Thought for the Day - As written at Prasanthi Nilayam

Thought for the Day Archive

July 2003

01 July 2003

You must practice moderation in food, sleep and exercise. Good food taken in moderate quantities at regular intervals; that is the prescription. Sathwic food promotes self-control and intelligence more than Rajasic and Tamasic. Sleep too, must be regulated and moderated; it is as important as work and food. The food must be clean and pure and derived through pure means, and the strength derived from it must be directed towards holy ends.

02 July 2003

Fulfillment in life cannot be found by indulging in eating and drinking. Bad thoughts arise in one's mind because of the wrong kind of food. Observe fast to bring the mind under control. This is the process of self-correction. Bhajan is more important than Bhojan (food). Prayer is more desirable than pining for meals.

03 July 2003

The questions that haunt us and pressurise us while we live- whence have we come, to where are we proceeding, how did the universe originate, etc. All religions try to answer these questions. Man has set down in all lands certain rules and regulations in order to secure orderly and smooth running of his daily schedule of activities, directed to the actual process of living. Since they have become part of the code of conduct, they are also described as 'Discipline'.

04 July 2003

In the use of sense organs, there must be due regard for moderation and purity. This applies to food as well as to other things, which you may consume. Today man is behaving like a patient who is clamouring for the medicines that he relishes, not for the medicines that can cure him according to the doctors who are the experts. The patient chooses the diet and the regimen which are congenial to him; he bids adieu to the directions given by the doctor, for they restrict and regulate.

05 July 2003

You are all endowed with viveka (discrimination), you have a conscience whispering dharma (righteousness) into your ear, so you are to select and choose yourself. Polish your mind and the sublime grandeur of the Lord will be reflected in your heart. Just as you feed the body and care for its upkeep and maintenance, the chitta (consciousness), the buddhi (intellect) have also to be fed with good nourishing food. If you don't, then they will be hungry and run after all kinds of foul food. Give them proper nourishment and they will function well, which is to illumine the Atma and help you realize that the Atma is in all.

06 July 2003

Man does not live by food alone. In fact he lives by the power of the Atma. So you must use your strength of body and mind, wealth and education with intelligence, in order to realize the Power of the Soul. Without discrimination, what is the use of physical strength? Everyday, when you take food, you are offering eatables to the Fire that God has put in you to digest food. You have to eat in a prayerful mood, in profound gratitude. The Gita says that the fire that cooked the meal is God; the meal is God, the eater is God; the purpose of eating is to carry on the work entrusted by God, or pleasing to God; and the fruit of that work is, progress towards God.

07 July 2003

Agriculture is for living; mind culture is for life. Skills are for shaping material things so that they cater more for the comfort of man; studies are for shaping attitudes, feelings, desires, emotions and impulses of man, so that they may confer more peace, more joy and more fortitude on man.

08 July 2003

Life sustained by food is short; life sustained by the Atma is eternal. Do not lay claim to long life; but to Divine life. Do not pine for more years on earth, but for more virtues in the heart. The Buddha knew and made known to the world, the Truth. Everything is grief. Everything is empty. Everything is brief and polluted. So the wise man has to do the duties cast upon him with discrimination, diligence and detachment. Play the role but keep your identity unaffected.

09 July 2003

You must be careful about the food you take; the Jihva (tongue) and the Guhya (organ of procreation) are the two great foes of man. The cravings of hunger and sex drag you into perdition. Desist from catering to the tongue and its greed; do not be a victim of lust or taste. Have sathwic food and eat it in Sathwic company. Be moderate in food and keep the senses strictly under control.

10 July 2003

Many of you have problems of health or mental worry of some sort or the other. They are mere baits by which you have been brought here, so that you may contact the Grace and strengthen your faith in the Divine. Problems and worry are really to be welcomed as they teach you the lessons of humility and reverence.

11 July 2003

Man has springs of joy and peace in his heart, even as a child. Cultivate them, give them fullest freedom to gush forth and fertilize all fields of activity, that is the real purpose of education. Man is born to be perpetually happy, but he is always in misery. This is tragic; it is like the dhobi (washerman) who died of thirst though he was standing knee-deep in the running stream. The source of happiness is in you. Real education has to teach man how to tap this spring of joy.

12 July 2003

Education today promotes greed instead of subduing it. The aim is to earn more income. So the struggle is directed to the acquisition of degrees which bring higher salaries. The learned man is anxious to exploit society, to pilfer from society by means fair and foul. He is not eager to give to society, to benefit society. He is concerned with what he can get from society, not with what he can give to it.

13 July 2003

A Guru is necessary to make you understand the formless and attributeless Divinity. Since it is difficult to get such Gurus, consider God as your Guru. 'Gurur Brahma Gurur Vishnu Guru Devo Maheswara; Gurur Sakshat Para Brahma Thasmai Sri Gurave Namaha' Guru is Brahma, Guru is Vishnu, Guru is Maheswara. Consider Guru as your everything. In this world, everything is a manifestation of Divinity. All are the embodiments of Divinity. In fact, all that you see is nothing but the Divine Cosmic Form. Divinity is not restricted to a particular place. God is everywhere. You are developing differences out of delusion, but Divinity is One and only One. It is the duty of a Guru to propagate such principle of oneness.

14 July 2003

Education should promote discrimination and humility. If anyone blames, abuses or hurts you, do not return him in the same coin. Behave nobly and with patience. When a dog bites a man, the man does not bite the dog in return. Education must lead you from darkness to light. It is only those who wander in darkness that fall into pits; can a man walking in the light fall into a pit? If he does it means that he is still in the 'dark'. 'Vid' means 'Light', and a 'vidyarthi' (seeker of enlightenment) must seek light and gain it. What is the use of an eye that does not reveal to you the pitfalls?

15 July 2003

Education has to cultivate humility and discipline; but today it is yielding a harvest of pride and envy. ‘Vidya’ means: ‘vid’ (Light) and ‘ya’ (that which gives). So education has to shed light and illumine the darkness in the mind and the intellect. It does not indicate mere bookish knowledge. It has to clarify the kinship of man with man and his intimate relationship with nature. It must harmonize one's earlier experiences with one's present ones, and guide one to profitable and beneficial experiences in the future. It must validate the knowledge gained from these books by these experiences and in the process make man grow, until he becomes Divine.

16 July 2003

Wisdom flashes like lightning amidst the clouds of the inner sky; one has to foster the flash, and preserve the light. That is the true sign of the educated person. Do not believe that mastery of many tomes makes you wise. Wisdom can grow only where humility prevails. It thrives when man is afraid of vice and sin and is attached to the Divine, in himself and in all else.

17 July 2003

The cow yields milk only for feeding its calf. The calf after having its full, jumps about in joy and feels strong and happy. But, we take away the milk intended for the calf and sustain ourselves with the strength it gives. So also, education which is intended for the fulfilment of life is misused by us for the 'fill-filment' of comfortable living. What we should do, is to consider 'fill-filment' as secondary and fulfilment as the primary purpose of education. We must, after being born as man, learn about the Atman, for that alone can confer Bliss and Immortality.

18 July 2003

The end of education is character and the end of knowledge is Love. By concentrating on bookish knowledge at the cost of its practical application, the spirit of education is lost. Education should confer humility, which in turn bestows deservedness. Deservedness leads to prosperity which enables one to undertake charitable acts. Charitable deeds ensure happiness in this world and the next.

19 July 2003

Philosophy is the butter churned out of knowledge. But, since human aspirations and ideals, which change from place to place and from time to time, decide which aspects of knowledge are included in the churning process, it is often incomplete or inadequate or contradictory. Generally speaking, religious beliefs and practices, folkways, customs and traditions, educational methods, art-form etc., help the formulation of the underlying philosophy.

20 July 2003

Believing that the world as cognised during the waking state as real and that the highest goal is the attainment of happiness in that world, man accumulates the instruments and symbols of that happiness; he fashions after his own taste and inclinations according to the dictates of his reason, the laws, ideals, institutions and principles that would bolster that happiness.

21 July 2003

In the educational system today, the spiritual element has no place. This is not true education. Education must proceed primarily from Spirit to Nature. It must show that mankind constitutes one Divine family. The Divinity that is present in society can be experienced only through individuals. Education today, however ends with the acquisition of degrees. Real education should enable one to utilise the knowledge one has acquired to meet the challenges of life and to make all human beings happy as far as possible. Born in society, one has the duty to work for the welfare and progress of society.

22 July 2003

The knowledge gained from education is being misused today solely to obtain and enjoy comforts and sensual pleasures. This education has served to develop some kind of intellectual abilities and technical skills, but has totally failed to develop good qualities. Society today is steeped in materialism because of the preoccupation with mundane pleasures.

23 July 2003

Today, the student world is tossed in confusion; not only in confusion but downright insanity. They may wear white clothing; but their hearts are dark. Heads are full of evil thoughts and ears are open for scandalous tales. Minds crave for wicked plots and Reason pursues plans to cheat. When this is the condition, how can one earn Vidya (Enlightenment)?

24 July 2003

Science and technology have made astonishing progress, but humanity is going on the downward path. There are undoubtedly many brilliant scholars and scientists in the world today. But science alone is not enough. There must be discrimination for utilising the discoveries of science for right purposes. Science without discrimination, human existence without discipline, friendship without gratitude, music without melody, a society without morality and justice, cannot be of benefit to the people.

25 July 2003

Students must be enabled to prepare themselves to serve society with pure minds. Today they do not have a sense of gratitude towards their parents for all the sacrifices they make to educate their children. The students acquire degrees and they go about begging for jobs. They should acquire the capacity to stand on their own legs and be self-reliant. They should be able to take up any work and acquit themselves well. They should place love of the Motherland above everything.

26 July 2003

The world is a great teacher, a constant guide and source of inspiration. That is the reason why man is placed in the world. Every bird, every animal, every tree, mountain and star and each tiny worm has a lesson for man, if he has but the thirst to learn. These make a world a veritable University for man; it is but a Gurukul (a school for spiritual learning) where he is a pupil from birth to death.

27 July 2003

There are three types of knowledge; knowledge of matter-energy; knowledge of mental energy; and knowledge of cosmic-energy. Cosmic energy works in every person in the form of Divine knowledge. Matter in all forms is only energy. Without atoms, you cannot have any matter, and in the atom, energy has the form of electron, proton, neutron etc. Energy springs from the structure of the atomic constituents.

28 July 2003

The human body is the most wondrous machine in the world. It has a bewildering multiplicity of limbs, organs, veins, nerves and cells which cooperate to maintain it under varied conditions. If any one of these rebels or refuses to rescue another, the body is bound to suffer. So too, a society, community or nation can be safe, secure and happy only when the individuals comprising it are mutually helpful and bound together in skilful and sincere service. Every generation has to receive education and training in such intelligent cooperation and service. Or else, the world has to face confusion and chaos.

29 July 2003

The educational process has not received proper attention from thoughtful persons. The institutions which ought to have been temples of Saraswathi (the Goddess of Transformation through Learning) have become in all lands, temples of Lakshmi (the Goddess of Wealth). The ideal held before the tender, innocent, unselfish children is a lucrative job, rather than a life of peace, contentment and love. Narrow loyalties and competition are polluting the minds of children. Parents, teachers and all interested in the progress of mankind have to take note of this situation.

30 July 2003

Teaching and learning have both become mechanical routines. They have lost the freshness and joy which vitality alone can give. The value of the teaching process lies in raising the level of consciousness of the learner, in heightening the sense of wonder and awe and in emphasising the unity of one with all. The destiny of a country is decided by the ideals implanted by the teachers in the minds of the boys and girls entrusted to their care. Educators must pay attention not merely to the material and intellectual progress of the pupils but, also to their moral and spiritual progress. Education should help man to live a meaningful life. It should not direct all efforts just to provide for a livelihood.

31 July 2003

The higher life, which makes man human and a fit candidate for the unfoldment of the Divinity that is his Reality, depends on the cultivation of the Five Cardinal virtues - Truth, Right Conduct, Love, Peace and Non-violence. These virtues elevate the individual as well as the society of which he is a part. The teacher has to watch every word and gesture of his, every action and reaction of his, in order to avoid any infringement of these virtues. For, the teacher is, for the pupils, the ideals, the example, to whom the parents have entrusted them. Lady teachers can discharge this responsibility better than men. Children can be moulded more easily through sweetness and softness which maternal affection implies, rather than fatherly advice and admonition.


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