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Return to-self Document Transcript

  • 1. 1RETURN TO SELF - a series of discourses – ACHARYA SHIV MUNI
  • 2. 2Title of the Book : Reutrn to Self: a series of discoursesAuthor : Acharya Dr Shiv Muni Ji MaharajAssistance Mantri Shri Shirish Muni Ji Maharaj and Sadhak Shri Shailesh KumarTranslation: : Dr Dharam SinghEdition : 2005Copies :Typesetting :Printers: :Publisher: :Price :
  • 3. 3DEDICATEDToThe greatest personality of the Sraman Sangh,Acharya Samrat Shri Atma Ram Ji Maharaj,Whose footsteps provided inspitationForReturn to the Self;To hisLotus-feet is dedicatedThis bookletWithDeep faith and hope. - Acharya Shiv Muni
  • 4. 4 PUBLISHER‟S NOTE The book in hand, Return to Self, is a collection of discourses delivered ondiffererent occasions by Acharya Dr Shiv Muni Ji Maharaj. In this series of sevendiscourses, Acharya Shiv Muni has successfully brought before modern man severalissues for him to reflect upon. A point that needs to be stressed here is that all the sevenissues discussed in these discourses are intimately related to human life and itsdevelopment. The Acharya who has been able to fully comprehend and fathom thedepths of human mind has in these discourses made a subtle analysis of human psyche.Apart from this, he has also suggested some remedies for easing off tension and stressand for removing various other maladies that man is suffering from in modern-dayworld. How can man make right and balanced development? How can he overcome thehindrances on this way and keep on moving farther ahead? The enlightened Acharya hasdiscussed all such issues in a simple and easily comprehensible idiom. The revered Acharya‟s able disciple, Shri Shirish Muni Ji Maharaj, and hisfollower Shri Shailesh Kumar Ji first put these discourses to pen and then soon gave themanuscript book form for the benefit of the common reader. We are rather happy topublish these discourses in the present book form and we hope that the blessings of thebenevolent Acharya will ever be bestowed on us. Pragya Prakashan Mumbai
  • 5. 5 SPONSORS FOR THE HINDI EDITION Shri Ramesh Bhai Shah has been a very devoted and religious-minded person. Hislife has been an embodiment of justice, benevolence, simplicity and devotion. A soft-spoken person as Shri Ramesh Bhai Shah is, decency and affection are the othercharacteristics of his nature. He has been ever ready to participate and cooperate in any constructive venturesthat the society might wish to take up. He willingly and smilingly donates money for anyphilanthropic work being taken up: he always cooperates in this ventures. In fact,service unto others and cooperation in altruistic works is what he considers his trueproperty. Shri Ramesh Bhai Shah has been a native resident of Dhorji in Saurashtra.However, he has been engaged in business in the capital town of India, New Delhi. Hehas been the son of respected Shri Prabhulal Bhai and Dhankunwar Ben. He got married to Malati Ben, the daugher of Shri Prabhudas Bhai of Mumbai.Mrs Malati Ben was a very devoted and religious-minded person. She had deep faith inreligion, in the spiritual preceptors (Gurus) and the gods. She was ever willing to servethe saintly and the faithfuls. She was a very simple and affectionate lady. Unfortunately,she met with a untimely death. The couple had three children - two sons (Shri Ketan Kumar Jain and ShriNimesh Kumar Jain) and one daughter (Kavita Jain). Mrs Sonal Jain and Mrs NamitaJain are their daughters-in-law. Among their grandchildren are Purvit, Darsit and Stuti.The entire family follows the foot-steps of their father, Shri Ramesh Bhai Shah, andimbibes all the Jain values and teachings. The entire family has deep faith in the revered Acharya, Dr Shiv Muni Ji Maharaj.They fully sponsored the Hindi edition of the book. The publishers express their senseof gratitude to the family for all that they have done.
  • 6. 6 AUTHOR‟S NOTE Man today has been living in utter restlessness. Man was tense and restless evenin the past, but in comparison with the modern man he was less so. In the days gone by,man had very little material comforts. Most of his life was dependent on nature. Sinceman then lived his life in close proximity to nature, he was less tense and restless.Whatever he got from nature, whether good or bad, sufficient or insufficient, he receivedthat as nature‟s blessing or curse. It has been only a few centuries back that man began challenging the world ofnature. The development of science is the result of this human tendency. With thestrength he acquired as a result of scientific advancement, he earned a lot of money,acquired innumerable material comforts and realized in concrete what once seemed onlya dream. He did everything but even after doing all this he could not acquire for theacquisition of which he had done that. The object to realize which he did all this is still asubject of sweet dream for him. What is the object of human life that man wants to achieve? The object is peace,ecstasy, inner equipoise. Man today flies in the skies but he is still dissatisfied anddiscontented. He lies down to sleep on the cushions soft like flowers, but he is stillrestless. Obviously, peace and ecstasy cannot be found in the soft cushions. Flights inthe sky cannot provide man stisfaction. Then where can man find peace and satisfaction?There can be thousands of answers to this question in the material context. However,there is only one resolution to this in the domain of spirituality. The resolution is: peaceand satisfaction is hidden within man. In the material world, man may build up thehighest of mansions, but he will still feel unsafe and dissatisfied. He will realize peaceand satisfaction and security only after he enters the domain of inner satisfaction andpleasure. Man must enjoy peace, comfort and constant joy, but to achieve all this he mustfree himself from the material delusions and go back to his inner self. He should returnto the inner solace, he should walk within his own self and he must develop his inner self.He will find the shadow of peace and solace even at the first step in this direction: he willtaste the presence of solution right there. In the following pages of the book, we have discoursed on the different ways andmeans of going back to one‟s inner self. I have tried to put into words what I had myselfexperienced. The writing and publication of the book will be successful if it is able toawaken in you the desire to return to self. This is myconviction. I delivered these discourses and my devoted disciple, Shri Shirish Muni Ji, andthe devout, Shri Shailesh Kumar, put these ideas on the paper and edited them to givethem the shape of a book. Their presentation has ever been constructive. I bless themand wish that both of them may continue their sojourn on the path to spirituality.
  • 7. 7 Shri Vinod Sharma also helped in the editing and making press-coopy of theHindi version of the book. He is a business and was gracious enough to see through itspublication. I appreciate his devotion and commitment. The printing and publishing of the book in Hindi was sponsored by Shri RameshBhai Shah. Shri Ramesh Bhai is a person especially blessed by the goddess of wealth.But he is ever ready to extend his help and cooperation towards any altruistic venture.He willingly helps any cause for the common weal. My blessing to him. Shri Subhash Jain also deserves our blessings as he very kindly madearrangements for providing paper for the publication of the Hindi edition of the book. My good wishes and blessing to all those persons who directly or indirectlyhelped in helping us see through the publication of the book. I hope the book, in itspresent form, will help you realize your real home. And, therein also lies the success ofthe book. I bestow my blessings on Dr Dharam Singh of Punjabi University, Patiala, whokindly made time to render the Hindi version into English. Acharya Shiv Kumar
  • 8. 8 CONTENTSI Principles of Child Development 9II Beginning of the Right Education 23III Dreaming of a Golden Old Age 40IV Return to Self 52V Meditation for Freedom from Tension 66VI Balanced Planning of Time 81VII Soothing Shadow of Solution 93VIII Appendices 104
  • 9. 9 Chapter I PRINCIPLES OF CHILD DEVELOPMENT Our theme in this chapter is the development of the child. Just imagine a littlekid, beautiful eyes, innocent and flawless face, smile playing on his lips, and a simpleheart. If you have such a lovely kid sitting before you, what would you like to teach him?Think a little over this. What can you possibly teach to a such a lovely kid whose eyesreflect innocence and whose heart is saturated with love and simplicity. If you reflect on this, you will find that it is not necessary to teach anything tosuch a child. In fact, we all should become what he is. Do you not think we lack the kindof face he has? We do not have the innocence that he possesses. Then what could be themeaning of this training for the development of the child? What would it mean if we saythat we should teach the samskaras to the child. The innocence and simplicity that thechild has is inherent to his nature. Every human being is equally innocent and simplewhen he is born. However, as he gradually grows up, he loses his simplicity andinnocence. As he grows up in years and as he undergoes intellectual development, hisheart does not remain as simple and innocent as it was. It is at this stage that theresponsibility, role and the samskaras of the parents and teachers and spiritual guruscome into picture. There was once a lady. She went to a psychiatrist. That psychiatrist was a veryexperienced and wise practitioner. He lived his life like a saint. The lady told him thatshe wanted to give her child some teaching, to sow in him the seeds of a great person of abeautiful life. She wanted to know from him as to what she should do for this. The psychiatrist asked for the age of the child, and the lady told that he was fiveyears old. The psychiatrist told her that it was too late. He further told her that by thistime about eighty per cent of his life has already been moulded. The lady again requestedwanting to know the point of time from where she should make lkthe beginning. In this chapter also we shall also try to understand as to from what point of timewe should make the beginning. It is obvious that when you need to go to a doctor forcheck up or medicine, you always make sure before going whether that doctor is good ornot. You want to know whether he is an M.B.B.S. or and M.D. You make all theseenquiries first and only thereafter you go to that doctor for consultation and checkup. Inthe same way, when you have to engage an arthitect to draw a plan for the house youwant to build, you always try and make sure how qualified and how proficient in job aparticular architect is. Similarly, when you have to engage a lawyer, you always try toassess his experience and efficiency. How long does it take for one to become a doctor?Of course, several years. Then how many years does it take for one to become anarchitect? The answer again obviously is several years. And, if you are asked as to howlong does it take for one to become a lawyer, you always know that one has to study a lotand it always takes many years to become an experienced and proficient lawyer.
  • 10. 10However, we have never thought that we must have some sort of training beforebecoming parents. As it is, neither a father gives any training to his son before the latterhimself becomes the father nor a mother gives any such training to her daughter. We must always remember one thing that it is very, very important for a womanto become mother. Becomes a mother is even greater than becoming guru. In the Indianculture, mother is the first who is paid homage. Then, the homage is paid to the father.Thereafter comes the guru. Obviously, the holy men – the rishis and munis - in Indiahave given the highest place to mother. Whenever we remember Lord Mahavira, wealways remember him as the son of Trishla, Trishlanandan. Thus, the name ofMahavira‟s mother, Trishla, comes before his name. We must also keep this in mind that one does not become a mother just by givingbirth to children. A woman does not become mother by just giving birth to a child. Thatis perhaps why in the Indian cultural ethos we have two words - janani or who givesbirth and ma or mother. The former only gives birth but the latter gives life. LordKrishna was born to Devaki, but Yashodha was his mother. Becoming mother is a greatpenance. It is a sadhna or meditation. It is a special kind of institution. Mother is theone who is great like earth. Mother possesses an emotionally warm personality and oureyes go downcast looking at her and we pay our reverence to her. However, today wefind the mother daily visiting hotels and clubs. Then how can a son develop the feelingsof respect for her? About the training of the child, the foremost thing is that a mother should becomemother in the real sense of the word; similarly, a father should become father in the realsense of the word. Only then can the parents become capable of teaching something tothe children. As it is, you can teach the child only what you yourself are. You cannotteach what you yourself are not. For example, I can teach you how to meditate only if Iknow how to meditate and only if I practise it. Otherwise, I cannot teach you this. Andeven if I try to teach you without myself knowing the art of meditation, it will lead tonothing. Mother is a beautiful personality, an affectionate personality. It is essential toundergo a training to become mother. Is this training really essential? What sort oftraining is it? What is it which she must learn? Mother and father are two fundamental bases of Indian civilization. They togetherconstitute the cradle of civilization. Society is a combination of some families puttogether, and a family begins with mother and father. In fact, even father comes later.Mother comes the first of all. Once a mother took his son to Prophet Mohammad. Her son was not well, andthe main reason for his ailment was his excessive intake of jaggery. The mother tried herbest to dissuade her son from taking jaggery, but he did not give up his habit of eating alot of jaggery. It was at that time that she took him to Prophet Mohammad. The motherhad thought that Prophet Mohammad was a pious and holy person and that her son would
  • 11. 11give up his habit of eating jaggery with the blessings of such a personage. The motherwent over to him and told him her problem. Prophet Mohammad said to her, “Sister, you come over to me with your son aftera fortnight. She went back. After fifteen days she again came to Prophet Mohammadwith her young son. Prophet Mohammad put his hand on the child‟s head and said, „seemy child, do not each jaggery now.‟” Listening to the words of Prophet Mohammad, the child agreed that he would noteat any more jaggery. The woman, his mother, was in a reflective mood and said, “O Prophet! If youhad to say only this much, you might have said so a fortnight earlier. Why did you takethis long to say only this much?” Prophet Mohammad replied that he could have said these very words a fortnightback. But at that time these words would have no effect on the child because at that timehe himself was fond of jaggery and used to eat it. He further told her, “During this pastfortnight I have not taken jaggery at all and I am fully convinced that it is quite easy togive up the habit of eating jaggery. Now whatever I have said to the child will beeffective and it will produce result. Your son will not eat jaggery now.” And, the child really gave up eating jaggery thereafter. This is essential for a mother as well as a father. They must practice themselveswhatever they want to teach to their children. In case, they themelves do not practice,their words will have no positive effect on the children. You might have experienced it daily that the children would wish to do the thingsyou generally stop them from doing in your daily lecturess to them. Why? Because youcommit the same mistake. You yourself smoke, and still you wish that your childrenshould not smoke. It will not be. Even if you smoke in secret, your children are sure tolearn of this. They would also do the same in hiding, just as you have been doing.Whatever you dop is sure to get reflected in your as well as your children‟s life. This isbound to happen. This is in a way law of nature. You tell lies before your children and still hope that they should speak the truth.When you find your son telling a lie, you prefer to give him a slap, put him to fear andotherwise overawe him. But this attitude of yours is negative, and this is bound to fail tochange the habit of your child. The fact is that the children spontaneously follow thetruth. They follow you, they follow your traits which are part of your personality andwhich are reflected in your behaviour. If you tell a lie, they learn it from you; in case youspeak the truth, they follow the habit of speaking the truth from you. Whatever you do isinstantly taken over by the child. He listens to your words later on, but the meaning ofyour actions and gestures reaches him quick.
  • 12. 12 In one of the Jain sutras, we have word for son - angaj. The word angaj issynonymous with son. It implies that the son is your own ang or part of the body. It isjust like a hand is an ang or part of my body, a foot is a part of my body, an ear is part ofmy body. Similarly, the son is also part of your body, a part of your being. That is why,he has been called angaj. Take the example of a person who smokes tobacoo. This habit of his is bound tohave effect on his entire body. It is not that it will have effect on the tongue only. It willsure effect the whole body. Similarly, whatsoever you do in your life is sure to have deepeffect on the life of your child because the latter is only a part of your body. The foremost principle of child-training is that your must first of all learn yourselfwhatever you want to teach your child. You begin the practice at least two months priorto that. Then you will find that whatever you will say to your child will have sure effecton your inner being, on his whole personality. This is a hard fact. You can test it byputting it to practice. You might not believe what is being said and you might not getconvinced with what is lectured, but you can certainly get convinced by the results whenyou test this by putting it to practice. Of course, there are certain things which you cannot do. Still there is a way ofputting them across. There is a manner, there is an idiom of saying when you can bareyour heart to the listener. Things conveyed through such a way can also be inculcated byyour child. Let me explain how. I narrate what happened in my own life. When I got initiated in the Jain monasticorder, one day I said to my Guru, “Guru Ji! Vivekanand had asked RamakrishnaParamhans that in case he knew of God, he might let him also gave a glimpse of thatGod, and in case he did not know of God, then he might tell me so. Guru Ji, I also askyou an almost similar question: „if you know about self-realization, then show me path toand state of self-realization.‟ At that time Guru Ji had replied, “See, my son, neither you are Vivekanand noram I Paramhans.” This honesty, this truthfulness of the Guru touched my inner being, my heart. Themother as well as the father should also have the same kind of truthfulness and honesyvis-à-vis their children. They must be honest with their children. They must never cheatthem. Do you think the children are small beings and they do not understand manythings? It is not so. They understand everything. So much so that a child of just oneyear of age can also understand when his parents tell a lie to him. However, if you findyourself a victim of some habit and you wish that your child should not become a victimof that habit like you, you must tell him with all honest that you are in the habit of doingthis or that but doing so is rather painful for you. You must make it clear to him thatsince you love the child a lot, you wish that he does not follow that habit. In case you tryto teach your child in this way, you will find that the effect of your saying will be deep,will be on his inner being.
  • 13. 13 However, what you usually do? You are accustomed to rebuke or chide yourchild. All right, he will not do before your eyes what you have asked him not to do, buthe will sure do it behind your back. The second principle of child-development is: be honest with your children.Parents must be honest towards their children. A single word of falsehood coming fromyour lips is sure to create a strong conviction in the mind of the child. Today you mightthink that it is a small thing, a little falsehood, but with the passage of time the littlefalsehood takes a monster shape. Let us try to understand it with the help of an example. There is a small event inthe family and the child does not want to go to school. You tell him that it is all right ifhe does not go to school and that you would write an application for his teacher sayingthat he has not been feeling well. And you do this. This happens quite often. You think that this is a small, insignificant thing. Butyou have taught your child that a statement of falsehood can get favourable results andthat true statement might have earned rebuke or some other punishment. What he hasbeen today doing with the teacher, he might behave the same way with you tomorrow. Infact, he will do the same with everybody. And, then you say that the child tells a lie andthat you do not know who taught him that.You have been responsible for teaching himthat a false statement can work for him. You taught him, and now you bear theconsequences. Second, be forthright and clear with the child. He is sure to listen to you and thenfollow what you say. This will inculcate a feeling of reverence for you in his heart. Ifyou do something and hide it from you, he will somehow come to know of it, but this willlessen the respect he has for you in his heart. When the infant begins to grow up, we find that many things he says or does arequite natural and spontaneous. For example, a child learns a song quite soon. There isanother child who learns to speak soon. And, there might be another child who learns tostudy sooner than others. How and why does this happen differently with with differentchildlren. For this kind of learning of the child, India has developed a science which inHindi language is called garbh samskar or the learning the child acquires while still inmother‟s womb. This training begins when the child is still in his mother‟s womb. Youmight have heard that Mother Trishla had had fourteen dreams when Lord Mahavira wasconceived. You must remember that every woman cannot possibly conceive who might bedestined to become a great man. A special kind of preparation is required to create apersonage. In India, we have another science for that. In Indian civilization, there aresaid to have been sixty-four arts which a woman must imbibe to become perfect. One ofthese sixty-four arts is the art of learning how to become a mother and how to invite a
  • 14. 14great soul. Obviously, becoming mother implies bringing a new person into this world.In case, this new arrival today becomes noble personality, he will ameliorate thesufferings of the world tomorrow. On the other hand, if this new arrival is of satanicinclinations, he might cause death and destruction in the world. A woman might givebirth to a Hitler or to a Vivekananda. But whom do you invite? This depends on you.How could you invite a noble, divine soul? There has been an ancient, classic work entitled Panchtantra. It has within itspages a sloka or couplet which means that if a woman gets pragnant when she is in heat,she will sure give birth to a devilish child. On the contrary, when the woman is pure atthe time she conceives, she will give birth to a child who might become a great person.Persons like Vivekananda are not born by pure accident. Personages like MahatmaBuddha are also not born accidentally. The character of the parents and their prayers areof vital significance. Once a precept of a scientist became quite popular, and it said that there arecertain characteristics in humankind which are common to all humans. For example, onesuch characteristic is anger. Everybody falls victim to anger some time or the other.And second such characteristic is lust. Everybody falls victim to lust and indulges inlustful activity some time or the other. Research in the field of sex has led the scientists and psychologists to theconclusion that man indulges in sex because he has been the product of sex. However,Indian civilization does not accept this research. It holds that prayer is of greatimportance if you want thant the new born might become a great person. Thus, the childshould be the product of prayer. And, it is possible. When the parents are saturated withthe prayerful feelings for God, the child conceived at that moment will sure become anoble and great person. Thereafter begins the journey ahead. This is the journey of the infant within thewomb of his mother. The infant in that state will do only what his mother does. Hecannot even breathe of his own. When the mother breathes in, the same breath is taken inby the infant. When the mother exales out the breath, the infant also breathes out.Whatever the mother thinks, the same thoughts go to the mind of the infant. Whateverthe mother eats, the same food goes to the infant also. What the mother sees, the infantalso sees the same. Whatever little activities the mother indulges herself in, the infantalso happens to indulge in all those activities. At that time how should a mother make her life perfect and pious so that theinfant to be born should also become a noble and pious person. For this she will have toundergo a specific kind of routine. You might have heard of the Kalapsutra. Thereinoccurs a reference to Mother Trishla. In case you have studied that text carefully, youmight have found that when Lord Mahavira entered his mother‟s womb, she had hadfourteen dreams. Then her sleep was disturbed. Both her mind and body were full ofjoy. She got up from her bed, went out of her bed-room, reached the room of herhusband, Siddharath, and narrated to him the dreams she had had.
  • 15. 15 This narration makes it clear that at that point of time Mother Trishala wasfollowing celibacy. This is also a principle of our Indian civilization that when a womangets pragnant, she must remain celibate thereafter. In case this rule is violated, then youcannot expect that the child to be born in your family will be a noble, great being. That is why I had said in the very beginning of my discourse that becoming amother is a meditation, a penance. It is no ordinary happening. It is a great happening. Ifyou expect a noble, great offspring, you yourself must bear all this. The growth of a treedepends on the kind of soil it has been sown. The fruit will always be in keeping with thekind of seed sown earlier. We must remember a common principle of Indian civilization. The parents of thechild must follow the principle of celibacy from the day the child is conceived throughthe period when it is in the womb of his mother till the mother continues to breast-feedthe child. During the period of her pragnancy, the woman must concentrate her mind at leastfor fifteen minutes daily on a great, pious personage. If she does so, the greatness andpiety of that person will enter, in the form of a samskar, the infant still placed in thewomb. During the period of pragnancy, the feelings, ideas and persons who influence themother are sure to influence the infant also in the same proportion. In this context, I would wish to give two examples. A woman was once pragnant. During that period she had in her room aphotograph of an African child. She would look at that photograph daily. As it was, sheliked that photograph a lot. The consequence of that acting and liking of the mother wasthat when she gave birth to a child, the complexion and features of the child resembledthe child in the photograph. The second example. It is a memoir. Once a woman participated in a ten-daymeditation camp. She was pragrant during that period. During the camp, her seathappened to be by the side of a Britisher (white) woman. The latter remained before hereyes continuously for ten days. The result was that the baby girl born to her resembledthat Britisher woman quite a lot. The reason why I have narrated these examples to you is that the scene which thepragnant woman looks at with feelings of depth, that scene gets reflected on the infantgrowing in her womb. That is why I have said that the mother must concentrate herselfon a great person if she wants to give birth to a really great soul. That is the only way thegreatness of the person reflected upon enters the infant growing in his mother‟s womb. Apart from this, the pragnant woman must recite daily any stotra or other mantraor any such hymn.
  • 16. 16 Some people come to me saying that the meaning of the stotras or mantra theyread or recite is not known to them. Even if you do not understand the meaning, thewaves of the words will sure affect the body and mind. The modern-day science alsosays that the development of our personality depends on the kind of genes we have, andthat these genes can never be altered. However, the great rishis of India say that thegenes can possibly be altered. And the way to alter them is through mantras and stotras.In case you recite these mantras/stotras with complete concentration and in a trulyprescribed manner, their waves can certain reach the genes within and through themthese genes continue changing. Therefore, the second very important principle which apragnant woman must follow is that she must recite, at least for fifteen minutes dailywith a mind at complete ease, a stotra/mantra: that is the only way she can give birth to agreat, noble person. The third principle in this behalf is that a pragnant woman must practise to makeher body inert for a while everyday. This posture is called yognidra or shavasan. Why isit recommended? Just give a look at our social and family life about twenty years back.The children were then delivered in a normal way, but today normal delivery is quiterare. Today about seventy to seventy-five per cent of the children are born in hospitals.Why so? What could be reason behind this? The simple reason is that the human beingstoday are not as peaceful as they were just fifteen years ago. Our minds and bodies arefull of tension. When the time comes to deliver the child, the mother is full of tension,restlessness. When the body contracts and the infant wants to come out, it causes a lot ofpain, the labour pain as we call it. The operation becomes a must. The scientists havemade experiments in America. We Indians do not understand it today, but the sameIndian method has been taken out by the foreigners. They made experiments on pragnantwomen. They made them practise yognidra and shavasan daily in the proper prescribedmethod. They taught them daily for an hour ow to relax their bodies. The result afternine months was the natural, painless delivery of the infant. The newly born infant alsowept very little. The child remained ever happy and at peace. Therefore, it is verynecessary for the woman who has to deliver a child to take out at least one hour forherself and practise the yognidra and shavasana. Many of my brothers and sisters will think that their children are now quite grownup and that they need no such instruction now. However, I tell all this to you because wenever think on these issues. When the children are fifteen or twenty years old, you come to me and ask that Ishould teach them something. But what can be taught at that late stage? We must remainconscious from the very beginning in regard to the development of the child. If we makea good beginning, the final outcome will also be equally good. Everybody must try andunderstand this. Only then can we give birth to a new civilization. Otherwise, we shallremain stuck where we are. These are the golden rules for the mother - meditation daily for fifteen minutes,recitation of the stotra and practice of shavasan.
  • 17. 17 Another still very important principle is healthy, vegetarian food. If the food ishealthy and vegetarian, the mother will remain healthy and in due course will deliver ahealthy baby. In case these mothers daily eat spicy things, we can well understand whatwill be the future of the coming generation. These have been the issues relating to the state of the infant still in his mother‟swomb. Now we shall reflect on the issues relating to the life thereafter. The child isdelivered after remaining in the mother‟s womb for full nine months. There is a wellestablished tradition amongst us Indians that the child must weep immediately after he isdelivered. In case, the child does not weep as soon as it is delivered, the members of thefamily begin to weep. The doctor makes an effort to make the child weep, and when thechild begins to weep, all others become happy and laugh. People in France began to think why should a child begin his life by weeping?Can he not get born while still laughing? They discovered as to why does the child weep.What for does he weep? The first reason they discovered was that the child weepsbecause he is ill-treated immediately after he is delivered. He is instantly separated fromhis mother. His umblical cord is cut off, and he is biologically cut off from his mother.The child had remained within the womb of his mother for nine months and during thesenine months he had begun to think that he is the mother and mother is he. He neverthought himself separate from his mother. He has been considering himself one with hismother, but suddenly he is separated. This will certainly hurt him. He feels shocked, andhe wonders as to where he has come. What is that place where he now finds himself?Whose are the hands which now hold him? The research of the French doctors resulted in a new process of delivering thechild. They put the child on the mother‟s belly as soon the child is delivered. This makesboth the child and his mother feel good. Why does the child weep? He weeps because of the cough that had gathered inthe lungs of the child. This cough clears out as he weeps, and thus he begins his ownprocess of breathing. The French doctors put the child on mother‟s belly and gave lhimsome time. The child then began breathing slowly. When he began to breathe with ease,he was quietly separated from his mother and was kept in a tub of warm water. This wasdone because so long as the child was in the mother‟s womb, he was there in a swimmingposture. There he keeps floating in a fluid. That is why he is put in warm water. Thewater was heated up only to the extent of human body‟s temperature. The child likes allthis a lot. In this situation, the child began his life laughing. Cannot every child be delivered in this fashion? This is a possibility. But tomake this possibility a reality, we need a bit of understanding. Several research works have come out in French with regard to the delivery of thechild. I shall also share with you the results of their another research. About fifteen ortwenty years back the need for numbered spectacles for the children was very rare, butwe know that this need has multiplied in recent years. Why? We often say that this is
  • 18. 18because the children watch a lot of television. No doubt, this is one of the reasons, butthere is still one more reason. Earlier, when a child was delivered, the delivery took place in a dark room wherea lamp of ghee used to provide the only light. But these days the delivery usually takesplace in hospitals, and in the hospital delivery rooms we find high voltage electric lightsburning. Just think of someone who might have spent full nine months in darkness andthen suddenly make him stand up before the flash lights. What will be his plight? It isnatural that his eyes will You might imagine the situation if you are kept for a week in a fully dark roomand thereafter made to stand before the sun in hot noon. Your eyes will not feelcomfortable. Your eyes will not be able to bear that strong light for quite for some time.This will certainly leave bad effect on lyour eyes. This bad effect can be seen today on the eyes of the small child. He opens his eyesfor the first time in a very sharp light. He has to bear throughout his life the ill effect ofthis light. In India it was customary to keep the child in that dark room lit only by a ghee-lamp for full one month. Thereafter he was gradually taken out in the light. It was doneto avoid dazzling the child in the bright sun light. This is the science of birth. After the birth, there begins a process of growth of the child. All the parents wishthat their child learns to speak soon, he should speak sweetly, his pronunciation should beclear and so on. For all this, we in India followed a simple procedure. As soon as a childwas born and before he was given anything to drink, the word oankar was written on histongue either with a thin rod of silver or a soft twig of a tree. Today you might thinkwhat difference does it make? But it did make the difference. By doing so, speech orknowledge began to grow quickly in the child. We have seen that the children on whosetongue was written oankar would learn to speak sooner than the children who did notpass through this ceremony. The child grows gradually. He learns to walk gradually. As he learns to walk, thedistance between him and his mother begins to increase. Uptil now he was always in thelap of his mother, but now he makes an effort to go away from the lap. He begins toestablish relationships with a new world. What is this new world? This new world is theworld of toys. He starts playing with these toys. How should the child play with the toys? This is a question of vital importance.The child has inherent inclination for playing. He grows as he plays. The first thing thatthe parents should keep in mind is that we should encourage the child to play. If we stophim from playing or discourage him to do so, his growth will not be normal. His bodyand personality will not reach its potentials. They will remain incomplete and imperfect.
  • 19. 19 Now the question arises as to which or what kind of toys a child should play with.I was also a child, say forty or fifty years from today. Those days the children did nothave much choice with the toys. The children would then consider the earth as their toyand play with it. Modern era is the era of toys. Every child has a lot many toys as hispossession. What kind of toys we should provide to the child to let him play with? Thisis a good test of our thinking and rationality. The kind of toys a child will play with, thiswill affect his later mental make-up, and this mental make-up will get reflected in hisoverall character. One day I was on my evening walk. I was close by a park. There I saw twochildren playing. These two kids were brother and sister. The brother stood on the wallof the park. He loudly called his sister asking her to come to him. The sister replied thatshe would not come. The kid boy repeated his call to his sister twice or thrice. But everytime the sister refused to go to him. This made the brother angry. He threatened that ifshe did not come, he will shoot her dead. So saying, he signalled the pistol-toy in hishand towards his sister. We often see children behaving this way or speaking such words in such a tone.We easily ignore this as a minor thing. But if you reflect on it a little deeply, you will findthat this is not a minor thing to be so easily ignored. The culture of pistol is becoming hisculture. Today he holds a plastic pistol-toy in his hand, but tomorrow a real gun canreach his hands. The possession of a mere pastic pisol-toy has given him the thought tokill someone. Tomorrow as he grows up, there is every possibility of his taking toviolence or murder. The toys which you give to the child leave a deep impact on the child‟s mind.Therefore, the parents should be very conscious while buying toys for their children. Wemust never provide child the kind of toys which are likely to create in him feelings ofviolence, hatred and discrimination. The toys should be the kind to which a child takes naturally. Earlier, our childrenused to play with earth. I still believe that earth is the best toy for the child. The kind oflife-force that can be found in earth is not found in any other thing or any other toy. If achild plays with the earth, it adds to his life-force. This is also a fact of life today that not sufficient earth is available where thechildren can play and thus develop their life force. The urbanization of society hasswallowed the pure earth and open environment. Today pure earth has simplydisappeared. The kuccha paths have been replaced by pucca, metalled roads, and thislatter provides no life force. On the contrary, it takes away some life force. The child should be allowed play with earth if that is available. The child shouldbe kept away from the kind of toys with inculcate in him bad feelings. The toys are toysfor the grown ups, and for the children they are alive objects. They consider the toys as
  • 20. 20their own part. Therefore, never give to the child a toy which can create a feeling ofviolence in him. When the child is four or five years old, the parents send him to a school. At whatage should the child be sent to school? This question deserves our special consideration.The issue for us to understand is that ever since the day the child was born in this world,the power of acquisition in the child has been decreasing by the day. With each passingday, he comes in contact with newer and newer object of this world.What could be taughtto the child when he is young is much more difficult to be taught as he grows up. How should be child be taught? The educationists and psychologiest have made aminute study of the subject. According to them, for example, we want to tell the childthat it is a tree. For the child to understand this, they will place before him for a second apainting of the tree and then the word „tree‟. The painting will be before him for amoment only and then it will be taken away to be replaced by some other such painting.Then there will be word for the next painting. In this way, they keep before him not morethan ten words. And, daily they take away one of the paintings. For instance, if they hadshown ten paintings today, they will take away one of them and add a new one to them.They continue doing so for one year. The results achieved through this method ofteaching are wonderful, and the child becomes capable of reading a newspaper at the ageof just three. What I narrate here are not imaginary stories. This has happened and has beenhappening. For this we need a training centre. Such training centres have been set upand have flourished in Florida. In India we lack such centres, but we can certainly set upsuch centres here as well. Whatever you teach a child when he is quite young, heacquires/learns quite easily and quickly. They have realized that if you place before thechild a hundred dots on one paper and ninty-nine dots on the other, he will find out thedifference that these are the hundred and these ninty-nine. The child has such a sharpbrain. We must keep in mind that the job of teaching can not be left to the teacher alone.A mother can do better. A father father can also do equally well. No one else can dothat. When a teacher teaches the child, he teaches the child mere words. But it isnecessary that the teacher should become one with the taught if he wants to teachsomething to the latter. Both of them should become one. So long as the teacher doesnot become one with the child, so long as the child does not realize that the personteaching him is just like him, the child will not be prepared to learn. When a teacher teaches the child, he remains a teacher and the child remains astudent. They fail to establish between themselves the kind of relationship that isrequired. They fail to establish the relationship of oneness. Thus, the child does not puthis mind in learning. For this, it is essential that the teacher must establish with the childa relationship of equality, of oneness.
  • 21. 21 What sort of behaviour should be adopted towards the children? This is also aquestion of vital importance. We should ever keep in mind that our attitude towardschildren should be respectful. We must never use harsh or humiliating words for thechild. The children use the kind of language we use in conversation with them. Whathappens in real life is that you teach the child to be respectful, but you behave with himin a way that is not respectful. Since the child very quickly follows the behaviour, helearns easily from your behaviour but does not learn the lesson that you have been tryingto teach him. Whatever he learns from your lessons remains a mere formality in his mind,but the reflection of your behaviour gets permanently stuck in his mind. You must treatthe child with respect so that he could learn that this is not a mere lesson to be learnt but afeeling to be part of his being. We should also keep in mind that the child learns from whatever you do. Yourlanguage becomes the language of the child. Your conduct becomes the conduct of thechild. Whatever you are will sure get echoed in your child. That is why he is said to beyour angaj, part of your body. Therefore, it is necessary that the parents themselves mustlearn whatever they want to teach the child. If you try just to teach them with words, themessage will remain mere words with them. This learning will never become part oftheir conduct and behaviour. Parents should adopt a friendly attitude towards their children. They must listento attentively whatever the child says. This helps in the right growth of the child‟spersonality. In case you do not listen to the child with care, he feels hurt and this hindersthe proper growth of his personality. One day a small child-girl came to me. She was quite sad. I asked her the reasonfor her sadness. She replied, “Guru Ji! Today I am verysad.” I asked her again as towhat made her so sad. She replied that she had got her examination result that day. Iasked her if she had not got good marks. She told me that she had got very good marks:she had got 85 per cent marks. I asked her why she was sad even after getting so good aresult. She told me that she went to her father to show her result card to him and herebuked her saying that he did not then have the time. I could well understand the sadness of the child. You might think it to be aninsignificant issue. But it is a very significant issue to me. When you rebuke your childwithout any reason, you are doing injustice to him, you are closing the doors for thegrowth of his personality. Your words hurt him. The result of such an attitude on thepart of parents is always negative. If you do not listen to the child today, he will notlisten to you tomorrow. At the end, I would wish to say that you must share your meals with yourchildren. I know life is quite busy these days. If you cannot do this everyday, you mustdo so at least once or twice a week. This will add to the feeling of affection, of proximitybetween you all.
  • 22. 22 I have placed before you these little issues. These are not the things to be merelysaid or just listened to. You must put them into practice. It is only the practice on whichdepends the result. I hope you will certainly put these small precepts into practice. Incase you start doing so, you will sure find your house transformed into a heaven.
  • 23. 23 Chapter II BEGINNING OF THE RIGHT EDUCATION The issue of discussion with us today is the beginning of right education. Tounderstand this, let us first understand a statement by J. Krishnamurthy, a very wellknown thinker and philosopher. He has said that life is like a game of cards. In the gameof cards, you cannot decide who will be your partner in the game. Even the number ofplayers is also not in your hands. You never know the kind of cards you will get as youbegin the game. Then what is in your hands? The only thing in your hands is the wayyou want to play the game. If the player is proficient, he can win the game even if thecard in his share are not that good. On the other hand, if the player is not proficient, hewill lose the game even if he has got to his share very good cards. Similar is our life. What kind of situations you will have to face in life, what kindof family one might take birth, who will be one‟s parents and simblings, in which societyand social circumstances one will be born, where one will grow up is beyond man: noneof this is in his hands. All these things are determined by your birth. The child is bornand he gets his parents. He is born and he gets the society where he has to grow and live.The child is born and he gets the country. The child is born and he gets his family. Buthow will one live his life in such circumstances, whether with joy or grudge or with smileor tears in eyes, is in one‟s own hands And here begins the right educaion. I have entitled this chapter of the book „Right Education‟: is this title correct? Ifwe look into the words closely, we shall see that the meaning „right‟ is inherent in theword „education‟. How can we call it education if it is not the right one? Yes, if it is notright, it cannot be called education. Once a son asked his mother if she had true love for him. It is a universal question which is generally asked. You might have also put thesame question to many people in your own life. You might have got different responses.But, to my mind, this question has only one answer. And that answer is: love is onlywhat is true. Love is ever true. There is no place for falsehood in it. Falsehood has noplace in the sphere of love. When falsehood enter, love disappears. There can beattachment, but not love becaue attachment is always false: it is always momentary. Onthe other hand, love is true and everlasting. Similarly, whatever is right is education: whatever is not right, that cannot becalled education. The right education teaches us the art to live life meaningfully. What isright education? What should be called the right education? We know that in Hindu language a word has more than one meaning. In Hindi,the word „siksha‟, generally translated into English as education, also has two meanings.One, it implies reading, writing, teaching, etc. Two, it also means punishment.Generally, the word siksha in Hindi is also used for conveying the meaning of
  • 24. 24punishment: for example, the children sometimes say that they have not done their home-work, and consequently they might receive siksha or punishment from the teacher. Now we have to consider the question whether the siksha that we give to thechildren is education (reading, writing, etc.) or punishment. What do we actually provideto the children? The correct answer to this question can only be given by the childrenthemselves. You may ask your children which months of the year they like the most.Their answer invariably will be the two months of summer vacation. Holidays from the school is the most the children love. Why? Why do they doso? Its only clear-cut answer could be that children consider education a burden on them.They dislike the studies. But why do they dislike their studies? The answer is: becauseour education system is such that the children get the tension. For education, we haveprescribed some ideals, but these ideals are so materialistic that they cannot be thesubject-matter of pleasure. The child is generally unfamiliar with such ideals but weprescribe education keeping mind only these ideals. What is the objective of modern-day education? Once I am in Ahmadnagar. A child came to me. I said to him, “What do you do,my son?” He replied that he studied in the eighth standard. I again asked him what hewould do in the coming years. He again replied in the same tone, “I shall work quite hardand get a very good score in the matriculation examination.” “What will you do, then?” I again asked him. “Then I shall seek and get admission in a reputed college,” was his reply. “What will you do thereafter?” “I shall become and engineer.” “Then?” “Then I shall earn a lot of money.” “What thereafter?” “Then I shall build for myself a beautiful mansion.” “Then?” “Then I shall relax and rest.”
  • 25. 25 Then I asked him if it was at all necessary to do all this to get some rest andrelaxation. Is the sole object of this long-drawn laborious life only rest and relaxlation?If so, then one need not put oneself to all this trouble of working hard. I told the child, “Look my son! Look at that dog sitting on the farther corner of thestreet. It is an perfect peace and rest. You are doing such hard work in search of that restbut the dog has got it without doing anything. The only difference is that after such ahard labour you will put on some good quality robes whereas the dog does not need anydress. You will get some delicious dishes for your food whereas the dog will havesimple, coarse food. You will have cushioned bed to sleep in whereas it will sleep on thebare ground. This different is not too much. Then why put yourself to such hard work? Just think for a while if the objective of education in modern-day world has notbeen confined to just earning more and more money? Surely, we have lost the realobjective of education. We should become capable of earning handsomely, getting goodfood to eat, getting a fine house to live in and acquiring costly robes to wear on have beentaken as the only objective of our education. The education could also be related to andalso used for the spiritual uplift of man. But we have simply forgotten this. The sole aim of modern-day education is to get good food, dress and house.Today all parents hold the view that if they are able to make their children stand on theirfeet, they have taught them all, and nothing else remains for them to learn. Does thismuch fulfils the objective of education? I do not say that money has no worth in human life. Of course, money has itsown worth and utility. Without it the material needs of man can never be got fulfilled.But does this much complete our education? If we have a look at the modern-dayeducation, we shall find that this is the be-all and end-all of our education today.Obviously, today all kthe students have only one object in their mind - to get throughthe examination with a maximum number of marks. Therefore, the first eight months ofthe academic year a student may or may not study his books, the last about two monthsare fully devoted to studies because of the approaching examinations. As theexaminations approach, all the students begin burning midnight‟s oil. The phobia ofexamination forces them to study and study harder. Although the heart is not in thestudy, but the fear of examination makes everyone work hard. These days studies have become a burden for the students. It has become a causeof stress and tension. Each of the students is under stress and tension. That is whystudents feel relaxed as the examinations come to an end. They feel a sort of peacedescending over them. During the examination period the studens live is dire stress.Some of them even cannot eat or sleep properly. They often mumble during their sleep.So much of stress and tension overtakes them that some of the students have to resort totaking pills before going to take the examination. The parents often accompany theirwards up to the examination centre so that their wards do not feel further stressed andtense at the moment of the examination. This is just like a patient being taken to thehospital for surgical operation when the guardians taking him along are not sure whether
  • 26. 26the patient will or will not survive the operation. When the students have to appear forthe tenth standard examinations, the parents themselves are under a lot of stress andtension. They are heard advising their wards to “be patient and careful. We are with you.We wait for you just outside the examination centre. Take your examination with all yourattention and care….” In a way, the parents are under more stress and tension than their wards. Once a mother came to me and said, “Maharaj! I cannot come to attend to thediscourse.” I asked her the reason for it. She replied, “My child has to take hisexaminations.” I asked her if the examinations of her child are being conducted by theboard or by the school itself.” She again replied that her child was to appear in the fifthstandard examinations, but examinations are after all examinations, you know. The parents are under as much stress because of the examinations as their ward.In case the examinations only add to the stress and tension, then what is the use of suchan education? What is the use of education if it fails to produce a person who is at peacewith himself and who is happy at heart. The fact of the matter is that the education being given in India today, the studiesthe students go through is not our own. We have imported it from the Britishers. TheEnglish are gone, but they did leave behind their books as well as their dresses. Thesedays our robes are not our own. The kind of trousers we wear today is surely not ours.This has been left behind by the Britishers. The Indian native dress was shirt and dhoti orloose piece of cloth tied around the waist. This shirt is not Indian. This is also somethingleft behind by the English. We Indian never tied a neck-tie. This is also a gift left behindby the English. Similarly, the syllabus that we study today has also been left behind bythe same Britishers. Not to speak of the education and syllabus, the constitution whichgoverns the Indian democratic system is also not India. We have adopted this also fromthe British. We have got independence, but only in name. We are still living in the sameconditions. How should we make the beginning today? It is not possible for us to change theentire education system in a single day. Education will remain the same. It will changeonly when the entire society, the entire country changes. At the moment, we have noalternative other than sending our children to the existing educational institutions.However, we can certainly do one thing. The children remain in their schools/collegesfor about six hours, and they are at home for the remaining hours. We can certainly dosomething during those hours. But what can we do? What can we teach them during thatperiod? A very old story comes to my mind. Our country India is a beautiful land.Whatever message has been given to the people here has been given through the mediumof stories. A story is, as we all know, fiction which is close to and which resembles truth.It is fiction because we are never sure whether such a thing as narrated in the story really
  • 27. 27happened or not. It is true or it resembles truth because it contains the element ofprobability. So let me narrate the story for your benefit. What does the story say? It goes onto say that there was once a king. He had three sons. When the king grew old, he beganto think as to which of his sons should be declared his heir. As it happens in most of suchstories, the king thought of putting his sons to a test. The king gave a rupee to each of histhree sons and asked them that they have to fill their respective rooms with the rupeegiven to each one of them. After listening to the directions of their father, all the three sons went to theirrooms. All the three had equal amount of money with them and each one was expectedto perform the same job. But each one of them had his own brains, his ownunderstanding. The elder prince thought that his father had gone crazy with old age.How can a wise man think of filling such a big room with just one rupee? Many thoughtscame to his mind, but he remained indecisive. However, it was the father‟s order and ithad to be obeyed. But he did not seem to reach a decision. At that moment, his sight fellon the sweeper who was pulling his cart filled with the rubbish of the town to throw itoutside the city limits. The prince thought of a plan. He summoned the sweeper to hispresence and asked him to throw into his room all the rubbish that he might collect fromthe town. He promised to pay the sweeper a rupee in lieu of this job done. The sweepercarried out the order of the prince and filled his room with the rubbish. The middle prince also did not think of any better means. After a lot of thinking,he reached the conclusion that a rupee can buy only dry grass in enough quantity to fillthe room. He took the decision and giving the rupee to one of his servants had the drygrass bought and filled his room with it. The youngest prince was also thinking of means to fill his room with the rupeegiven to him. He began wondering that if his father has ordered him to fill his room withsomething worth only a rupee, there must be some such thing which can fill the room andlwhich can be brought with just one rupee. He thought and thought deeply on this. Atlast, he thought of one thing. He went to the bazar with that rupee in his pocket. Hebought with that rupee a lamp, an incense and a lute. With these things he came to hisroom. He lighted the lamp in his room and it was filled with he light of the lamp. Thenhe lighted the incense and the fragrance fill the enire room. He sat in the room and beganplaying the lute, and his room was filled with music. In the evening the king arrived at the appointed hour. First of all he went to theroom of the eldest prince. He felt the foul smell from quite a distance. It did not takelong for the king to realize the truth. He felt pained and he rebuked the prince.Thereafter he moved towards the room of the middle prince. He saw what he had donewith the rupee given to him. He felt rather anguished at what both of his elder sons done.At last he went towards the room of his youngest son. No sooner did he enter the roomthan his eyes were filled with light. He could smell the sweet fragrance because the sonhad already burnt the incense there. He could now listen to the sweet music coming from
  • 28. 28the lute being played by the prince. The king felt overjoyed at all this. He hugged theson and appointed him the heir-apparent. You must keep in mind that the right education is that which fills us with the lightof love, which fills us with the smell of truth and which fills us with the music of joy.The education which fills us with unnecessary competition, falsehood and prejudice thatcannot be called the right education. In fact, we should not call it education at all. The education is which makes us poised, transforms us into joyous persons. Itteaches us to live each circumstance with joy. What is joy? What would you call joy? You sit beneat the electric fan and relax.You have already taken a delicious food to your fill. You have all the comforts of life.In such a situation, you just smile. Cannot we possibly call it joy? Do you not considerall this joy? But, to my mind, this is not joy. This joy did not come from within you: itdid not come out of your inner self. Joy is something different. It comes out of yourinner self. It is not at all affected by the external elements. What, then, is joy? …the electric fan has stopped working. The mosquitoes isbuzzing around you as if they were deeply in love with you and adored you. They drinkyour blood as if their life depended on it. It is the summer weather. You perspire sobadly. You can feel smoke and dust all around you. But still you smile. That is real joy. This is the first education. But how can we give this sort of education to thechild? Should we go to the life of Lord Rama or to that of Lord Krishna to understandthis? Rama did not become Lord Rama all of a sudden, and Krishna did not become LordKrishna all of a sudden. Rama could become Lord Rama and Krishna could becomeLord Krishna because of the samskaras that they possessed in them. They were born inroyal families. When they reached an age which made them eligible for education, theywere sent to their gurus or teachers. The Gurus gave them the samskaras. The Guruskept them in their ashrams or monastries, not as princes but as ordinary students; theymade them do even the most humble menial jobs. The idea behind this was that a princeshould not just learn how to rule, but he should also know what kind of life a poor wood-cutter lives. That is why the Gurus sent them to the forest to collect wood. The Guruswanted that the princes should not just know how to issue orders, but they must also learnhow to abide by the orders. The Gurus would give them the harshest of lessons, but theGuru-mother, i.e. the wife of the Guru, would provide them the motherly affection.During the education of the princes, both harshness and affection went side by side. That is how Rama could become Lord Rama. That is why neither the royal thronecould attract him nor the fourteen year-long exile in the forests could cause him any pain.He had learnt how to face each circumstance calmly. How can one live each momentjoyfully - the mystery of this principle had become part of his personality from his verychildhood.
  • 29. 29 You can also transform your own children into Ramas and Krishnas: yes, this ispossible. You can teach your children from their very childhood the way how to live lifein a joyous manner. However, this education cannot be provided orally. This can begiven only by yourself living those precepts, by yourself becoming an example. It isnecessary that the child should be given education in a way so that they can lead lifecalmly whether life is harsh or comfortable. But our thinking is absolutely different. We are ever making efforts to provideour children with the best of comforts in life. While so doing we forget that the childmight face hardships in life tomorrow, and how he will face life if and when such asituation arises. By providing him with the maximum of comforts, we make our childhandicapped. What I mean to say does not imply that the child be thrust into hardshipsand discomforts. While providing him comforts, we should also see that occasionallycomes face to face with hardships and difficulties. This will help in the balanceddevelopment of his personality. This will also add to the resistance power within him. Perhaps you might be aware of the fact that the children in India do not fall ill aseasily and as often as do the children in America because the latter have much lessresistance power than the former. Put an American child in the situation in which anaverage/ordinary Indian child is living, and you will find that he instantly falls ill and wewill have to get him hospitalized. The reason simply is that he has been born and broughtup with so many facilities and comforts that he is not capable of bearing even the least ofdiscomfort and difficulty. A study has revealed that as we in India have our family doctors, similarly inAmerican they have their family psychiatrists. A large number of families there arevictims of one or the other psychological ailment, and they need the constant consultationand help of a psychiatrist. Can you ever think of such a scenario in India? It is not soeven today in India. The reason why we Indians are still safe from such psychiatricproblems is that in Indian life we daily face both the positive and negative situation. You must keep in mind what I say here. When you teach your child, you mustsay „yes‟ when you feel that saying „yes‟ is the best thing, and that you must say „no‟when you are sure that the situation demands saying so. You must say „yes‟ or „no‟ withdetermination and firmness. But look within yourself and see how do you say „yes‟ or„no‟ to your child. Take the instance of a young girl. She goes to her mother and says, “Mother, Iwant a chocklate to eat.” The mother will sure say no and further advise her child thateating chocklates will cause problems to her teach. The child will naturally insist ontaking the chocklate. The mother will again say no discouraging her from this. Thenagain the child insists, cries, taps her feet heavily and tries to create a scene. At last themother gives in and allows her to take chocklate. Do you know what will be the result of all this? That small child has come tounderstand that if he needed a chocklate, she must weep and cry like that. Only then
  • 30. 30mother will let her have the chocklate. Then this habit will not come to an end with thechildhood and it will sure remain with her later in life as well. Today she weeps andcries before her mother, and tomorrow she will weep and cry before someone else.Today she cries just to have a chocklate, but tomorrow she might create the same kind ofscene demanding a scooter or something like that. And when you refused to buy her ascooter, she will again weep and cry and create a scene. Then, she might behave thesame way with her husband also. I would wish to share with you here an example. This is not something confinedonly to girls, and this can happen with boys also. Who has been responsible for this habitof the child? Obviously, the mother who acquisced to the request for that chocklate. Hadher mother at that time told her firmly that it means „no‟ when she says as such, and whenshe says „yes‟, it means yes, then the result would have been a balanced development ofthe personality of the child. Actually, what happens? When we say „yes‟ to our child, we are well aware thatthere is „no‟ hidden behind our „yes‟. And similarly when we say „no‟ to our child, thereis always „yes‟ hidden somewhere behind our „no‟. If it is sixty to eighty per cent „no‟,then it is also twenty per cent „yes‟. Our own mind is not working as a whole: it is inparts. And that is why the children fail to understand as to what do their parents expectof them. The children always know that the parents‟ „yes‟ can always change into a „no‟,and vice versa. The first and foremost thing is that when you say „yes‟ you should mean it andshould be firm on it. Similarly, when you say „no‟, you should mean it and should befirm on it. If the child feels sad because of this, let him feel so. It is not necessary that heshould go out playing daily with his shoes on. He should sometimes also play withoutthe shoes. Suppose he is one day in a situation when he has to play without shoes on. Inthat situation also, he should be able to play. It is necessary to give him this kind ofeducation. You must not teach him to wear only the beautiful and costly clothes. Hemust also be taught to wear simple and coarse clothes. There was once a very good professor in Pune. He used to teach engineeringstudents in a college. He would tell his students that they had the time from this morningtill evening and during this day they have to earn at least a hundred rupees withoutdivulging their identity. He put it as a pre-condition for them to clear the examination. His students did make endeavours. They would make different kinds of efforts toearn the required sum of money. Some of them would, of course, succeed in this venture.Some would even say that they would not be able to earn this. To such students, theprofessor would say that then there was use of their becoming engineers. It is better tofail you in the examination. You must teach you child to accept your „no‟ if he has learnt to accept your „yes‟.The child must be taught to bear a bit of pain.
  • 31. 31 An incident of past comes to my mind. A small kid was weeping bitterly.Perhaps he was hungry. I asked the child‟s grandmother that the child was weepingbecause he was hungry and that she should feed her milk. The grandmother replied in thenegative saying that he should weep; he must learn that there can be delay in getting milkeven if he weeps this way. In case he becomes habitual of getting anything as soon as hewept, this will not be good for him in later life. In Norway and America people get depressed quite easily. As compared to them,people in India do not get depressed so easily. What is the reason behind this? Thereason is obvious. A person born in India is used to face in his life much more hardshipand difficulties than the one born in America or Norway. In India, a person can smileeven if he has spend the nights on road pavements. Why so? Because he has learn tosleep on the pavement from his very childhood. He can make the stone lying near by hispillow. He can enjoy as sound a sleep with his head resting on that stone as you might beable enjoy on a cushioned bed in the air-conditioned room. The things which can causemuch pain and suffering to an affluent person, the same things and situations are a matterof routine for him. The first and foremost education in life is to teach the child to live through painwith a smile on the face, to learn to smile when the circumstances compell you to weep.Try and start giving this education first of all to the child. In the childhood every childhas this kind of art. However, gradually, we supress his smile. We teach him to be, tolook serious. On the other hand, we should have taught him something else. As it is, weshould teach the child to be sincere and not to be serious. It is very essential to be sincerewhereas it is not necessary at all to be serious. We should teach the children to smile. We should teach them how to smile in allthe circumstances of life. And this smile should not just be a show off, it should reflectyour inner self, your inner happiness. When will the child begin to reflect his inner joyon this face? According to old education system in India, a child was sent to the gurukul, theold nomenclature for school, when he became six years of age. Here the teachers gavehim education which was those days known by the name of Brahman-Updesh, orteaching about Brahman. The first education given to the child was about Brahman.This implied the purity of heart and soul, the purity of one‟s inner self. The child wasfirst of all taught how to make his mind peaceful, how to make his inner self pure andpious. It was later on and after this that he was given education in languages,mathematics and science. The reason behind this was that it was believed in India thatwhatever knowledge one might gain in the field of mathematics, science and languages, itwould be of no use until one learns how to keep his mind at peace and how make hisinner self pure and pious. Just reflect over the lives of some people who otherwise enjoy affluence in lifeand some directors and big companies. They work hard throughout the day for theirrespective companies. They feel dead tired by the evening, and then they go to club to
  • 32. 32refresh themselves. There they have a few drinks, play cardss and indulge in someentetainment. Thereafter the return home and fall down on the bed to sleep. What istheir life? If you are a director of a big company and if that makes you lead this kind oflife, what is the utility of all this? Today in India, Kerala is the only state enjoying hundred per cent literacy. At thesame time, it is also a fact that Kerala has dubvious distinction of the maximum numberof suicides being committed in India. If a man has to commit suicide even after he getsall the education, then what is the meaning, what is the utility of this education?However, the fault does not lie with education. The fault lies with our system which hasmade education one-sided. As it is, our education develops only one part of our brain,and the other part remains completely undeveloped. I hope you probably know that the human brain has two parts. One of it is on theleft side and the other on the right side. The one on the left is contains logic,mathematics and science. And the right side part contains intuition, metaphysics, art,language and others. The education being given to the child today develops only the leftside of our brain - logic, intellect, rationality, discrimination, ethics, etc. We seem tohave forgotten to develop the right side of the brain. When we were children, both partsof our brains functioned equally well. Our education system lays stress only on thedevelopment of the left side of the brain and the right side remains undeveloped. Thatresults in our restlessness. The right side of the brain can be developed through meditation, through peaceand poise, through the art of realizing your inner self. This is what was called in earliertimes the Brahman-Updesh. You are always thinking and making efforts to send your child to the best ofschools. You do not mind paying fees, whether it is a thousand rupees or two thousandrupees per month. The thing you give all of your attention is that the school should bethe best one. But you entirely miss one point. You do not bother that the school providesfor only one-sided education. What will happen to the other side of the brain? You maysend your child to any school you deem is best. But at the same time it is also necessarythat you send the child to a pious, holy saint also. Your child spends five to six hours inthe school daily. Your must persuade him that he spends at least half an hour daily with apious saint. Encourage him to learn about meditation and reflection. Have you everencouraged your child in this direction? People often complain that their children refuse to go to any saint. But I wouldlike to ask the parents if they have ever seriously encouraged or persuaded their childrento do so. The children can spend five to six hours in the school with their teachers. I donot think there can be any problem with them if they spend just half an hour with anyholy saint. To my mind, you yourself have not given any importance to meditation,concentration or company of the holy. You have developed a belief that meditation or
  • 33. 33concentration is for old age, for the people who have nothing more useful to do in life.But this is not true: it is far from truth. Meditation and concentrartion constitute thebeginning of life. They constitute the basis of life. Whenever the child begins hiseducation, you must teach him how to make the slate of mind clean and blank. Once Vivekananda was asked by someone what he thought was the meaning ofeducation. To this question, Vivekananda replied that , according to him, educationmeans enabling the student to write on the slate of his mind whatever is necessary to bewritten there; and when it is necessary to clean the slate, he should be able to make itclean. In other words, education means enabling one to write on mind‟s state whateverone wants, to wipe the slate clean whenever one wants. Today we do not have this in our hands to write or clean the mind‟s slate as perour own wish. On the other hand, what happens is that we forget what we want toremember and whatever we want to forget that keeps coming to our time and again. Youwant to remember a lesson, and you repeat it time and again, but still you cannotremember it and forget it. In general also, the things we do not want to remember andwant to forget about, these things would crop up repeated in our mind. The reasonbehind this is that we lack the art which enables us to control our mind. We do no knowthe art of either writing something on the mind‟ slate or wiping something off this slatethat was imprinted there earlier. To realize this is kthe first art. And you can sure teachthis art to your children. If you send your children to a good school, then you must sendalso to a holy saint. Even if the child does not feel like going there, you should persuadehim to go there. But you must take him to a saint at least for half an hour daily. Make ita habit with the child from his childhood. In the presence of the saint, you yourselfobserve silence and peace of mind, and ask your ward also to do the same. If you saythat you do not have the time for all this, then it is sure that the child will also say thesame. First of all, you will have to sit in the holy presence yourself. This is the firstlesson. This is the basis of our education. The second lesson is the smell of love. In our modern-day life, we do lacksomething, it is love. There was a time when we used to live in joint families. Allmembers of the joint, extended family would sit together and have dialogue on variousissues amongst themselves. They shared with one another all the happenings of the day,all the progress made on various ventures. They would also share some light momentsand laugh with one another. At the end of the day, they would all sleep together in thesame compound. However, this system has come to an end today. The son comes home, has hisfood and goes direct to his own room. The father comes, takes his food and heads directto his own room. The daughter comes, has her food and moves straight to her room.Each member in the family has a room to himself or herself. Even though the familylives together, but all members of the family live separately. They seem to have to notime to meet one another. Early in the morning, the fathes leavess home for work. Thefollows him soon to go to his work or to join his father at work. The father is busy in hiswork and the son is busy in his own work. The mother is busy in her own household
  • 34. 34chores and the daughter is busy in her own things. Everybody is busy. The mutual lovehas lost somewhere in this busy-ness. Distances are increasing by the day. The father has a separate world of his own,and the son has his own, separate from that of his father. Mother is a captive in her ownworld, and the daughter is a prisoner in her own world. The family is one to show off.But the unity of the family has been lost somewhere. The thread seems to have brokenand the beads have scattered around. Can you possibly share all the secrets of your heart, literally bare your heart toyour own son? Can you say with any amount of certainty that your son can bare his heartbefore you? Look into your heart, think awhile and then answer this question. Is it so?Can your daughter share all her secrets, all her thoughts with her mother? Can themother share everything in her heart with her daughter? Perhaps, the answer to all thesequestions is no. Both the mother and the daughter hide one thing or the other from theother. Many young boys and girls come to me. They often ask, “Look, Guru Ji, we cantell everything, share everything with you, but we cannot do so with our mother. When Ilisten to them speaking such words, I really feel pained. The fact of the matter is that your children are afraid of speaking the truth in yourpresence. They are afraid of what you might think about them thereafter. And, actually,this is right. Here just remember the father of Mahatma Gandhi. Mahatma Gandhi didnot become such a great personality for nothing. At the back of his greatness lies theeducation given him by his father. Let me share with you an incident from the life of Mahatma Gandhi. When hewas just a child, one day he was pressing the feet of his father. Suddenly, drops of tearsfrom the eyes of Mahatma Gandhi fell down on the feet of his father. His father askedhim, “Mohan, my son, why are you weeping?” Gandhi told everything to his father. He told him that he has committed theft. Hehas also taken non-vegetarian food and he has also smoked cigerattes in hinding. He toldeverything to his father, everything which he had earlier kept hidden from him. In such a situation, what would have a normal father done? He might have gotangry. He might have rebuked his son and would have threatened him. And, as a resultof this, the child would have felt terrified. And, then he might have tried to find out someexcuse justifying why he had had to do it and saying that he did not do so willingly. Hemight have presented any excuse for what he did. Keep this in mind that whenever you try to hide your evil for any reason, itimplies that you are strangulating the truth. But Gandhiji did not give any excuses. Hisfather was also a very mature and intelligent person. He did not feel annoyed at all after
  • 35. 35listening to these unbcoming deeds which his son had done. He listened to his son withpatience and concentration. After listening to everything with patience, the father aked him, “Son, would youwish to repeat the same things in future also?” Gandhiji replied in the negative andassured his father that he would never do these things again. His father then told him that it was all right and that he should now forget aboutall these things. He further told him that he should feel as if it were just a dream and thatdream has since been over now. Let us make a new beginning. Let us begin life afresh.Tomorrow is your birthday. You had commited a theft. Is is true? Today you shouldgive something in charity with the same hands with which you had committed the theft.Today you offer sweets to the orphans with the same hands with which you had earlierheld the cigerette to smoke. Today you pray to God with the same tongue with whichyou had earlier called names…. Mahatma Gandhi has written that had his father that day rebuked and slappedhim, he might have become a thief and he would never have become the Mahatma. Thereason? When he would have slapped me, an inferiority complex might have overtakenme that I was a thief, I was a sinner, I was a non-vegetarian, and I am a bad boy. And thepsychiatry says that the thing about which you feel guilty gets repeated by you time andagain. The father of Mahatma Gandhi first of all removed any inferiority complex fromthe mind of Gandhiji. Thereafter he taught him good things. As a result of thatMohandas Karamchand Gandhi was born of Mohan, and he became worthy of reverencein the world. We often say that we all should speak the truth. But do you have the moralstrength to listen to and face the truth. First of all, think if you would be able to listen tothe truth. Let me share with you another incident from the life of Mata Madan Kaur Parakh.It is a true incident, and not just a fictional story. Madan Kaur got married. She went tothe house of her husband. It was her first night with her husband. Just as there arecertain questions and apprehensions in the mind of any woman, she also had severalquestions in her mind. She asked her husband, “See, my lord, from today, we are goingto begin a new life. From today onwards we are life-companions of each other. You willshare with me each and everything you do now onwards. It is the wish of every wife thather husband shares with her everything he happens to do outside. A husband also has thesame expectation from his wife.” Madan Kaur said all this to her husband. Do you know what was the reply of herhusband. The husband replied, “I shall sure tell you the truth, but do you have the powerto digest the truth? If tomorrow as I come back home I tell you exactly what might havehappened with me outside the home, will it not affect our relations. Will our relations be
  • 36. 36the same as they were before I told you the truth? Or, will all this create a kind of wedgebetween both of us because of my doings. We proclaim that everybody should speak the truth. But we do not lhave themoral strength to listen to and face the truth. We do not have the strength to realize thetruth. So to become good father and mother, it is essential that you have the strength todigest the truth. In case you do not have the strength to face and digest the truth, thenyou should be prepared for the situation when falsehood will overtake your relations. So the second rule is the smell of love. Love does not mean that you should loveyour mother and you should love your father, you should love all members of your familyand you should love your neighbour. Love does not imply a mere relationship. It is,rather, a state of mind. It is a state of your consciousness. If it happens, it will happenwith everybody; if it does not happen, it will happen to nobody. About love, you cannotsay that it is more with one person and less with the other. What is more or less withdifferent people, that is not love: that is attachment. It is attachment and not love. Whathappens with one and does not happen with the other, that is also attachment, not love.Love is which is equal with everybody, with all. You, of course, teach your son to touch the feet of his father. But you neveradvise him to pay respect, to speak with respect to the old servant in the family. He maybe a servant or a drive. But he is older than your child in age. The child should berespectul towards him also. Have you ever taught him to do so? Did this ever happen tooccur to you? This is the story of love in human relationships. But love cannot be confined tothis limit only. Love is limitless, immense. When love sprouts inside you, your entirelife-style undergoes a change. Then your love does not remain limited to humans alone,it gets reflected in your feelings for inanimate things also. When your child comes back from school, he throws his school-bag wherever hewants to. Then he takes off his shoes and leaves them wherver they might be. At thattime you simply ignore that the child threw the bag with unnecessary force. If he throwsthe bag like this today, it is just possible that tomorrow he might throw any otherhousehold thing or even a person with the same force. The question is not of throwingthe bag, the question is of a tendency, a bad tendency growing in your child. So the lesson of love does not imply merely love for human beings, love animateas well as inanimate things also. Just take the example of a handkerchief. You can eitherput it somewhere quietly with love or you can just throw it in anger. If you can getannoyed at a handkerchief, why cannot you pick the handkerchief up with a feeling oflove.
  • 37. 37 There was once a thinker. One day he went over to meet a known saint. Hecovered quite a great distance to meet him. That sage lived on the top of a hill. Thethinker felt tired by the time he reached the dwelling-place of the holy man. He hadbecome rather fed up with the journey. As he entered the place of the saint, he threwopen the door with great force and then again shut it with equal force. Then he threw hisshoes on one said. Thereafter he went over to the saint. He bowed to the holy man andsat down. He said to the sage, “O holy man, I have come to have a discourse with you.”The saint replied saying that a dialogue and discourse is possible only if he was in love.In the given situation only polemic could take place because the thinker was not in love,rather he was in anger. The thinker again told the saint that he had no personal grudge against him andthat he was no doubt in love. He further told him that it was the result of love anddevotion for him (the saint) in his (thinker‟s) heart that he had covered this long distanceto see him. The holy man said, “Brother, you are making a mistake. Love should not be forme alone. You will have to be loving towards those shoes also, you will have to berespectful and loving towards that door also.” Now the thinker was forced to reflect on what the saint had said. He asked thesaint what he meant by love towards the shoes and the door. The saint replied that heshould go to the shoes and seek its forgiveness and promise that in future you will notthrow them in anger. You should also go to the door and seek its forgiveness becauseyou opened and then shut it in anger. The thinker said to the saint, “OK, what will happen, if I do so? Will the door andthe shoes be able to understand my feelings of love for them?” The holy man asked him to do so and advised him that the door and the shoesmay or may not understand the feeling, but he himself will surely understand that. Later on that thinker put his memoirs to pen. Therein he wrote that “I was keen tohave dialogue with that holy men and that is why I had to do as he had told me to. I wentto the shoes. I sought their forgiveness. I went to the door. I sought its forgiveness.When I was doing so I felt that I was doing a crazy thing. But after I had done all this, Ifelt a strange kind of peace running through my entire being. I felt saturated with poiseand peace. This is a lesson in love We should also teach our children to live in love.Sometimes you see that you child tears down the book. At that time you show your angertowards him and you try to make him understand that the book had cost you a bit and thathe had put you to such a loss. You try to tell the child about the cost of the book. After what you tell the child,the latter comes to understand that the book should not be torn because it has cost you
  • 38. 38quite a bit. And, tomorrow when the child begins to earn money for himself, he mightthen say that now he will do whatever he wanted. You should make your method of making the child understand a constructive one.You should tell him, “Child, does it behove you to tear a book?Will you feel good ifsomeone comes and tears your shirt? I know you will not feel good if someone tearsyour shirt. Therefore, it does not look good when you tear a book. It does not behoveyou. The very feeling of tearing something is inauspicious. You are such a good andintelligent child. Should you not love your book?” Try to transform and develop the attitude of the child in this way. But when dowe love? We only tell the child when he is grown up that he does not know what effortswe put in and what amount of money we spent to make him grow into a person as he istoday. We also complain despite all these efforts of ours, today he does not have the timeto care for us, to feel for us. Obviously, we want compensation for whatever we did –our love for him, our efforts and our money - for him. This is no love. At the best, youcan call it business. Of course, it becomes every child that he should serve his parents. But he mustnot serve his parents because earlier they had served the child. It is not a give and takesituation. It is necessary to understand this. We all should also understand that selflessservice love produce ecstasy in the heart of the doer. Thus, we should serve our parents.This service will help us develop ourselves in life. This is the only right way to live life,to make life full of fragrnce, to make life peaceful. So, the first rule is ecstasy, second is love and third is knowledge/education. One knowledge is that which comes from the books. The second knowledgesprouts from the inner peace and meditation. It is only the latter which takes a humanbeing to the pinnacles of glory. Lord Mahavira had not taught any scriptural literature to his disciple IndrabhutiGautam. He told him the rules and principles in brief. Gautam told of his curiosity andwith the satiation of cruiosity, Gautam became the enlightened one. Gautam once asked Lord Mahavira, “Lord, what is tatva or element?” The Lordresolved his query by saying that whatever is born is tatva. Gautam again asked,”What isa tatva? The Lord again replied that whatever is subject to decay and death is a tatva.Gautam repeated the question a third time, and this time the Lord replied that what isstable and eternal is tatva. There are only three things in life – birth, death/decay and stability. Somethingsare newly born, some get decayed and are destroyed and there are still some whichremain as they were. It was just listening to these three things that Gautam got theenlightenment.
  • 39. 39 Why did it happen the way it happened? It happened this way because knowledgeis inherent in man. Just as the veil over it is removed, it gets manifested. I gave you in this chapter three principles of education. The first principle is thatwe should teach our children to smile even when they are in pain. The second principleis that we should develop love in their lives. It should be love for all. It should be thelove for all things. The third principle is that we should develop knowledge. For thisknowledge if you send the child to school, he should also be advised that he must getknowledge in meditation, concentration and prayer. Mother is the first teacher of the child. She has to share the maximum ofresponsibility for upbringing and development of the child. The mother shouldunderstand her responsibility. She should perform the duty of a guru, a teacher. Sheshould educate the child. But for this it is necessary that the sense of guruship shoulddevelop in the mother‟s own life. The mother herself should live all these principles.That is why I often say that being a mother is a penance, a meditation. All the ladies, my sisters who happen to read this will becomes mothers in the realsense of the word, this is my faith, my hope.
  • 40. 40 Chapter III DREAMING A GOLDEN OLD-AGE A poet has said in a Hindi verse which, translated into free English, would meanthat we have reached the edge of a forest mistaking it for a beautiful garden, but here thebuds are dead and the „tongues of thorns‟ have also gone dry. Man sets out in his life to find out a beautiful and fragrant garden and fragrance offlowers, but by the time he reaches his ripe age and is close to the end of his innings, hefinds himself in a dense, dark forest. He had set out in search of laughter but got insteadtears; he had set out in search of fragrance but got instead only foul smell. Why does it happen this way? As we smile, is our smile a real one or it is just ashow off. Let us introspect. Nietche once asked someone , “Brother! Why do you keep smiling all the time?He replied, “I always keep smiling so that I do not feel like weeping any moment.” Perhaps there is a lot of pain inside us and we have kept it suppressed. Life iswhich is always flowing, always moving ahead. That is why there is a saying that wateris best flowing, and in case it stops flowing, it will turn into mud. In the same way, solong as life keeps moving on and on, we call it life. As soon as it begins to stop, it is asure sign of the approaching death. It is this stage which we call old age. In this chapter we shall address to the theme of dreaming about thegolden oldage. How can we make our old age golden? Perhaps it may be right to say that old ageitself is golden, but how can be identify that it is golden. Actually what happens is thatour body gets old and weak, but our desires and aspirations remain the same and they donot get old. These desire always remain as young as ever. For this reason, we feel thatold age is painful. It is taken as an age which makes us feel sad. What do you understand by old age? Old age does not mean that you havereached an age of say fifty or sixty years and that implies that you have got old. In fact, itis not so. A young man of twenty years of age can also be old, and an man of fifty yearscan also be young. What is old age? Let us first of all try and understand this? The firstand foremost symptom of old age is the beginning of stiffness of body; as the body getsstiff and frozen, that implies the approaching old age. It is the time when the flexibilityof body begins to cease. It was the flexibility with which you could bend, take turns,move about easily. And, at this age you begin to lose this flexibility. Now you find itdifficult to bend down or move about. The body gets quite stiff. But worse than thisbeginning of stiffness in body is the approaching stiffness in mind. The stiffness of mindimplies standing firm in support of your convictions and assumptions. You begin tobelieve that what you believe is the only truth, all else is wrong.
  • 41. 41 The first symptom of the approaching old age is the stiffness. If we want to makeour life golden, we must learn how to save ourselves from this stiffness. What is the meaning of stiffness? You might have often seen some peoplebending quite easily, and there are some other people who cannot bend with ease. Theyfeel pained in bending. This pain is the symptom of the fact that you body is getting stiff.Second stiffness is of the mind. You will rarely come across a person who will be willingto listen to any new and novel thing you might wish to communicate with. Even if thereis one who listen to it, he will not be willing to agree with it. He is not ready to listen toor accept anything that is new. When this stiffness increases a little more, then the otherfellow is not even willing to listen to you. He would say, “I would listen to only what isin agreement with my way of thinking, and I shall not listen to whatever does not agreewith my way of thinking.” This is the stiffness of mind. First of all, lyou must identify the stiffness within you. If you objectively lookwithin yourself, you will find that such a stiffness is somewhere hidden within you. Wehave already firmly made up our mind that this is right and that is wrong. We areprisoners of our own convictions. We have decided before hand, and we cannot freeourselves from this captivity. People come to us. Some people come and tell me that you say this and this, butLord Mahavira has said differently. Let us examine what they have to say. When theysay that Lord Mahavira has said this thing and you say the same thing differently, theyseem so confident as if they were just coming after meeting Lord Mahavira. I feel likeasking such people as to how did they know that Lord Mahavira had said what they sayhe said. If ever I put this question, they would say “we have heard people saying this”.Who told you so? And from whom did your source hear all this? Your source was surelynot Mahavira. It was someone else. This is the stiffness of mind. Just think for a while what is the basis of yourassumptions and convictions. If you tell someone that this is good, may I know why thisis good. And in case you say that this person is not good, why is he not good. If youanalyse it, you will find that only the photograph which fits well in your photo-frame isbeautiful, and which does not fit in that photo-frame, that is neither beautiful nor good.We never think that our photo-frame could possible be wrong. One would rather say thatthe photo-frame has been made by himself, how can it ever be wrong? This is prejudiced mind, a mind caught in stiffness and frozenness. This happenswith almost everybody. When we are still children, our mind is quite fluid. Absolutelyfluid, in fact. It is so because a child does not think much. When a child is born, hismind is absolutely clean. There is no upheaval of thoughts in his mind. That is why achild learns whatever is taught to him. We cannot imagine that the child can learn thisall, but during that age the child is the most impressionistic. The mind of the childremains fluid until he reaches the age of about fifteen lyears. Thereafter a number ofcomplexities begin to enter in. So long as his mind is fluid, he is ever ready to learn.
  • 42. 42 It is in the nature of the child that he likes certain things a lot. For example, helikes very much to play. Even more than that he likes to learn something new, somethingfresh. He is ever keen to learn, to acquire something new. Novelty is his preference, hisfirst love. You can find this for yourself. Give your child a joy. He will play with thattoy for a while only. Then that new toy will become outdated for him, and he willexpect another new toy. Then you will give him another toy, and soon he will reject thatone also. He needs a new thing every moment. He is always keen to live among newthings because life is a flow and during the childhood this flow is at quite a fast pace. Thechild lives at a fast pace. He lives a life that is very active and alive. He lives his life inits fullness. When he looks at you, he looks in your fullness. He absorbs you in full, inyour entirety. He cultivates in him all that you are. His eyes are wide open. He has notyet closed them. For him life is still blooming. When does old age come? The old age comes when begins the extinguishing oflife. In other words, when the tendency to learn something new ceases or decreaes, itimplies the approaching old age. The first and foremost principle of making your old agegolden, to turning your life golden is that you always keep learning something new.When you go to bed to sleep at night, you must pause and reflect whether you have learntany new thing today. Is there anything new which you might have imbibed that day?Did you not learn or imbibe any new thing today? Often people are heard saying that our hair have not gone grey in the sun: we havea lot of experience of the world. But this seems only a matter of saying only. Often thehair get grey just like that. We do experience certain things time and again, but do weever learn from those experiences? In the childhood, you felt that it was your own pencil,it was your own note-book. When you grow up, you begin to fight saying this is myhouse, this money is mine, this thing is mine and that thing is mine. And still further, youeven begin to claim that this thought, this idea is mine…. My son does not follow theway I think is right for him. In other words, my son does not abide by my instructions.A child who does not follow your ideas is taken and declared as disobedient. In that case,all the children in the world will have to become disobedient provided those children arefull of life. In case they are not full of life, they will be sure obedient. Such children donot have any ideas of their own. They are not creative at all. In case the child is creativeand has his own ideas, his thinking will sure be different from that of his father. Sincethe child represents a new life, his answer to the problems and challenges of life will alsobe a new one. When the father was young, he had his own life, his own ideas, his ownway of thinking, his own business, his own house and his own different kind ofcircumstances. The replies to the then contemporary issues were also different. Now theworld has undergone a significant change. Life has changed. The questions havechanged. Therefore, answers to these questions will also be different. And it is importantand right that they differ. For example, your grandfather had his own times. He used to wear a simplecotton shirt and a dhoti. In case you go to office today with that kind of dhoti, you willbecome an object of laugher for others. The times have changed. Man has to changewith the changing times. I do not say that we should change everything. I do not mean
  • 43. 43this. But you will have to give your child the freedom that he should be able to live hislife according to his own thinking and keeping in with the changing world. Every father wants that his father should become like him and that he should livehis life according to his (father‟s) thinking. The son should do whatever the father wantsand desires. The son should mould himself into a true copy of his father. But how is thatpossible? The son is also the master of an independent life. He has his own personality.That personality in itself is distinct and different from any other. Why do you want tomould and shape it into your own reflection. You must give him freedom to develop hispersonality his own way. However, as a result of the stiffness of mind, a father is reluctant and sometimeseven opposed to give any freedom to his child. He does not let his child get free from theweb of his own thinking. The first principle of making the old age golden is the imbibe the spirit of alwayslearning something new. Everybody must have aspirations and wishes to learn newthings, to live new things in life. Only such a wish and aspiration gives your lifeliveliness. Only this kind of tendency provides life pace and progress. Once Swami Ramatirath was travelling to the United States of America. A ninty-year old man was also travelling in the same ship in which Swami Ramatirath wastravelling. That old man did not speak much and he also did not waste his time sittinghere and there with different people. He would sit in his own seat in a corner and try tolearn something new. He would continue learning new things and new devices frommorning till evening. Once day Swami Ramatirath asked the old man what he had beenlearning to acquire all the day. The old man said that he has been trying to learn Chinese language. Swami Ramatirath heard this. He felt rather surprised. In a tone of surprise, heagain asked the old man if he was learning Chinese language in this old age. The oldman spoke in a tone of equal surprise and wanted to know which age he referred to.Swami Ramatirath tried to explain saying that he seemed to be nearly ninty years of age.And in this age you are trying to learn such a difficult language. After all, how will youbenefit yourself from learning this language in this old age. The old man asked, “Brother, which place do you come from?” SwamiRamatirath told him that he was an Indian. The old man then replied that he could thenmake out why Indians are poor though live in such an affluent country. Hearing this uncalled for remark, Swami Ramatirath said to him, “Gentleman,what is the meaning of what you say? I have not been able to understand the remark thatyou have made. Please explain it to me.”
  • 44. 44 The old man replied, “When the desire, the aspiration to know and learnsomething new dies, the life itself comes to an end there. Where life end, there affluencedisappears. I am not yet dead. I am still alive. Since I am live, therefore I am trying tolearn something new. So long as I am alive and so long as I am not dead, I shall continueto knowing and learning new things. This is the aim of life. This is a characteristic of an active alive life. I do notmean to say that you should learn a new language every other day. But I must say thatyou should be ever ready to learn new things in life. You must know and learn a newthing every day. Knowing and learning new things is the other name of life Aspiration to learn anew thing is the other name of youth. If a bud gets afraid of fading away even before it blossoms into a flower, then thebud will never be a flower. If someone stops running for fear of falling down, he willnever be able to run. If one does not put his foot in water for fear of gretting downed, hewill never be able to learn how to swim. Man must be ready to always learn somethingnew. In your life you should daily make an introspection to find out if you have learnt anew thing. As I discuss this, I have people of fifty or sixty years of age in mind. There aresome people who grow old even though they are still twenty or thirty years of age. Theage of sixty is too far for such people. The desire, the aspiration to learn a new thing isdead in them. You must always keep learning new things. Keep learning new things. I had recently called upon a holy man. He was about eighty years old. He was agreat scholar. Seeing me, he got up and welcomed me in. He asked me, “I learn that youconduct meditation camps. I wish that you teach me also something of those camps.” This is the aspiration to learn a new thing. Learning a new thing is a must. Dosomething best in the world. Whatever you do in a routine way, try to do it in a perfect,the best way. I had ready a sentence somewhere. It went as - The great people do not anyextraordinalry things but whatever they do, they do in an extraordinary way. Bringnovelty in whatever you do. The ladies in the house prepare the kitchen. They mustalways keep on thinking what novelty they can bring out in what they cook so that thedishes they prepare are the most tasty and healthy. The aim should be that the food thusprepared should make members of the family healthy. The son who daily complainsabout food should also appreciate. You go to your office everyday. You must think what novelty you can bringabout in your routine work there so that business is not mere business and it also adds tothe pleasure to the welfare of the general masses. This is an issue for you to ponder
  • 45. 45about. But did you ever think on these lines? Perhaps never. You always thought of yourown benefit. You never made the happiness and welfare of all your objecive. You can make kthe beginning wherever you are. Only the temples and theSthanaks (places where the Jain saints usually halt and where their followers meettogether) are not the only places of worship. Your office can also be transformed into aplace of worship. Your factory can also be transformed into a temple. Your shop canbecome your prayer room. But it never occurs to us that we should do something whichis extraordinary, what is new and what is to the benefit of all. Why do the students get bored with a teacher? The reason is that a teacher teachesthem only what is written there in the books. If you want to teach what is already there inthe books, what is new there in your teaching? A student can do by reading the samematerial from a book. Then what is the need for that student to go to a teacher? Ateacher is efficient and competent only if he teaches the same thing in a novel way. Butmost of the teachers never think of this. Their sight is fixed only on fulfilling their dutyonly. In case, a teacher begins to think that when he goes to class tomorrow he will teachhis students a new thing, a new topic in a new way. He must also reflect how to make histeaching perfect. When he begins doing this, he will find pleasure in whatever he will do.And this pleasure will flow from his new methods, his novel ways. Make life creative. Creativity is the first golden rule to make the old age golden. The second principle to make old age golden is that an old person must play withchildren for some time every day. He should play as if he himself were a child. There isan old saying that a family who prays together stays together. I would wish to changethat saying a bit, and say that a family who plays together stays together. Have your ever wholeheartedly played with your child? If ever you did play withhim, the fact of your being elderly to him was always on your mind. And when this factof being elderly is on your mind, you cannot put yourself wholeheartedly in the game.You continue issuing instructions while playing with your child. Make yourself a childwhen playing with the child. This might seem something new to you. But you try it atleast once. Look how highly inspired you feel? It is the law of nature that the level ofyour energy reaches the level to that of the one in whose company you are playing. Achild is whose life is still blossoming. The level of energy within him is the highest.That is why we often say that the children have unusual energy. Have you ever thoughtas to what is that energy? Maybe, he eats much less than you, but the level of energy inhis body is much higher than the one in your body. The reason for this is that he haswithin him a lot of inspiration and encouragement. Whenever you ask him to accompanyyou, he is every ready and leaves with you. You ask him to run, he will run around. Youask him to jump about, he will start jumping. He is always ready to do whatever you askhim to. You must spare at least half an hour for the child and play with him. But whatgame should lyou play with the child? Play with him as if you were also a child, and not
  • 46. 46as you are an elderly parent. Forget everything else when you play with the child. Forgetabout what the people looking at you might comment or remark. If they make a remark,let them. But you should continue playing with the child as if you were yourself a smallchild. Then you will find how inspired and energetic you feel throughout the day. Make this little experience. You go to a hospital and wander inside it for half anhour. How would you feel during and after this visit. What will your experience be like?Then you go to a school of the children and play with them for half an hour. How didyou feel during the play and thereafter? You will clearly see the difference. After yourhalf an hour visit to the hospital, you will feel a little tired. Why? Because everyboytherein was ill. The level of energy among the patients goes week. When you arevisiting there, the environment there sucks away your energy as well. Consequently, youwill feel somewhat tired. However, when you return after paying a visit to the children‟sschool, you will feel fresh and active. The reason? The level of energy among thechildren is the highest. When you are closer to the children, you get some energy fromthem and you feel relaxed and fresh. If you play with the children as if you were also a child, it will mean developingthe level of your energy. In case you behave as an elder in the presence of the childrenand you keep on finding faults with them and keep on saying do this and do not do this,the result will not be encouraging. You will not get any energy. On the contrary, if youchide the child, you will feel losing your energy. You play with the child making yourself a child. You should forget about yourage for the while you play with the child. While playing with him, just only play. Andwhile playing, you must follow the principle that neither will win or lose. In other words,if win or loss is essential, both the parties will either win or lose. Once I learnt that there was in existence a fun club. The first principle of that funclub was – I shall support everyone to win. I shall give moral support to win even to theopposing team. You will feel that this is quite a strange principle because whenever weplay, a sense of prejudice comes in the game. A feel overtakes your - I should win thegame and he should lose the game. When prejudice is born, violence follows soonthereafter. I had read in newspapers that in Calcutta once a football match was being played.One of the teams was about to win, and naturally the other one was in a position to lose.As this situation developed, people became violent. Two persons got killed. Violencetook place where a game should have been played and enjoyed. It happened because asense of prejudice had taken over the minds of the spectators. So the first principle of the gme is that I shall support all the competing teams towin. The second principle is that I shall give my maximum. And you should give yourhundred per cent.
  • 47. 47 The second principle of making your old age golden is that the old person mustplay for a while with the children. You should so mix up with the children that theyshould not take you as an obstaacle in their game and enjoyment. Sometimes I feel thatthe children get frightened whenever they see an elderly person. The elderly people havemade themselves so complex and stiff that their very sight frightens the children. Do notmake yourself stiff. Make yourself simple and flexible. Mix up so intimately with thechildren that they should say that their best friend has come whenever they see you goingto them. If the children are laughing, you should also join in their laughter. If thechildren are playing, you should also join in their games. When you do so, you will ofcourse gain something from them and they will also gain something from you. They willalso try to look into your inner self. Do this for a while and then you will start loving it all. You begin playing withthe children daily. And then when you are suddenly taken ill one day, your grandson willcome to you to enquire about your health. He will place his small hand on your head andask if you have a headache and if he should press your head. You will realize that yourheadache will disappear listening to the small things of the child. Feel how relaxed andhappy you feel when the child places his hand on lyour head. However, this will happenwhen first you go close to the child, befriend him. If you go on saying that you are hisgrandfather and that he must come to you and serve you being your grandson, the childmight come to you and serve you but the result will not be that encouraging. He willserve you because he should. But the loving and effective relationship will develop onlyif and when you start playing with him. So the second principle of making your old agegolden is that you must play with your children for some time. The third principle of making the old age golden is exercise, physical exercise. Ishall narrate for your benefit an episode from the life of Swami Ramatirath. Once he metan old man. That old was very affluent. But he was as rich as he was helpless. Not tospeak of going about here and there, it was very difficult for him to move himself even abit. He said to the Swami, “Swamiji, my own life has now become a burden on me. Ican neither walk nor can I get up. What should I do? I am now just counting my breathsand waiting for the moment when this life will come to an end.” Swami Ramatirath old him that he should not feel so disappointed. It does notmatter if you cannot move your body. You can no doubt breathe. You have to donothing. You take deep breaths and then breathe out deeply. Make this small beginning.You inhale and exhale deeply fifty times each in the morning and evening. You arebreaching as it is. What additional you have to do is that you have to breathe in andbreathe out deeply. That fellow made deep breathing a regular habit with himself. He practisedinhaling and exhaling more and more deeply. After about six months of that firstmeeting, Swami Ramatirath again happened to pass by that way. During the second visit,Swami Ramatirath found that the person was not only walking but indeed runningaround. He welcomed Swami and told him that he had really performed a miracle.
  • 48. 48 Exercise is the third principle of golden old age. In case you cannot do anyphysical exercise, you can at least take to deep breathing. These days people often saythat they do not have any time for physical exercise. I do not say that you should do situps for an hour or half an hour. I would only say that make deep breathing a habit withyou. But when do we breathe deeply? In fact, we inhale and exhale in just halfmeasure. We seem to have forgotton how to take complete breath or breathe in the rightmanner. If we want to learn how to breather in and breathe out in the right manner, weshall again have to return to childhood. Just look at the six-month-old child lying on thebed. See how he breathes. Just look, as he breathes in, his belly can be seen rising up.As he breathes out, the belly goes down. He seems to breathe through his navel. Heinhales and exhales through his navel. But how do you take the breath? When you are asked to inhale and exhaledeeply, your chest goes up and down. The breath does not reach the navel. We use onlyfifteen to twenty percent of our power to breathe, and let the remaining power unused.That is why we get only fifteen to twenty per cent of freshness in life. The breath should go in deeper and deeper. Often when the issue of deepbreathing is discussed with the people, they begin breathing with force. We do not haveto make use of any force while breathing. We have to breathe deeply. We should inhaledeeply and then exhale deeply. When you inhale, your belly should come up and as youexhale, your belly should go down. This is just a little exercise. Although it is a verysmall thing, but it is a wonderful means of removing the stiffness and frozenness withinyou. The fourth principle of golden old age is balanced, controlled diet. But what ismeant by a balanced and controlled diet? The foremost rule of the balanced andcontroled diet is that you should take food only when lyou feel hungry. But do youactually take food as per need or hunger of the body? Or do you take food going by theclock? When you sit on the dining table to take food, have you ever asked yourselfwhether you actually need any food. Whether you should or should not take the food.The fact is that you never ask yourself this kind of question. You just take the food. It istime to take food, and you take it whether you need it or not. When you sit down to take food, you must ask yourself the question whether youneed to take food or not. In case you feel that you really need food only then you shouldtake it. In case you feel that you can do without taking food, then you must opt for thelatter alternative. Then do not take any food. Whenever you sit down to take food, youmust always keep asking yourself whether you really need food or not. When you crossforty years of lage, this questioning of the self becomes very essential.When you are stillyoung and are in the age group of twenty and twenty-five, your body is still developingfrom inside. But after the age of twenty-five or thirty, the cells begin to get weak anddegenerate. In other words, less new cells are born whereas more cells die. When you
  • 49. 49are around twenty-five, at the stage the body reaches its pinnacles: by that time it haddeveloped as much as it had to. Thereafter begins its gradual decay. The Jain scriptural literature uses a word „udodari‟. This word implies keep yourstomach a little bit empty. What is the scientific reason behind this? Let me tell you thatthere is a beautiful reason behind this. It is said that half of the stomach should be filledwith solid food and another twenty-five per cent of it should be filled with liquid. Theremaining one-fourth part should be left empty. It is just like the way you make use of amixer in your homes. If you fill the jar to its brim, the mixer will not function. It will notbe able to move at all. To let the mixer function, we must leave some space empty.Similar is the case with our stomach. When you feel that I can still take in a little morefood, you should stop at that. You should not take more food thereafter and should getup from the dining table. This is possible only if you are conscious about your diet. Ifyou are not conscious, you will continue eating. Sometimes you are taking your foodwhile your mind is somewhere else. Sometimes you take food but all your attention is inthe programmes being telecast on the television. Let me tell you more more method of learning when you should stop eating food.When you are taking food, you take two belches. When the first belch comes, it is anindication that seventy-five per cent of your stomach is full. And if you do not stop hereand continue taking food, the second belch comes which is an indication that yourstomach is completely full. And in case you still go on eating, whatever you eat hereafterwill pass out as it was. Once a lady came to me asked when should one stop taking more food. I told herthat one must stop taking food after belching for the first time. In case you find that alittle bit of food remains behind in your plate and you do not want to throw it away andthus taking more food in a way becomes essential, then you must stop after the secondbelch. The lady said to me that she had never belched while taking food or after that. You can just laugh at that lady. But how many people are there who know thatthey do belch while taking food. This ignorance of ours is because we have lostawareness. When you are taking food, you are not fully aware: it is as if you were asleepor you were as good as unconscious. There are many for whom the entire life is spent insleep. Then there comes a moment in life when your body takes such a shape that itbecomes difficult for you to get up without the support of someone else. While suchpeople move about, they feel as if their upper floor is trembling. The ladder isvacillating. It is at that stage that you remember that you should go to a health club.Then you will pay hefty fee there and work rather hard and then be able to reduce a littlebit of your burden. But there can be no need to do all this provided your become a little conscious, alittle more aware. Take your food while you are aware of what and how much you aretaking. God has blessed you with such beautiful things to eat. Can‟t you remain just
  • 50. 50aware while partaking of this tasty food. In modern-day world there are millions ofpeople who fail to get even coarse food twice a day. You are getting food, but you haveno respect for it in your mind. When you take food while looking at the television, it isinsulting the food. Learn to be aware of what and how much you are eating. After this we must take care of one more thing about the food, and that we couldlessen the frequency of taking food. If you take food only once a day, it is best for you.It is the best for you both biologically and theologically. However, if you are notsatisfied by taking food once a day, you may take food twice a day. But we find thatpeople go on eating something or the other throughout the day. If you go on eating thewhole day, it amounts to insulting yourself. You are also, in this way, inviting so manymaladies for your body. Eat less and eat fewer times in a day. This means balanced and controlled diet.The fourth principle of golden old age is the development within of unattachedconsciousness. You must loosen the stiffness within. You reach the age of say fifty orsixty years. You have already done whatever you wanted to do in your life. You haveearned enough, earned as much as you wanted to. Now is the time for you to raiseyourself above all these things. Keep with you the amount of money which you think isnecessary and is required to make your old age tolerably comfortable. Hand over theremaining to your children. Let them do whatever they want to with this amount ofmoney. There was in ancient India a system according to which one was supposed to takesannyasa - it was called the sannyasa ashram. It came after the grihasth ashram. Heresannyasa did not mean renunciation of household and going to the mountain or the forest.It actually mean living at home, but keeping oneself above all the problems andcomplexties of the household. Live in the house, live in the family just as lotus remainsabove the mud. You live in the family at home, you are above all, indifferent to allfamilial and worldly things. Do not become of the world. Tell your children that youhave done what you wanted to, and now it was their innings to do whatever they can. Ofcourse, if the children need your advice and come to seek it, you must give them youradvice. But check yourself from interfering in their affairs. Old people are generallyhabitual of interfering. They often keep on repeating that in their days they did this andthat, and that the children are not doing as much. You must understand that your timehas now become a thing of the past. Now it is their time. Let them live in their own way. When you keep on meddling in the affairs of the children, you are responsible forlessening your own respect in the eyes of the children. The respect they have for you willgo. The father and grandfather should behave in such a way as the children feel it theirduty to seek your opinion and advice. You give them your opinion only when they askfor time at least twice. You must not act the other way round, i.e. you advise them twiceeven when they seek it only once. Make your suggestions and advice valuable. Just asthere is a good consultant. In case you want to see him, you will have to seek anappointment. Make yourself a good consultnt. Do not give your opinion unasked for.Ofcourse, it you find the situation demands that you must give your opinion even when no
  • 51. 51body is asking for it, you may give it on the sly. But do not insist or emphasize. Let thechildren learn. The worst is that he will fall down once. And, if he falls down, only thenhe will learn how to walk. If he falls down once, he will walk carefully in future. Youcannot save him from falling all the time. If you go on trying to save him time and again,he will sure mind it. When old age comes, man must learn to renounce, to give away. You haveplayed your innings well, and now let the children take over and let them be on their own.You concentrate on your own well being. However, it does not imply that you stoploving your children or you begin hating them. Live with the children in a relationship oflove. Shower all your affection on them. But it is also a fact of life that each plant needssome space to grow and flourish. If you will not provide it suitable opportunity andspace, the plant will not grow properly. There will be hot son, there will be storms andthere will be rain, but all these things – son, storm and rain – are essential for the plant togrow. If you say that you will try and save that plant from all these natural hardships, theplant will never grow or flourish properly. It is said that once a farmer prayed to God saying, “O Lord! I am in greatdifficulty. When I sow the seed, sometimes it is too much of heat and consequently theseeds are burnt down. They do not sprout. And sometimes it is excessive rains and all theplants are washed away by the rain. And sometimes birds and animals come and destroymy crops. I am in dire straits. Please bless me me that none of these happens this year.It my not be excessive heat, it may not be excessive rain and no birds and animals shoulddestroy my crop and the plants should be safe from the disease. Please give this blessingto me.” The Lord God replied that he may ponder over his request carefully. The farmeragain said that he need not ponder over it any more, and that He might bless him with allthese things. God gave him the blessing he had asked for. The farmer sowed the seeds.It was a wonderful crop. It was not excesively hot, not excessive rains, no storms and nodisease to the crop. The farmer went to the market and sold off his crop and earned agood profit. The next year the farmer took out the seed he had saved from the last year‟scrop, sowed them in his fields, but none of them sprouted. Why? The seed had becomeimpotent. Because there was no challenge before that seed: it had faced no hardship. You might have heard the name of Henry Ford. He was a millionaire. When hisson was eighteen years of age, someone saw him standing in a queue of applicantsseeking jobs in some institute. He was rather surprised to find the son of Henry Ford (amillionaire) standing in a queue seeking a small job. The person went to Henry Ford andasked him the reason for it.. Henry Ford replied, “I know that my son might be standingsomewhere in a queue seeking some job. But this is necessary for him. It is essential forhim that he serves somewhere at least for five years. When he will work there as a labourand then sit in the chair in which I sit now, he will learn what exactly the labour workingin my factory has been doing. Only then he will realize the value of this chair.
  • 52. 52 Do not develop love for your children beyond a limit. Beyond that limit let thembe on their own. If they fall down, let them, and thus gain their own experience. This is a very important rule of the golden old age that you loosen your grip.Take yourself a little afar - both from within and without. Become indifferent andunattached. Become firm within. Do not emphasize or stress. And, if I say, become aJain in the true sense of the word. The word jain implies becoming not-assertive anddelving deep into infinity. Once there was a person in search of a spiritual teacher. He thought of a plan totest the persons or persons as the true spiritual teacher. He took a black crow, put it in acage and hung the cage outside his house close to the front door. Many holy men oftenvisited his house. Whenever a saint came to his house, he would ask him to look at thevery beautiful swan he has kept as a pet. Many of these saints would reply saying that hewas a fool as he called a crow a swan. He would again say to the saint, “Maharaj, pleaseclean your eyes and look again. It is not a crow. It is a swan.” The saint would feelannoyed and leave his house. This went on for quite some time. He annoyed many a saint. But he did not feelbothered at this. One day an old saint happened to visit his house. He repeated what hehad been telling other saints - “Look, sir, how beautiful this swan is which I have keptas a pet.” The saint replied, “Brother, this is not a swan, rather this is a corw.” But thefellow was insistent and said, “Maharaj, you cannot see properly. This is nor crow. Thisis really a swan. Please clean your eyes a bit and look at it again.” The saint replied with the same poise that it is all right. It is a swan to you, and itis a crow to me. You are right in your own way, and I am right in my own way. Leavethis question whether this is a crow or a swan. But only keep this in mind that you shouldalways keep your eyes open: it can be a crow and it can also be a swan. Do not insist thatit is a crow or it is a swan. The fellow understood the saint‟s meaning. He instantly fellon his feet and took him as his spiritual teacher. Now his search for a true spiritualteacher had come to an end. This is non-assertive tendency. Develop this tendency within you. Thus, in thischapter I have narrated for your benefit some rules for the golden old age. I hope youwill reflect on these. I am sure these rules will sure prove beneficial in your life and willserve as door to ecstasy.
  • 53. 53 Chapter IV RETURN TO SELF There was once a small girl. Her name was Lacchhi. Lacchhi lived along withher grandmother in a small hut a little distance away on one side of a village. There wasno one else in their family living with them in that hut. Their hut was also at a smalldistance from the village. There was no child around with whom Lacchhi could play.Thus she often felt very lonely. Her grandmother used to play with her sometimes, butshe was an old woman and how long could she play with her. Moreover, thegrandmother had many other household chores to attend to. Thus Lacchhi felt very sad,restless and depressed. One day a peacock came to the hut of Lacchhi. The peacock began dancing in thecourtyard of her hut. Lacchhi felt rather pleased seeing the peacock dancing. Looking atthe peacock she began laughing, dancing and singing. Both the peacock and Lacchhiwere in a mood of joy. The bird had also found a friend in Lacchhi, and Lacchhi hadfound an opportunity, an excuse to dance around. Gradually this became a daily routine with both of them. The peacock wouldcome daily to her courtyard and dance there. And this routine went on and on. Witheach passing day Lacchhi began to remain in a happy and joyous mood. He did notwhere her weeping, sadness and disappointment had disappered. It seemd as if peacockhad completely overshadowed Lacchhi‟s heart and mind. He had become a friend to her. The time went on. Now the peacock did not come to her courtyard daily. Itwould come one day and may not come the other day. Then it began coming to her aftertwo days, three days and then four days. But now Lacchhi danced every day. As timepassed, the peacock‟s visits became less and less frequent. Now it would come only oncein a fortnight and sometimes even once in a month. After some time the peacock stoppedcoming at all. However, Lacchi continued with her dance: her dance as well as her joyremained ever with her. Here the story comes to an end. The story-writer writes that you should yourselfbecome what you want. In case you want happiness, you should become an embodimentof happiness. Lacchhi wanted peacock, and one day she herself became a peacock.Lacchhi wanted a friend, and now she had become a friend of herself. Lacchhi requiredlove, and she became her own love. This is the mystery of lofe. You become what you want. You should try andbecome whatever you want. However, it is very easy to say all this, lbut when we cometo doing it, it gets rather difficult. When we listen to such a beautiful story in a discourse,you wish that you could also become like that peacock and like it enjoy the same pleasureand ecstasy. But as you leave after listening to the discourse and reach home, you feel
  • 54. 54yourself surrounded from all sides by various problems of life. Then you realize that it isa different thing to hear to a story, but it is quite another to follow what has been saidtherein. Lacchhi is our ideal. We have to learn from her this mystery - how can webecome what we want? However, how can this ideal become part of our life? And, whatdo we require after all? Have you so far thought of this? Perhaps so far we do not knowwhat we want. Had you been asked this very question in your childhood, what wouldhave been your answer? Someone might have said that he wanted to become a doctor,some other might have expressed a desire to become an engineer, and still another mighthave expressed his desire to become a great man. But what is the source of all theseanswers. The child looks at the people around him and a desire crops up in his mind thathe should also become like them. This is not his own answer. This is an answerinfluenced by the outside environment. You ask a small child as to which took-paste he would like to use. He willinstantly be reminded of an advertisement on the television. He will immediately respondthat he would love to have Colgate or Close up. Once a person came to me and asked,”Why is it that you hypnotise anyone in amatter of minutes. Then it is only you whom his mind remembers.” I replied, “No, Icannot hypnotise. You are already hypnotised. All these advertisements in the print andelectronic media so deeply tempt and charm you that they leave their impress on yourunconscious mind. Then you go to a shop and you remember only those things whichyou had read/seen in the advertisements. The same names of thing come out of your lipsand you come back home buying only all those things. Thus, the fact remains that we ourselves do not know what we want. We must sitin peace and ask ourselves at least once as to what we want. In reality, what do youwant? You should ask yourself this question in a firm manner. You will wonderstruckthat you do not know exactly what you need. At last you will admit and say that you didnot know what you wanted. But you must keep on discovering this.The researchers saythat every person needs three things. The first thing he needs is freedom orindependence. He hates the bondage. He wants to be free. The second thing he requiresis happiness/ecstasy.And the third thing he needs is peace. Now where can we find freedom, ecstasy and peace? At what place are theyavailable? Where can we search for them? It is said that when God created this world, he created multiplicity of beings. Hecreated dog, monkey and lion…. But he found one or the other flaw in each one ofthem. After creating monkey, God might have felt that its tale has been too long. Aftercreating the dog, He might have realized that this being never sits still and is alwaysbarking. After creating the lion, God felt that it looked very much dangerous. Whateverhe created, He later on found one or the other flaw in each one of them.
  • 55. 55 Ultimately, God resolved to created such a creation which has no flaw, noweakness. He thought that the new creation will be such as no one is able to point outany weakness in it. It is said that at last God created mankind. He felt rather pleased atthis creation. He was sure that this was the supreme creation. His eyes, nose, ers, fce andin face the entire body was unique. It was such a being that no flaw can be found in it. The Lord God thought that man was his unique creation and that he had not leftany flaw or weakness in his creation. He is in my own image. Then God felt that it waswhat He thought of His creation. He felt like asking someone if there was any flaw inthis creation of His. This story has been the work of Kahlil Gibran. He says that God first called theslanderer and asked him, “Well, my dear slanderer, I created human being. It is mysupreme creation. I do not think I have left any flaw or weakness in his creation. Still itwould be better if you would kindly analyse him and then let me know if there was anyflaw in the creation of man. The slanderer made a thorough observation. After his complete inspection andobservation, he said, “God, there is one flaw in him. You did everything else, but youfailed to put a window to his heart. As it is, no one will be able to find out what he mighthide in his heart.” The slnderer was after all able to find out a flaw. It is in the nature of a slandererto find out a fault. Still the flaw which the slanderer pointed out is in fact there in man. How can the other know what is hidden in the heart of man when man himselfdoes not know what he has been hiding in his heart. The ecstasy, peace and freedomwhich he has been trying to discover in the externl world, are not available in this world.All these things are available within man. But how can one look or peep into the heartof man as there is no windown to it. This is the tragedy of human life. Always remember one thing. Whatever man tries to find out in the external worldis in fact no available outside. That is hidden within us. We shall be to return inside tofulfil our desire. It is only by returning inside that we can perform perfect deeds. Wecan return to peace and ecstasy and freedom only by returning within. As it is, our innerself is our real home. The theme of this chapter is „our returning home‟. It means that we should returnto our homes. When it is summer vacation for the children, all the families got for an outing.They generally visit a hill station. They spend many days, say ten or twenty days thereon the hill stations or at other places of entertainment. After these pleasure trips, theyreturn home. As they reach home, they feel a strange kind of rest and comfort. They getat home the rest and relaxation which they were not able to get at the hill stations and
  • 56. 56other places of entertainment. After they reach home covering quite a long jourey, theirinner self spontaneously speaks out: well, we have reached home, our home. Just think for a moment that you get such rest and relaxation and comfort afterreaching home. But how long it has been since you got this house constructed. Maybeonly five years or just fifty years. The age of the house is five years or fifty years. Sowhen you reach a home which you built only a few years back you get such rest andrelaxation, imgine how great comfort and rest you migh be enjoying when you return toyour permanent home. In today‟s discourse, we shall only discuss the issue of returning to that home.This is not something very new which I am trying to share with you. Each rishi and munihas said this. He has told and advised us how to return home. The first and foremostprinciple, or the golden principle of returning hom is nindami which in Jain scripturalliterature is a doctrinal term. Generally, the word „nindami‟ has been explained as doing self-criticism or self-introspection. When it is the time of the day of Samvtsari, popularly calledChhamachhari (which falls on Bhadon sudi 5) , people resort to self-criticism and oftensay that „none else is worse than me‟. However, mere saying of these words is no self-criticism. In fact, it involves self-introspection. Similarly, this word nindami does notmean slandering, rather it means self-introspection or self-analysis. We should do ouranalysis ourselves, but how can we do it? How to observe and analyse? We have heardmany times that one must look at oneself with one‟s own eyes. But how can we do that?Should we do so by keeping a mirror before ourselves? No. Then, how to do that? If weclose our eyes, many ideas and thoughts and feelings hover before our imagination. Youmay dream also. Then how to see ourselves with our own eyes? How can we self-criticize and self-analyze? There is a method of self-analysis. It has three stages. The first stage isremembering. But what should we remember? From morning till evening, from themoment you got up till the present moment, remember all that you did: you shouldremember each and every moment. In the beginning you will find that only importantthings you did, the important happenings that took place will come to your mind. Youmight also forget several things in between. Still you keep on remembering. This is thefirst stage. The second stage is to re-live. It means you should try to re-live that moment.Re-live that moment as if it had just occurred. For example, you had a quarrel withsomeone during this noon. Remember that moment when the quarrel took place.Remember the anger that you had then felt and bring the true feeling to your mind. Asyou re-live the past experience, there comes the third stage. This is called releasing. Itmeans to free yourself from the effects of that experience. Now, see, you will say that I ask you to remember the things which happened inthe past while other scholarly persons say that there is no benefit of remembering the
  • 57. 57past. What will be the use of remembering the past? Many things of the past keepcoming to our mind just like that – without making any conscious effort in this regard.Then what will be the use of making a conscious endeavour to remember the past? The human mind, as it is, has a way of its own to function. How does the humanmind function? First of all it gets the information. In other words, we see something orsomeone. We sometimes say that „I have seen this person somewhere‟. This isinformation. Then comes discrimination. We recognize the person. Yes, he is the sameman who met me, say, two days back at the ticket counter and he had helped me a lot. Atthat very moment, the third part of the mind awakens - he had helped me. The third partis evaluation. This third part says that this man is quite nice, a gentle man to the core.This way you try to evaluate the person, you judge him. Thereafter awakes the fourthpart of the mind. We call that part impression. Information, discrimination, evaluation and impressions are four parts of humanmind‟s functioning. Now where is the bondage? So long as you remember, there is nobondage. Since you know the man, everything is all right. You recognize the man, youhave the sense of discrimination. You have also evaluated the person and said that he is avery nice man. So far there is no bondage. Now the bondage lies in the impression.When an impression overtakes your mind, the bondage occurs. What happens is thatwhen you meet that person again the other day, the same impression will overtake youand you will not be able to see that man from a new light, a new perspective. Try to understand this with the help of an example. There was once a person bythe name of Ramesh. There was another person whose name was Jayesh. The latter hada very rich library. He had very valuable books in his library. Some of the books in hislibrary were quite rare. Ramesh was working on some project. It was part of theresearch he was doing. He was now in need of a book. He heard from friends that thereis a person by the name of Jayesh and he is said to be a very decent man. He also has avery rich library. He felt that he should go to him and seek his help in getting that book.Early one morning Ramesh went to the house of Jayesh. Jayesh was in a very good moddthat day. He had got a phone call from his factory a little while ago that the tender hewas expecting was sanctioned in his favour. He expected a huge profit from this work.This had made Jayesh very happy. It was at that very moment that Ramesh called onhim. Reaching there, Ramesh told him that he needed a little help from him. Jayesh replied, “O.K., come on, please. Say, what can I do for you?” Rameshtold him that he need a book. And, Jayesh accepted his request and agreed to lend himthe book. He was courteous enough to say that he (Ramesh) should consider his(Jayesh‟s) library as his own. He offered that he could take away any book he needed. Thereafter Jayesh showed him his library. He gave to Ramesh the books he hadasked for. Not only this, he also shared with him a cup of tea. Ramesh was rather please at the treaatment he had got. He said to himself that„Jayesh was quite a decent man. I came to ask for one book, and he showed me his entire
  • 58. 58library and in addition to this he also gave me a cup of tea. All this even though we werestrangers to each other, with no prior introductions. Where do you come across suchpeople in the world today?‟ Ramesh returned home with an excellent impression of Jayesh in his mind.Ramesh had a friend by lthe name of Naresh. Naresh came to see his friend, Ramesh, atthe latter‟s house in the evening. He was also working on some research project and hewas also in need of some book. He placed his problem before his friend, Ramesh. NowRamesh assured him that his problem will of course be solved easily. He further toldNaresh that he had met a person only that morning and that person was really a decentman. He told him that his name was Jayesh and that he had a very good, rich library.Ramesh also told him that he also needed a book and it was with this purpose that hewent to that man‟s house in the morning. He gladly informed his friend that that fellownot only lent him the books he needed but also behaved in such a courteous way that hecannot express it in words. Ramesh said that the fellow has made him his admirer in thevery first meeting. He made me sit with him for a while, offered me a cup of tea andoffered that he could visit his library without any hestitation to get any book he needed infuture. So Ramesh advised him that he should also call on that person, Jayesh. You mayget the book you need from there. He is the best of persons. You will also return withthe best impression of man. Naresh was highly impressed listening to this kind of praise of the man. He leftfor the house of Jayesh in order to get the book he needed. On the other said, Jayesh went to his factory and learnt that the tender he wasexpecting did not go in his favour. He was expecting a profit of lakhs, and now all thathad been washed away with this one decision against him. He felt rather disappointed atthis news. He was in a very bad mood. He returned home and soon had a tiff with hiswife. This further deteriorated his mood. He was in great tension. At that momentNaresh reached his house and greeted him. He told Jayesh that he had come to seek hishelp. Jayesh was in great tension. He felt irritated with this help-seeker, and said in aharsh tone „what kind of help do you need of me?‟ Naresh told him that he needed a book from his library. Jayesh replied, in quite a curt manner, if it was the proper time to borrow a bookfrom someone. The library is closed now. And you cannot get the book. Naresh felt quite surprised listening to the reply of Jayesh. He had come toJayesh having a very good impression of him. But the rude behavious of Jayesh painedhim a lot. He began thinking, „Ramesh praised him this much just for nothing. He doesnot look decent from any perspective. I came to his home and he did not ask me for evena glass of water.‟ Naresh returned with a very bad impression.
  • 59. 59 About a month went by. After about a month, per chance all these personshappened to meet one another at a crossing. From one side Ramesh was coming andNaresh was coming from the other side. Jayesh happened to be coming from the oppositedirection. Ramesh‟s sight fell on Jayesh. On seeing him, Ramesh was filled with thefeelings of joy and happiness. His mind said, “What a wonderful, nice person he is! It ismy good luck to be face to face with such a good person. He had helped me so much atthat time. He had told me that I should return his book after a fortnight, but I could not doso by the due date. Now I should meet him and seek his forgiveness for being late.” Thiskind of thoughts were going on in the mind of Ramesh. On the other side, Naresh also happened to see Jayesh at the same time. Onseeing Jayesh, his mind was filled with a sense of grief and complaint. He said tohimself, “What an inauspicious beginning to the day it has been! I have seen early in themorning the face of a man so bad and indecent. God knows what might happen later inthe day!” Now, see, there is just once man. When Ramesh happens to see him, he finds hima very noble, decent person. But when Naresh happens to see him, he feels inauspiciousto meet him. On the other hand, when Jayesh saw both Ramesh and Naresh, several thoughtscropped up in his mind as well. As soon as he saw Ramesh, a sense of complaint againsthim came to his mind. He said to himself, “Oh, here is a good acquaintance. I had toldhim to return the book in a fortnight, and now it is over a month and this fellow even didnot bother to give me a ring and inform about being late in returning the book.” But as he saw Naresh, he seemed to say to his himself, “This poor fellow came tome to borrow a book, and I was in an agry mood for something else but refused the bookto him. I did not even offer him a glass of water. Now I should meet him and seek hisforgiveness.” Just think on this issue. Who thinks what for whom? These are the impressionsyou carry about different persons. Why does Ramesh see a good, decent man in Jayesh?Is Jayesh still equally decent to Ramesh at this moment of time? If we look at thingsclosely, we shall find that Jayesh is not being decent, good to Ramesh at this point oftime. He has anger in his mind towards Ramesh. The reason for this anger is thatRamesh did not return the book in time. On the other hand, at this moment of timeJayesh has affection of Naresh. But how does Naresh feel for Jayesh at this time? Heperceives a bad man in Jayesh. Why? The past experience comes to his mind. In fact,past experience is a kind of spectacles we put on while looking at other people, and thisspectacle is what we call samskara or impression. And, God knows how many suchimpressions we carry in our minds during our lifetime. Thus, the word nindami implies getting free from such impressions,endeavouring to live each day in a new way. When you get up in the monring, everydayyou should feel that it is a new life, a new breath, a new relationship…. If, for example,
  • 60. 60you had a quarrel with someone last evening, you must do the nindami in the eveningbefore going to bed to sleep. Remember what happened, remember all the events whichtook place and forget about them all. When you get up next morning, it should be a new beginning, a new relationlship,a new life. Today when you receive a phone-call from him, do not remember at all thatthis very fellow had had a quarrel with you the previous day and now he has talking toyou in such a sweet tone. Leave the yesterday behind. Yesterday was yesterday, and it istoday. Live in the present, today. The quarrel took place yesterday, and it has gone withthe yesterday. Today has been a new day, a new beginning. Why paste the yesterday‟squarrel on the face of today? Once Vivekanand‟s mother asked him, “Son, you should not go close to thatthree. Evil spirits reside there.” Vivekanand replied to his mother that only those fear the bhut or evil spirits wholive in the bhut or past time. ….And we all live in the past. We call ourselves humans but in fact we are justbhut and only bhut. Look around and you will find the dwelling places of the bhut. Thereason? We are used to live in kthe past, to live in our ancient history….Five days backsomeone said something to you and you felt humiliated. If thereafter he comes to seekyour advice, even then you will turn your face to the other side. Why? Because he hadinsulted you five days back. You hold on to the past rather tightly. You preserve it as avery valuable property… Nindami is a means of getting free from your past. You must bear in mind that solong as nindami is not in your life, we do not live our life in the true sense of the word.Nindami means wiping off all the samskaras or impressions which have been added toyour mind. The first step in this direction is to sit with a peaceful find and then try toremember all the happenings of the day, all that you did during the day. Thereafter youshould realize as to what kind of feelings these happenings or activities gave birth to inyour mind. What kind of ideas arose in your mind? What chain of reactions they caused?Just look how do you feel? When you look at all these past happenings and theirreactions with depth and objectivity, you will automatically free yourself from theimpressions of these happenings. Of course, we someimes remember the past happenings and activities, but we doso in a subconscious or unconscious way. Nindami means doing so with a fullyconscious mind. Look at these happenings/activities as ifkthey had taken place not inyour life but in someone else‟s. Look at them as if you were sitting at a distance andwere looking at a film reel. Do not look at them with a subjective mind. Look at them asif they happened to some other person. If you remember having done a very good thing during the past day, do notindulge in self-praise. And, if you find you have done a really bad job during the past
  • 61. 61day, do not begin condemning yourself. Now your duty is just to see the pasthappenings. Just observe them. This is nindami. This is the first step. What will be the result of this? I shall try to explain thiswith the help of an example. There was once a lady professor. She used to teach philosophy. She was quitWhile teaching philosophy for quite a long time, it began to affect her life also. She hadfirst learnt and then taught for many times over several things such as life is evanscent;the physical life is there today, and it may not be tomorrow. Everybody has to meet hisdeath one day or the other, and so on and so forth. One day as she was teaching her class, she suddenly got a message. The messageis tragic: her husband had met with an accident and died. As one gets such a tragic news, naturally one gets numbed for a while, unable tothink of or do anything. He weeps, cries. That woman listened to the news of herhusband‟s death, and instantly felt a serious shock. She felt overwhelmed with grief. Herheart wept bitterly, but she retained a near-normal, balanced outward appearance. Notonly this, she rationalized to herself in a moment that death has a very intimaterelationship with life: it is an integral part of it. If death is so sure, so unavoidable, thenwhy weeping and grieving as it comes. That lady professor remained calm and quiet. She did not let even a single tear todrop off her eyes. People were rather surprised to find her fully poised and balancedeven in such a moment of tragedy. They felt that she was a very strong woman. She wasreally wonderful. She did not even shed even a single tear. What a great woman she is.All women should be like her. People said all these things about her. In fact, we consider weeping our weakness. This is a wrong notion. Weeping isnot a weakness. It is a natural expression. It is just like laughing which is also a naturalexpression. If weeping is a natural expression, then what is bad in it? What is in it whichmakes you weak? You might have seen in kyour life that at times woman gives expression to herfeelings by weeping, but men generally fail to weep. The male complex is that weepingis a sign of weakness. And, he does not want to show himself a weak person. Thus, it isdifficult for a male member to weep. In fact, his ego comes in the way. But a womangives in to weeping. As compared to man, her ego is only momentary. That is why sheeven weeps over trifle issues. A benefit that she gets from this habit of hers is thatfeelings do not get stored in her mind. In her case, a catharsis of her sad feelings,feelings of her disappointment takes place with her weeping. The psychological studies reveal that as compared to women, more men go mad.And, men fall victim to heart attacks more than woman. Why is it so? Because both theailments of getting mad or suffering a heart attack are connected with the feelings and
  • 62. 62sentiments of man. When such feelings affect man suddenly and deeply, he suffers aheart attack, and this also gives birth to many psychatric ailments. A man can go madalso. That woman successfully his her grief within her heart. She even maintained herdaily routine. A month went by, two months went by and in this six long months weregone. Thereafter, she began having fits of hysteria. When the doctors asked her if shehad any tension, she always refused to admit any. The doctors were not able to find thecause of her malady. They prescribed many medicines. She took lot many tablets, but tono effect. Then one day that woman happened to meet a saint. She asked the holy man,“Maharaj! I often get fits of hysteria. I have made all efforts to get the ailment treated,but nothing has benefited me. You are a holy person. Please bless me so that I get rid ofthis ailment.” The saint patiently listen to what she told me. Then he reflected on the issue for awhile. Thereafter he said, “I would like to know about your life. Are you willing toshare with me all the details of your life?” The woman said that she had to objection talking to him and sharing with him allsuch details. And, I always speak the truth, she told him. The saint asked, “What do you do? I am mean, what is your profession?” “I am a professor. I teach philosophy.” “Who else is there in your family?” “No one. I live alone.” “Did you not get married?” Yes, I did get married. I had a husband….”, she left the sentence incomplete. “Yes, please say it.” “He died in an accident.” “When did it happen?” “It happened about eight months back.” “You might have felt rather aggrieved at his death.”
  • 63. 63 “Yes, sir. But death is a stark fact, a truth. It cannot be avoided. I took the wholeepisode in this manner, and consider it a normal thing of the world, I just forgot it.” “Did you not feel like weeping?” “I did feel like weeping, but I did not weep. I made myself realize that weeping isa childish act. It is not a way out. I cannot help things.” The saint could get the thread. He was quite an experienced, enlightened saint.He asked her to sit by him and he would cure here. The holy man made her meditate. He took kher to a peaceful, poised and deepmeditation. Then he asked her, “Now remember the moment when you for the first timegot the news of your husband‟s death, when you first learnt that your husband is no more.How did you feel, how did you react at that moment?” The woman went deep inside her,and remembered that moment. She was surprised to realize that her heart began to beathard. Her inner self melted and came out in the form of tears. She tried to check hertears. But the holy man asked her not to check her tears and rather let them come out.Weeping is not something bad. You should weep, and weep bitterly. The woman wept and wept. You went on remembering her husband and hisdeath, and continued to weep. She went on weeping for three or four days. After eight days that woman became a normal self. She no more suffered fromfits of hysteria. She felt herself light: all her burdens were gone. She went to that saintagain. She said, “Maharaj! You did for me what the doctors could not. I am now totallyhealthy, very light, no burdens. But I fail to understand one thing. How did all thishappen with just my weeping? The saint told her, “Until then, you did laught, but your laughter meant nothing.Now after weeping, when you will laugh, it will a meaning, it will be a true laughter. “ Itis said that after that moment that woman never suffered a fit of hysteria. This is a case study. This is an incident which took place in real life. There isnothing imaginary in it. This is nindami. To go into the past and look at things. You might have seen thatit happens several times in a day that someone says something bad and you will angry butyou still say that it should be ignored. At that moment, you say „let it go‟, but do youreally let it go, do you really forget it? You continue feeling the pinch somewhere. Andgradually this pinch continues to grow until it comes out one day in the form of a seriousailment. Why should we let that small pinch take the form of a serious malady? You musttry and kill it when it just begins. Make it lifeless when it just begins to get life. LordMahavira has said, “Remember all the events, all the happenings from morning till
  • 64. 64evening. Remember what did you do at that moment? Just see and remember, withoutpassing judgement, without appreciating or condemning. See them without anyprejudices. Be a witness to your own life and situations. You will find that a lot willmelt down and go out. Lord Mahavira has said something more than this. Why looki at the things of thepast in the morning and evening only? Look into yourself the moment you find yourselfin tension or stress. For example, there is a time when you feel you are getting angry. Inthat situation, stop yourself for a while. Inhale a deep breath and exhale it. Then look atyour anger. You will be surprised to find that your anger disappears instantly. Thefeelings of anger will be momentary and will not survive for long. But what do we doactually? We let the anger, which we felt at that moment, go with us farther and farther.With the passage of time it takes such a monstrous shape that it gets deeply imprinted onour mind. It sours our relationship into enemity and this feeling finds a permanent placewithin us. Remember that whenever you find your mind imbalanced, whenever you feelindecisive, when you find yourself tense, then you should stop yourself a while. Then youshould take in a deep breath and then leave it out. Half of your tension will disappear atthat very moment. And, the remaining half will go when in the evening you sit down tolook at the things of the day. As it is, we normally do not do so. We generally say thatwe can handle this later on. And later on these feelings of anger and tension go onmultiplying. They go on increasing and increasing. The nindami is the first step towards inner purification. Nindami implies how canwe go back to our real self? Practice nindami daily. You should spare for this purpose atime of only five minutes before you go to bed. Begin with five minutes. Sit peacefully.Take a deep breath in and then breathe out. Just look at the things and events which tookplace with you today from morning till evening. Just look at those things. Just see whatmiracle it results in! You will find that thereafter you will have less dreams during yoursleep. As it is, dream represents the impressions of we did or faced during the day. Allthese events/happenings leave impression on our mind and during the night we gothrough all that again in the form of dreams. In other words, what is left unfulfilledduring the day gets fulfilled in the dreams Suppose you wanted to meet someone duringthe day, but somehow you could not meet. And you meet the person during yourdreams. This is what your mind does. If your sleep after observing nindami, you will find that thereafter you beginenjoying sound sleep. Dreams become fewer. You will realize this yourself. To beginwith, observe nindami for five minutes only. Gradually, you increase these five minutesto ten and then to fiften minutes. Just look at the past events intently. This is the first stage. The second stage in this direction is garihami. Now you have looked intoyourself and at the events of the past day. Self-analysis and introspection purifies your
  • 65. 65inner self. Still some impressions remain attached outside your soul. These remains alsoneed to be removed, washed off. Lord Mahavira has said that you must performgarihami to make your especially pure. What is exactly meant by the word garihami?The word garihami means discovering a person who is as deep as the sea, who mightlisten to something and digest it within never to let it out again, going to that man andthen tell him everything of the past day. Tell him all that you did, tell him wherever youslipped and tell him whatever made you tense. This practice is still prevalent among the Christians. To begin with, this practicewas found in almost all the religions of the world - in Jains, Buddhists and others.However, the Christians have kept this practice alive even today. They call it confession.There is a box in their churches. It is called confession box. Behind a curtain sits theChristian priest, the Father. People come to the box and confess before him. They talk tohim without any hestitation and in a very straightforward manner. After listening tothem, the priest proclaims punishment as per rules. This is a beautiful practice. What happens after the garihami or confession? Youcome out of the inferiority complex after doing so. In the recent past we had organized a camp. What happened during the camp wasthat a person participating in the camp left it quietly without telling anybody. Afterleaving the camp, he felt guilty in his own heart. He developed an inferiority complexthat he had done a bad thing. When later on he heard the experiences of the campers, hefelt a sort of fire burning within, the fire of penance. Then he gave me in writing a letter seeking forgiveness of me. He wrote that hehad made a great mistake. If I am not forgiven, I shall continue to feel the pinch and thiswill disturb my peace of mind. I understand that by this kind of confession, garihami, he felt light. Otherwise, hemight have carried on the burden of his guilt for ever. He might have continued to thinkhimself to be a bad person. Thus, garihami frees you from any inferiority complex. But for that you will haveto find out and meet a true Guru. However, if you start observing garihami before anunworthy and undeserving person, you will be mislead or even exploited. It is veryessential to have a true Guru to perform this. You need a person who does not look atyour deed, but who looks at you. Try to understand it again. I said that you need aperson who looks at your deed and not you. You are in need of a person who does notlook at the waves but at the sea beneath them. For example, if you happened to commit atheft, then this theft was the deed you did. You did this deed with your body, with yourmind and with your words. If you committed a theft with your body, mind and word, itnever implies that you have permanently become a thief. No, it is not so. Yes, of course,at that moment you were a chief, but now at this moment when you are performinggarihami, you are not a thief. He who has the ability to perceive this, you should go tosuch a man and perform garihami. Such a person should have the sight to x-ray your
  • 66. 66inner-self from its depths, who could see beyond the deeds to the doer. Go and performgarihami before such a person. You felt angry at one time. But this does not imply that you personify anger.Anger came to your mind for a moment, you expressed it and in a while that feeling wasgone. The very next moment, there was no feeling of anger in your mind. You were notangry then. He should be a person who reminds you that, reminds within you everymoment that what you did was not your true nature, it were not you, and that you aredifferent from what you did. You need to be reminded that you are different from youractions. No doubt, you performed those deeds/actions, but you are not those actions. If you look through the window, you see the sky. However, the window is not thesky. If you look through the door, you can see the city, but the door itself is not the city.They are only the means to look through. It has been through you - through your body,mind or word - that a small action has been performed. You told a lie, but if youconfess that told a lie, this will free you from that falsehood. Thus, he who brings you out of your inferiority complex is the true Guru. You goto him and perform garihami. Tell him everything. Hide nothing, tell him all. Youshould look at your entire life in one moment - from childhood till day. Everythingneed to be expressed/confessed before a true Guru. You fill find a new birth, a new lifefor yourself. I am not saying what is there found written in a book. I have done this myself.That is why I know how effectively it can change your life. So this is he right path to return home. We have thus come back to our inner self,inner home. Now is the time to return our own small house we have built. Please closeyour eyes and concentrate on the Real One.
  • 67. 67 Chapter V MEDITATION FOR FREEDOM FROM TENSION I begin this chapter with a Puranic story that I narrate here for the benefit of thereaders. Once Urvashi, a dancer in the heaven, asked god Indra, “O god of gods, I havelbecome fed up living here in the heaven. It is the same boring routine - dancing beforethe gods, appreciation coming from the gods, the same heaven , the same surroundingsand others. I need a change. I want something new. All the gods are already myadmirers. They all are under my spell, my charm. When they appreciate me, this doesnot produce any romance within me. I wish to go on earth and charm the inhabitants ofthe earth with my dance. This will give me new romance, a new kind of pleasure. In the petition of Urvashi, the element of request was less and that of ego muchmore. God Indra recognized her pride and said, “Urvashi, you say that all the gods arealready under your charm. I think this is not right, and this is your mistaken belief. Ofcourse, you might have put many gods under your spell and also received theirappreciation. But still there are many divine beings who are not under your spell.” Urvashi replied, “Sir, this is not possible at all. In case, they are male, then theyare under my charm. I have control over them.” Indra again said to her, “Urvashi! They are not just men, they are great men.They have been absolutely unaffected by either your dance or beauty. You cannot putthem under your charm.” Urvashi again said, “If they are men, then I shall control them, I shall bring themunder my spell. You may send for them. I can prove before your eyes what I have beensaying.” There were three great men -- Kacchh, Kukacchh and Kardam. Now god Indrasend an invitation to three presons. Some other gods went to these sages with themessage of Indra. They invited these holy persons to see the dance of Urvashi. Theserishis felt much pleased receiving the invitation of god Indra and said that they must gobecause the kind of gods, Indra, has sent the invittion.They also told that so far they haveonly seen the monkeys dancing, bears dancing; they have seen the peacock dancing, andthey have seen many other birds and animals dancing, but they have never seen a womandancing. We have heard a lot in praise of Urvashi including that she can put even thegods under her charm. We are keen to see that Urvashi dancing, the woman who canenthrall any and everyone. We want to see what attraction is there in Urvashi whichtempts every person. The day and time was fixed. At last those three persons presented themselves inthe court of Indra on the appointed day. The beard of the great rishi Kacchh was so long
  • 68. 68that it reached his neck and he had just put on a cloth around his waist. The beard ofrishi Kukacchh was also long enough and it reached his naval, and he wore a only a loin.The beard of Kardam was even longer and it reached his knees. Therefore he felt no needto put on any robes and he reached the court of Indra in his naked state. The king of gods, Indra, welcomed them and gave them seats to sit in. All thethree rishis got seated. Thereafter Urvashi entered the court. Before beginning herdance, Urvshi bowed to the three special dignitaries and said, “O great rishis, I shall takeoff my robes one by one while I go on dancing. Do I have your permission to do so?” The sage Kardam said, “Urvashi, what is there to seek anybody‟s permission forthat? There are millions and millions of species in this universe, and among them thereare only gods and humans who wear robes. No other species wears clothes. They all goabout naked. Then if you want to get naked, what is strange in it and what problem it cancause to anybody. Urvashi began her dance. As she went on more and more into her dance, the godsbegan to swing in ecstasy. When the dancing reached a particular stage, Urvashi madeher first piece of dress fall down. As she did so, Kacchh closed his eyes. He could notcheck, control his mind. The closing of eyes simply meant that Kacchh was able to see nomore. Urvashi looked at Indra and smiled, implying that she has succeeded inenthralling the first rishi. Indra blenched a bit. But still there were two more rishis whowere beyond the influence of Urvashi. Indra was confident that they would not getdefeated by Urvashi. He gestured to Urvashi that she should continue with her dance. Urvashi felt highly inspired, with added inspiration and encouragement she wenton with her dancing. A little later, she let her second piece of dress also fall down. Nowit was the turn of Kukacchh to get defeated. He also closed his eyes at this moment. Urvashi‟s joy now knew no bounds. She looked at Indra with a sense of victoryand smiled. Her looks and smile were obvious. She was well aware that the second rishihad also fallen in her thrall. Indra felt a little more modest. But still one more rishi remained and Indra hadfull faith in him. He gestured to Urvashi to continue with her dance. Now the inspiration of Urvashi was sky high. She brought all artistry, allperfection to her daance. All the heights and subtle nuances of dance she realized. It wasa rare moment, and perhaps in the assembly of gods also this was the first time ever. Itseemed as if time moved along with the movement of her feet. When her dance was at itspeak, Urvashi let the last piece of her dress also fall down and now she stood nakedbefore the audience. He eyes were fixed at rishi Kardam.
  • 69. 69 The great rishi Kardam sat still and poised and looked at Urvashi. There wasabsolutely no sign of desire, of lust visible anywhere in his eyes. Urvashi felt frightened.It was the first moment in her life when she saw a man so firmly poised and at peace. Kardam neither closed his eyes nor admired the beauty or dance of Urvashi.Looking at Urvashi standing naked before him, he only asked her to remove other clothesalso. Narad now stood up and told the rishi that Urvashi as she then stood had no moreclothese to take off. Kardam again said that what was then visible to his eyes was no peculiar orspecial. Whatever it is should be removed. Narad again intervened to say it was now only the skin of Urvashi. Kardam said that let this skin be removed away. I want to see what is beneath it. Narad said, “O rishi, it is not possible to remove away the skin. Obviously, thereare bones, flesh and blood beneath the skin. There is nothing more than this under theskin.” Kardam again said, “Then why have we been invited here? We were told thatthere is something peculiar, some thing special in Urvashi. There is something inUrvashi which attracts all, which enthralls all. If it is only bones, flesh and blood, thenwhat is special about it? We had come here to see the peculiar, distinct Urvashi withinthis Urvashi. There is nothing distinct and peculiar to see in bones, blood and flesh. Itseems we were invited here for nothing, and we seem to have wasted our time.” Now the question of Kardam is - where is Urvashi within Urvashi? He wants tosee that distinct, peculiar Urvashi within this visible Urvashi. If Urvashi is also made ofbones, flesh and blood, then what is peculiar and special about her? This is in the body ofevery person. What is special about Urvashi? What were we expected to see here whenIndra invited us? Let us also put to ourselves the question which Kardam put to the audience ofgods? Your name is Amit/ Then, where is Amit within Amit? Where are you in yourself? Where am I within me? This is the basic question. In fact, it is on the resolution ofthis question that all the religions and philosophies are based. Where am I within me, where are you within your self, where is Urvashi withinUrvashi? We have to get familiar with the essential element within me, you andeverybody else. The essential way to do so is called kayotsarg. The kayotsarg is thatmethod, that means of meditation through which you travel up to your real self. It is thathighway which takes you to your real self.
  • 70. 70 We must remember that if a seed has to travel up to tree, it is essential that it mustget split. It is only when it gets split that it sprouts. And only thereafter it will grow upto become a tree. Just one seed is enough to make the entire earth look green. One seedwill grow into one tree, and one tree will produce thousands of seeds which in turn willgrow into thousands of trees. Thus, a small seed has the potential to make the entire earthgreen. But when? This happens only when the seed hides itself in earth and comes outof its shell, and thus gets free from what is superfluous around it. If you try to split the seed, you will find no sprout within it; you will find noleaves, no blossoms and no tree. However, it never implies that the seed does not containall this. All this is inherent in the seed. But to let its inherent potentials to become real itis essential that it allowed a natural growth. It should be allowed to make its journey inthe lap of nature. It should slowly get free from its shell and face the challenges, face thevagaries of nature on its own body. Only then it will transform into a tree. We have also created a shell around ourselves. This shell is rather strong. As aresult of this shell, what is within us does not blossom. It cannot come out. What is thatshell? What is that outer clothing? This shell is the other name of tension, of stress. Weare always enclosed within the shell of tension and stress. We are buried under this. Look at the small child. There is a freshness on his face, there is brightness in hiseyes. The child grows up gradually, begins to go to school , and as he grows up further,he begins going to college. When he further grows up, be begins a job or his ownbusiness. He matures as he grows up in years. A strong shell of tension begins to takeshape around him. His face loses the freshness and begins to look faded and jaded. Looking at things world-wise, we say that he is progressing, but the fact is that heis regressing. The reason? The tension is increasing. What helps in the removal of theshell of tension is called the kayotsarg. Perhaps you might not have ever thought that this could possibly be the result ofkayotsarg. As it is, when a person performs the kayotsarg he thinks that this is a spiritualpractice which is performed whiile doing samayak or pratikraman. It has nothing to dowith your remaining life. Often people believe that if they perform kayotsarg it will onlyadd to their spiritual merit or it will please God, and there the matter ends. However, it isnot so. What Lord Mahavira has told us is intimately related with life. This way,kayotsarg is also related with life. This is a way to relieve tension in our life. What is tension? Have you ever thought as to what the tension is. You often saythat I am tense today and that no one should disturb you. But what is really meant bytension? First of all, we have to try and understand this tension. Once we are able tounderstand it, only then we can go ahead in this matter. Whenever you are tense, your body gets stiff. Your hands, your feet, your faceand in fact your entire body gets in the grip of stiffness. It loses its flexibility. Yourfreshness disappears. You get stiff, and this stiffness is caused by tension.
  • 71. 71 Where does this tension come from? Yes, this tension does not come fromanywhere outside. It manifests itself from our own inner self. For example, you want toclench your fist and for this you will have to make your hand a little tense, stiff, and youwill have to use some force. And, if you want to open your clenched fist, you will haveto nothing. Just loosen up the tension, stiffness which you had produced in your hand,and the clenched fist will automatically open up. It is obvious that when we want to bind something and whenever you want tocatch hold something, the coming of tension there is natural. We try to grasp wealth, wetry to get hold of our family, and in fact whatever we seize it is natural that tension willcome when you try to tighten grip over something. Birth of a desire is natural and it is not a bad thing. Desires are born in the heartof each and every human being. There is nothing unnatural about it. If we are humans, itis natural that desire will get born in our minds. People often say that we should not letdesires be born. I shall not say this. On the other hand, I shall say that if the desires areborn, let them. But you must not make resolutions that you should fulfil these desires atall costs. When this desire to fulfil the desires is born, it marks the beginning of struggle. When a desire is born, you may try to fulfil it. If it gets fulfilled, well and good,but if somehow it does not get fulfilled, even then it is well and good. If you are able todevelop this kind of attitude, there will be no tension. When does the tension arise? Itarises only when we say that this desire must somehow be fulfilled. Then you work a lothard: you do everything possible to fulfil that desire. Ultimately, you fail to fulfil thatdesire. Desire remains unfulfilled. This unfulfilment of desire brings disappointment foryou. You begin once again to work harder so as to fulfil that wish. But still fulfilment ofthat desire eludes you and once again you are disappointed. This recurrence ofdisappointmet leads man into tension, depression and frustration. It is at such a stage thatman shares with friends that he is highly and depressed and he cannot help it. What marked the beginning of depression? What marked the beginning offrustration? All this began with the desire to hold on, to grasp, to seize certain things.You try to hold on to, to grasp and to seize something and think that it should be so. If you wish that tomorrow morning the sun should rise in the east. Such a desireof yours will sure be fulfilled because the sun rises in the east only. However, if you holdon to the desire that the sun should rise in the west and that you will not eat anything untilthe sun rises in the west, your desire will remain unfulfilled. You may or may not takeyour food, the sun will rise only in the east because this is the law of nature. Whateveryour desire, this law of nature cannot be changed. Where does the tension begin? It begins when you hold on to unbecomingdesires. That marks the beginning of tension. Look at the people, people fall victim totension because of trivial things. They get tense because of things which are rathertrivial, absolutely worthless. People struggle and strife for these small things. For
  • 72. 72example, one may ask why someone has put the book here and not there. This will leadto heated arguments and a quarrel. Why has this shoe been kept on the rack and why nothere on the floor? This will make the atmosphere tense. We hold on to such trivialthings and begin arguing why this way and why not that way. Tension is caused by holding on to such worthless things. If you hold on to good,useful things, this will not cause any tension. However, look at what we do daily. Let usalso analyse what things we hold on to. Our analysis will reveal that almost all our deedsand desires are holding on to worthless things. All our struggle is in darkness. Once there was a little baby girl. She would walk in the sun and while under thesun she would clench her fist, and as soon as she entered the room, she would undo herfist. She repeated this many times. Her father asked her, “Child, what are you doing?”The baby replied, “Father, there is lot of darkness inside the room. I go out in the sun,grasp the sunlight from outside in my fist and take it in.” The father of the child laughed listening to this. You may also laught at this. Youmay take it as the innocence and simplicity of the child. Can the sunlight be caught in thefist? But the fact is that we all have been doing this in our lives. We have been trying tohold on to what cannot be held on to. A little earlier in the preceeding pages I had discussed the golden old age. Oldage is a characteristic of life. Human body must decay one day sooner or later. Nobodycan stop the approaching old age. At the same time, however, no one wants to becomeold. Everybody wants to remain young for ever. Even when the old age is there, humanbeings make efforts to hide it. As the hair begin to get grey, people try to give them ablack look by the use of hair-dye. What is this all about? This is only a feeling to remainstuck to youth. Humans try to get hold on to youth so that they remain young ever, butyou cannot hold on to it permanently. Once a lady was taking part in a camp. A worker serving in the camp addressedher as aunt telling her to sit that side. The lady felt very bad by that address. The workercould not understand the reason for her annoyance. At last he asked her the reason of heranger. She replied, “You could have addressed me as sister. Do you think I look like anaunt?” In the same way, once during a class of self-study, a lady was per chanceaddressed as Mataji (respected mother). She was also angry. After all, what is the reasonbehind this kind of annoyance? Why do the ladies loathe the words like aunt or mother?They think that these words are meant to address older ladies, and they do not want to betaken as old as yet. Even the words which are indicative of old age are disliked by theseladies. We must remember that the human body will sure undergo a change, becausechange is its nature. But it is also in our nature to hold on. We always continue makingefforts to look younger. We make so many efforts for this. Anyway, one may make any
  • 73. 73amount of efforts, but the body will change because it is subject to change. But we wishto hold on to it. This meaningless effort at holding on makes our life full of tension. Ifwe free ourselves from this kind of meaningles holding on, we can be free from tensionin life also. For this purpose, we must realize the truth, the reality. We must accept thetruths of life. If we accept these realities and truths, we shall remain tension-free even inthe moment of chnge. The change will take place, but it will not pain us, sadden us. Weshall be prepared for tht. We would have accepted that reality. As it is, we do not accept the reality. We wish that the circumstances remainstatus quo, they should remain as we wish them to be. Such a desire brings tensionbeceause the situations are not always to our liking. To keep ever changing is theirnature. If we try to hold on tight the circumstances, our tension will also be more in thesame proportion. Let me illustrate this with the help of an example. A child is born. Before thechild takes birth, both the child and mother are one. Both of them have just one body.Then the child is born. How does the mother feel then? My child. She does not onlyhave the feeling that the child is hers but also that she is the child and the child is she.Both of them are one. If and when the child suffers some pain, the mothers alsolundergoes the same suffering. In contrast, the father‟s suffering is a little less becausethere is a distance between the child and the father. Being father is a matter of faithwhereas being mother is an experience. Being father is not an experience. A mother becomes mother only after living that experience. The child isproduced from her own body That is why she perceive herself in the child. Even afterthe child is born, she continues to believe that she and the child are one. Then gradually with the passage Nature helps the child grow. Now the childbegins to play. Now sometimes the child comes to his mother‟s lap and sometimes hedoes not. Sometimes he plays here and there, and only thereafter comes to his mother‟slap. After a while, he again goes to play and then returns to the same lap after some time.But the mother always says that the child is hers. However, the time and nature graduallywork on the child. The child grows up further. Now the toys are more important to him.While at home, he plays with the toys and outside he has friends. He has balls to playwith, a playground to play in, television to watch, and so on. Gradually, his world getsbigger and bigger. Now for the child it is not his mother alone, he has many friends, hehas many toys. He does not play with his mother alone, now he goes out into the play-ground to play. He plays cricket. He plays football. However, still the mother feels thatthe child is hers. The time passes on and the nature continues to work on the child. The childbegins to go to school. It marks the beginning of his studies. Now he has to read, write,appear in the examinations, and good marks also. Now his world has become quite bigand wide. Sometimes he remembers his mother. Otherwise, he is busy in his studies orin his games. He is absorbed in so many things. He is busy. The memory of mother
  • 74. 74does not come to his mind quite often and easily. But still the mother feels that the childis hers. Time passes on and the child grows up further. After completing his studies, thechild comes back khome. Then one day another woman enters his life: he gets married.Then one day the mother cries out loud: “until yesterday this boy would listen to me, andGod knows what has happened to him today?” There is a saying in Russia that a mother makes her son intelligent after workinghard on him for twenty-five years. And after that another woman enters his life, and thelatter befools him within five minutes. Just think if the child underwent a change suddenly after twenty-five years. No.The change has not been sudden. The beginning of change in him hd started the momenthe had taken the birth. Prior to birth, he was with the mother. After the birth, he gotseparated from her. Now they became two, earlier they were one. Thereafter thedistance between the two went on increasing with the passge of time. This process wenton continuously. And this happening was quite natural and spontaneous. It had to takeplace. However, the mother wonders how and why it happened. The reason simply isthat she is living under the delusion that she and her son are still one. It is a fact that he is her son. However, during his life-journey of twenty-fiveyears the child has also gathered a lot many things. There have been many things whichhave shared his attention. The eye of the mother always failed to see those many things.She failed to see that change, that pace. That is why she falls a prey to tension at a pointof time when she feels that her son is deceiving her, that her son is now becoming ofsomeone else. In fact, he who realizes the truth of change is really an enlightened person. LordMahavira has said: khanan janahi pandieIt implies that he who recognizes the moment is enlightened. The moment is eversubject to change. He who is able to read the truth of that moment, writes it on his heartis really enlightened. And such a person is never falls prey to grief. However, we fail to get hold of the change. We fail to read the truth of change.That is why we feel aggrieved at the results of change. Take for example lyour hair and nails: they go on increasing every moment.However, if you look at them suddenly after about a fortnight, you will feel surprised thatthey have increased quite a bit. Did the nails increased this much in a single day? No,this did not happen all of a sudden in a single day. They have been increasing everymoment. But we fail to perceive that moment of change. Now the irony of the situationis that we cannot get hold of the moment of change but we put a strong hold on
  • 75. 75relationships and situations. We do not want them to change, and wish them to remain asthey were. This is the reason behind our tension. You have a friend. You are quite intimate with him - a fast friend. And you wishthat this close friendship continues for ever in this way. However, then a moment comes,a situation arises, and the two friends go different ways. Then you say that he ditchedyou. You fail to understand that it is not necessary that the intimacy, the fast friendshipwhich you enjoy today may continue through your life. Change is the other name of life.However, we try to hold on to things, to situations. This marks the beginning of tensionin our life. You are setting out on a journey. Suppose you do not have proper space on thesleeper, and you get tense. The train is not running at a pace of your liking and you aretense. You do not understand that such happenings are an integral part of human life.You will one day get a full sleeper in the train and the other day you may have to share itwith someone and you may not get the whole of it for yourself. Sometimes you will earnbenefit, and the other time you may be losing. All this goes on continuously in life.However, we wish that we earned benefit today, and we must earn benefit tomorrow aswell. If someone helped me today, he ought to help me tomorrow as well. Thisexpectation of ours, this grip of ours causes tension in us. He can we free ourselves from this tension? We have given birth to the tension,but how to get out of this meaningless tension and the cause of tension? We cannot befree of the tension by mere listening to a discourse or reading a book. What should thenwe do for this? What kind of practice should we follow? What procedure should wefollow? What is the best way for this? The best way to free ourselves from tension is kayotsarg. But what is meant bykayotsarg. The word kaya here stands for body and the word utsarg implies giving up,leaving. The literal meaning of the term is „leaving the body‟. But what are theimplicatings of leaving the body? Does it mean courting death? No, absolutely not. Ithas an entirely different meaning. The word kayotsarg here means giving up or leavingthe feeling that I am the body and that the body is me. In the moment of the kayotsarg, you transcend the body. When you transcend thebody, it implies that you transcend and get free from all relationships and attachments.Body is the fount of all attachments. As soon as we discard attachment for the body, weare free from all other attachments. Kayotsarg is the best method. However, it is a bit difficult to live this feeling.Our grip of things, situations and relations is so hard, so firm that we feel the pain as soonas this grip gets even a little bit of weak. The issue of reading through the entireKayotsarg Sutra remains a mere wishful thinking. For instance, a friend of yours happens to meet you. He is somewhat sad. Youask him the reason of his sadness. He tells you that he had a very beautiful and costlywatch which he has lost. I am sad at the lost of this watch.
  • 76. 76 You try to make him understand the reality. You have listened to many adiscourse. No? You advise him that watch is not a very important thing. Such thingscome in life and go. It is lost today and tomorrow you will buy a new one, a morebeautiful and more costly than the one you had lost. You tell him that he need not be sadat this. Moreover, he will not get his watch back even if he feels sad. You emphasizethat he must not feel sad any more. You want him to forget all about this and learn tosmile. Now it may just be a coincidence that next day you yourself lose your watch.What happens when you lose your watch? Do you remember the advice you gave to yourfriend the day before? Do you feel that watch is a thing the likes of which come and goin life. It is a small thing: it was to get decayed one day. One must learn to smile, and soon. If someone tries to give you this kind of advice, you might ask him to shut up andalso tell him that you have heard this kind of lecture many a time. You might also askhim to bring a new watch for you. Remember, no one feels sad just for the loss of a watch. The sadness comes withthe realization that I have lost my watch. If someone else loses his watch, we give a finediscourse, advise him and teach him the way to discard sorrow. But when one losesone‟s own watch, all discourses, all advices are put aside: one wants one‟s lost watchback, and all else can follow. Once there was a gentleman. A camp was in progress. A participant in the camphad a severe pain in one of his feet. The first gentleman told the other that pain in thefoot is not something strange, it is just natural. If you do not have he pain, how will youmeditate? How will you then concentrate? How will you transcend your physical being?He went on in this vein for some time. He seemed to make a good discourse. His lecturewent on until he taught him the way to realize moksa or liberation by transcending thephysical pain. I was looking at all this. I felt interested in and liked the way he taught.However, after a few days the first gentleman also happened to attend the camp.Incidentally, he also happened to have pain in one of his feet. The pain seemed quitesevere. He came to me saying that it was rather difficult for him to even sit because ofthe severe pain. I told him about the liberation, about meditation and about concentration, andadvised him that for all this he will have to bear some pain. I also reminded him that hehimself was teaching all this to a gentleman. He said to me, “Sir, liberation can wait: first, I wish to have my pain removed.Please do something for this…..The question now is: who has the pain? Who is sufferingfrom some loss or pain? In this case, the pain is to “me”. When the pain is to someoneelse, you remember all the philosophy, all the books and discourses. However, when thepain is to yourself, liberation and meditation and such other things are put in the
  • 77. 77background, and what remains in the foreground, at the top of your mind is the pain, theloss you have just suffered. This feeling of mine, I-am-ness is the grip, and the kayotsarg means getting freefrom this entanglement. For the sake of saying, we say that human body is subject to decay. The soul isimmortal and eternal,and so on. But as soon as we leave the place where we have beenlistening to such a discourse and a dog happens to chase you, let us see who tries to runaway from the dog. Is it the human body or the soul within? Sure, it is the body whichruns. It runs fearing the dog might bite it. If the dog bites, it will cause pain to the body.At that moment why do we not realize that human body is evanscent. Why? Becausewe tend to feel that I am the body. This is the feeling we then have, and kayotsarg is thename of getting rid of this feeling, coming out of this feeling. I am the body or I am notthe body: think deeply which alternative you think is right. You might think how can breaking off the disentanglement of body help removethe tension? Let us first see how and from what place does the tension start? Who is theclosest to you? You will find that even your mother is away from you, your wife is alsoaway from you, even your brother and wealth and home all are away. What is the closestto you is your body. It is with this body that all the relationships start. The brother isonly if you have the body; the home is only if you have the body; you have the mother,father, wife and all else only if you have the body. In fact, everything else is only if youhappen to have your body. If you do not have the body, you have nothing. It implies thething closest to you is your body. It also means that when you loosen your grip overbody, the grip over all other things which are futile gets loosened automatically. But how can we discard our grip on the body? Let me share with you an incidentand with the help of this incident let us try to find a way-out. This incident happened in the United States of America. Once there lived a poet.Once he was on a long journey along with his wife. The journey was rather long. Whileon the way, the poet had a severe headache. It was very, very severe. The place theywere passing through was dense forest. There was no village or town or city close by.The headache was so severe that he was finding it almost impossible to drive. Helpless,he stopped the car on the roadside. Incidentally, the wife of the poet had brought along a book to read through duringthe course of journey. She had been reading the book all through this while. The bookhad discussed in its pages the different ways of meditation. One of the methods detailedtherein said that whenever you have pain in any part of your body, you should look atthat pain consciously. Look deeply into the pain and try to find out what is the pain.Doing so consciously helps in the cessation of the pain. The wife told the husband about this. At first the husband felt that it was all non-sense, futile. But his wife insisted, and he gave in to her insistence. Thus, the poet
  • 78. 78agreed to concentrate. He sat down peacefully and began looking at the pain. He wenton looking deeply and consciously. In the beginning, he had the feeling that the pain wasincreasing, and in fact it increased so much that he felt as if his head will burst forth. Butsoon a point came when he began to realize that the pain began to melt down. It went onmelting until only the waves remained. After only a few moments he felt that theheadache was really gone. You can also have the kind of experience which the poet had. You can alsofollow the same method. It is the method of kayotsarg. Again, kayotsarg means lookingat the body in a way as if you were looking at the body of someone else. It also meanslooking at your every experience as if that experience was happening with the body ofsomeone else. Imagine that you are having a severe pain in your feet. At that time you shouldbegin looking peacefully at the pain in your feet. What really happens is that as andwhen you have such a pain the first thought that comes to your mind is that this painshould go. First of all, you think of ways and means of getting rid of that pain. Youthink of various means of doing that. But this is the fundamental principle of life thatthe thing you discard the most comes back to you with the same force. You can easily understand this with the help of an experiment. For example, youare asked to close down your eyes and recite a particular given mantra. Recitation isquite an easy job. As you recite that, you are allowed to let any thought, any idea enteryour mind; you may remember anything, but you must not remember the monkey. Youare given the freedom to remember America, Pakistan, your wife, your wealth or anyother thing in the world, but you must not let the thought of a monkey enter your mind. See, what happens. You may or may not think of anyone else, but the thought ofmonkey will surely enter your mind. Whatever you want to discard bounces back to youwith the same force. Whatever you deny time and again, each time it comes back tobecome yours. What you want to wipe off your memory comes back to your memoryafresh. That is why I say that whenever you have a pain, do not treat it as if it were yourenemy. Do not try to dispel it with an aggressive force. That is a characteristic of yourbody. Treat it in a friendly manner. Look at it with peaceful mind. Go on looking at itcontinuously. You will be surprised to find that soon the pain will be no more. I do not say this from what I have studied or what I might have heard from others.This is my own personal experience. When you look at the pain with a feeling of loveand affection, it automatically goes away. As it is, pain means that your life-force hasgot stuck somewhere. The natural flow of the life-force has got hindred somewhere, atsome point. When you begin looking at it with love, the hindrance, the obstructionautomatically gives way. And, the flow of life-force begins anew. Thus, the pain isrelieved.
  • 79. 79 The first characteristic of kayotsarg is: you should look at the experiences ofyour body in a way as if this body were not yours, but of someone else‟s. Whenever youfeel hungry, sit still and peacefully for a couple of minutes and try to look as to what ishunger. What happens when hunger comes? We have been saying it ever since ourchildhood that we feel hungry, but what happens within the body the moment you feel thehunger. Does something burn therein? Does one feel the heat there? Actually whathappens with the feeling of hunger? If you are able to look clearly at the hunger, amoment will come during your looking at hunger when you will feel yourself isolatedfrom hunger. You will transcend the hunger. This is what we call fasting. Fasting does not mean bearing the hunger. On the other hand, fasting meansseparating, transcending yourself from hunger and feeling that you do not feel hungry andthat you are not hunger. Consider yourself separate from the hunger. There might come an opportunity when you feel highly thirsty. Keep your peaceand try to look at what is the thirst. By merely looking at the thirst, you will find that youhave separated, transcended from it. This is the first characteristic of the kayotsarg. This is the first principle. What isthe second chacteristic, principle of kayotsarg? For comprehending this secondcharacteristic, we shall look at an incident from the life of the king of Kashi. Once theking of Kashi was to undergo a surgical operation. The king had great faith in theBhagavad-gita. He used to read and recite the Gita with great devotion. When the timecame for him to undergo operation, the doctors told him that first they would make himunconscious and then operate upon him. The king told the doctors that they must notmake him unconscious prior to the operation, rather they should let him read the Gita.The king told the doctors that he would go on reading the Gita and they could go on withthe surgery. And when the surgical operation is completed, they should let the king knowabout it and he would stop reading the Gita. And the king actually did what he had said. The doctors performed the surgicaloperation on him and he went on reading the Gita. He felt absolutely no pain. Thedoctors were really surprised. They asked the king of Kashi if he did not feel any painwhen they performed surgery on his body. The king replied that he transcends the body as he goes through the contents ofthe Gita. He said, “I become so engrossed in the Gita that only Gita remains and I myselfbecome minus of all. Though I live in the body but at the same time I transcend thebody. Thereafter nothing happending to the body bothers me.” This is the second chacteristic, principle of kayotsarg: find out some object, aright object which leads you to the right meditation. This object can be anything likebreathing in and out; it can also be some invocatory formula. It can also be remembranceof a true Guru or it can be devotion to God. It can be anything. Only that person or thingcan be such an object about whom who have a deep sense of devotion, faith andcommitment.
  • 80. 80 You must try and find out such an object, and after finding out you must practisedaily to meditate by concentrating your mind on it. You must make a continuouspractice. After this continuous and consistent practice, you will realize that your grip onthe body is loosening. You will find yourself transcending the body. When you willbegin to transcend the grip of body, you will be seeking liberation from all that belongs tobody - your family, society, and so on. Someone asked me that I say that there should be no hold, no attachment. If thereis no attachment, if there is no holding on to things of life, how will we be able to work?We work only because we are attached and hold on to life. We earn wealth and otherphysical comforts only because of this. If this attachment goes, we shall become inert. Inthat case, who will look after the needs of the family? Moreover, why will one work tolook after the needs of the family? If there is attachment, we bring up our families andwe exert ourselves for their comfort and earn money to meet their needs. I replied to him saying that you exert yourself a lot and earn a lot of moneybecause of this attachment, but still you fail to find peace. When you work with a feelingof attachment, you are less interested in the work you are doing and your main interestlies in the fruit, in the reward of that work. When you will begin to work considering ityour duty, when you will begin to work for taking pleasure out of it, then the work itselfwill become your reward. You will be able to enjoy the fruit of your work while stilldoing your work. The material reward of that work may or may not come by, but youwill have already achieved your reward. In other words, in that situation, the reward willsure be there when you work. When you work with a feeling of attachment, the workitself becomes interest-less. It is a kind of burden. But when you work with no feeling ofattachment, the work turns into worship, an object of your reverence. However, when I speak of detachment or non-attachment, it does not imply sittingidle or inert. It means to work, but never bother about the reward of it. Take work itselfas your reward. You will feel that the flowers of salvation blossom in your life. Yourlife itself will turn into a temple, your body will become an altar of worship. Thus, the first principle of kayotsarg is looking at the experiences of life in such away as if this body belongs to someone else. The second characteristic of it isremembrance of such a thing, concentrating your mind on such an object in which yourmind gets fully engrossed. You mind will sure get engrossed, you will see, in that objectin which you have faith, devotion and commitment. With these two principles your gripon the body will begin loosening up. As the grip, hold on the body will loosen, the bodywill begin to get healthier. It will be a miracle: the health will improve in the samemeasure in which you loosen up the grip. Why does it happen this way? Try to understand it from the scientificperspective. I was a reading a book by George Sylvia. He writes that our bodies haveinherent auto-healing system. In other words, nature has created such a system in ourbodies as it can regain health of its own. However, it fails to regain health of its ownbecause our thoughts hinder its way. Our attachment with the body does now allow the
  • 81. 81body to work in a way it should. Our mind creates hindrances in the way of body‟s auto-healting system, the procedure which helps body get healthier of its own. That is theprincipal reason why body fails to become healthy of its own. George Sylvia goes on to say all the ailments we suffer from are not physical innature. Most of these ailments are caused by the combination of body and mind. Wehave to find out remedies from outside for the maladies caused by the combination ofthese two. On the other hand, the ailments which are purely physical in nature do notneed any cure from outside. However, this outside cure is not required only if mind doesnot cause any hindrances in the way. If mind creates these hindrances, then this auto-healting will get obstructed and outside cure will become obligatory. You must take care of your body, but you must not hold on to it. Taking care ofsomething is one thing but holding on to it is absolutely different. You do take good careof your home. But if you hold on to your house and keep sitting at its door-steps, it willsure obstruct the pace of your life. You will be called a cynic, a diseased mind. We donot take care of the body, rather we hold on to it. All our thoughts and feelings hoveraround the body. Look at the clothes you are wearing: they are close to the body. The food youtake is also connected with the body. The house you own is also connected with thebody. Your family is also connected the same way. You name anything and that ishovering around or close to the body. Come out of this grip a bit. The best way to do sois kayotsarg. I have given in the preceding pages two characteristics, two principles ofkayotsarg. You ought to reflect on them. You must get release from the feeling oftension. Let the real Urvashi within Urvarshi, the real self within you come out.
  • 82. 82 Chapter VI BALANCED PLANNING OF TIME The topic of our discussion in this chapter will be the balanced management oftime. How can we plan our time? How can we do proper planning and management oftime? First of all, let us understand that proper planning of time is very, very essential.But why is it essential? Look at your own life. What is the average age of man thesedays? It was a hundred years earlier and then gradually it got reduced to eighty years andthese days it has come down to sixty years. We all know that the average age of manthese days is about sixty years. About one third of this, i.e. about twenty years out of thetotal age of sixty, is spent by us in sleep. Of the twenty-four hours of day and night, mantakes rest, i.e. sleeps for about eight hours. In childhood this duration is a little morewhereas in old age it becomes a little less than the average of eight hours. As we growold, the duration of sleep gets automatically less. That is why I have kept the averagetime spent in sleep to eight hours. So of the sixty years of age, about twenty years aregone in sleep. Now we have forty years remaining. We know that everybody must follow one or the other profession/vocation tomake out his livelihood. Some people take to some government or private job. Manmust also have time to earn his livelihood, to earn money for his life. The right andproper time for this purpose is eight hours, though man is never satisfied after givingeight hours to his vocation. He wants to spent maximum of his time in his vocation. Thereason simply is that the attraction of money always dominates his mind. Of course, hedoes business work during the time meant for this purpose, but he remains engrossed inthe things related with his business/work. The right time prescribed for businesspurposes is eight hours. In fact, eight hours is sufficient to earn enough to fulfil the needsof life. Thus, eight hours of the daily twenty-four hours are spent in business. In otherwords, about twenty years of the average sixty years of life are spent in dealing withthings connected with work/business. Now, we have just twenty years of life remainingwith us. We are just infants for the first about five years of our life, and the next aboutfive years are spent in playing about. Now we have only ten years left with us. There are many more things in our life which need our attention. Some of yourtime you spent in entertainment whereas some more is spent in meeting together withfriends and relatives, conversing with acquaintances and doing many odd things. Anaverage of two hours daily are spent doing these things. In our words, five years of ourlife are spent in these things. Now only five years are left with us. And these five yearsare also spent just like that: for example, sometime you fall ill, some time is taken bymutual bickering and quarrels, visiting hospitals and courts. In this way, the remainingfive years are also gone by. We fail to make out how our whole life span is spent. And people still say thatlife is sixty long years. In spite of this, we do not know how this life span is spent. Why
  • 83. 83does it happen this way? The reason for this is that we fail to plan our time in the rightand proper manner. For example, you run a house. And, you run a factory. For this you makeplanning as to how to run the house or factory. If you have say fifty thousand rupees, youplan a budget for that amount. You plan that this much of this amount is to be spent onthis particular purpose and this much on another purpose. You plan the budget and thenspend the money accordingly. All this necessary to run a house and to run a factory.Otherwise, you will not be able to run your house or factory. If you plan your expenses,if ou plan your income, why do you not plan your time? You always say that you will do this or that work when you have the time. “If andwhen I have the time…”is such a sentence which we make use of very often in our life.You may be talking to anybody, but the use of this kind of sentence will be heard quiteoften. We are never in a position to find time for things which we actually do not want todo. We keep on putting off things in which we have no faith, no commitment. Theavailability of time is only an excuse, a shield to protect ourselves. We do somehowmake time for things in which we are interested, the things which we love, the things inwhich we have some hope of material gain. We find time for such things even if we haveto give up or postpone certain other jobs. When you are invited either for meditation or for self-study, you immediatelybring in the sentence “if there is time” to protect yourself with. You make a show as ifyou have great faith in meditation or self-study. However, you always say that you willsure do it „if you have the time‟. You promise to do meditation, self-study and performsamayak provided you have the time. The pre-condition is „if there is time available‟. But do you have get free time tosuch a thing? When do you get the time? Even if you try and sit for a while for any ofthese things, hundreds of worries and anxieties always keep you occupied. Sometimesyou are fed up with the inspiring words of someone. Sometimes you find yourself undermoral pressure of the saints and sit down to meditate, but your mind is not in it: itwanders somewhere else. As soon as you sit down, the mind is worried about when toget up. There are thousands of jobs needing your attention. Innumerable feelings andthoughts attract your attention in different directions. You apprehend that business at theshop would suffer, so many customers will go back and so much of loss might occur. Why so? Because you have dependence on the shop. You are more interested inthe profit coming from the shop. You are interested in this or that job. On the contrary,you do not have any faith in meditation. That is why you do not have any time formeditation. Even if you find time for meditation, your mind is never in it, rather it getsdistracted in numerous other things. Since you remain engrossed in innumerable thingsof the world, that is why you fail to receive the gains of meditation, of dharma, of self-study.
  • 84. 84 Do you ever feel satisfied, contented with the jobs in which you find yourself somuch interested? You work hard throughout the day. As you lie down on the bed atnight before going to sleep, are you at that moment fully satisfied and contented that allthe things you wanted to complete have been completed during the day‟s hard work.Were you able to accomplish what you had wanted to? The answer is always in thenegative. At that moment before going to sleep, you regret that a particular workremained incomplete though you wanted a lot to complete it. You could not completedespite all your wishes and hard work. Thus, when you go to sleep everyday, you arenever a satisfied, contented person. You are ever worried that tomorrow morning youhave to do this job, complete that work. The morning will change into noon and noonwill change into evening and evening into night. And the same moment of discontent,dissatisfaction will again take over. If such a thing happens only once or at the mosttwice, it will be all right. But this is everyday occurrence with you. This happens dailywith all of you. You find yourself overcome with discontentment and dissatisfaction. This sense of discontentment goes on until the very end of your life. When youcomplete your life journey of sixty years, you are full of discontentment anddissatisfaction even at that time.We feel that we were not able to do what we should havedone. No doubt, we kept overselves fully occupied in doing various things, but we couldnot do what was worth doing. It is not that we were able to do nothing. We sure did alot, but we did those things which should better have been left undone. It would havemade no difference had we not done all that. We could have lived a good, worthy lifeeven by doing much less than what we did. We kept ourselves pre-occupied for nothing.We kept ourselves busy day and night. However, we miserably failed to do which wewere supposed to do in life, which was the object of our life, for which nature hadprovided us with all the necessary means. In the present context, an episode from the life of a Parsi friend, Peston, comes tomy mind. One day he was expecting some guests at his home. The wife of Peston said,“see, our most loving and honoured guests are expected. Today we shall offer them Shirafor food. But we do not have at home either the flour or jaggery or other material requiredfor preparing Shira. So you may please go to the market and buy all these things so thatwe prepare Shira for the guests.” Mr Peston left home for the market. He was a man of rare commitment. Hereached the market. He came across a crockery shop. He saw beautiful vessals, plateskept there. Peston thought that when the guest arrives, the Shira we want to prepared willbe placed before him, but we do not have any good quality plates at home. Therefore, itwill be good to buy some new plates. With this in mind, he purchased a few plates alongwith some cups and spoons. Now Mr Peston went farther into the market. His footsteps were falling on theground, but his mind was walking much ahead of his feet. He thought that Shira will besweet. Will they offer only sweet to the guests? Something salty should also be taken tobe offered along with the sweet one. He entered a shop and purchased some packets. Hemoved on. A little ahead he saw a shop selling cold drinks and sherbat. A thought came
  • 85. 85to the mind of Peston that he should also buy some cold drink for the guest to arrive. Sohe purchased a bottle of sherat. This led him to think that there are no good qualitytumblers available at home. It is also necessary to buy some good glass tumblers. Hesearched out a shop and from there purchased a few tumblers. Then he walked fartherinto the bazar. His mind was now thinking of Shira. He began thinking that Shiraprepared with just jaggery or sugar is no good Shira. Some quantity of dry fruits shouldalso be added to it. So he went on to a shop of dry fruits. He purchased cashewnut,almond, etc. in small measures. Thus Mr Peston purchased whatever came to his mind,and he did quite a lot of shopping that day. He purchased so many things that he felt itquite difficult to carry all of them home, but he forgot to buy flour and jaggery. It was a heavy carriage. Mr Peston somehow carried the things and reachedhome. He was perspiring all over. He was happy in his heart that his wife will appreciatehis effort as soon as she saw him bringing so many things home. Often this is the psychology of the husbands that they expect appreciation whenthey do some shopping and take things home. Mr Peston was also hoping that his wifewould appreciate his endeavour. Mrs Peston saw all the things he had taken home, butthe things for which she had sent Mr Peston to the market were not there. She felt a bitirritated and said that he has returned without buying those things precisely for which hehad gone to the market. She told him that he has brought so many other things whichwere not needed but has not brought what was essential. How can we now prepare Shirawithout these essential ingredients? Poor Peston had to cut a sorry figure. You can only laugh at the situation of Mr Peston. But if you think over thesituation a little deeply, you will find out that your position at the end of life-span will notbe much different from that of Mr Peston. When you will find at the fag end of thejourney of life you will find that you have left undone only what you should have donewhereas you have done so many other things. All this happens only because you fail toproperly manage time. We never think that life needs planning as well. We do whateverour mind takes a fancy to at a given time. But there are things which appear to be goodand which are actually good: these are two different things. It is not necessary thatwhatever appears good to you may in fact be good. It is only after the result is out whatwas good and what was not good. Therefore, proper and right planning of time is veryessential. What is planning? How should be live our life in a planned manner? For this, thefirst principle is right division. Here the right division implies the right division of time.But how can we divide time in the right manner? In this respect, our ancient holy menhave written beautifuly. They have proclaimed that first of all we must reflect on thepurpose of our life. Why and for what are we living? Reflecting on this you will reachthe conclusion that you are living for yourself. The most important thing in life for you isyour own self. It is your soul. Family, children, wealth, etc. everything else comes lateron. Your own self is the most important for your. Therefore, you should set apart a
  • 86. 86specific period for your own progression, for your own spiritual development. You mustprescribe twenty-five per cent of the total time, i.e. at least six out of the total twenty-four hours of day and night, for your own development. What is exactly meant by the spiritual progression? Spiritual progression impliesbetterment of the soul so that you blossom both from within and without. It is necessaryfor spiritual progression that you ought to spend some of your time with your own self. Itmight sound a bit difficult for your, because you can spend time with anybody else in theworld but not with your own self. You can spend time with your bitter enemy, but willfind it difficult to live with your own self. Why is it so? The reason simply is that eversince time immemorial man has been living outside, with his friends, with his family,with his enemies. He has lived with a wide a variety of people, but not with himself.That is why man ever feels the need of others. Once you begin living with yourself, youwill learn that it is a very joyous experience. The best way to live with his own self is meditation. Man is with himself onlyduring the period he meditates. Meditation takes you close to your soul. It provides youwith its own shade. It gives you relief and rest. It provides you with your own home.During the moments of meditation, you are with yourself. At that time, the family aswell as feelings of anger, jealousy, etc.disappear. Even the body also dissolves for your.What remains with you is your inner self, truth, consciousness and ecstasy. You must meditate at least for two hours daily. Do not get alarmed when I saytwo hours. You can willingly spend all the twenty-four hours of the day with the world.Why cann‟t you spend two hours with your own self? In the beginning, you will not feelinterested in this because your minds tends to lead you to somewhere else. Gradually,you will find that mind begins to obey and thereafter these two hours will become themost enjoyable period of your life. You ought to spend at least another two hours on self-study. You should read thebest of literature. This will help you to learn as to what the philosophers and thinkersthink of the world and man. Your own thinking will become mature. The self-study willclean up the mirror of your soul. During the remaining two hours, you must complete your daily things. Thisincludes bathing, taking food, etc. In this way, you must prescribe at least twenty-five per cent of the day for yourown self. Now, the second issue is of vocation, the profession for livelihood. You shouldset apart an equal measure of time, i.e. twenty-five per cent of the time, for your vocation.You will initially feel that it is too little a time. But I must say that only this much oftime should rightly be devoted to business or other vocation. If you work hard and withyour full potential, you can sure earn for yourself and your family the daily needs of life –food, clothes and house. You can earn enough to make both ends meet. As for as your
  • 87. 87desires are concerned, there is no end to them. Any amount of time is insufficient forthem. You may spend your entire life, you may spend several of your lives, but still youwill not be able to fulfil all your desires. If there are four members in the family, a house comprising four rooms is morethan enough. What will you do with a house which has a dozen or so rooms? But it isalso a fact that dozens of rooms are added to your home, knowing fully well that theserooms are not required. Moreover, while doing so you simply gloss over the fact thatthere are others also who need food, clothing and housing. The more you desire themore will be the imbalance in society. Suppose you build a house comprising fifteenrooms, but there will several people around you who have no room over their heads.Desires, especially unnecessary desires create imbalance in society. Economic and socialimbalance gives birth to jealousy, and jealousy is the mother of discord and violence.Therefore, it is necessary that you should only as much as can fulfil your needs, essentialneeds. And, for that purpose six-hour work daily is enough. Thereafter in order of priority come the family, society and country. You mustalso spare some time for the family with which you live, of which you are a member.Your family includes your mother, father, wife and lchildren. You must also devote partof your time to them. You ought to sit with them, talk to them and share their joys andsorrows. This will lead to the mutual love and affection among members of the family. Man is also supposed to give some of his time to the society he belongs to. Manmust take part in social activities. This will add to the beauty, joy in your life. Third comes the country. You owe some responsibility towards the country, thestate, the town you live in. Today you are a resident of Delhi, but what have you done forthe city of Delhi? Everybody in the city creates noise pollution, there is a lot ofenvironmental pollution, there are innumerable pot-holes on the roads, heaps of garbagecan be seen at so many place, and so on. You need to give some time to attend to suchproblems. It is easier to make a petition, but think for a minute what you have done in thisrespect. Did you make even the slightest of effort to resolve any of these problems facingthe town? Did it ever come to your mind that you should do something in this behalf?You ought to bring about awareness among the residents of the town you live in. There iscorruption all around in the society, many diseases spread at one time or the other, thereare so many orphan children. But did you ever do something or did you ever think ofdoing something for them? You owe a responsibility towards your town and city. You must set apart a leasttwo hours daily for various projects aimed at the development and prosperity of yourcountry. In this way, you should spend at least six hours daily dedicated to your family,city and countlry.
  • 88. 88 For the remaining twenty-five per cent of the total twenty-four hours, you mustrest and relax your body. In other words, this much of time you should give to sleeping. This is the right planning of time. One must spend twenty-five per cent of thetime for self-development, another twenty-five percent in earning one‟s livelihood andanother twenty-five per cent he should dedicate to his family, city and country. Theremaining twenty-five per cent he should devote for providing rest and relaxation to hisbody. This is the right and proper planning of time. Whenever and wherever this planning becomes imbalanced, it marks thebeginning of tension and disease in life. The main reason for the tension through whichman is today passing is that man has not been able to plan his time in the right manner.Man lives life on the physical plane only. He works hard, he exerts himself day and nightonly for physical comforts. He creates daily newer and newer comforts for himself. Butnone of these comforts provides him with contentment and joy. The reason? Joy is not acharacteristic of the body. It is a characteristic of the soul, it is the nature of the soul.Unfortunately, man has no time for his soul. He has saved no time to realize his soul. Heis ever engrossed in the worship of the body. That is why he remains in tension, is eversurrounded by sorrow and anxieties. Planning of time is essential. A balanced division of time is equally essential. Ifyou abide by the proper planning and balanced ldivision of time, you are sure to lead alife of peace and joy - wherever you might be whether at home, in the family, at shop, orin society. Once there lived a man in Chennai. He was a chartered accountant by profession.You know very well how busy and how preoccupied a chartered accountant usually is. Ineed not dwell on this as this fact is very well known to you. As it is, it depends on theindividual. He can increase the load of his work as much as he wants to. In the inverseproportion, he can decrease the load of his work as much as he likes. That fellow inChennai had also a lot of work but he had so planned and divided his time that he wouldgo to office at ten in the morning. He would close down his office at six in the eveningand come back home. Even if there was a heavy load of work, even if the work wasrather important, he was strictly puntual to his time. He would close his office premisesat exact six in the evening and reach direct home. He will have his food at the appointedtime. He would give some of his time to the family. He would meditate, self-study andperform samayak at the appointed time. He had fixed his time for going to bed, and hewould always abide by it. His life fully and rightly planned. That fellow lived a life ofsixty years. He was fully healthy and normal till the very end of his life. He attended hisoffice even on the last day of his life. He died the death of a saint, a holy man. He wassitting in meditation, self-introspecting and self-studying when he breathed his last. This is a true happening. That fellow had a friend. He was also a charteredaccountant. Both of them had passed the C.A. test at the same time. That friend alwayslaughed at him. He would often say, “O dear, clients come after six in the evening and it
  • 89. 89is at that time that you close up your office. Have you ever thought how much loss doyou suffer because of this? But the fellow always told his friend that he loves to live his life this way and hewould never change his life style come what way. His friend would come to his office atnine in the morning and would work there till late into the night, even up to eleven ortwelve midnight. It was only after that that he went back home. For him it was work andwork and only work. He was ever busy with his work. He never paid any attention toother things in life. He earned a lot of money but he lost his health and happiness. Hewas only thirty-five years of age when he suffered the first attack. He was only fortyyears of age when he fell prey to diabetes. But he did not let the pace of his workslacken, and maintained the same pace. In such cases, nature always gives warning to man to stop, but man fails to payattention to this warning. He does not change the pace of his life style despite thiswarning. That friend also remained busy with his work. When he reached forty-fifthyear of his age, he developed chronic headache. It was soon followed by pain in his feet.What happens when a disease takes over body? Man becomes irritable by nature. Heloses his balance of mind even on trivial matters. This was the condition now of thatfriend. He remained unhappy with the family, and the family was unhappy with him. Hegot several complicated diseases. He was rather sad and disappointed and alsodiscontented. No doubt, he earned a lot of money during his life, but along with that wealth healso acquired a number of ailments and diseases. That is why wise old people have saidthat as man develops more and more love for his position in the society he acquires in thesame proportion ailments and maladies for his body. He loses his balance of mind, hispeace of mind. Do not be unmind of time. Do not be unmindful of your body. Do not beunmindful of your own self. Prepare a time-table. This time-table of yours shouldguide you to distribute your time for different things in life. You must know as to howmuch time you have to give to which particular thing and how much of time you mustkeep up to yourself. You must know the time you should be taking your food, you mustknow the time when you want to or need to go to sleep, and so on. Plan and distributeyour time in a rational manner. If you begin to live your life in this way, you will feelfree from all tension. You will experience a strange kind of satisfaction. You begin taking food at the proper fixed time daily. You will realize that youfeel hungry at the given time. The digestive system will so adjust itself that the digestiveelements will get ready to digest the new food in the body at the fixed time. These dayspeople are generally prone to acidity and obesity. Why does all this happen to our body?It happens because one day you take your food at twelve noon and the next day at one inthe afternoon and the day following at three in the afternoon. After all, your stomach isalso like a machine. It has also its potential as well as system to work. When youconsciously or unconsciously create a hurdle in its working, it does affective the
  • 90. 90mechanism of the stomach. The result is the ailment of your body. In case you begintaking your food at daily at the fixed time, say at twelve noon, your stomach system willbe aware of this fact and well before that time all the juices meant to help digestion getcollected in the stomach and you feel the hunger at the given time. In case you do nottake food at that time, those very juices turn into acid and begin harming the inner skin.This is the beginning of the acidity which can further turn into an ulcer. Thus, taking food at specific fixed hours, going to bed at the specific fixed hoursand meditating at the specific fixed hours is always helpful to the body. You tell thebeads some times and some times you perform and you do so sometimes by getting upearly in the morning and some times you do so in the evening and another day at someother time when you find it convenient. This is not right and instead of this you shouldfix a time for meditation and samayak. For example, you may make up your mind thatyou will meditate and perform samayak from nine to ten in the morning. You stick tothis resolve for about a fortnight. The next day your mind will turn to meditation at thegiven time even if you are at that moment doing some other work. The reason is thatmind has got a routine of its own, and it will remind you at the fixed hour that it was nowthe time for meditation. This is the planning and division of time. Prepare a time-table for yourself. It isnot very difficult. This is quite easy. It requires only a little bit of effort. Now we come to the next principle. You have prepred a time-table. Now it isequally essential to put that time-table into practice. A very important point to be notedhere is that you must say no where it is necessary to say, and you must say yes where it isnecessary say so. How? For example, you receive a phone call from your friendinforming you that he has a certain programme tomorrow at twelve noon at his home. Heextends you an invitation to participate in that function. Now you realize that tomorrowtwelve is the time which you have reserved for yourself. But a pressing invitation from afriend has come and you cannot say no to him because the friend might feel annoyed atyour saying no. You cannot, at the same time, say yes because by saying so your time-table gets disturbed. You respond to the friend in the positive, saying that you will suretry. “Yes, I shall try.” This very sentence coming from your lips indicates theuncertainty of your mind. You should prepared yourself to be certain in mind. In case,you feel that you cannot go, you must say no. In case, you have the time and you wantto go, you must say yes. Do not try to create an unnecessary middle way out Remember one thing. He who wants to please all cannot please anybody. After awhile people will understand that your positive as well as negative response meannothing. No body will have firm faith in your response. He who is uncertain, unsure inhis own mind cannot assure anybody else. Even your own children will soon becomeaware that it makes no sense when papa says yes and it makes equally no sense when hesays no.
  • 91. 91 For proper planning of time, it is very necessary that you must not be afraid ofsaying no when it becomes essential to say so. If it is essential to say yes, do not hesitateto say so. If it is the time for your food, say for sure that you will take food. Supposeyou go to someone‟s house at night and you do not eat anything at night. The host bringssome good dish and places it before you. You express some initial reluctance and saythat you will not have anything. The host insists and you melt down and accept the givenfood. Then this begins to happen quite frequently. We hesitate, rather fear saying no.We feel that our saying no might offend theother person. But a mere apprehension that the other might feel bad cause a great harm toour own self, to our own body. It may be that the other person might feel a little offendedto begin with, but soon he will realize that if you do not eat anything at night, it meansyou do not eat at that time. Then he will accept that if you say no, you mean it; and ifyou say yes, you mean the same. In the beginning, people might have difficulty inunderstanding, but gradually they will sure learn what you mean and they will trust yourno as well as yes. This will also add to your stature as dependable person. Therefore, donot be afraid of saying no. If it is essential to say no, do not hesitate, do not be afraid ofsaying no. The next principle of planning the time is that you do with love whatever job is inyour hands. Perform your job with love. For example, there is a housewife. She has tocook food in the kitchen. If cooking is her responsibility, then it is for her to cook food.She can have two kinds of mental attitudes towards this work. One, she does the cookingtaking it as a burden, a work forced upon her. She does not feel happy that she has to dothis cooking job daily. Everybody in the feels joins in eating food, but it is she alone whohas to suffer in the heat by the side of the stove. This is one way of thinking. The secondmental attitude is that you cook the food with a feeling of love. While cooking food inthe kitchen, she should feel proud that she has been assigned a wonderful job. She feelshappy in the thought the food cooked by her will satiate the hunger of everybody in thefamily. Everybody will feel happy and satisfied after taking the food prepared by me.They all will relish the taste of the food. These are the two mental attitudes a housewife can have towards her job. Thefirst attitude causes stress and strain to the housewife. In such a situation, she will ofcourse do the work, but neither the work will seem interesting to her nor will sheenjoying doing it. On the other hand, the second attitude fills her with pleasure. Thefood thus cooked by her will not only give pleasure to her but will also satiate those wholtake it. When you take up a job with a feeling of love, the work seems easier and smallerto you. However difficult the work, it will look easier to the doer. But when you do ajob under compulsion considering it an enforced burden, the same job begins to lookmuch bigger and difficult. This feeling of love turns even a mound into a small particle.On the other hand, tension makes a particle into a mound.
  • 92. 92 Once there was a saint. He was climbing up a hill. He had a bundle on his head.It was the season of summer. Imagine the heat of summer and you have to climb upcarrying a bundle on your head. The saint was drenched with perspiration. He felt itquite difficult to move ahead up the hill. On the way, the saint came across a small girl.She was carrying an infant on her back. Still she was climbing up that very hill. The saint went to that girl and said, “Daughter, you might be feeling rather hard.You are yourself a small child and you have to climb up the hill carrying such a burdenon your back. The girl replied, “O holy man, the burden is in fact on your head. On my back ismy brother. Since he is my brother, I do not feel any burden.” Where there is a feeling of love, the feeling of burden is not there. Where there isno love, the feeling of burden will be there even if there is no burden really. The questionof of love. Love makes your work sweet. Therefore, whatever you do, do it with afeeling of love. Even if it is a small job, you must do it with a feeling of love. Even ifyou have to set the bed sheet right, do it lovingly. Even if you have to undo the laces ofyour shoes, do the job lovingly. Whatever job you are doing, do it with love andaffection in your heart. You will sure find a change in your performance as well as inyour own self. Take for example the pillow you use to rest your bed on while lying on the bed.Place your hand on it with a feeling of love before going to bed. You will find that yoursleep thereafter will be sound. This loving touch of pillow for five minutes will tranformyour sleep. There was a man in Nasik. He had not been having normal, good sleep for thelast about six months. He had been continuously losing weight for not having normalsleep. One day he came to me and we happened to discuss the issue of friendly feeling. Itold him during my discourse that we should show friendly feelings even to inanimatethings - you should show your love even to your bed, your pillow. The wife of that person was also present during the discourse. She thought thatshe should put into practice what I had said. That lady put a loving hand on the bed, onthe pillow of her husband for about five minutes. In the morning as the husband got up,he expressed his sense of wonder that he had had a good sound sleep this night afterabout six months. This is a true incident of life. You can test it by doing so yourself. For example,you sit down to take your food. One way of taking food is that you gulp it downimmediately as it is placed before you. The second way is that you first lovinglyremember the woman who has prepared the food for you. You thank her from your heartthat she prepared such a tasty food for you. Thank in your heart the peasant whoproduced the grains which form your food. Thank that earth also which produced thosegrains. Thank even the plate in which your food is placed. If there was no plate, you
  • 93. 93might have had to take food holding it in your hand. Thereafter you begin taking thefood. You will find that the taste of the food undergoes a transformation. You will relishthe food better, and you will find satiated with a smaller quantity. The famous author, Carnagie, has written a wonderful thing. The feelings of ourheart and mind get reflected on our face, and they influence our temper. However,contrary to it also happens. The feelings of our mind also get influenced by the kind offace we carry. If you are angry at heart, the same anger gets reflected on lyour face. But this isalso true that you bring reflexes of anger on your face, gradually your mind will also getfilled with anger. We cannot hold on to the mind in a direct way. But we can sure contol thereflexes of the face. Earlier we were reading a book while weeping, now we can read thesame book laughing. In the beginning you will feel that it looks like show-acting.Gradually, you will find that the same smile comes from your inner self. Whatever you do, do it lovingingly. When you do a job lovingly, you will notfeel the weariness, rather you will find a strange kind of satisfaction and energy aftercompleting that job. You will find yourself refreshed. We ought to plan our time, our life in this way. The first principle of planningtime is the right and proper division of time. Twenty-five per cent of the total timeshould be for your own self, twenty-five per cent for your vocation to earn yourlivelihood, another twenty-five per cent for your family, society and countlry and theremaining twenty-five per cent for your rest and relaxation and sleep. The secondprinciple is preparation of the time-table and plan your life in accordance with that time-table. The third principle is that you should not be afraid of saying no. You must say nowhen it is necessary to say so. The fourth principle is that whatever you have to do youshould do it lovingly. Make these four principles an integral part of your life. After you do so, you willfind that you will never find an opportunity when you will have to say that you do nothave time for this or that thing and that you will do a particular thing if and when youhave the time. He who says so is either a fool or actually is not inclined to do that. Incase he is a wise person, if he knows the value of proper planning of time, he will suresay “yes, I will do it” or he will say with certainty “no, I will not do it.” To say that Ihave do not have the time is not the right answer. I hope these principles of planning time will help you make your life planned,balanced and sweet.
  • 94. 94 Chapter VII SOOTHING SHADOW OF SOLUTION Now I have a set of questions before me, and in the following chapter, we shalldiscuss these questions and try to find their answers.Question: In our tradition, taking of food at night is taboo. How far is it rational. Inancient times, there was no electricity and the possibility of unconscious violence wasthere in cooking and taking food in the dark. These days we have electricity and yournights are as well lit as the day. Why do you then preach avoiding food at night eventhese days. Why is it necessary to avoid taking food at night? Please give us a scientificexplanation.Answer: There are two kinds of beings in this world. There are some beings who moveabout when it is the sun. And, there are some beings whose life is connected with themoon. The former get affected differently with the presence and absence of the sun.Similely, the latter also get differently affected by the presence or absence of the moon.The beings which begin their movement with the pace of the sun start opening up withthe rising of the sun. As the lotus blossoms, they also begin to open up and expand.When the sun reaches midway of its journey by noontime, they open up fully, theyblossom fully. In the process of their development, they absorb certain elements from theoutside environment. In fact, what they absorb from outside is their food forconsumption. In other words, the elements which they consume as food which getstransformed into their opening up and blooming. And then as the sun goes down towardsits end, these animals close within their shell. The opening which had opened up getsclosed of its own. And, with its closing up they go into hybernation. This is the naturalprinciple of their body.Man is also a being who lives by the movement of the sun. As there is change in themovement/placing of the sun, there take place strange kind of changes in him, within hisbody, within the elements of his body, in his mind and in his complete personality.According to the yoga, there are several chakras in our body. Among them the mostimportant are the nabhichakra and hridayachakra. The entire system of our body iscontrolled by the former whereas the latter is the centre of all our feelings. When it is thebeginning of the rising of the sun, the process of opening up of these chakras also begins.Then as the sun rises up, these chakras open up fully. In the evening as the sun reachesthe west, these chakras gradually and slowly close down.The food you take in is related with the digestive juices. The latter is linked with thenabhichakra. With the setting of the sun, the nabhichakra begins to close down. As thesun goes down, a special kind of change takes place within your body. Your nabhikamalgradually and slowly begins to close down.
  • 95. 95Now, let us see, there take place several changes outside in the nature as the sun goesdown in the west. In the cities you do not feel the change much. You go to the villagesand see the change. If you want to really see the scene correctly and properly, you shouldgo to the villageside. When the sun sets, the birds come back to their nests. There areseveral kinds of insects which go into a state of rest or hybernation. At the same time,there are certain kinds of insects which become active with the setting of the sun. Thenumber of flies goes down whereas the number of mosquitoes goes considerably up. Allthese changes take place in the environment with the setting of the sun. Peace begins todawn in the atmosphere. A kind of mystery hovers all around. All is quiet.It also becomes essential for man that he should go to rest as the sun goes down in thewest. That is the time for him to rest his tired limbs.Is that the only time for rest and relaxation? In our tradition, the night has been dividedinto four parts. The full night is taken to be twelve hours, and it is divided four equalparts of three hours each. As we enter the first part of this division, we should freeourselves from the labour and begin to rest. In the second part, we should go to bed andsleep. As the fourth part of this division begins, that is three hours before sun-rise weshould get up. This stage is equal to the first division of night: man should enter the stageof rest for three hours before going to bed and after six hours of sleep and should comeout of sleep three hours before sun-rise.When we begin taking food, it takes fifteen to twenty minutes for us to complete.Ourbody needs three hours of exertion to digest that food. These days we often take heavy,fried food such as paranthas, fried cooked cheese, etc. To digest this kind of heavy food,our body will have to work for a longer time and exert even more. When you take yourdinner late at night, the first wrong thing you do is that you go against the nature of body.Second, when at night your body needs rest, you put into working hard, to exert a lot.These days generally many people return late from work, take their dinner andimmediately thereafter go to bed and sleep. What happens then is that you want to gointo a state of rest, but within your body an effort is required to digest what you havetaken. This creates a dichotmic situation for your body. You wish your body to do twodifferent kinds of jobs. You expect it to go to sleep and at the same time put it on the jobof digesting the food. But body is just one body, one organism. It will not change foryour asking. If you create any hurdles in its natural functioning, it will find its own wayout. If you go to sleep, your body will not digest the food properly. The food will remainwithin lyour body undigested. This very food if digested would have given you energyand alacrity, but in this situation the undigested food becomes a cause for variousmaladies.When outwardly you put your body to rest but inwardly expect it to work and exert, thebody begins to fight against itself. The result is that it can neither rest properly nor exertas expected. Obviously, the food you take late at night never gets properly digested.Moreover, the sleep that you have in such a situation is never a sound sleep. It will beeither a disturbed sleep or you will be having dreams. In case you have taken more food
  • 96. 96and spicy food, the dreams will be exciting and if the food was hot, the dreams might besensual.The first consequence of your taking late food is that the time for your going to sleep getspostponed, and you go to sleep late. Second, if you go to sleep late, naturally you will getup late. If you go to sleep late, it is obvious that you cannot have proper rest. You dosleep for some time but you fail to attain the energy and power that you might haveotherwise attained by sleeping.From a scientific perspective it is a fact that sl ten to two at night is the best time to go tosleep. This is the time when you get the most energy, freshness and alacrity from sleep.This is much more than what you might expect to get by going to sleep at twelve atmidnight and remaining in sleep say still ten in the morning. When you go to bed early,your body gets more rest and more energy. The reason obviously is that this is the propertime for the body to have sleep. When the body goes to rest at the proper time, it will getmore rest and more energy in less time. You can understand this in this manner.Suppose you have to deposit your tax by the thirtieth, but in case you do not deposit thetax by the stipulated date and you go to deposit the tax after the due date, you are askedpay penality. In the same way, when the time to go to sleep passes by and you go to bedafter that due time, your body has to pay penality. In other words, body needs more timeto have sleep but still it gets less rest and less energy.Giving up of dinner is not just related to violence. Of course, this reason is sufficient initself. But there is another reason as well, and this another reason is also rather importantand meaningful. And this another reason is that late dinner is against the very nature ofthe constitution of body. By taking late dinner is like torturing your body. You tortureyour own self. As a result of this the entire system of functioning of your body getsimbalanced. In the beginning, you do not realize this, but gradually the system begins tofail. As the system fails, many maladies and diseases overtake the body.As per our physical constitution, the body will abide by our wishes if we try and walk.The foremost reason for not taking meals at night is that both the subtle and gross bodyof yours are related with sun. When you take food when the sun has not yet gone down,it gets digested very quickly. When you take food after the sun has set, your body has towork over time. It has to exert a lot. A work which could have been accomplishedduring the day within our hour is not completed in two or even three hours. How longcan the body go on doing over time? A day will come soon when it will get tired andexhausted. The system will fail.Second, when you go to sleep late, naturally you get up late. Consequently, a specifickind of poison begins to accumulate in the body. Your sleep is connected with your foodand with sleep is connected your mind. Thus it is necessary to give up the habit of takingfood at night. You must also remember, this habit is not limited only to the Jaincommunity. All the wise men in the world, all those who understood the relationshipbetween food and body structure, they all advised mankind against taking food at night.By so doing you can become healthier, you can become more energetic and you can live
  • 97. 97a long life. This also helps your mind to remain in a happy mood. Your body remainsever healthy. You feel very, very light. You feel free and light and healthy like birds andfeel like flying in the sky.Question: How can we make our relations sweet?Answer: A relation can well be called a relation only as long as it has two things. Thefirst such thing is truthfulness: you should be truthful in your relationship with youracquaintances. The second is mutual faith: you should have deep mutual faith in eachother.What do we exactly mean by truthfulness: it does not merely imply speaking truth. Wetake it to mean that you should behave with others as you would wish that the othersshould behave with you. For exmple, you would wish that no one should put anypressures on you. Similarly, you should also ensure that you do not pressurize anybodyin life. However, often the attitude is imbalanced. The male would wish that the womanin his life should not in any way put any pressures on him. In the same way, the womanwould also wish that the man should behave as per her wishes and desires. This mutualimbalance causes tension in relationships.The first and the foremost way to make mutual relationships sweet is truthfulness. Youshould do to your acquaintances and friends what you wish them to do for your.The second point is the strength to digest the truth. Of course, we should speak the truthto each other. But we must have the strength to listen to and digest the truth along sidetht of saying it. Suppose one of your relations has committed a wrong today, do notstretch that issue so much that the fellow might feel ashamed and might have to think tentimes before admitting that wrong. It is natural for anybody to commit some mistakesometimes. We commit mistakes at each step. Let us listen to the other who hascommitted a mistake and provide him guidance with love. We must not stretch the issuemuch. Do not blame him. Give him love. Provide him help and guidance with love.Suppose a kid at your own home commits a mistake. If the other tells him once aboutthis, he will sure listen to her. Even if she does it twice, he might listen to her. He mightperhaps listen to her if she does so three times. But if she goes on doing so, the childmight think in his mind that it was no use speaking the truth and telling about the mistakehe had done. Therefore, it becomes essential for us to digest the truth.One more point to ponder. When does a house become a home? It turns into a homewhen each member of the family feels that it is my home. Once I went to visit a house.A girl of about seven or eights years of age was there. I asked the girl, “Daughter, yourhouse is quite a big one.”After listening to what I had said, the girl replied, “no, no, it is not my home. It is thehouse of my grandfather.”
  • 98. 98A small little girl did not feel that the house owned by her grandfather was her own houseas well. Perhaps she feels that her grandfather is a different entity and she is differentfrom him. Whatever belongs to him does not belong to her. How did such a feeling enterinto the innocent mind of that little girl? Where did such ideas come to her from? Howdid the little girl decide that there is difference in what belongs to her and what belongs toher grandfather?Think over this for a while. Think deeply. You will realize that somehow the little girlhad realized that his house is not hers. What ways and means the grandfather might haveemployed to prove it to the little girl that this house is his, and his alone. Maybe, eventhe grandfather might not be aware of the fact that his behaviour is proving with hisbehaviour that that house was his alone. This may be some subtle hint. But the little girlhad caught that subtle hint and made up her mind that this house was not hers and thatthis was of her grandfather.For bringing about sweetness in mutual relationships it is fundamental that each memberof the family must have a feeling that the house they live in belongs to each one of them.Therefore, it becomes necessary that whenever a new decision is taken in the family orwhenever some gathering or function is arranged at home, it becomes your responsibilitythat everybody knows of this and everybody gives his own opinion in this regard.Whtever you plan doing in the home, every member of the family should be activelyinvolved in it. The member may be an elderly person or a small kid. This remains a factthat what you are planning to do, you will sure go ahead with it. But if you seek theopinion of all others in the family, the programme will then become the responsibility ofthe entire family. This way, everybody in the family will feel that his or her self-respecthas been lhonoured. He or she will also feel that the work ahead is her/his responsibility.This will add to the intimacy and sweetness to mutual relationships.There lives an affluent joint family in Jalgaon. Whenever a child is born in that family, itis a tradition with the family that each member selects two names for the child. Wheneach member has done this, all those names of the newly-born child are written on aboard. The name will gets the maximum votes is then given to the child.This is a very minor incident. But this adds to the depth and intimacy of mutualrelationships among members of the family. Every member, from a small child to theelderly person, feels respected and honoured. Every member of the family feels that eachjob in the family is her/his responsibility.Let us ponder at another principle to make our mutual relations sweeter and deeper. Inolden times this principle was alive and applicable in our homes. It was also because ofthis principle that our families remained joined. But in modern times this principle isgradually getting dissolved. What is that principle? This principle is: all members of thefamily must sit together for fifteen minutes daily. During these fifteen minutes theymight meditate or they might pray. When you sit in quiet and peace for fifteen minutes,what happens? Your minds wanders less, fewer ideas enter it and the inner atmosphere
  • 99. 99gradually overtakes. In a little while the collective consciousness becomes one. Forexample, I am reciting “om” within me, the person sitting next to me is also doing this,and eight others who sit there are also doing the same. Thus the outer environment getaffected by ten times.Make it a principle in your family at home that each member of the family will sit withothers for fifteen minutes daily. If the morning hours do not suit you, you can fix this inthe evening. But you must ensure this that all members of the family will sit together forfifteen minutes daily before going to sleep. Also, fix a place in your home which wemight call the sacred place or the altar. Sitting here you should pray and meditate. Youmay concentrate or you may perform your samayak. However, the principle should bethat every member of the family must sit there. You will soon find that such a placebecomes sacred like a temple. There will become a temple within your home. In otherwords, you might also say that your home will become a temple, a place of God.All must sit together. And as you get up after fifteen minutes, everybody must wish eachother respectfully and lovingly. Speak to each other. The younger ones must touch thefeet of the elders, and elders must bless them.It must not be that as the younger one touch the feet of the elders, the latter are looking insome other direction. They must look at the one touch their feet.When it is the festival of Diwali, the younger members of the family touch the feet of theelders. How do they do so? They are rather quick with it as if it were an essentialformality which somehow needed to be fulfilled. When you do so with great speed, inthat situation speed will be there but no feelings will be there.Such a salutation is meaningless. If you bow to the elders, bow with a feeling. The elderones should also bless them with a feeling. Each member of the family should meet theother with respect, with love. Even if the other is a small child of say about five years,you must meet him with feeling and you must ask him how he is. Meet even that childwith folded hands.Meeting the other with folded hands is a way of salutation. This is a very old tradition ofsalutation in India. However, this tradition is almost dying out these days. Now a dayswe salute the other with folded hands only if the other fellow is quite older than us. Weshall welcome with folded hands if out spiritual mentor happens to meet us. You shouldbow your head before the spiritual mentor. But you just do by showing respect withfolded hands. And, where you should fold hands, you do nothing of the sort.As it should be, we must salute the other with folded hands even if we happen to meet perchance on the way. When you fold your hands, your hridayachakra opens up.Try to understand. You have a physical heart. It is on the left side of your body. Itthrobs. It is like a pumping set. But there is neither any feeling nor compassion. Whenwe say that my heart is full of love or may my heart is full of compassion, where is that
  • 100. 100love or compassion? Where is that heart which cotains love or compassion? That is inthe middle of our chest, at a little lower side. This is called hridayachakra, anahatcentre. This „heart‟ of ours is the real abode of our consciousness.There are times when you are called up by name. For example, I might say who of you isParveen Kumar? He who amongst you will be Parveen Kumar will touch his „heart‟ withone of his hands and say that he is Parveen Kumar. In other words, when you tell theother as to who you are, you always do so while touching your heart with one of yourhands. Obviously, you have not been trained to do so by anybody.Your handautomatically touches your hridayachakra as you identify yourself. Why does it happen?It so happens because your real self lies here. This is your real home.When you salute with folded hands, the circuit of the hridayachakra gets complete. Yoursalutation may not be of any help or use to the other, but it benefits you a lot. When yourhands get folded, something develops in the centre of your „heart‟. Something blooms inthere. Just see as you meet one with folded hands, you will quite a bit in the centre ofyour heart.That is why there has been a tradition in India that whenever you persons meet, theyshould greet each other with folded hands. As a result of this, the heart centres of boththe persons bloom. A feeling of love passes through both the hearts.We ought to try and renew this tradition which has almost disappeared. And, we shouldbegin this from our own home. For the first fifteen minutes we all should sit together.As we get up to disperse, we should greet each other in our traditional way. You will seethat a strage kind of change will take place. The home will get transformed into heaven.There are several members in the family. It is quite natural that sometimes we getannoyed with one another. If no effort is made to undo this little bit of annoyance,gradually it will settle down like a big knot in both the hearts. You should sit togetherdaily and greeting one another as you get up to disperse is an effort which will not let anyknot settle down in your heart.I remember one incident. There was a person in Chennai. He has transformed his homeinto a heaven with the help of this principle. About fifteen years back, he had quarreledwith his younger brother. Both the brothers had not been on speaking terms for the lastfifteen years. Once the younger brother had to go to the house of his elder brother onsome very urgent task. You may call it a coincidence but that was the time when theelder brother and his family were sitting together to meditate. The younger brother hadalso to per force sit with the family. As the sitting and meditation came to an end, theyall got up and greeted one another. The elder brother greeted the younger brother also.As a result of this one greeting with folded hands, the wall of differences which had comeup between two brothers got rent apart in a moment. The younger brother fell to the feetof his elder brother and began weeping. All grievances and misunderstandings of the lastfifteen years melted down in a moment. The children of the elder brother greeting theiruncle, the younger brother of their father. The uncle felt overjoyed at all this. The
  • 101. 101younger brother came to me and asked, “Maharaj, the heavenly bliss that I haveexperienced today is rare experience of my life. Your teachings have transformed thehome of my brother into a heaven, but this has also filled mine house with happiness andjoy.If the mutual relationships are sweet, then our home is not mere home but a temple, theabode of God. It becomes heaven. If there is no sweetness in relationships, home looksbarren, it is just ruins where fear and cries prevail.I have just narrated a few principles of developing sweetness in relationships. Just testthese principles. I am sure this will sure make lyour home a heaven and all members willfind themselves bound in a chain of love. The whole family will become a rosary, allmembers in beads and all bound with one thread of love.Question: In one of the chapters of this book, you have given the instance of a womanprofessor and you have supported the view that shedding tears helps relieve your pain. Iftears, shedding of tears is the only way to get relief from pain, wht will be the utility ofequipoise which means that one should take joy and sorrow in the same way. Pleaseexplain this mutual contradiction.Answer: What is samta dharma? What is the meaning of the term? Often we say thatyou should not have either attachment or hatred for anything, treat everybody andeverything equally. What do you understand of this? Does it mean that we should have astone-face. Should we neither laugh nor weep? This is not samta dharma or equipoise.A very simple and straight meaning of the word is that you should ever feel ecstatic.Your face should always reflect joy and happiness. Samta means that you should comeback to your real nature, to your real home. Human nature is peace and ecstasy. Samtameans to ever remain in a mood of peace and ecstasy.I referred to the weeping as a way to get relief from pain in a particular context in the lifeof that lady professor, and it was the right way in that context. In case you are very sad inyour heart of hearts and you feel like weeping, then do not try to supress or stop weeping.If you realize from your within that there is no use weeping and you do not feel likeweeping, then it is a different story. If you have had no experience and still you do feellike weeping from within your heart, it will be wrong to suppress weeping only becauseyou have heard that weeping is of no use and it does not behove you. To suppressweeping is somethig entirely different from transcending the stage of weeping. Youshould try to learn and understand this distinction.You can also understand this in this manner. You have gone so deep into ecstasy thatyou never feel anger or annoyance. This is one thing. You do feel anger and annoyancebut you have heard that anger is a devil and that one must not feel angry. Therefore, youtry and suppress the anger. This is another thing. This latter is entirely different from theformer. In case you do not feel the feeling of anger from within your heart, you areperfectly happy. However, if you do feel anger from within and feel it a lot, but you try
  • 102. 102to make a show of being in perfect happiness and without anger, you may not be able tokeep this kind of mask on your face for a very long time. Just ponder over this issue.In case, you have no feelings of anger in your heart, no outside events can cause you anydisturbance. On the other hand, if feelings of anger are there inside, in your heart, theremay or may not be any outside events you will sure create them. The anger within youwill create events of its own, and then express itself.In case, you are sad within, the inner sadness will come out in the form of tears. In thatcase, if sadness wants to shed itself out in the form of tears, let it. Tears are not a badthing. It is a natural system with the body. If the body wants to shed tears, let it shedthem. Do not try and suppress them. If you do so, this will surely have reaction on thebody. The tears will take some other form and appear out on the body.There are people who begin shedding tears as they sit and meditate. At that moment oftime, they do not have any sadness or grief in their heart. Still they feel that tearsautomatically begin coming from their eyes. Where do these tears come from? There area lot of tears which are gathered togeher in your body. They are preserved there, kept incheck by you. When you are in meditation, your body relalxes and you are at peace withyour self. Consequently, your hold on the tears weakens. All the rubbish that is withinautomtically comes out. Let it come out.What I want to say is only this that you need not hoard tears within. In case, they arethere in your body, it is good that they are shed out. Of course, if you are an enlightenedbeing and no outside events and happenings affect you in any way and you have fullyrealized that death is a must. You cannot avoid it. It is a natural even in the life of ahuman being. In case, you remain unaffected even by death, this is what I have calledsamta or equipoise. Such an attitude of remaining indifferent to any outside event orhappening produces the feeling of equipoise. When this feeling is born, tears bid good-bye to you. Then there remains no question of shedding or not shedding the tears.Question: Please throw some light on the mutual relationship between samvtsari andsamyagdarsan.Answer: We want to attain perfect happiness, ecstasy in our life. We want to acquireperfect peace during our life. This has been called moksa or salvation/libertion in ourscriptural literature. The fundamental principle to attain all this is called samyagdarsanor right knowledge. In simple words, it means making your attitude equal and balanced.What is the basis of samyagdarsan or right knowledge? When our knowledge, ourattitude will become right? We shall acquire right knowledge and right attitude onlywhen the feelings of anger, pride, attachment and avarice within us will gradually getweakened. As the evils will get weaken, the right knowledge will gain strength. And, asthe right knowledge strengthens, the evils like anger become pacified and get weak. Bothof them cannot survive simultaneously.
  • 103. 103There are references in the scriptural literature that if a person stretches his anger for anyear or longer than that, he loses his right knowledge. He does not remain a Jain, ratherhe becomes a non-Jain. He may continue to write Jain as a suffix to his name, but innerself, his real seal will not remain a Jain. That is why holy personages lhave fixed one dayin an year when you are supposed to check and break the continuity of the chain thefeelings of anger, pride, ego, attachment and avarice. Stop the flow of these feelings. Donot at any cost let them go beyod an year.What will happen if these feelings go beyond the duration of one year? Take for examplethe case when some acquaintance of mine and I lose earlier friendly feeling and developunpleasant feelings of anger and enmity. We become foes, bitter foes of each other. Thiskind of inimical feelings between the two of us remain there for two months. Time goesby. Four months go by, six months pass , eight months are gone, eleven months pass by,and our enmity with each other remains as it was. In case, this kind of relationshipcontinues for more than twelve months and the knot of enmity within me remains as itwas for more than an year, I shall no more remain a Jain: I shall become a non-Jain. Tosave myself from that, I must untie that knot before the year is out.This is what has been fully explained in our scriptural literature, the Agams. The first inthe order of such evils is anger. The second is pride or ego. What is exactly implied bypride? It is a kind of comparison or contrast, it is when you begin to consider yourselfsuperior to the other. In fact, when you go on comparing yourself with others, you willeither develop an interiority complex or superiority complex: you will either consideryourself superior to the other or inferior to the other. You must analyse your self.Neither of these two complexes should remain like a knot within your mind. If ithappens, you will lose your right knowledge.The third evil in the order is deceit. It is like ditching someone who had with in you.You prove yourself unworthy of someone‟s faith. There was difference in what you saidand what you did to a person. In case, this kind of feelings remains within your mind formore than an year, you will lose your right knowledge.The fourth is avarice or greed. Excessive greed of anything is also a serious evil. Thisshould also not remain in your mind for more than twelve months. Otherwise, your rightknowledge will go.The day of samvtsari is a kind of witness of your being a Jain. In case you wish tocontinue to remain a devotee of jin or consider yourself a Jain, in other words, if youwish to remain a truthful and noble person whose self is saturated with ecstasy and peace,then the day samvtsari is rather important for your. It is the day for you to make self-analysis. You must cast a look within and find if kthe feelings of anger within you havenot gone older than an year. Think around if there is a person with whom you have beenhaving feelings of enmity for more than twelve months. If the answer to these twoquestions is in the positive, then samvtsari is an occasion for you when you must visitthat person and embrace him. You must go to him and seek his forgiveness. Fell downthe wall of enmity. Rend apart the wall in your heart. In case you are not in a position to
  • 104. 104rend apart this wall even after a period of one year, then this will become stronger by theday, and it will survive even for generations.Samvtsari is the day when you must make self-analysis and self-evaluation. All otherfestivals that we come across during the years are celebrated by taking and distributingsweets and other eatables. We make merry on these days of festivals. However, theSamvtsari is very different from all other festivals. On this day, you do not go out andmeet others. On this day, you try and meet your own self. Self-analysis is made on thisday. You look back at the events of the past year and make an assessment as to whereyou slipped, whom did I hurt with my words or deeds, and when did I fall to untruth,deceit and greed. One must look at one‟s own self, look at the wrongs and evils and sinone has committed during the past twelve years and one must atone for them. One mustgive an account of himself for the past year in his own court. You must confess thewrongs that you did and promise with your own self not to repeat them.In fact, Samvtsari is the day when we look back and analyse the events of the past oneyear and then confess to our own self all the wrongs we did. This day provides you withan opportunity to get hold of the moments when you got excited, when you gotindividualistic and subjective. Such moments might have added to the filth on the soul.A true and humble confession will help wipe off such a filth.You will sure find yourself rather light. You will feel no burden. You will get filled withecstasy. And, this ecstasy is in fact your true nature.
  • 105. 105 Appendix I ACHARYA SAMRAT DR SHIV MUNI JI MAHARAJ - a brief profile - Acharya Samrat Dr Shiv Muni Ji Maharaja being now heads and leads the Jainsraman sangh. Detachment, austerity, enlightenment and meditation are the four pillarsof his pious life lived in equanimity. His mind is ever in quest of knowledge andengrossed in meditation. There are numerous responsibilities of the sraman sangh whichhe as being at the helm of affairs in the hierarchy carries out in a quiet, natural andproficient manner, but along side this he is ever on the move upward on the path tospiritual progression. Shiv Muni was born in a very affluent and respectable Oswal family of a smalltown called Malout in the Malwa region of the Punjab. By the time he entered theuniversity for higher education, he came to be known for his sharp intellect and his powerof comprehension. He passed each of his examination, from the primary to theuniversity, in the first division. He had nurtured an intense desire to know and realize truth ever since hischildhood. His education in the colleges and the university could not satiate his hungerfor truth, rather the acquisition of higher academic knowledge further intensified hisdesire for higher spiritual knowledge. During his student life he travelled far and widethroughout America, Canada, England and several other countries. The wealth andmaterial comforts of worldly life failed to tempt and bind him. Then he turned towardsstudying the faith of his family, the Jainism. He made a thorough study of the life,utterances and teachings of Lord Mahavira. This stirred his inner self and he made a firmresolve to renounce this worldly life and take to the life of an ascetic. Of course, there were many emotional pressures from the family and friends, butnothing could deviate him from his resolve. And, as it happens in the case of all greatmen, his resolve was not uncalled for. It was this resolve which was in future to give tothe sraman sangh a dynamic and enlighted spiritual leader. He entered the sraman sanghas a disciple of Gian Muni Ji, well known Jain scholar and exegete and himself a discipleof Acharya Atma Ram Ji.
  • 106. 106 Shiv Muni Ji made an intensive study of Jain philosophy and theology. He gothis doctorate from the Punjabi University, Patiala, on the topic of “Doctrine of Liberationin Indian Religions, with special reference to Jainism”. A study of this disseration, sinceavailable in book form, would reveal to any reader the author‟s depth of understanding aswell as his insatiable thirst for more and more knowledge. After a few years of his initiation into the sraman sangh, Shiv Muni Ji planned, asper the directives of his Guru, to travel throughout India preaching Jain tenets. ShivMuni sojourned through the interiors of Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh,Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnatka, Orissa, Tamilnade,Gujarat and other states. Wherever he visited, people welcomed him and liked hispersonal piety and simplicity of life. It was during this sojourn that the sraman sanghselected him as its first Yuva Acharya. One could see him apparently travelling from village to village in different partsof the country, but in reality he was constantly on the upward move of his spiritualjourney. Through the medium of meditation, he went deeper and deeper. During thecourse of this inward sojourn, he had had wonderful experiences of truth and meditation.He seems to have proved that even in this era one could know the truth, realize the truthand live the truth. Presently, Shiv Muni Ji has been busy preaching and spreading the higherknowledge through meditation: it is through this medium that he has himself lived thetruth. Thousands of people have benefitted from this endeavour of the Acharya.Demands have constantly been pouring in from all over the country for holdingmeditation camps. The Jain world considers itself fortunate to have as its spiritual leader a personwho is so enlightened, so austere and simple and so given to meditation.
  • 107. 107 A BIREF RESUME OF ACHARYA SHIV MUNI JIPlace of Birth: Malout, District Muktsar, PunjabDate of Birth: 18 September 1942 (Bhadon sudi seven)Mother: Mrs Vidya Devi JainFather: Mr Chiranji Lal JainCaste/Varna: Vaisya, OswalFamily: BhabuInitiation: 17 May 1972, 12 noonPlace of initiation: Malout, PunjabReligious Teacher: Shri Gian Muni Ji MaharajDisciples: Shri Shirish Muni Ji, Shri Shubham Muni Ji, Shri Shiyash Muni Ji, Shri Suvrat Muni Ji, Shri Shamit Muni JiYuva Acharya: 13 May 1987, at Pune (Maharashtra)Sraman SanghAcharya: Appointment: 9 June 1999, Ahmadnagar, Maharashtra Chadar Mahotsva: 7 May 2002, New DelhiAcademicAchievements: M.A. in Philosophy and English Literature, Ph.D., D. Litt.; Deep and thorough study of Jain scriptural literature; Distinct research work in Dhyan-Yoga meditation.
  • 108. 108 Appendix II SHRI SHIRISH MUNI JI MAHARAJ: A BRIEF INTRODUCTION Shri Shirish Muni Ji Maharaj is one the prominent disciples of Acharya Dr ShivMuni Ji Maharaj. He for the first time came in contact with the Acharya during his stayin Bombay (Khar) for the rainy days (chaturmas) of 1987. Sitting at the feet of AcharayaShiv Muni Ji, he realized the importance of spiritual discipline and meditation and tookhis teaching to heart. In fact, Shri Shirish Muni had then been on a business trip toBombay from Udaipur: those were the days when he was settling down well in hisbusiness. However, reaching the pious presence of the Acharya he felt that spiritualitywas the best trade he could carry out. There is no end, no apex of the worldly businesswhereas spirituality itself was the highest state. Thus he dedicated his self in the feet ofthe revered Acharya. After receiving the consent of his parents, Shri Shirish received initiation into thesraman sangh on 7 May 1990at Yadgiri in Karnataka. Prior to that, he remained for threeyears as an apprentice disciple (vairagi) with the Acharya and learnt to tread the path tospirituality under his guidance. After initiation, he went deeper and deeper in meditation.Simultaneously, he continued to acquire academic knowledge and acquired proficiency inHindi, English, Sanskrit and Prakrit languages. The way he gives discourses attractshuge congregations. He is strongly in favour of socio-religious reformations and evercontrinues to persuade people to work in this direction. Shri Shirish Muni Ji is a saint blessed with the qualities of humility, simplicityand service. He is very active in furthering the noble mission of meditation and self-study as initiated by the Acharya. He has been justifying his sainthood by workingselflessly for the amelioration of mankind.
  • 109. 109SHRI SHIRISH MUNI JI MAHARAJ: A BRIEF BIODATA Place of birth: Nai, Udaipur (Rajasthan) Date of Birth: 19 February 1964 Mother: Mrs Sohanbai Father: Mr Khyali Lal Kothari Caste/gotra: Oswal, Kothari Initiation Date: 7 May 1990 Place of initiation: Yadgiri, Karnatka Religious Guru: Acharya Dr Shiv Muni Ji Maharaj Inspiration for Initiation: Grandmother Mohanbai Kothari Academic Qualification: M.A. in Hindi literature Religious Study: Deep study of Jain scriptural literature; Study of Jain philosophy and thought; Proficiency in Hindi, Sanskrit, English, Prakrit, Marathi, Gujarati languages Projects of note: Organizing meditation camps; Efficient organization of self-study camps and of educating the children; Helping the Acharya in all other projects/missions.
  • 110. 110 Appendix III SHRI SHAILESH KUMAR JI: A BRIEF INTRODUCTION Shri Shailesh Kumar Ji is a devout follower of revered Acharya Shri Shiv KumarJi Maharaj. He has studying religion and culture, yoga and meditation under theAcharya‟s care and supervision for the last about fifteen years. He has also been studyingand teaching and giving training all this while. The Acharya is strongly of the view thatthe message of Jainism should be taken to the length and breadth of the world, toeveryone everywhere around the globe. He also wants to carry on this job in a wellplanned and smooth manner. For this purpose, he aims at the establishment of a ShravakSangh which should, under the direction of sadhus and sadhvis, take the message ofmeditation and yoga, self-study and other teachings to the entire mankind. Shri Shailesh Kumar has lived a practical life. He is a devotee of truth,committed to truth. He is a person strictly disciplined. He himself lives in strictdiscipline and wants that discipline should be brought in the fields of society, religion andmeditation. He is ever ready to contribute towards this direction. His life is like an openbook: he is from within what he looks like from outside. He is the same in his word anddeed, profession and practice. He is quite straightforward. He gives his hundred per centto any job he takes in hand. He is an embodiment of sociability, sincerity and affection.He is a highly devoted and committed personality. He is a soul liberally blessed byAcharya Atma Ram Ji Maharaj and Acharya Shri Shiv Muni Ji Maharaj and other Jainsaints. He has dedicated his entire life to the cause of spreading Jain tenets under thedirection of the revered Acharya. The vision of the Acharya is now his own vision.Through meditation camps he has been bringing thousands of young boys and girls tothe feet of the Acharya. He has been contributing a lot towards setting up a society givento pure righteousness and religion. The revered Acharya has given four objectives -meditation, service, education and research. Shri Shailesh Kumar has dedicated his entirelife towards the fulfilment of these objectives.
  • 111. 111 A BRIEF BIODATA Place of Birth Bombay Mother‟s Name Mrs Sarla Devi Mehta Father‟s Name Shri Chander Kant Mehta Education Deep study of the scriptural literture; special research work in the field of meditation and yoga Languages Known Gujrati, Hindi, English, Sanskrit, Prakrit, etc. Special Interests: Devotion to meditation, teaching of stuents in meditation, editing of the works of the Acharya, organization of the camps for self-study, teaching in the child camps, planning of meditation camps of the Acharya, grandmaster in the Reiky method of treatment, teaching in the Jain Gurukul, free treatment and training, and such other things.9815555899 rajinderjit kaur