17. The Source And Centre Of Values
Sri Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol 33 (2000)
The Source And Centre Of Values
Trees teach the lesson of sacrifice in the sense that they not only bear fruits while they are alive, but also give away their body to be used
as firewood once the life goes out of them.
Amongst teachers, a tree is the greatest.
as firewood once the life goes out of them.
Amongst teachers, a tree is the greatest.
EVERY house is a centre of human values. It is from the house that the human values originate, blossom and foster the sacred culture. The person presiding over the house is known as Grihastha (householder). Since ancient times, Indians have attached great significance to the stage of a householder among the four, namely, brahmacharya, griha- stha, vanaprastha and sanyasa (celibate, householder, recluse and renunciant).
When a student takes to wrong path, he ruins himself, whereas if a teacher takes to wrong ways, he will be ruining the lives of hundreds of students. Hence a teacher, on whom lies the responsibility of moulding the careers of students, must cultivate virtues and lead an ideal life. Today, there is certainly no dearth of teachers, endowed with the spirit of sacrifice and leading ideal lives. But there are some teachers who have become slaves to vices like drinking and smoking. Naturally, the students emulate them and ruin their lives. If the country is to progress, teachers should mould the students as ideal citizens. The whole world will prosper, when students tread along the right path. Hence it is essential on the part of a teacher, whom the students are bound to emulate, to cultivate virtues.
The Teacher Must Have A Pure Heart And Virtues
A teacher can be compared to a water tank and students to taps connected to it. As is the water in the tank, so is the water that comes from the taps. Therefore, the teacher must have a pure heart and virtues like adherence to truth, good conduct, duty, devotion and discipline, so that he can impart the same to the students. He or she alone is a teacher in the true sense, who imparts these virtues to the students. He or she alone is a student in the true sense, who cultivates these sacred qualities. If the teachers are ideal, the system of education too would be ideal. If the teacher does not possess moral, ethical and spiritual values, the entire system of education will go astray. Today we find some instances wherein the husband and wife part ways with each other due to some differences of opinion though they may be highly educated and occupying positions of authority. The reason is that they are not educated in the true sense but merely have acquired bookish knowledge. Mere bookish knowledge is no knowledge at all. Students should learn true knowledge, which bestows divine energy; they should not be satisfied with mere bookish knowledge, which becomes ‘allergy.’ This divine energy fosters harmony, coordination and integration and makes the students ideal citizens.
Haste Makes Waste, Waste Makes Worry
In this world, only two things exist. One is energy; the other, matter. Einstein said, energy could be converted into matter and vice versa. This energy is all-powerful. By acquiring this energy, students can bring about transformation in this world. To acquire this energy, students should not go by mere bookish knowledge. Practical knowledge should be coupled with discrimination knowledge. Before undertaking any task, take time and discriminate whether it is good or bad, right or wrong. But the modern students act in haste. Consequently, the sacred qualities in them are subdued. Haste makes waste, waste makes worry. So, do not be in a hurry. What will be the fate of the house if the wife and husband take hasty decisions due to differences of opinion? The aged parents will be neglected or shifted to some home for the aged. The children will be admitted in boarding schools without adequate care being taken about their welfare and progress. As the husband and wife part ways with each other, there will be none to look after the children. Consequently, the children join bad company, take to bad habits and ruin themselves. So, first of all, human values should be fostered in every house. Only then will each individual of the house make all round progress and lead an ideal life. Everyone should recognise the basic truth that house is the centre of human values. The modern people, more so in the case of those highly educated and occupying positions of authority, do not care much about their respective homes. They consider their homes as inns or hotels and come and go as and when they like. It is not proper on the part of the students and the educated to conduct themselves in this manner. Every householder should pledge to maintain sanctity in the house and set an ideal. Today in the name of modernity, the householders are leading a chaotic life entertaining low and mean feelings. You may live in the modern age but your feelings should be based on ancient and eternal values. Every householder and every housewife should make efforts to uphold human values.
A Teacher Should Have Steady Mind
A teacher is like a guidepost. He or she should guide the students in the proper direction. If the guidepost itself is loose, how can it point to the right direction? So, a teacher should have a steady mind. Only then can he guide the students along the right path. He should impart to the students, the human values of sathya, dhrama, santhi, prema and ahimsa. Many are confused as to what is the foremost value among these five. Love is of paramount importance among the human values. It is in us right from the time of our birth. Love and respect your parents, relatives, friends and your fellow-beings. When you do not respect others, how can you expect others to respect you? Give respect and take respect. It is not one-way traffic. There are a very few who would impart such sacred teachings to the students. Not only the teachers but also the parents should monitor the behaviour and activities of their children. Some students hide novels among textbooks and read them. The parents should take note of this and take necessary action. Parents have every right to punish their children if they take to wrong ways. The children should show gratitude to their parents as they owe their food, blood, head and dhuddu (money) to their parents. Due to the impact of Kali Age, such sense of gratitude is missing among students. The Vedas declare, Mathrudevo Bhava, Pithrudevo Bhava, Acharyadevo Bhava and Athitidevo Bhava (revere mother, father, teacher and guest as God). These teachings are highly sacred. Today people are ready to believe all that they see on television and internet but do not repose their faith in the Vedic declarations. Internet is like a waste paper basket. Follow the ‘innernet,’ not the internet. Today the students are developing unsacred vision, thus polluting their minds. As is the seed, so is the sapling. As is the food, so is the belch. Likewise, as is the action, so is the result. So, you should think good, speak good, hear good, do good and experience good results.
See no evil, see what is good; Hear no evil, hear what is good; Talk no evil, talk what is good; Think no evil, think what is good; Do no evil, do what is good; This is the way to God.
Teachers should impart such sacred teachings to the students. They should inculcate the spirit of selfless love in them.
One Should Not Entertain Excessive Desires
Love everybody without expecting anything in return. One should not entertain excessive desires. Na Sreyo Niyamam Vina (no benefit accrues without adherence to proper discipline). Everything should be within certain limits. Our body is the best example for this. If the body temperature crosses the limit of 98.4 degrees Fahrenheit, fever sets in. 120/80 is the perfect blood pressure, crossing which the body will be subjected to ill-health. Even the eyes can see light only up to a particular level of intensity. The retina of the eye will get burnt if you try to see excessive light. Thus, God has set certain limits to everything in His creation. So, man should keep a check over his desires. Otherwise, he will be put to danger. Only when man leads a regulated life, can he enjoy health and happiness.
Understanding And Adjustment Are Very Essential
Each limb of the body has a specific role to perform. While accomplishing a bigger task, all limbs coordinate and work in unison. When the eyes spot a fruit on the top of a tree, the legs will walk towards the tree; the hand picks up a stone and pelts at the fruit. When the fruit drops down, the fingers pick it up and put it in the mouth where it is masticated by the teeth and sent to the stomach. Thus we see that all limbs of the body have to work in a coordinated manner to perform even a small deed. With such unity prevailing in the house, anything can be achieved.
Understanding and adjustment between each other are very essential for the smooth functioning of any family. For example, when there is proper understanding between wife and husband, the wife will not mind even when the husband returns home very late from office. In fact, she will be anxiously waiting for him thinking that he may be busy in the office or is held up in a traffic jam. But if there is no proper understanding between the two, even if there is a delay of just five minutes, there will be a fight between them. Adjusting will become easy only when there is proper understanding. Whether it is among students, teachers or members of a family, understanding is very essential. When a teacher goes on leave, another teacher can engage his class. Such understanding and adjustment among teachers will help students to a great extent. Help ever, hurt never. This is the teaching of the ancient culture of Bharat - Paropakaraya Punyaya Papaya Parapeedanam (one attains merit by serving others and commits sin by hurting them).
The Story Of Abraham Lincoln
You might have seen the play on Abraham Lincoln staged last night. He was born in a poor
family. His father was a carpenter and his mother used to stitch old clothes and earn some money. What they would earn was barely enough to make both ends meet. Lincoln used to go to the neighbouring village along with other children for studies. Most of the children would wear costly dresses as they belonged to well-to-do families. They used to make fun of Lincoln, as he had only old and ragged clothes to wear. He was eight years old at that time.
One day, he hugged his mother and cried saying that he wanted a new dress, so that he could mix freely with other children. The mother consoled him saying, it was not possible for them to buy new clothes with their meagre resources. She told, “son, self-confidence is the highest wealth. So, develop selfconfidence. Don’t compare yourself with others.” After sometime, his father passed away. Lincoln started a new business, which began to flourish. But some of his so-called friends put obstacles in his path out of jealousy. Consequently, Lincoln suffered heavy loss in the business and sold whatever was left with him to repay the debts. He left the village and reached California. As advised by his mother, he developed self-confidence, strove hard day and night and acquired good education. Pleased with his noble qualities, his friends urged him to contest the parliamentary elections, expressing their solidarity. With their support he won the elections. In those days, racial discrimination was prevalent in America. He advocated that one should not give scope for differences based on colour of the skin as the blood flowing in everybody was the same. Since he had immense self-confidence, he ultimately rose to the level of the President of America. Self-confidence is very essential for everybody. One can accomplish any task through self-confidence. This was the lesson Lincoln taught to the world.
Truth Is God, Love Is God, Live In Love
Self-confidence and devotion to Godhead must be cultivated. Teachers should be respected. You must do your best to make your parents happy; in fact you should worship them. Only when you tread this sacred path can you attain the highest state of wealth. What is wealth? Who is the richest man in the world? The one who has contentment is the richest. Who is the poorest? The one who is full of unfulfilled desires is the poorest. Wealth or poverty is related to your desires. All worldly praise and blame pertain to the body only, not to the spirit. The body is impermanent. It is like a water bubble. The mind is a mad monkey. Don’t follow either. Follow your conscience.
Lincoln was one replete with such self-confidence. We feel that some countries are not amenable to accept these values. What is the reason? When the principles are properly explained, everyone will accept them. Parrot like repetition of the words “Human Values” will not result in understanding. When the inner significance is explained, everyone will accept them. Tell them - Truth is God, Love is God, live in love. When explained thus, everyone will accept. Will anybody say `no,’ to speak truth? Everyone has to accept the validity of these assertions. When you explain in detail the inner significance, humanity will accept it without reservation.
No matter whether it is India, America, Japan or Germany or Christian or Muslim; Truth is only one for all. Truth is one, Truth is God. You should attain this sacred state. This fact has to be accepted by any nation. We in India say 2+2=4. Whether Pakistan or anywhere else, this will be the same. Is there any one in Pakistan who will say 2+2=3? Will the Chinese say 2+2=1? All will say 2+2=4. This is fundamental truth. It is a pure truth. It is beyond time and place. It is in the same way that eternal values of Truth, Peace, Righteousness, Love and Non-violence are permanent and eternal. People come to Me and say, “Swami, I want peace.” Where is that peace? They don’t know. I tell them, “You are the embodiment of peace. There is no peace outside you, outside there are only pieces!” When this is explained, they realize the truth and actually attain peace.
Wherever You Go, Do Not Give Up Truth
When you express and explain thus properly, anybody from anywhere will agree. Human values are those, which are common to all people at all places, races and creeds. The very name is human values. If a human being will not accept human values, who else will? What sort of person is he who will say ‘no’ to this truth? There are valuable ideals within us. You have to develop them more. Wherever you go, you should not give up truth. Sometimes it may not be safe to speak the truth. Even then you should not speak lie. You must find clever ways to get out of such critical situations, without actually speaking a lie. These human values, you must adhere to with intelligence, self-confidence and the grace of God, and you will not go wrong. In any place, any time, or any circumstance one should adhere to this. You must see that your love is steady and constant. That is the state of constantawareness. That is wisdom. This is not mere textual knowledge. You need to possess that truth which gives constant understanding. The Vedas call this state Prajnanam Brahma (constant-integrated-awareness). Everyone must seek this. No one will disagree with this.
A Weak Person Will Achieve Nothing
It is a self-created fear, whether others will agree with us. Don’t fear! Then you will be on the right course. There was a great scientist who said, “never fear, follow me.” Beset with fear, you can achieve nothing. When you are on the path of truth, you need fear nothing. With fear, you will be helpless, paralysed. If anybody says anything to the contrary, you can say ‘no,’ that is my way. One says he believes in God. Another believes there is no God. For the one who believes in God, He is and for the atheist He is not. If he says that he does not believe in God, you reply him, “You may not have your God, but I have mine right here in my heart.” You must have that courage of conviction. Other peoples’ opposition should not make you weak. A weak person will achieve nothing. If the entire world rises and says ‘no’, to the existence of God, you should still be able to assert ‘no’. He is there right inside your heart. With such strong faith, you will be able to propagate your faith. That self-confidence is the source of your strength. Lacking this strength you become weak, so weak to hardly merit the name of a human being. The members of the Organisation are full of enthusiasm. They sincerely want the propagation of human values throughout the world. Keep expressing your beliefs with conviction and let those who agree accept them and those who do not, go their way. Human values have come out from inside the human beings and not from anywhere outside. They come out of the heart - that is what the term ‘Educare’ means.
‘Educare’ means ‘elicit,’ i.e., bring out from within. These should be manifested and realized. Such knowledge does not come out of books. Bookish knowledge of the first day becomes knowledge on the second day and allergy on the third day. Practical knowledge, internal knowledge, never becomes an allergy. It becomes energy. What we need is energy and not allergy.
Do Not Try To Manipulate Others
If human values are not there, humanity will be destroyed. Our life itself is human value. The organizers have been trying hard for the spread of human values in education. Please extend all your cooperation. Without encouragement they become weak. There are people from many countries assembled here. You will return. What is it that you are taking back with you? Carry with you at least one or two human values. If you go to the market, wander through it all and return empty-handed, is it a great thing? Having come to Prasanthi Nilayam, take back something valuable with you. There is Bliss here, enjoy it, take it with you and make others happy, make the whole world happy. Never be selfish. Share what you know with all you come in contact. Cooperate with everybody. Instead of cooperating, people merely operate, try to manipulate. Do not try to manipulate others.
Only co-operate. You can achieve your objectives.
There are some questions I would like to answer.
Q1. Swami, please enlighten us how to maintain balance of the five elements by the practice of human values in a practical way. What is the practical procedure?
In human values we have the term EHV. In these three letters I have already enlightened you on what is education. Consider it as 3 HV, i.e., Heart, Head and Hand. The harmony between these three is 3HV. We say Proper study of mankind is Man. Head, heart and hands should co-operate and function in harmony. There is no human value greater than this. This can be taught easily. It is like teaching physical drill. Do not try to mystify the expression EHV and indulge in elaborate propaganda. Thought, word and deed must be the same. If this is not, these human values will disappear. Hence this harmony, this unity is essential. Lincoln is the best example for this. He thought of what he said; adhered to what he professed; and, finally, achieved what he believed. Hence this threefold unity is essential; otherwise humanity is lost. Manas Anyath, Vachas Anyath, Karmani Anyath Duratmanam, (for wicked persons thought, word and deed differ). Manasyekam, Vachasyekam, Karmanyekam, Mahatmanam. (for the righteous, mind, word and deed are the same) Hence, you must propagate this easy way. EHV is education in human values. All these are important. The thought, word and deed must be the same. Without this one ceases to be human. This is how you have to propagate.
Q2. Swami, you have said skill the education. How does one skill the education?
Education must be made into skill. (We have already explained that education is external while human values are internal; hence the blunt-edged education must be sharpened by the internal honing by human values). The imbalance caused by the external education is balanced by the skill of human values and thus the imbalance is corrected and balance restored. By skill Bhagawan means Naipunya Shakti (the keenness of the mind).
Education is the physical method. When skill and knowledge are joined, the scale becomes balanced. While walking you need balance. Life needs balance. Therefore education should also be balanced. This maintenance of balance is what we mean when we say skill. This is Naipunya Shakti, i.e., investigate, enquire and understand. A simple example: Scientists have understood the internal process of the sun, have studied and evolved many machines and devices from these processes. Understanding the solar process, they even manufactured bombs with similar reactions. How destructive are these bombs? They consider it a great achievement. No. The knowledge should have balance. This is what Bhagawan calls ‘skill.’ All your research should result in the welfare of humanity. Then only the beam of the balance is straight. If the research is lopsided concentrating on destruction only, it is imbalanced. We should consider pleasure and pain with equanimity. The results of research should maintain balance between benign and harmful effects. If only the destructive potentials of research are developed, there will be total imbalance. We should try to bring back some balance in all these new technologies, a balance between the harmful and benign consequences. Generation of electricity by various means, if employed for irrigation or village lighting, how beneficial is it! We are not exercising our mind properly on these matters. Hence, we suffer from imbalance. Electricity is beneficial in many ways; lighting, heating, cooling etc. But, if we say to electricity ‘you are such a fine friend of humanity’ and go and touch a live wire, you will be burnt. Every development should be employed within limits, and given due respect. So, as I have explained, when education is united with skill, the balance is restored. When there is imbalance, you look outwards and your inner vision is lost. Insight is vital. When there is balance, this inner vision is restored. Therefore, develop an inner vision that creates the balance. The key words are education, skill and insight.
Even for meditation, skill is necessary. If you sit still in a quiet corner allowing your mind to wander all over, your meditation is worthless. If you cannot concentrate, you cannot meditate. Thus, for the inner processes, skill is necessary. Concentration has to be cultivated. Wisdom is the goal of concentration. Wisdom is achieved by the dedication of the fruits of action; by sacrifice, the ultimate is achieved. Hence, abhyasa, concentration, should be practised with effort. Constant practice therefore is the method..
Q3. Swami , the mass media like radio, video and internet are having more and more effect......
I have already told you about internet, radio, video, etc. We have seen so many people who have been exposed to these media. But, what is their effect? All transient, passing clouds that come and go. It is an utter waste of time. It is all business-oriented. That is not our aim. Do not hanker after internet; turn to the innernet. Concentrate on inner vision. Sanctify your inner faculties. Then only can you unify and get access to human values. You must keep attempting toward unification; unity is the aim. When you achieve unity how much is your strength magnified? Look at this piece of cloth. It is not cloth, but a conglomeration of threads. The threads are a modification of cotton. Without cotton there is no thread. Without thread, there is no textile. The interwoven threads produce such a strong piece of cloth. When separated the threads are weak and can be snapped with a finger. Their great strength is unity. Human values, when internalized, become a sacred force and manifest as ideals.
Q4. Are devotion and spirituality necessary for a teacher?
Of course, without doubt. A teacher without devotion is worthless. Let him have faith in his chosen faith. Without devotion, he is no teacher. Devotion is necessary. He is in charge of several students. He has to set an ideal for all of them. For this, Divine grace is also necessary. All that you study is only material (inert). You have to convert it into energy. That is divine power. If one does not have this faith he is no teacher. A teacher has to be an ideal for several students. How can he be a model? Like a physical instructor who instructs by doing, he has to teach by being. Devotion has also to be taught by practice. Then it will be imprinted in the minds of the students.
Q5. Swami, increasingly the emphasis on education and academic achievement is gaining
importance. Please advise us as to how to bring ‘spirituality’ back into the main stream of education?
Yes, ‘spirituality’ is very necessary in education. This spirituality has to arise from confidence. You must have confidence. If there is no faith you can achieve nothing. Where there is confidence there is Love. Where there is Love, there is Peace. Where there is Peace, there is Truth. Where there is Truth there is Bliss. Where there is Bliss there is God. In fact, without faith you can have no faith even in your mother. There should be confidence. Once you have confidence that a person is your mother, you love her.
Confidence leads to love. Love takes you to peace. Peace produces truth and as soon as truth manifests, you achieve bliss. This Bliss is the very God-head itself. So, confidence is a necessary characteristic. It is this loss of confidence that is the cause of lack of spirituality in the world. Therefore this confidence is necessary.