10. Be Good, Do Good, See Good: This Is The Way To God
Summer Showers 1977
Be Good, Do Good, See Good: This Is The Way To God
Without giving up the Guna of Thamas, one can never have a glimpse of the concept of Divinity. Without giving up the Guna of Rajas, one cannot become a true devotee. By accepting the Sathwik Guna alone, can one follow the path of devotion. This is the simple truth of the world.
Work alone can bring out the true strength in man and show others what he is capable of. As a mirror can be used to show us the nature of our own face, so also the kind of work that a man does, will show up his qualities. Work will show whether a man has thamasik or rajasik or sathwik qualities in him. The work which man does is like a barometer. This barometer of work has the capacity to assess man’s condition and the state of his mind. In this context, we can accept that there is no test of human qualities more stringent than of examining the work which man does.
From time immemorial, our ancestors have been taking to the path of work, the karma marga. By following this path of work, they have been able to understand and realise the existence of the Divine. Some people appear to be very sathwik, but when they undertake work, we may see that behind the cloak of apparent sathwik quality is present an amount of harshness. Some people in their words appear to be very harsh and cruel. But when they undertake to do some work, they become soft and kind. Here the truth becomes clear that the true human nature of man comes out in his active work and is not to be judged by his external appearance or by words alone.
Divya Atma Swarupas:
The kind of work which wise men do may appear to be the same as that done by an ordinary person. Although in appearance they may be the same, yet the result will be different in the two cases. The work done by an unwise man is always accompanied by a feeling on his part that he is doing work for his benefit and he is wanting to get for himself the benefit of that work. That kind of work is mixed up with ego, and a feeling of selfish benefit will lead to trouble and sorrow. The kind of work which a wise man does always carries a feeling which makes him identical with the divine aspect and that the work that he is doing is being done in the name and on behalf of God. He thinks that God is really doing the work, and that he is only an instrument. This will always give a good re sult and satisfaction to all.
Some people demonstrate an amount of synthesis between their thoughts and the work that they do. This represents the true type of good human nature. The unity and the synthesis between thought, word and deed is important. Man’s ideas, talk and action must become one. This is the true basis of real human nature.
The work that you do in the spiritual sphere and the work that you do in the material sphere might appear to be the same, but in reality when we look at it in some depth, we find that they take two different paths. There is one small example for this: For a diabetic patient there appears a boil on his hand and this boil becomes worse and ultimately it leads to gan grene. In such a case, the doctor will advise that the hand should be amputated. If his hand is not amputated, the gangrene will spread to the rest of the body and will cause great harm. For the sake of safety of the total body, the patient should be prepared to get his hand amputated at that point. In another situation, when one is wearing beautiful golden bangles on one’s hand, a thief may come and try to take away the golden bangles. If he cannot get them off the hand, he will want to cut the hand at a point and take away the bangles from the hand. Here we see that the doctor has used the knife to cut a hand and the thief has also done the same thing. Both of them apparently seem to have done the same thing, but what the doctor has done is helpful and what the thief has done is harmful. There is another example for this. Owing to some wickedness, a person will go and set fire to the house in which others are living, and the house will burn down. The same kind of destruction by fire was also done by Hanuman in Lanka. He destroyed all the houses and mansions in Lanka by setting fire to them. Here the work that was done by Hanuman and the work done by a wicked individual appear to be the same, but what Hanuman had done has caused benefit and what the wicked man had done has caused harm. Although these tasks appear to be the same when we look at them superficially, yet because of the mental attitude that we have before these words are uttered and the action taken, the results may be different.
Man’s mind alone is responsible both for his bondage and for his liberation. The final result of the work will depend on the attitude with which the work is done. Hanuman is one who had synthesized his thoughts, his words and deed; and he could become an important character. He was proficient in all the different types of grammar. He was a scholar proficient in the four Vedas and six Sastras. The scholarship of Hanuman made him look at everything with equanimity and equal mindedness. Sugriva and Hanuman saw that Rama and Lakshmana were coming in their direction while searching for Sita. However, Sugriva felt that Rama and Lakshmana were messengers of Vali coming to spy on him, and do him harm. On the contrary, Hanuman, because of his very great good qual-ity and peace of mind, told Sugriva not to be agitated, and that he would go and find out who those people were and report back. He advised that whatever we wish to do, we should never be in haste. Haste is not the right natural quality of one’s own mind. Haste always leads to waste, waste always causes worry and therefore, one should not be in a hurry. Hanuman was well acquainted with these maxims and so he did not make haste. He said he would go and find out and come back. When Hanuman saw Rama and Lakshmana, he met them with great humility, and with deliberate and carefully chosen words, he asked them who they were, why they came to the forest and what their purpose was. He did all that with a steady mind and without any haste. Because Rama gave an appropriate reply to Hanuman’s query, Hanuman was very pleased and he offered to carry Rama on his shoulders to Sugriva. As soon as Rama and Lakshmana sat on the shoulders of Hanuman, he felt that all his sins had disappeared. Because of the darshan of the Lord, he felt that all his past sins had been rooted out. He became very happy the moment the divine personality of Rama touched his body. At once several good ideas started sprouting up in Hanuman’s mind. Hanuman was thinking within himself that Sugriva would have found good friends when he meets Rama and Lakshmana. He thought that Sugriva’s desire will also be fulfilled, and he will be victorious. ‘Yad bhavam tat bhavathi.’ One’s actions will reflect the kind of ideas which one has in one’s mind. Because all these good ideas were in the mind of Hanuman, the good ideas in the mind of God also synchronized with them, and the two were in unison. Immediately, Rama, who was on the shoulders of Hanuman, signalled to Lakshmana and assured him that because they had acquired such a good friend, their efforts will also be very successful.
Amongst messengers, there are three kinds of messengers. The first kind are those who take the orders of the Lord, will not obey Him, but will take such actions as will go contrary to the wishes of the Lord. The second kind are those who will take literally what the Lord has said and will follow them without either adding something or taking away something. The results of such work will be accepted and will be carried back to the Lord. The third kind are those who will take the wishes of the Master and will perform the task in such a way that the wishes will be completely and at all costs fulfilled. He will become victorious and take back to the Master the message of victory. Rama and Lakshmana told each other that Hanuman is the third kind of friend who will see that the Master’s orders are taken to a stage which will ensure victory. Truly, Hanuman at all times, would only think of Rama and in the thought of Rama, he would not allow anything else to enter his mind. Because Hanuman knew very well the power and strength of Rama, he was always following the footsteps of Rama. From the moment Rama and Lakshmana sat on the shoulders of Hanuman, he began to feel that some kind of sacred and divine strength has entered his heart and he was feeling happy. Here he has established the feeling that along with the body, the mind also becomes equally strong and powerful. Where there is a combination of a strong body and a strong mind, there is divinity and divine strength. Let us take an example.
Here is a wire and on this wire there is a plastic or a rubber covering. Inside the outer cover there is a copper wire.
There is a current flowing inside it. If we simply bring another wire and join that wire to this, then the current will not flow. It will flow only when we cut the outer cover of plastic in both the wires and join the copper. The cover of our body is like the plastic cover on the wire. Our mind is like the copper. So along with the body, when the mind also joins, then alone there is the divine strength which can flow into us. It is only when the sacredness of the body and the sacredness of the mind come together, can there be divine strength generated. With the help of the body, we should undertake to do sacred tasks. With the help of the mind, we should develop divine thought. This body is given to us and is intended for helping others. With the help of the body, we should be able to do good service and help the community. Whatever work we undertake, it should be done with a feeling that it is being done for the pleasure of the Lord. Hanuman was one who had such sacred ideas, and he always dedicated his work to the Lord and performed the task with such a feeling. After Hanuman had the divine vision of Rama, he at once undertook the sacred task of searching for Sita. With the help of the name of Rama and placing faith and belief in Rama and in the divine strength and power of Rama, he could jump across miles and miles of the ocean. These extraordinary achievements on the part of Hanuman caused great surprise to others like Jambavan and Sugriva.
Here the young people should particularly understand the implicit manner in which Hanuman obeyed Rama’s orders. Hanuman’s devotion and Hanuman’s faith have helped him greatly to recognise the desire on the part of the master. Along with devotion and faith, Hanuman had great confidence in his own self. If one has no self-confidence, one will not be able to achieve much although he has faith and devotion. One may have confidence in one’s own self; but if he has no devotion and faith, that too will not help him. Devotion and self confidence are like the negative and positive. It is the combination of these two that will enable us to fulfil our sacred thought. Here, because Hanuman had the divine notion in his heart and the self-confidence, he could have the vision of Rama, the Lord, everywhere he went. When any order was given to Hanuman, he never questioned whether he has the strength or the capacity to fulfil the task. He had the firm faith that the very orders of Rama will give him the necessary strength to fulfil those orders.
The first thing we should do in this context is to promote and strengthen the aspect of self-confidence. This confidence in one’s own self is like the foundation at the bottom. On the foundation of that confidence, we should build the wall of self-satisfaction, we should add the roof of self sacrifice. In that mansion, we should attain self-realisation. Hanuman showed the strength and necessity of self-confidence in a clear manner to the world. But today, in the context of hu man nature, men are conducting themselves in a manner by which we think that they have no understanding at all of the need for self-confidence The individual human beings have become so weak that they are not able to understand their own nature, their own self, and therefore, they try to find the nature of others and find fault in others. Because such unsacred quali ties have become many in number, man is suffering and he does not understand his own human nature and the quality of human life is degrading.
After finding Sita in Lanka and after returning to Rama and Lakshmana and giving them the happy news, Hanuman, Jambavan, Rama and Lakshmana were resting on one side of the ocean. Thousands of other monkeys also joined them in their march to Lanka. That night was a full moon night. The cool moon and the light that the moon was giving were showing everyone in a clear cool manner. As Rama was somewhat tired after walking, he was resting with his head on the lap of Lakshmana. That night no one had sleep or rest because next morning they all had to go to Lanka, and they all had to participate in fighting with Ravana, and so Rama and Lakshmana were giving some encouraging words to all the others. Rama who was taking rest on the lap of Lakshmana could not keep quiet. He asked Lakshmana and Sugriva what they thought about the dark spot in the moon when it shines. Each one started giving his own reply. Someone said because the moon had separated from the earth, dust that is left on the moon is showing this blue colour. Someone else said that it is the con-glomeration of the moon and dust on the moon. Each one began to give his own interpretation. All the warriors in the army, Angada, Nala and Neela, each began to give an answer of his own. Rama was in a very relaxed and pleasant mood, and therefore, all those sitting around him began to give replies in a very pleasant manner. Hanuman did not utter even a single word. In order to demonstrate to all others, who were around them, the attitude and the manner of behaviour on the part of Hanuman, Rama at the very end asked Hanuman about the dark spot on the moon. Hanuman had tears in his eyes and in the heart of Hanuman, there was nothing else except Rama’s name and Rama’s form. He replied that because Rama was putting his head on the lap of Lakshmana, the reflection of his face in the moon’s surface was appear-ing like a dark spot on the moon. In this manner Hanuman’s thoughts and Hanuman’s words were such that whatever he spoke about, whatever he had seen or whatever he had thought about was only Rama and the name of Rama. On his body, every hair was filled with the name of Rama.
Hanuman was one who was, at all times, immersed in the spiritual and the sacred name of Rama. To think that Hanuman belonged to the tribe of monkeys and that Hanuman had a very wavering mind is very wrong. Hanuman was the embodiment of the aspect of Easwara. If such divinity comes together with another aspect of divinity, there is no doubt of redoubled strength. In every human being, divinity is present in the form of Atma. In order that we may understand the sacred Atma that is present in our body, we should regard our body as simply a container for the Atma.
We must try to suppress and control the desires that surge forth from within the body. There is a small example for this: Sometimes we go for a picnic in the garden. We create various comforts for ourselves, we cook our own food, we sit there and we eat our food and relax with pleasure. In the forest, if we want to cook our food what is it that we do? In modern times, we take a stove, a cooker and such implements with us. In ancient times, such implements were not available. They used to take only some vessels and some materials necessary for making the food. When we want to cook the food, we prepare a hearth with three stones. On the three stones, we put the pot. We pour water in the pot. In that water, we mix rice. Below the vessel which is resting on these three stones, we put fire. We put the fire so that the water inside the vessel may boil and the rice gets cooked. The fire, which we have put between the three stones, is not directly touching the rice; but it touches the vessel and through the vessel it touches the water and through the water it goes to the rice and the rice is cooked. Here we should recognise that our life is an example in the Adhyatmic path. Life is like a forest. In this forest of life, the three stones are the gunas of Sathwa, Rajas and Thamas. These three gunas are like the three stones. In the forest of life, we put the vessel of our body on these three stones. Inside the vessel of our body, the desires that we have are like the rice. This rice is filled with prema which can be compared with water, and then we use the fire of wisdom between the three stones. That fire of wisdom will cook the rice by using the water of prema and will drive away these desires. When this rice is well cooked, there is no rebirth. When the desire is completely removed, there is no chance of getting bad desires; but one may ask the question here, is it possible to completely remove all the desires? It is impossible. But we must make an attempt to turn this desire towards the right direction. Whatever work we may do, we must do that work with the aspect of prema and love. It is only then that we will be able to obtain sacred bliss.
The secret of happiness is not in doing what one likes but in liking what one has to do. Whatever work you have to do, you should do it with pleasure and liking. Taking this kind of prema as the basis, Hanuman was the one who always took upon himself, with complete obedience, the orders of his master. He never gave room in his own mind for any doubts or any hesitation regarding the orders of Ramachandra.
Today man’s life has become a bundle of doubts and hesitations. Truly, man sees things with his own eyes, but he is not able to believe his own eyes. Some-times he believes his ears but on several occasions he is also not able to believe his ears. A weak individual who cannot believe in his own ears and eyes, how can he believe and have faith in anyone else?
You are the future citizens of this country, you should try and see and enjoy with your own eyes and enjoy your own experience. Do not make an attempt to use Western eyes, Western ears and Western thinking. Those who are citizens of Bharath should accept and recognise the conditions in our country, and the needs of our country and follow a path which is consistent with our country’s ideals. The kind of culture we imbibe and the kind of path which we accept must be appropriate to our country. What is appropriate in other countries will be suitable for those countries and not for us. Because the countries are different, the times are different and the environment is different, it is not possible for us to lay one common conduct of life for all people. There is a small example for this:
This evening, the time is 6:30 at this place and in this country. You will make an attempt to go to a club; and because one of your friends is living in America, you want to talk to him; and you telephone to him at 6:30 p.m. by your time; but there is no response of any kind from him because at that time he is sleeping in his bedroom. At this point of time, when it is early morning in another country, it is evening in this country. That is why the appropriate conduct will depend on the context of the country and on the time that prevails.
Divya Atma Swarupas:
We should recognise the sacredness of our country, Bharath; and accepting the sacred culture of this country and remembering the sacred traditions, students must be prepared to put into practice the ideal example offered by our sacred traditions. Truth is our life, Truth is God for us, Truth is everything for us. But if, for the sake of some selfish reason, we undertake untruth, and behave in an unjust and unkind manner, will one’s life have any ideal to show to others?
The kind of ideals that are contained in the story of Ramayana are very necessary for every individual, for every country and for every group of people. Either for one’s sorrow or for one’s degradation, the kind of work which we do, the karma that we indulge in is responsible. This is why we say, “Be Good, Do Good, See Good.” This is the way to God. Do good work, see good things, live in a good manner and die as a good man.