Thursday, May 20, 1982 to Saturday, May 29, 1982
Bhagavan inaugurated on 20th of May, the second training programme in ‘Education in Human Values’ at Prashanti Nilayam. Prof. V.K. Gokak, Vice Chancellor, Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, traced the growth of this programme from the year 1980.
In His inaugural theme, Swami elaborated on the theme of 'Triple Purity' and shared ways in which we can achieve it. He said:
“Man has three modes or instruments allotted to him by God to develop and demonstrate his uniqueness among animals. They are the Trikarana or ‘Three-fold tools’. When these are utilised in unison and for beneficial purposes, they promote the progress of man from humanity to Divinity. When they are devalued and damaged and used for fulfilling sensual cravings, humanity is degraded into bestiality.
Mind, Speech and Action are the three instruments assigned to man. The mind is the breeding ground for all thoughts of 'do' and 'do not', all impulses of 'will' and 'wont'. It collects and treasures every impression that the senses inflict on the consciousness and is easily enslaved by glitter and glamour. Though the name Manas, by which mind is known, has been derived from its talent for manana (rumination, introspection), the mind has no patience to practise this exercise. It jumps to conclusions. It listens more to the chatter of silent conversation with the ego, and it cannot overcome the confusion caused by it. It seldom weighs the pros and cons.
The very first Sadhana one must adopt is the cultivation of inner silence, to put an end to the endless dialogue with the mind. Let the mind rest for a while. Do not project on the mind irrelevant details and pollute it with fumes of envy and greed. Every idea we entertain, either good or bad, gets impressed on the mind, as on carbon paper. An element of weakness and unsteadiness is thus introduced in the mind. Keep the mind calm and clear. Do not agitate it every moment by your non-stop dialogue.
Three ways of calming the restless mind
There are three ways of calming the mercurial mind:
(1) Regulated breathing (Pranayama). Inhale and exhale in a measured manner, watching its symmetry and balance; that will diminish the eagerness of the inner tongue to wander into conversation. Finally it will give up the tendency, for good.
(2) Engage yourselves in loving service of the diseased and the distressed. Undertake to teach a few children who have no one to guide them. Let your thoughts and activities be self-less and sincere. The itch to communicate to the mind will be healed thereby. You will feel that one's energies are more fruitfully engaged in serving one's fellows than in talking and discussing with one's wavering mind.
(3) The third method of avoiding this type of conversation is Sadhana, spiritual exercise, some one or more of them, resorted to in earnest and with regularity. It can be the repetition of Name, recitation of Mantras, chanting hymns or practice of yogic postures. The Gayatri Mantra can well be resorted to for this purpose. It is certain to yield quick results.
Today, however, man has not awakened to the seriousness of this problem. He is perpetually engaged in gossip centred on others, winnowing their conduct to discover vices, and dwelling on their faults and failings. His mind gets polluted thereby. He transforms his mind into a newspaper, highlighting hold-ups, crimes and conflicts of the day and giving place for the same, day after day. So, the mind undergoes a series of shocks and knocks, which weaken it. Even trivial incidents agitate it for long. Then how can it be used for the ultimate purpose of liberating us from becoming slaves of the senses?
The mind has to be strong, steady, pure and free. It has to be given rest, so that the waves can subside and serenity established. The sages prescribed Manana (meditation, rumination) after Shravana (listening to constructive counsel) and Nididhyaasa (putting the counsel to practise) with just this in view. The mind can become pure, pellucid and powerful thereby. When the fangs are pulled out, the cobra can be handled safely. When hatred, anger and greed are eliminated, the mind obeys our will and can be used for higher purposes.
Need for keeping company with Godly people
Next, about the tendency to talk overmuch. Speech is produced cheap, but it has high value. It can elevate as well as demean man. Listening to a speech, a zero can rise into a hero or a hero can collapse into a zero. It can inspire or plant despair. It must be true and sweet, not false and pleasant. Man must endeavour to acquire speech untouched by subterfuge, limbs untouched by cruelty, hands free from violence and thoughts free from vengefulness. Frenzy, fanaticism and gusts of anger have to be controlled, for they lead to disasters whose range is beyond calculation. By constant practice, these can also resort to the vow of silence (Mauna). The mind too must desist from wandering, when the tongue is desisting from talking. Otherwise, the vow cannot be fruitful. Be conscious that every word we utter or hear will leave an impression on our consciousness, and provoke reactions which may or may not be beneficial. This is the reason why the company of God and godly people is to be sought.
The third, Karana or instrument, is Kriya or deed. Every action has its reaction on oneself and on others. This is the law of nature, as inevitable as the effects of heat and cold. Ever), Karma brings with it a series of consequences. Physical illness, mental derangement, economic suffering, domestic miseries are all the fruits of one's own Karma. They cannot be ascribed to the hardheartedness of God. One's Karma reveals one's bestial propensities or human virtues or god-ward aspirations. The attitudes and preferences built into man's consciousness either by his previous lives or the society into which they have thrust him in this life, are also revealed. Deeds are not in accordance with declarations; this is the basic defect in all facets of life today. How has the world come to the very brink of total collapse today? Why is youth suffering from anxiety and anarchism? Is there a shortage of books from which men can learn the unfolding of human values? Have Gurus who teach men the potentiality of human being become scarce? Are there no institutions engaged in awakening men and warning them of the dire consequences of sloth and sleep?
Earn peace, share peace, live in love
The markets are stocked full of books we need; mountains of spiritual texts are offered to readers; Gurus throng the streets. But, mankind is still afflicted with fear and hatred, discontent and restlessness. The reason lies in the tragic fact that the writers and purveyors of spiritual knowledge, the Guna and teachers are not demonstrating in their own lives the validity and value of the advice they offer.
People go about lecturing from place to place. Their talks are full of quotations from ancient religious texts chosen and related in order to impress people and parade scholarship. They are exercises in artificial assemblage of portions from the Upanishads, the Geeta, the Brahma Sutras. How can they transform the minds of students? Listeners may admire the verbal gymnastics but they will not be charged with faith and fervour. "Life is a tiny span of time; before it flickers out, fill your hearts with peace", said a sage. Earn peace and share peace. Live in love and induce others to grow love in their hearts.
The Indian way of life lays emphasis on this Triple Purity of thought, word and deed, at all times and in all places. The process of living can be reduced to the formula, "Situation plus effort" or "Challenge plus response." So too, "Self-multiplied by infinity is God," whereas "mind multiplied by infinity is Hiranyagarbha or Cosmic Will." The mind can act as a bridge leading man from the tangible to the intangible, from the personal to the impersonal. Cleanse the mind and mould it into an instrument for loving thoughts, for expansive ideas. Cleanse the tongue and use it for fostering fearlessness and friendship. Cleanse the hands; let them desist from injury and violence. Let them help and lead, heal and guide. This is the highest Sadhana.”
The highlight of every evening of the 10-day long programme was the Discourse delivered by Bhagavan wherein He gave an ideal lesson to the participants and made them realise the responsibility that lay on them in fulfilling the task ahead. In another documented Discourse given by Swami on May 22nd, Swami spoke on the theme: ‘The Teacher-Learner Team’, He said:
“Teachers are the path-finders of the nation. They prepare the royal road to a bright future. The skill and efficiency of the people, their reliability and sense of duty depend on the community of teachers. Their virtue is reflected in their pupils; their faith inspires the young. Whether people waste their lives and ruin the lives of others by means of barren pursuits or whether people lead happy lives promoting the happiness of others - the answer lies in the hands of teachers.
A life without character is as barren as a temple without a lamp, a coin that is counterfeit, a kite whose string has snapped. A teacher who instructs pupils with his eye fixed on his salary, and a pupil who learns with his eye fixed on a job are both missing their vocation. The teacher has to help the pupil unfold and manifest the skills and qualities inherent in him and encourage him to rise to the fullest height he is capable. The Divine is the core in both teacher and pupil. The educational process is the increasing awareness of this truth, the increasing utilisation of this latent power.
This does not mean that the teacher and the student are on the same level. The teacher has to be so full of compassion and love that he understands and sympathises with the students and their struggle to expand and to blossom. The mother bends low to lift the child and fondle it. She does not lower herself thereby. The teacher too does not demean himself thereby. It only reveals that he has a sense of proportion, an alert attitude towards an inevitable situation. This love has become rare today. The teacher faces the class with a "take it or leave it" attitude. "I have earned my salary for today," he seems to say. The restlessness in the campuses that expresses itself in violence and indiscipline has sprung out of this selfish, loveless attitude of teachers.
Teachers must hold aloft ideals of scholarship
Teachers and students are now suspicious of each other; they are often in hostile camps. What a contrast is this to the Upanishadic ideal of ancient India. Then, both prayed together "May we both be guided and protected. May we progress together and achieve spiritual splendours together, through our studies. May no trace of displeasure or disturbance pollute our relation."
A loving teacher dedicating his life to his profession becomes the model for his admiring students. A teacher can make or mar the future of the student, for he is the hero whom he desires to emulate and imitate in dress, habit and style of living and thinking. When teachers divide themselves into factions or scandalise each other or revel in the game of politics, students are easily infected by the same harmful tendencies. Discipline can become rooted in the atmosphere of the campus only when teachers set the example. "As the leaders, so the led." When teachers form groups in order to gain power and influence, students too do likewise. So, teachers must hold aloft, both by precept and practice, the ideals of scholarship, companionship, mutual love and spiritual progress.
Lack of brotherhood in the teaching community springs from extreme specialisation. This Orientation Course is devised to give every one of you a glimpse of the basic philosophy that feeds every faculty. In other universities, Physics is Physics and Chemistry is Chemistry. Here, they should not be so isolated Philosophy is the link, the bridge, the sap that sustains all. The boundaries of each subject are not really so sharply drawn, they fade off into a neighbouring subject; they overlap and become kindred. Knowledge of this intimate interdependence is the Higher Learning you have to strive for.
Therefore, the syllabi of the various subjects for study have been so enlarged and entwined by this Institute that an Orientation Course has become necessary for the teachers to grasp the pattern.
On the 14th of this month, I was at the Atomic Research Centre, Trombay. I spoke there of the omnipresence of Energy. It is dormant or latent or patent, but it is everywhere at all times. It exists in a piece of cloth or in a sheet of paper.
It is the Truth of all that is. Everything that disintegrates loses energy; everything that 'originates' exemplifies energy. This tumbler is a bundle of latent energy. The Upanishads declare it has temporary form and a temporary name. But, its reality is Sat (existence), Chit (awareness), Ananda (capable of contributing to the joy of awe and wonder). Not this tumbler only. Everything in the Universe is vibrant with Sat, Chit and Ananda. We (Sat) are intelligent (Chit) and blissful (Ananda). These three are attributes of Divinity, which is our dormant but dominant force. Ignorant of this truth, structures are built up and paraded on other bases. Mankind suffers from fear and hatred, on account of this fundamental defect in their search for Knowledge."
The programme concluded on May 29th.