just for ourselves alone. There are others around us who are less fortunate. We have an obligation to make the world a better place for future generations to inherit. Service is not confined to helping the sick and the disadvantaged alone. It also involves avoiding unnecessary waste and destruction of resources. Desires have a voracious appetite to consume far beyond our needs and breed selfishness. By learning to manage well all the God given resources—money, food, time and energy—we improve not only the quality of our own life, but also become privileged to share the surplus resources with those who are less fortunate. This is true spirituality and expansion of love in a practical way. When we wake up every morning, our prayers need not be in quantity, but improved in quality. We can ask ourselves: “What can I do today that will please God?” What is Sai Baba’s clarion call? Love! Love!! Love!!! And, what is love in action? Service! Service!! Service!!! Remember: “Love All Serve All”.

Guardian TT Reference

Law And Justice

Sathya Sai Baba

Sathya Sai Baba

Law And Justice

Loving Sai Ram and greetings from Prashanti Nilayam.

Justice Dinakaran is a Judge of the Madras High Court. A scholar well versed in law, he recently wrote an article in a leading national daily entitled, Law and Justice. The article was supposedly secular but since it touched, unknowingly perhaps, a few basic aspects of Sathya Sai Baba’s teachings, we thought it might be useful to bring it to your attention.

Justice Dinakaran’s point is essentially the following. There is a thing called Law, consisting of rules laid down by Society, by due process of course, such as enactment by duly constituted legislative bodies. People are expected to follow the Law and when there is a breach, the Law is “administered” through the instrumentality of the Court. However, the Law is not supposed to be applied mechanically, but with human considerations, as Shakespeare points out powerfully in Merchant of Venice. In this context, Justice Dinakaran makes the following important observations:

Most of the legal rights and wrongs are relative to time and place. “A nuisance,” said Justice Sutherland, “may merely be a right thing in a wrong place like a pig in the parlour instead of in the barnyard.”

  • Justice means nothing else than conformity of the law of nature. Human law is subject to it, and if in any point it is directly contrary to the Law of Nature, it would no longer be law but a corruption of law.
  • The excellence of Justice consists precisely in the fact that it is compounded of the truth, the good, and the beautiful. Truth is the foundation of justice. Goodness is the end and beauty constitutes its essential quality.
  • Human law is a rivulet that flows from natural law, which, in turn flows from the Eternal Law.
  • Modern man has turned liberty into self-will and licence, which he has tried to justify with his marvellous powers of reasoning. In truth, the mind of modern man is severely blinded by the cobwebs of false reasoning and trivialised knowledge.
  • Times change, customs alter. But the history of mankind continues to testify to some constant and unchanging ideals, one of which is the concept of justice predicated upon humanitarian considerations.

Well, that in brief is the essence of what Justice Dinakaran wrote. What attracted our attention to his article were his references to 1) Eternal law, 2) the origin of “human law” in Eternal Law, and 3) Truth, Goodness and Beauty. All these have strong echoes in the teachings of Sathya Sai Baba, and that is what we would now like to discuss.

Sathya Sai Baba says that the human being is an Embodiment of the Divine Atma – in fact in earlier years He would always begin His Discourses with the word Divyatmaswaroopalara, which means exactly that. If we all are the Embodiments of the Atma, then it stands to reason that the actions expected of us ought to be in conformity with the nature of the Atma. Stated differently it means that our actions must be Selfless, Truthful, Righteous, Helpful and Compassionate, full of Love etc. We might loudly protest that all this is fanciful and not possible in this day and age. That is a different matter. The fact is that just as one expects a King or the Prime Minister to behave responsibly and with dignity, and not as a joker, serious pursuit of the Spiritual Path places on us the responsibility of ensuring that our actions are as close to the nature of the Atma as possible.

Now one might ask: “That’s OK, but what has all that got to do with Justice Dinakaran’s article?” We are coming to that, but first, we would like to introduce two key words closely related to the concepts discussed by Justice Dinakaran. They are: Atma Dharma and Para Dharma.

Atma Dharma is the Primary Principle that must govern the actions of one and all, from the King to the pauper, at all times, and in all circumstances. Para Dharma, on the other hand, is a derivative of Atma Dharma, and essentially spells out what specifically must be done by whom and when. Thus, while the Primary Principle that governs all actions applies to everyone without exception, the Derivative Principle is not only individual-specific but also time- and situation-specific. All this may sound very mysterious and so let us recall some of the examples Swami Himself has mentioned.

We will start with Atma Dharma, which is the Primary Principle. This just says that every individual, without any exception, must always act to be in harmony with the intrinsic nature of the Atma. Thus, considerations based on selfishness, hatred, anger, jealousy, etc. are summarily excluded – no justification available whatsoever. We hope that is reasonably clear.

What about ParaDharma? It simply means Rules of Conduct that are individual-specific; and these rules must not contradict the basic principle or AtmaDharma. Let us illustrate by taking the case of a Teacher. To begin with, the Teacher must start from the Primary Principle and thus make sure that when he performs his duties as a Teacher, his actions are not tainted by selfishness, greed, etc. Remember, no one is allowed to be selfish, greedy, etc., and that includes the Teacher. For example, if the son of the Teacher is studying in his class, he must not show that son of his any special favour. Likewise, he must not make private deals with backward students, offering them private tuition for fees, and so on.

Turning to the ParaDharma aspect or the Derivative Principle, here the do’s and don’ts are specific to his role in Society as a Teacher. Thus, he must be punctual, he must come fully prepared for his class, he must be neatly dressed and set a good example of behaviour to his students, he must go out of the way to help students develop their character and so on. In short, he must feel all the time that he is serving Society and through Society, he is serving God.

It all boils down to this: For all humans without exception, there is oneUniversal Guiding Principle governing every action in all situations and at all times; and that is what Swami refers to as AtmaDharma. AtmaDharma is also what Krishna explained to Arjuna in the BhagavadGita.

Para Dharma is the manual, which decodes this Universal Guiding Principle and explains how individuals apply that to specific situations. By way of highlighting how Para Dharma is very practical and situation-specific, Swami says that a man who is the Chief Justice must appear in the Court in formal Legal Robes but when he is at home, he can wear casual clothes. Similarly, when a person is say fifteen, his Para Dharma is that of a student. At thirty when he is married and has a family, his ParaDharma is that of a householder. At sixty, his ParaDharma is that of a grandfather and so on. Same person, but with change of situation, the rules of conduct change. Though the ParaDharma might change, at all times and in all circumstances, the person must be truthful and follow the righteous path – that is how the core principle always operates.

In passing, it is interesting to note the following: In the Rama Avatar, Sathya SaiBaba demonstrated to the world through every one of His actions, how ParaDharma must always be in sync with AtmaDharma. Later, as Krishna , Swami explained to the world what precisely is meant by AtmaDharma. Finally, in the current Avatar as Sri Sathya Sai, Swami is not only giving us a continuous demo of Para Dharma in action but also explaining to us on every possible occasion, what Atma Dharma is all about.

Now how does all this connect up with Justice Dinakaran’s remarks? In the following way: The learned scholar is of course concerned mostly about Law and its administration through Courts, but when he says man-made laws must be subservient to the Eternal Law, what he is saying is that rules for Society must be in conformity with a basic and fundamental as well as universal and Eternal Moral Principle. Many of today’s problems arise because law makers have distanced themselves from Morality. Thus, as a French savant once wrote, what is forbidden by Morality is now permitted by Law. This is reflected by the observation of many a Judge of the Indian Court that though they know the defendant is guilty, the loopholes of the legal system do not permit them to convict the person.

Gandhi declared most emphatically that there is a Moral Law governing the Universe. Time there was when people intuitively accepted this. Thus, thousands of years ago when Emperor Manu codified for Indian Society the rules of conduct for people in various walks of life, the so-called Manu Dharma, he was essentially giving manuals of ParaDharma that were in full conformity with AtmaDharma. Similarly, when Bhishma on his deathbed instructed Yudhishtra on the rules of proper governance, he was merely laying out the ParaDharma of a ruler, in accordance with the general principles of AtmaDharma.

In summary, while Justice Dinakaran has called attention to the fallacies of the modern legal system on account of their failure to respect the Eternal Law, we go one step further to point out what Swami tells us, namely that these days, most of the actions of humans are flawed because they are not in tune with the basic inner nature of a human being, that is the latent Divinity. As long as this true nature is forgotten, everything that humans do, in all spheres of activity, from governance to science, from business to arts, will be driven by selfishness and hence likely to be dangerous to the individual, to Society and indeed to planet earth. Thus it is that Krishna told Arjuna to always align his actions to AtmaDharma; Swami also gives us that very same advice.

AtmaDharma is not any hairy fairy concept; it is very practical and very much needed in daily life. There is no need to discover it the hard way when it has been explained to us so many times in such pitiless detail. Do you agree?

With Love and Regards,

“Heart2Heart” Team

Talk Given by Dr. Jumsai

Sathya Sai Baba

Sathya Sai Baba

Talk Given by Dr. Jumsai
“Education in Human Values”
March 28th, 2005

Shanti Shanti Shantihi

I offer my loving pranams at the Divine Lotus Feet of Bhagavan Baba. Sai Ram to all of you.

(Audience) “Sai Ram! Sai Ram!”

I think that this session can be questions and answers rather than giving a talk. So, if you have any questions or if you like to ask anything, I will try to answer.

Question: Maybe you could talk to us about Education in Human Values, how it influences our lives, the lives of youth, and education. Maybe you could repeat the example about what you said in Barcelona about children trying and trying. There was some experiment. We would like to hear that example once again.

Answer: Education in Human Values is really the main mission of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. It is through this education that Swami has said His Message will be known all over the world. It is through this education that peace will be established in the world. In fact, Swami has started another trust called the ‘Sri Sathya Sai Trust for World Peace’, and education will be the main work of the new trust.

Thus, education is going to become more and more important in the world. The reason is because children, when they go through this system of education, are transformed. And when children are transformed, then the teachers very quickly are also transformed (although the teachers should first transform themselves before they teach children!) (Laughter) But you know, as in the Sathya Sai School in Thailand, many teachers come from many places. They are not devotees. But then, when they come close to the children who are full of love, they become transformed. And when children go back home, they transform the parents.

So, in this way, the society is getting transformed. That’s why it is very important that we work hard to set up Sathya Sai schools as model schools in every country in the world. Right now we have 57 Sathya Schools in 35 countries. 40% of all the Sathya Sai schools are in Latin America. So, there is a lot of work in Spanish-speaking countries in Latin America. We have done a lot of research in trying to find out what is happening in all the Sathya Sai schools in the world. And we have made several case studies of children studying in Sathya Sai schools. Everywhere we find that there is lot of transformation in the children. And then, it goes on to the teachers, the parents and the society. So Swami is encouraging all of us to contin ueto do this work. I just talked to Swami yesterday and He told me, “Work hard on education.”

(As if I am not working hard!) I am already working very hard. (Laughter) So He really wants to push very hard to make sure that His education, which is now changing quite a bit to what we call ‘Educare’, is going around the world.

Now it is not only in the West or in the East, but where you have the strongholds of Islam, that they are also interested in Sathya Sai Education in Human Values. For example, in Saudi Arabia, which is the headquarters where the religion of Islam is based.

A few years back, I was asked to go and give training to teachers in Saudi Arabia. The organiser was actually a medical doctor who comes from Denmark. But he is in a hospital where he treats the princes of Saudi Arabia. So he had a lot of influence.

So he asked me to go there to give a seminar. But then, they sent me a thick book like that. And in that thick book, it tells you what you cannot say in Saudi Arabia. (Laughter) They say that for a foreigner, who is not a Muslim, you cannot talk about Islam. If you do so, your head will be cut off. (Laughter) I am not allowed to talk about values. Because they have their own values, and they don’t want any more values, they say.

The medical doctor said he would arrange all the visas for me to come. But finally, they said, “we don’t need anybody to come and train our teachers.” So, they rejected the visa application.

At that time, I was Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs in Thailand. So I told the medical doctor, “Don’t worry. I will get my own visa.” I went to the Ambassador of Saudi Arabia in Bangkok and you know, diplomatically, you cannot refuse a visa for the Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs. So they gave me a visa, as well as one to Dr. Tudo, who was my associate. We would go together to do training in those days.

So, I contacted the doctor and told him that we were coming to give this talk. They gave me a warning that when we go through immigration, they will question us as to why we want to come to this place, as it is not a tourist place and there’s nothing for us to visit once we come. And so, we were told that like that they will question you for a long, long time on entry.

So, I just sang the song, “Why fear when I am here?” (Laughter) And we walked straight through immigration! Nobody saw us. (Laughter) We were out within ten minutes. And the organisers weren’t there. They thought we would be delayed for at least an hour. We were outside waiting one hour before they came!

Well, finally, they came. They took us to our place where we are going to stay. And the next morning, we had a meeting with the leaders of education in Saudi Arabia. They were all so afraid of us being there. They said, “You got to be so careful what you say. Because here, you cannot say what you want to say. You have to be so careful.”

Then the teachers who were invited to come were also protesting. They said that they will report to the religious police everything we say. In Saudi Arabia, they have police especially for religion. They will protect their religion. So, they need a lot of police people.

Well, again I have to sing, “Why fear when I am here?” (Laughter)

So says Sathya Sai Baba, Sathya Sai Baba, Sathya Sai Baba, My Lord. The next day, we had our seminar. The Muslim teachers were all there, trying to catch any mistake that we made.

I spoke for three hours. And the Muslim teachers were in tears. They came up to me and said, “Is this what we were against? No! This is something that we really need for our country, for Saudi Arabia.” They were all so happy to hear what we presented to them, which was the essence of Sathya Sai Education.

And then in the afternoon, Dr. Tudo spoke for another three hours. But this time, there was no problem. Everybody wanted to hear! The miracle doctor, who is the Danish man, he was lying in the back of the lecture hall. He was lying down because he had terminal cancer. It was his last wish in the world that Sathya Sai Education should be heard in Saudi Arabia. And he was in tears as well, because he was so happy about the whole proceeding. Then two or three days after that, he passed away.

So, you see the power of Sathya Sai Baba, getting the education, which is His main mission, to go to every country in the world.

I would just like to tell you another story in another Muslim country; this time in United Arab Emirates. We were invited there to speak at an Indian school. There they don’t mind if we to talk to an Indian school because it is for Indians only. But to make it really official, they called the Minister of Education to come and open the function. His name is Sheikh Nahayan. He came to open the conference on Sathya Sai Education in Human Values for teachers.

Well, the Sheikh, I met him at the beginning, before we started the function. He said that he is a very busy man and he has to go to another meeting. So he would like to hear me for about 15 minutes, no more. Then I have to stop so that he can make an exit, so he can go out.

So after the opening session, after everybody spoke officially, then I was asked to speak for minutes. So I went up on stage and Sheikh Nahayan was sitting in front of me, in front of the audience. I spoke for 15 minutes, and then I stopped and looked at the Sheikh. But the Sheikh would not get up. He looked at me and he said, “Go on, go on, go on…” (Laughter)

So I continued for another 15 minutes, and then I stopped and looked at him again. (Laughter) And he would not get up but said, “Go on, go on, go on…” (Laughter) So I had to stop for every 15 minutes, but he would say, “Go on, go on, go on…” This went on for over three hours! (Laughter)

Then the Sheikh asked to go on the stage, asking for the microphone. There he announced publicly that this program was such a great program that he wants all the teachers in United Arab Emirates to be trained.

True to his word, three months later, I received an official invitation from the United Arab Emirates Education Department to go there to train the teachers. I was put up in the best hotel in the world. (Laughter) They claim it is the best hotel in the world. And I have never been to such a luxurious hotel in my life. (Laughter)

And then, they arranged a big meeting in the government hall. It is really very big, and there were so many invitees and there were 1500 teachers there. 70% of all the teachers who came were Muslims. But there were about 30% who were Americans or had come from European countries and so on, to help in the teaching in United Arab Emirates.

So, I gave a talk and they were very happy. Since then, I had to go back again to talk to the teachers. During the last session I had in United Arab Emirates, not very long ago — only about three months ago, Sheikh Nahayan also came to listen. And again Sheikh Nahayan, who is the Minister of Education sat there and listened to all my presentation.

You know, in my presentation I told the story about the king who had five wives. You know the story, right? You don’t know the story?!!

There was a king who had five wives. And each wife would make a lot of demands: “I want this, I want that.” So they were always asking the king. And the king was afraid of his wives. He had to go and get things for the wives, as all the five wives were all very demanding. So the king was not happy. Thus he went to consult his cabinet ministers. “What can I do, so that I won’t be afraid of my wives?”

But the ministers, as they were all men said, “Sorry, Sire. We cannot advise you because we are also afraid of our wives!” (Laughter)

So they thought, “Let us try to find some man who is not afraid of his wife in this kingdom. Then we will consult him as to why he is not afraid, and he can tell us and advise us.”

So, the king invited all the male population to come for a big meeting. On that day, they planned to put up a tent for those who are afraid of their wives: Everybody who is afraid of their wife must go to that tent. Then there was to be another tent for those who were not afraid of their wives. In this way, the men were to be separated. The idea was that they would go to the tent of those who are not afraid of their wives and get advice from the men there.

So the big day came. All the male population came for the meeting, but they all went into the tent for those who are afraid of their wives. Nobody came into the other tent.

The king was getting very upset. “Are there no men in this country who are not afraid of their wives?”

But at the last minute, one man did come to the tent for those who are not afraid. Seeing this, the king rushed to see that man. The king said, “Tell me your secret. How are you not afraid of your wife?”

But the man said, “Sorry, Sire. I am also afraid of my wife.”

The king was very angry and said, “Why did you come into this tent? You have got to go to the other tent!”

The man said, “I will not go. You can punish me or you can do whatever you like; but I won’t go.”

So the king asked, “Why? Why won’t you go?”

And the man replied, “Because my wife told me to come to this tent!” (Laughter) Swami told this story to all of us in the past. It is to illustrate that we are like the king. The five senses are the five wives. When our eyes see something beautiful, the eyes create a desire: “I want this, I want that.” And we are afraid of our five senses. We don’t control our five senses. We allow them to control us. So, Swami is urging us to become the king once again, and not the slave of the five senses. Thus, the first step in our lives is to learn to control the five senses.

When I told this story to the assembly in United Arab Emirates, the Sheikh was laughing and laughing, and he was telling everybody, “In United Arab Emirates, we are only allowed four wives!” (Laughter) He was joking; he was actually very happy about it.

So you see, that is another success story in another Muslim country. And now, I am doing a lot of training in Muslim countries.

In Indonesia, it is very easy as they are very open. Now I’ve got to go and do a series of training for Muslim teachers in Indonesia.

Another place where Sathya Sai Education is really spreading is Kazakhstan. The original people who lived in Kazakhstan are called Kazakhs. The Kazakhs are Muslims. And again, we were invited by the First Lady of Kazakhstan, who is a Kazakh. We started training in all the regions of the country. I’ve been there six times already.

Then last February, the First Lady came here to meet Swami. And the First Lady asked me to come, so that we could meet Swami together. So I came and we had several interviews. Swami looked at me every time He called the Kazakh people. He said, “You are not Kazakh!” (Laughter)

Then He told me, “This is only for Kazakhstan.”

So I looked sad. (Laughter) Swami looked at me and said, “Alright, alright. You can go in.” (Laughter)

So you see, God is not just Father and Mother. Sometimes, you have to treat Him as a Friend. Sometimes, you treat Him as an Elder Brother. But He is also our Father and Mother. As such, He always has a lot of compassion and a lot of love for all of us.

Another country where we are now really going into is China. China is the last stronghold of communism. But when I go in there, I see that they are becoming very quickly a capitalist country. The whole country is changing and they are moving rapidly into industrialisation. And because they moved very quickly into materialism, they have a lot of problems with their youth. So now, there is a demand for human values there as well.

I have already gone into the Guandong Province to train teachers there. And now, I have got an indication from the Nanjing local authorities to go and train teachers there as well. And you know how it happened? (Murmurs “no, no” in audience)

You remember in the year 2000, we had an international conference here. When we started arranging the conference, we were working with UNESCO and another university in Australia, Flinders University. The UNESCO man at that time was not a devotee, but I brought him here to meet Swami. And Swami called him in for an interview. I tried to follow as usual. (Laughter) But this time, Swami said, “No, you can’t go in.” No matter how sad I looked, (Laughter) He would not allow me to go in. That man came out of the interview room. He had a green ring on, and his face was changed; he was completely transformed by Swami. He came out and he embraced me, “You are now my brother.” (Laughter)

Then he asked me if I had been telling Swami about him, because Swami knew everything about him! I said that I didn’t know anything about his personal life. But Swami was talking about his personal life. So he told me what it was about, and he gave me permission to tell all these stories to everyone.

Swami told him, “You are very worried. You are unhappy because your wife is dying. She has terminal cancer.” But Swami said, “Don’t worry about it. I will cure her.” And He materialised some vibhuthi and gave it to him to give to his wife. So he was very happy, but he thought that I had told Swami all about his wife. But I didn’t know anything about this. I had never met his wife, and I didn’t know anything about all that.

So he asked me then, “How does Swami know?”

I just smiled. Anyway, he went back, and he gave the vibhuthi to his wife. A few months later, he invited me to have dinner with them because they are based in Bangkok at the regional headquarters of UNESCO. His wife was perfectly normal, completely cured.

Unfortunately, he was moved to another position. He was stationed in Berlin, Germany. So a new person came to take over the work while we were preparing for the big international conference. There was only one month to go before the conference. Then the new man came and said, “I don’t know anything about this. I don’t want to have anything to do with it.” At that time, there were lot of attacks on our organisation. Many people wrote to the UNESCO headquarters that they had better cancel all this, that UNESCO should not be involved with the Sathya Sai Organisation. But UNESCO had already invited everybody from around the world, very important people, and people in the top positions in education in every country. They were all going to be coming.

Then finally, UNESCO told me, “Sorry, we are pulling out.”

But I continued, and we had our conference without UNESCO. The people came from all over the world because they had already been invited; they had got their visas, their air tickets and so on. So, they had all decided to come. Amongst these people, there were top-level people from China in education. And Swami put them right in front in the veranda for every darshan. There was this one Chinese educator, educationist. He was sitting there and he was watching Swami very carefully. After two or three days, he was so impressed when he saw Swami, and he was completely changed. He was sitting there on the veranda, doing this: he was shaking there, and I could see that he was crying. Then after the conference, he contacted me and invited me to go and train teachers there.

You know, I have been trying hard to get into China, but I have been unsuccessful. I have been there. I have tried to talk to people; they are not interested in outside education. But because of that UNESCO conference, when UNESCO pulled out, we got a lot of very good contacts all over the world. Also with Hong Kong, part of mainland China, we have a big centre there and we are now helping from Hong Kong as well. China is now completely open and we are going to go there more and more and train their teachers.

So, now you see how the Sathya Sai Education in Human Values is going to all corners of the world. And close devotees of Swami are whispering into my ear that big changes are coming very, very soon. Swami also said very clearly that peace will come sooner than what you expect.

So, I don’t know if some of you were in the public lecture the other day. I told everybody that by the 90th birthday, we are going to celebrate peace in the world. I have been telling everybody that we love Swami so much, why wait for Prema Sai to have peace. Let us work during this Avatar. And things are really moving at a very fast speed now. You don’t have to change everybody in the world to have peace. You just have to have a little bit more than 50% of love, over hatred and negative thoughts — just a little bit over 50%! Then, there will be peace in the world!!

If you see all the Sathya Sai schools around the world, you will find that there is so much love there. Some of you may have seen the videos by Gene Massey. Have you seen them? He goes around the world taking videos around the world. And he has said very clearly that he has seen the beginning of the new age of peace. That’s why Swami is spending so much time with the students and with the professors.

Well, that is the story of the changes that are taking place very rapidly through Education in Human Values.

In Thailand, in the Sathya Sai School, we are doing the same thing. We are promoting love. The only rule in the Sathya Sai School is the rule of love. The children grow a lot of plants. And every time we grow a plant, we send love to the plant first.

Now we are growing rice in a big way in our school. Because I told everybody we must be self-sufficient.

We must be able to feed everybody with rice without having to buy from outside. So, many times throughout the year, we will go into the paddy fields. The children and the teachers will go into the paddy fields, which are filled with water and mud. The children love it. And we always start with a prayer. Then we will recite the Gayatri Mantra. And then, we start to plant the rice.

Children love to play in the muddy field. But at the same time, we send love to all the plants. Well, at one time, (we don’t do it so often now), the children planted a field and there was a field next door, where the staff and people from outside planted rice. We grew them at the same time; we planted at the same time. We observed that where the children planted, the rice grew at a much faster rate. When the time of harvesting came, the rice plants were much taller and there was much more rice harvested from the children’s field.

So, love really works. If we give a lot of love, plants will grow. So that’s one thing that we really need to do in the world today: to fill the atmosphere of the world with love. Then all the plants, forests and so on will grow at a much faster rate. And this will reduce the effect of the global warming in the world. It will take away the carbon dioxide, absorb the carbon dioxide, so that the temperature will reduce in the world.

Right now, because of the warming effect, the ice in the North Pole and South Pole are melting. The other month I was in Nanjing, in China, to talk about this training of teachers. The scientists there were measuring the level of the sea water. They now see two to three millimetres increase in the level of sea water every year.

Well, this is going to be a big problem for our world. As the sea level increases, the weight of he ocean over the earth will also increase. The biggest ocean in the world is the Pacific Ocean. So the earth will become unbalanced because there is more water on one side. On the other side, we have lot of land masses like Asia, Europe and Africa.

What happens is that the world, which is rotating in space, will start to wobble a little bit. And that will speed up the earth. The earth crust is divided into plates and is floating around. So we will start to have a big movement, more and more.

By giving out a lot of love, all through the day, then we can lessen that effect. There’s no need to have a lot of disasters in the world. That’s why the Avatar is here. That’s why we have Sathya Sai schools around the world. That’s why the Sathya Sai Organisation is everywhere, in every country. That’s why we have a lot of bhajans. Because when we sing bhajans, we are filled with love. So, the whole organisation must work hard to produce a lot of love in the world.

I took an hour to answer one question! (Laughter) Any other questions or you want to stop? It’s 11:30.

Question: Is it necessary to teach Education in Human Values to children below eight years, for example, for only two months, if afterwards they are not going to continue it any more? Is it worthwhile? Is it necessary?

Dr. Jumsai: Why aren’t they continuing?

Questioner: Because the teacher will be changed.

Dr. Jumsai: In the school?

Questioner: She is not talking about a regular school. She wants to know if it is worthwhile to start the human values.

Dr. Jumsai: It is always worthwhile to plant a seed for future generations. But then we should train all the teachers of the country. We should never stop with only a few teachers and say, “Aaah, we’ve done our job.” In Thailand, we have trained over 60,000 teachers already. And now, we don’t have to train any more teachers. The reason is because they are so interested in the program that they come and study for themselves. We don’t have to go to them anymore.

We have over 200 teachers and educators who come to visit our school every week now. The Ministry of Education recommend to everybody to come and visit our school. And they are all coming; so we don’t need to go out anymore. This is what we want in every country, so that the movement will spread very quickly.

Like Victor Kanu and his Zambia school; now people are coming to see his school because the school is known as the ‘miracle’ school. You heard the students of Swami talking in the last few days about how they have been affected by what is taught in his school. And most of them came only for a two-year course. They were not devotees before that. So after two years, there’s no more education; they go out into the world. But the seed has been planted, and they grow and grow wherever they are.

So you ask, “Is it worthwhile to give them Sathya Sai Education or Human Values education?” I say, “Yes!” Always plant the seed. It will grow on its own. There was a meeting last week with eminent educationists. They came for a big meeting here. They were arguing, because most of them are not devotees. They were arguing, “Is it possible to do the same thing as what Swami has done here in other countries?”

And because they don’t know Swami, they said that it can only take place here in Puttaparthi as Swami is physically present here. So I decided to tell them that it’s not only happening in Puttaparthi. It is happening in many places. As an example, I gave the example of the Fiji Sathya Sai School in Fiji Islands. It is the only place on the Fiji Islands where there is no conflict between the Christians and the Hindus. The children, 50% of each, mix together. They are brothers and sisters. They are filled with love. I went to visit that school in the Fiji Islands.

And I saw the best, cleanest toilets in the whole world. They were burning incense sticks, and they lit candles there, and they worship in the toilet!!

So I asked them, “Why? Why worship in the toilet?”

They said that one day they saw Swami walking in the school, inspecting the school. Then, Swami walked into the toilet. They all rushed and followed him into the toilet. But Swami had already gone! And because of that, the children decided to come every morning, clean everything, light candles, light incense sticks and pray in the toilet.

So, I gave this as an example to the educators to say that Swami is everywhere and therefore, we can replicate and copy what is going on here anywhere. Then they stopped arguing. No more argument after that.

So, I hope I have answered your question.

Question: For people outside India, how many training institutes are here?

Dr. Jumsai: Well, we have set up institutes of Sathya Sai Education. Now, we have about 30 around the world. And the institutes are set up to train teachers. In Thailand, we also accept people from all over the world to be trained at our institute. In Thailand, so far we have about 60,000 people trained. We have to do it twice a week all through the year. But in other countries, they do it maybe once a month or even less. But now, we have got to do more and more.

I travel around a lot, but I cannot do all the training around the world. It is up to the people in each locality. I have just been recently to a Spanish-speaking country — Mexico. And I gave a big talk to about 900 educators there. You know, I was so ill when I arrived in Mexico. And I had to have some, you know, they sent me some spiritual healers to heal me. The next day, I was supposed to speak. But still, the next day I was not feeling very well. So, I could not really talk. It was very difficult to talk as my mind was not clear at all.

So I said to Swami in my mind, “You take over this body. You have to do the work. I can’t do it. You have to do it.”

And I went onto the stage. I started to speak. There was one translator who was translating into Spanish. And then, I didn’t know what I was talking at all. I talked for two hours. And you know the people there were so moved by what had been said.

One young girl came up and said she had been trying to commit suicide three or four times, but each time, she did not die. But when she listened to the talk, somehow her heart was shaking and she was moved. And she went to her parents and said, I have decided that I am not going to kill myself anymore. I am going to live; I am going to serve other people. She was completely changed.

And even the organisers of the conference and all the participants said that something was moving in their heart. Many people were so moved that they all want to do education in human values. And I didn’t even know what I was saying!!

So, you see that’s the power of Sai everywhere throughout the world. Changing people, we are going to bring about this new age of peace. There will be peace. Swami has promised that it will come sooner than what we expect.

Previously, He said there will be peace in the time of Prema Sai. We know Swami is here for another 16 years. Then, one year after that, Prema Sai will be born. So, the time of Prema Sai will start 17 years from now. So, we can expect that in 17 years, there will be peace. But Swami said that peace will come sooner than what you expect. And He kept on stressing that it will be very, very, very soon.

So, that’s why Sri Indulal Shah announced that we will celebrate the 90th birthday as the spiritual regeneration of mankind. And that’s when we expect that there will be complete peace in the world.

Question: Sir, yesterday it was said that if more people develop a more loving attitude in theworld, Swami would heal Himself. Is it true?

Dr. Jumsai: I bet! (Laughter) Swami is taking on the karma of the world. And if there are more positive thoughts, more love in the world, He does not have to take on any karma. So if all the centres in the world, if the whole organisation filled with love, always radiating love, Swami won’t need to take on any karma. The time is approaching when He will walk well again, bewell again, soon.

I will tell you a secret. (Laughter) Yesterday, without any prompting — I did not ask Swami to go anywhere — He said to me, “I am going to Thailand.” But, don’t worry, it doesn’t mean that He will go to Thailand only; He will go to many countries. So in order to do that, He has to heal Himself first.

I’ll tell you another secret. (Laughter) Yesterday, I asked Swami, “Please, Swami, walk again.” Swami said, “I am walking all the time! As soon as I get back to my room, I am walking there!” (Laughter) “But outside, the doctors won’t allow me to walk.” (Laughter) “And my students won’t allow me to walk. They are afraid that I will fall again! But I am walking in my apartment.” So He is already healing Himself. But we must send out a lot of love into the world. So, pray, and pray and pray and send out love for the whole world. He will definitely walk. Remember, it’s a secret! (Laughter)

Question: You spoke in one of the meetings that while training the teachers, instead of reacting from our subconscious, we must react from our human values when relating to other people. Would you please explain about this?

Dr. Jumsai: The subconscious contains all of our past information, anything we have received, anything we have done, anything we have thought; all past experiences are stored in the subconscious. We all react because of the information, the data that has been stored in our subconscious.

So, a child could be aggressive because he uses the subconscious reaction. It is an automatic reaction, and we cannot control it normally because it will come out from the subconscious. So, the first thing we have to teach our children and all of us is to start to use discrimination. When we receive something, we start to have thoughts automatically. What should we do? The reaction will start. So train yourself and train the children to immediately ask two questions:

  1. Is it good for me?
  2. Is it good for everybody?

If it passes these two questions, these two tests, then by all means, react to it.

Swami tells us that this is what He calls ‘fundamental discrimination’. And it should be taught when they are really young, so that they will always use fundamental discrimination. At the same time, before reacting to anything, apply the human values. Use love. Love should be the main thing that we use for any reaction. So, love has to be the basis for all our actions and that will appear as human value till we get rid of the negativity that is in our subconscious. So, the next thing you need to do is to raise the consciousness towards God. Then we start to contact the higher consciousness, which is there in all of us. That is where we have our conscience that tells us, ‘this is good’ or ‘this is bad’. Then we don’t need to rely on our subconscious anymore because now we will get guidance from God. And our life will be transformed completely as a result.

So we have to practice and practice meditation. Practice going into the silence, because that is where God is. It should be done every day.

I am afraid it is past 12:00. I am leaving today. In the afternoon, I have my flight and I haven’t packed my bag yet, so I think it should end the session.

Thank you very much for your super attention. (Laughter and Applause) Let’s end with “Loka Samastha”. Let’s send love.

Loka Samastha Sukhino Bhavantu
Loka Samastha Sukhino Bhavantu
Loka Samastha Sukhino Bhavantu
Om Shanti Shanti Shanti
Sai Ram!

Do We Understand What Freedom Really Means?

Sathya Sai Baba

Sathya Sai Baba

Do We Understand What Freedom Really Means?

Loving Sai Ram and greetings from Prashanti Nilayam.

This Sunday we wish to discuss the topic of freedom, especially personal freedom. There is no one who does not want freedom; indeed, history is replete with accounts of uprisings, revolutions, mutinies, etc., in quest of freedom. Countries held in thralldom have sought freedom, oppressed people and communities have sought freedom, slaves have sought freedom, women have sought freedom, and campaigns to free children held in bondage have also been mounted. With so many centuries of fight for freedom in so many societies and countries, surely we must by now know what freedom means. Moreover, there is no dearth of scholarly essays on the subject. So, you dear, reader might legitimately wonder what on earth can we say that is new. Well, we are not going to say anything that is new, but something that is hardly known; to that extent, what we shall be saying might come as something not only new but possibly also as a bit of jolt!

Boring though it might be for you, we would like to start with the fact that a human being is complex mixture of the gross body, the subtle Mind and the Causal Heart, the Spiritual Heart that is. When we talk of freedom, we must keep this important fact before us. Freedom implies no constraint, no bondage, and no subjugation. We all understand this. But the way we interpret these words is generally flawed. Yes, a slave has no freedom; freedom in relation to what? In relation to making decisions, in relation to education, travel, working hours, the type of work he or she wants to do, owning property, etc. The restrictions relate mainly to the body and to the Mind to some extent. When slaves in America got freedom, it was with respect to these parameters of life. Consider now an ex-slave who can literally do what he wants, provided of course it does not violate the law of the land. In this respect, he now is equal to others who earlier held him in slavery. Can we now say the ex-slave is completely free? Yes, free he is but only in a worldly sense. Does that mean there is another sense of the term that also we must consider? Indeed there is and that is what we shall be concerned with from now on.

To make sense of the last remark, we have to go beyond the body and the Mind to include also the Heart in our discussion of freedom. The Heart has something to do with freedom? Yes, and that is where what we say might appear as something new. However, Krishna pointed it out all long time ago, echoing the Vedas that had said it even much earlier. And of course, our beloved Sathya Sai Baba too has spoken about this matter, though it might not be well known; which is why this Sunday we are dealing with this important topic.

OK, what has the Heart got to do with freedom and all that? To answer that question, we must understand the subtle relationship between the Head and the Heart. Consider a person who says: “I am free to do what I want. I like to drink, and nobody is going to stop me. I enjoy smoking; who is going to stop me? There is no law against smoking, is there?” and so on. The person goes ahead and does all these things. Can we say this person is free and really exercising his or her freedom? That is the point we shall now explore.

The person who says I am free, is referring to constraints from outside. If say, the father of the person or the wife of the person says don’t drink, don’t smoke, and the person defies, the person does all that to show he is free from the constraints others try to impose on him. OK, the person asserts himself, defies his relatives and all that; does that make that person free? We submit, not at all. Why do we so assert? For a simple reason.

A person addicted to alcohol and smoking and who indulges in these habits in the name of freedom is actually a slave to these habits. How can a slave claim to be really free? This is where Vedanta comes into the picture. Vedanta declares – and this is also the very first thing that Krishna taught to Arjuna – that every human is Atma first, then only Mind and body. Symbolically speaking, the Mind is between the senses and the Atma. In God’s preferred scheme of things, the Mind should work harmoniously with the Atma. Why? Because that is when the person acts in accordance to his or her true nature. Whether the person knows it or not every human being is a Spark of the Divine. This fact becomes critical when we discuss the issue of whether a person is truly free or not.

Consider a king, who behaves mostly like a joker. The people of the kingdom would say, “This fellow is no king; he is a joker.” The person wears the robes of a king and yet his subjects describe him as a joker. Why? Because his behaviour is not consistent with what he is supposed to be, namely a king. Similarly, every person with human form being a Spark of the Divine is expected to exhibit Divine attributes and qualities in all his or her actions. If those qualities are missing, then the person is not acting according to the true nature of that person, and that true nature is the Divine Atma. In short, if a person acts in accordance with the dictates of the lower instincts that penetrate the Mind and capture it, then how can the person call himself or herself free?

Krishna has warned that the enemies of man hide in the dark crevices of the Mind, and Swami has told us time and again that we must fear Kama, Krodha, Lobha, Moha, Madha and Matsarya as six types of deadly snakes. These mortal enemies of man entice man through agents called senses. And once man is trapped by the senses and his Mind becomes a prey to these enemies, that man is no longer free, even if he deludes himself into thinking that he is. That is the point we are trying to make.

Let us put it all together and go over the arguments once more, slowly.

  • Humans are primarily the embodiments of the Divine Atma; the body has a human form that is perishable, but the core is Eternal and Divine. That is why Swami always used to begin His Discourses in the old days with the word: DIVYATMASWAROOPALARA, meaning, Embodiments of the Divine Atma.
  • Being Divine at the core, our true nature is also that of Divinity.
  • As such, our actions must reflect Divine attributes that is to say, virtues like Selfless Love, Compassion, Forbearance, Non-violence, etc., rather that the attributes of the lower self that include, anger, jealousy, greed, selfishness, etc.
  • A person whose actions are guided by the attributes of the lower self is not at all free; rather, the person is a slave to the senses, even though the person may delude himself or herself as being free.
  • In analysing issues relating to freedom, one should beware of the fact that the human Mind being extremely powerful, has infinite capacity to trick itself!

It is necessary at this point to make a reference to the viewpoint held in the “enlightened” world regarding freedom. If we look carefully, this viewpoint is all about what is usually referred to as “freedom of expression” and “freedom of choice”. Let us examine these matters a little bit. Freedom of expression is something that is widely valued and prized in the Western world, especially by the media and by artists. On the face of it, there can be no objection to it; however, when it comes to practical expression of this freedom one wonders whether the passionate advocates of this freedom have a good idea of the nuances. There is a saying that the media, for example, must be allowed “to tell it like it is”. That is the Western view. Vedanta, on the other hand, says that it is not in the spirit of Truth to state so-called facts, if they would cause hurt.

Sathya Sai Baba has often made a reference to the Sanskrit original, while speaking on Truth [nah bruhiyat sathyam apriyam]. In this perspective, avoiding unnecessary hurt to another person is far more important that trying to assert one’s so-called rights. Right now, there is one such issue that is causing concern to many people in India . An artist of high repute, almost an icon, has produced many paintings, showing Hindu Goddesses topless and even without any clothes whatsoever. This is supposed to be all about creativity, giving full expression to artistic freedom and all that. Understandably, this has hurt the sentiments of millions and caused a public furore. The art crowd, of course, is furious that there are objections, that artists are being denied their legitimate freedom, and that protests amount to stifling creativity, freedom of expression, etc. What the artist has done appears perfectly reasonable to the “enlightened” crowd who regard the protestors as bigots, etc.

This is one side of the story. Let us for a minute look at the other side. On this side are ordinary people who worship these Goddesses, Parvathi, for example. They are shocked by these paintings, pained, hurt, and of course angry. The art crowd screams that these illiterates cannot be allowed to curb basic freedom and that if they [these “bigots”] have their say, then we would slide into a totalitarian regime, etc.

Let us now look at both sides together. Suppose for a moment the people who want to harp on their rights focus instead on their responsibility, would they exercise their so-called right, especially when it can cause pain and even lead to conflict? By the way, the Danish cartoons and remarks by the Pontiff did lead to vigorous protests and even violence. So the question arises: “Why cannot people who are supposed to be enlightened, exercise some self-restraint in the interest of peace, and give expression to their artistic ‘rights’ when people have become ‘enlightened’ due to better education, etc?” Soon after India gained independence, Nehru, the first Prime Minister of the country, often used to say: “Freedom beings responsibility.” That observation is very relevant in the present context also, though, of course, Nehru meant it in a different sense. How can one call people “enlightened”, when they insist on their rights even if it causes hurt, when they can easily forego that privilege in order to avoid causing unnecessary hurt? It is difficult to believe that the artist in question has run out of topics to paint; did he really have to do these paintings as an expression of his creativity?

“Rights” – that is the buzzword of the “enlightened” crowd. Right now, the Government in the State of Karnataka wants to ban the sale of soft drinks and fast food in schools on the ground that they contribute to child obesity. The soft drink lobby and the media are up in arms. Their slogan is: “There must be freedom of choice. If certain parents don’t want their children to eat or drink these items, then they could advise accordingly.” This is the same argument used by the peddlers of porn in the Internet.

There are any number of such issues but we shall not go into them. However, there is one general observation we must make, before we wind up. And that is – the so-called freedom to do what one likes does not amount to freedom, just because Society allows them all. Freedom means that one does not pay for one’s actions. Payment may not always be extracted by Society; yet, there might still be a stiff price to pay. Drinking and smoking are permitted in all countries, but that does not mean the drinker and smoker do not in the end pay a price. As the famous physicist George Gamow, a heavy drinker, said shortly before he died, “Finally, my liver is presenting the bill!”

Freedom granted by Society does not amount to true freedom. True freedom of action is that dictated by a mind that is not a slave to the senses and the eternal enemies, Kama, Krodha, etc. Such a mind is a companion of the Heart, and follows the dictates of the Atma. Actions are then in perfect harmony with the true nature of the individual. As indicated earlier, these ideas are not by any means new. They are as old as Vedanta, and in fact the word in Sanskrit for freedom is Swarajya, meaning self-rule; rule not by the lower self but “rule” by the Higher Self or the Atma.

So the bottom line is: Freedom to act and choose based on options is not true freedom. True state of freedom is that state where there is no price to pay; and that is the state of the Atma. When the Mind is united with the Atma, that is the true state of freedom. In all other states, there is, as the saying goes, “no free lunch!” Not only is there no price to pay in the true state of freedom but, equally important, one is in Bliss and in a state of total peace.

Jai Sai Ram. H2H Team.

God, Man And Society

Sathya Sai Baba

Sathya Sai Baba

God, Man And Society

Loving Sai Ram and greetings from Prashanti Nilyam. This Sunday and in the one that follows, we wish to dwell on two important and strongly related topics. Together, they highlight how pertinent, important and vital are Sathya Sai Baba’s teachings to today’s world and the innumerable problems it faces. Swami’s Divine Discourses invariably dazzle us with their overpowering torrent of Divine Love and we become so dazed at the end of it all that we seldom sit back to reflect on the subtler nuances of the Message that Bhagavan Baba’s Discourses always carry. If we were to do that, we would discover any number of crucial lessons that humanity must take seriously if it is to survive. Today, we shall explore some of them.

As we are all aware, on many occasions, Swami has called attention to the quartet – Vyashti, Samashti, Srishti and Parameshti and their inter-relationship. We too have commented on that many times. Not withstanding that, we wish to examine once more the connection between the Individual, Society and God.

If we go back to ancient times, the scriptures did mention Society, Nature, and God and their inter-relationships. However, by and large, the emphasis usually was on the individual, his or her duties and responsibilities, how the individual must relate to God, how the individual must strive to purify himself or herself and become one with God. The relationship of the individual to Society was no doubt mentioned but not heavily stressed. Instead, the focus was primarily on the individual and his/her salvation.

Times have changed. But does that mean that the individual does not have to bother about the goal of salvation? By no means. However, certain new parameters enter into the picture, making the goal of salvation acquire a totally new perspective. Why all this change? That is what we shall now explore.

Let us start by listing the types of security that people normally expect and even demand. The list would include: life security, water security, food security, accommodation security, education security, job security, property security, family security and so on. While in some countries people take all these for granted, in many parts of the world, they hardly exist.

Let us now go back say a hundred thousand years or so to the time of the caveman. Whatever security the caveman wanted, he had to provide it himself. If his life was threatened, he had to protect himself. If he wanted water, he had to go in search of it himself. If he wanted food, he had to provide it himself. As for accommodation, he had to find his own cave or put together stones and create his own dwelling place. May be all this is obvious, but we do have to mention them to make our point.

Cut now to modern times. Today, everyone wants “Society” to guarantee various securities. We want to walk safely on the street? Then Society must guarantee safety. We want job security? Then “Society” must do something about it. We want healthcare? That is the job of “Society”. We want social security in old age? What’s “Society” there for? Does it not have duties and obligations? So on it goes.

So you see, somewhere between the era of the caveman and modern times, an entity called “Society” has emerged which has great relevance to the individual. This emergence is the result of civilisation, and is the direct result of co-operation between individuals. Co-operation is vital for progress and peace, which is why the Vedas stress co-operation.

Society is a kind of a macro representation of the individual. If the individual is the microcosm, then Society is the macrocosm – that is an important lesson that Swami has been giving lately, particularly because the population of the world has swelled and the world has become very inter-connected. To put it differently, the individual and Society are two sides of the same coin. By the way, if God resides in the individual, does it not imply that He is also present in Society? Can we then afford to ignore Society?

In the modern world, the individual has come to expect Society to provide all kinds of security to him or her. In this highly-interconnected world, Society must care for ALL its citizens in EQUAL measure. If some segments of Society become very powerful , then there can be all kinds of trouble – in brief, the collective power of Society can be hijacked to serve narrow interests.

Just consider this. There is a lot of clamour these days for giving market forces a free hand, cutting down Government and all that. But let a huge earthquake happen or huge tsunami strike or a huge hurricane strike . Then will the companies and corporations come to the aid of people? So, whether we like it or not, in today’s highly connected world and a world dominated by technology, we DO need an agency that would care for the common good of ALL people, especially those in the weaker sections. That agency is what we call Society. Please note we are not trying to equate Society with Government. Rather, we are taking Society to be the collective will of all people, aiming at the common good of all in equal measure.

And this is where Swami’s teachings relating to the individual on the one hand and Society on the other, enter the picture. This connection must be fully understood. Some readers may wonder why on earth are we digging up all kinds of “social issues”, when we really ought to be talking about “Spirituality”.

There is a reason for such doubts, which arise from the traditional perception of “Spirituality”. For many, Spirituality simply means rituals, scriptures, Bhagavad Gita, Discourses, Bhajans etc. This is an age-old view, and when that is adhered to, many feel comfortable; this is perfectly understandable. On the other hand, when Swami talks to students, He often dwells on what people would call “practical” matters. Why? For a very good reason.

Consider, for example, Sathya Sai Baba’s Mission in the area of education. When Swami established His University, there were already 108 Universities in the country; why then one more? If we examine carefully, we would realise that Swami has done this to highlight one of the many responsibilities that Society has to bear. Through His University, Swami is giving Society three important messages. They are: 1) Character development must always be at the core of all educational programs. 2) It is not enough to stuff the brain; the body and the Soul also need balanced development. 3) Education must be available free, and students should not be made to pay to pay through their nose, as is increasingly becoming the case. In other word, education must become the responsibility of Society and not be abandoned to market forces.

Similarly, through His amazing Hospitals, Swami is sending the same message in regard to healthcare. Society must assume responsibility for the healthcare of its citizens, and not let citizens fend for themselves.

Space limitations prevent us from going into many important details concerning all this but we would like to point out that when Swami talks of practical knowledge being more important than bookish knowledge, what He implies is that practical Spirituality is far more pertinent and important than textbook Spirituality; which is why He often says that hands that serve are holier than lips that pray.

As Swami repeatedly tells His students, we are what we are because of Society; and therefore we owe a deep debt to Society, all the time. When He went to Delhi in March 1999, Swami delivered a powerful Discourse wherein He gave a new and very practical meaning to KarmaYoga. In ringing tones He said, “People think Seva means taking a broom and sweeping the village roads. That is NOT necessarily the only way to do Seva. In fact, the best Seva you can do is to do your job properly, earning every penny you are paid. Do honest work, do hard work and work such that people are not swindled or cheated but benefited. It does not matter whether you work for a company or in a Government Department. All Karma [action/duty] must be performed reverentially, in the belief that duty is God; work would then automatically get elevated to worship.” Similarly, in Bombay when leading industrialists complained about the growth of crime, He severely reprimanded them for living in skyscrapers and not doing anything for the slum dwellers who lived right below. In fact, so fiery was His speech that next day, the Times of India reported the speech with the headline: Sai Baba Thunders!

Sathya , Dharma, Shanti, Prema, and Ahimsa acquire full meaning only when they prevail in Society, and that would happen only when individuals relate to Society in an intensive way. This is the way individual’s purity would lead to RamaRajya or Utopia. It is because individuals tend to be in their own private shells today that corruption, violence, child labour etc., are rampant in Society.

If Society chokes with Adharma, then the individuals cannot survive for long unless they counter it by making Dharma prevail. That is what our students are taught and that is how when they go out they slowly but invariably make a difference to the work place they are in. Innumerable are the examples of our students standing firm on corruption, whether they are in a company or in the Income Tax Department. In due course, H2H would carry those inspiring stories.

Dear Reader! The tone of these Sunday Specials is likely to make you wonder whether we have forgotten Spirituality and lost our way in social activism. Nothing of that sort. On the contrary, we are trying in our own little way to give you a sampling of the concerns that Swami often shares with His students these days, both present and past. Be assured that we are not making this up!

There is a lot that needs to be said on these topics. For the moment, we would like to take your leave by reminding you that each of us has to realise that we are a part of Society, we are a child of Nature and we are the Embodiment of Love that God is. Thus, all our actions must be such that we do not harm Society; rather it must help Society because Society is God! Similarly, our actions must not go against Nature and must always be filled with Selfless Love. This is the only way we can help mankind solve its problems.

We must be involved but at the same time detached. There is a lot of difference between non-involvement and detachment. Karma Yoga is all about intense and sincere action but without attachment. That is what Sathya Sai Baba’s life proclaims every single minute and if He can be actively involved with Society, why should we duck?

Think about it! Jai Sai Ram.

With Love and Regards,
“Heart2Heart” Team

Teachers To Inspire, Lead By Example

Teachers To Inspire, Lead By Example
11 Jan 2009, 0000 hrs IST, TNN

CHANDIGARH: An Awareness workshop for teachers on education in human values organised here on Saturday by Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisation, Haryana and Chandigarh at Manav Mangal School, Panchkula dwelled on the importance of human values in education and how to make educators aware of these values.

Ashok Yadav, administrator, Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) set the tone of the workshop when he said that human values were eternal and lasting while morality kept changing.

More than 500 teachers present in the auditorium cheered him when he quoted one example after the other from daily life incidents to bring home the point.

We should act more as a comprehensive teacher than confining ourselves to be a subject-only teacher. Try to be inspiring and corrective, than be fault-finding or complaining, Yadav exhorted.

He asked teachers to be role models for their students so as to inspire them, motivate them and to lead them by example. Be innovative, keep abreast of happenings around and understand the students well as every child is special and can do wonders in future, he said.

Regional officer, CBSE, DR Yadav, who was the chief guest at the workshop, blamed both parents and teachers for the present mess in the education system.

It was unfortunate that while teachers were taking to the profession not by choice but by default, parents too had become very intolerant and were always complaining about the behaviour of teachers, he said.

He strongly advocated that teachers deserved to be treated better by the society and deserved better wages and improved living conditions too.

Times Of India Reference