The Four Responsibilities for Human Beings: Part 2 - Sri Sathya Sai Paradigm




Scriptures (Shaastra)

There are four stages of human life: Brahmacharya (celibate), Grihastha (householder), Vanaprastha (forest-dweller), and Sanyasa (renunciant). The scriptures contain all that one is supposed to do throughout one’s life, right from the womb to the tomb. These include activities such as the naming ceremony (Namakaranam), initiation into education (Aksharabhyasam - i) , marriage and all those aspects, which have to be gone through in the course of life. The procedures of all the Yajnas which are performed for the welfare of humankind are explained in the scriptures. All the pledges that are to be made by the bride and bridegroom during the marriage ceremony are explained in them to ensure smooth living. All these pledges are today carried out merely as a part of a ritual in a mechanical manner, and not sincerely. As a result of this lack of understanding and practice, individuals are facing many problems during the Grihastha (householder) stage. If the oaths are administered with conviction and obeyed sincerely, life would be contented and peaceful. 

Mutual relationship must be based on trust and faith. When a girl is married, she leaves her parents, house, brothers, sisters etc., and begins her future life with an unfamiliar person. So, there is faith and trust. The husband must ensure that she remains happy. There should never be tears in her eyes. Marriage is a sacred relationship in which wife too must fully dedicate herself to the happiness of her husband. The husband must take his wife into confidence in all financial matters and transactions. Nowadays, men do not even share personal and family-related information with their wives and vice-versa. In bygone times, on account of mutual trust, people maintained no formal accounts in the written format. Later, people began to maintain one account. Nowadays, people maintain one account each for the wife, tax authorities and the local government!

Human beings are endowed with two eyes which provide vision, two ears through which they can hear (both good and bad); but only one tongue, which signifies that they should stand by one word. If they act contrary to what they say, then they are similar to a poisonous snake that has two tongues. When an individual stands by one word, he can have equanimity, unity and also Divinity. The important principle of life: ‘Satyam Vada, Dharmam Chara’ meaning speak the truth and act righteously, is an essential principle of Indian culture. Human beings should follow the path of righteousness. If they do not follow truth, then the events yet to unfold in their life will meet out punishments to them in varied ways. 

The tongue commits four types of sins: uttering untruth, criticising others, making fun of others, and excessive talk. Students in this new age should speak the truth and follow righteousness as far as possible. But the present-day youth say one thing in the morning, another in the evening and yet another at night. They should always be like a Yogi (spiritual aspirant). The Bhagavad Gita says that in one’s life, one should sacrifice everything for truth. Students should lead an ideal life and live up to the expectations of their parents and their teachers. But today’s youth are doing Yoga (exercise) in the morning, Bhoga (pleasure seeking) in the afternoon and by night they become susceptible to Roga (disease). 


Due to the movement of the earth and sun, days and nights occur. As per God’s will, everything was created for the welfare of humanity. Such a creation has been misconstrued by human beings, due to their limited understanding, which is a bad outlook on their part. People know very well that the moon appears close to earth, though in reality, the moon is miles away from the earth. During a full moon and new moon day, the moon comes closer to the earth by a few degrees. Because of this small change, waves become very turbulent in the oceans. Even if the moon comes further closer to the earth, say by 2-3 miles, there will be a catastrophe. Earth is safe as long as the required distance between the moon and the earth is maintained. Only when the five elements are in the right proportion and in the right place, they will be safe. So long as the laws laid down by God with respect to nature are followed meticulously, there will be welfare in this world, else natural calamities will occur. 


Curse (Shraapa)

You may wonder who is going to curse: it is the Maharishis, the great ones and the sages. When people go against the welfare of the society or the world at large, that will hurt the sages and that would prompt the great sages to exhibit their Divine strength in the form of casting a curse in order to safeguard the interests of the world at large. Unfortunately, there is a wrong notion that these sages are misusing their powers. In reality, any curse will act as security to this body of five elements. Only when the wrong acts are punished, can people tread the right path. When wrong acts are continued to be pardoned, such acts will perpetuate. Besides this, human beings lose their discrimination power. The following example illustrates how and when sages use their powers in order to bring balance in society. 

Sage Agastya cursed Devendra (the king of the celestial beings) to become an elephant. As an elephant, Devendra should have used the strength of Bhuja (shoulders), Buddhi (intellect) and Bahu (body) to lead a noble life. But initially Devendra, as an elephant, had the sense of ego and as such could not succeed in attaining the noble goals during the period of curse. However, he realised soon his limitations and concluded that in this physical world, one cannot reach the goal of life only by relying on one’s physical strength. The goal of life can be achieved by attaining wisdom and the Grace of God. One with a sense of ego and pride cannot achieve the goal of one’s life. Only in difficult times, one will strive hard against all odds to gain the awareness. If there are no hardships or adversities, none would ever be able to realise the value of comforts and happiness.

Notes:

i) In ancient times, Bharatiyas used to initiate children into studies during a ceremony called Aksharabhyasa (literally meaning alphabet learning – a sacrament observed in childhood at the time of commencement of formal learning). The child was made to super-write on the same letter several times until he became familiar with that letter. This formed part of learning how to read and write any particular language.


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