1RETURN TO SELF - a series of discourses – ACHARYA SHIV MUNI
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 :
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 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 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 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 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 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 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.
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
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 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 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
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 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 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 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
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 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
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 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 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 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
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 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
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
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
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 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
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 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
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
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
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
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
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.