Thought for the Day - As written at Prasanthi Nilayam

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July 2005

July 1, 2005

There is a tendency to interpret renunciation as merely giving up worldly attachments. Renunciation truly means attaining perfect equanimity. People may criticize you or praise you, take them both with a sense of equanimity. One may try to harm you while another may try to do you a good turn; treat both situations with equanimity. In one business venture, you may incur a loss while in another you may make a profit; treat them both alike. Equanimity is the hallmark of yoga (spiritual attainment).

July 2, 2005

It is not possible for anyone to abstain from action. Action is the basis for our existence. The purpose of man's life is to sanctify it through right action. The world is a factory where man has to shape his destiny by honest, untiring effort. One should take up this challenge and spend one's allotted years and use the skill and the intelligence one is endowed with in purposeful activity. This stream of action flows through jnana (wisdom) and ultimately leads us to the highest stage of realization.

July 3, 2005
Do you think I would confront you with pain were there not a reason for it? Open your heart to pain as you do now to pleasure, for it is My will, wrought by Me for your own good. Welcome it as a challenge. Do not turn away from it. Turn within and derive the strength to bear it and benefit from it. It is all a part of My plan to drive you, by the pangs of unfulfilled need, to listen to My voice, which when heard dissolves the ego and the mind with it.

July 4, 2005

Faith can come only by association with the godly, by studying the lives and experiences of godly persons. An individual who has faith in God must put his faith into practice. By believing in God and yet ignoring God's utterances and commands, you are contradicting yourselves. Faith is not a cloak to be worn outside for deceiving others. Devotion and prayer should not be for the sole purpose of obtaining something or fulfilling some desire. It should be for the sake of the Atma (the inner divinity) and for the sake of the bliss of becoming one with the Lord.

July 5, 2005

The true secret of enjoyment lies in sacrifice. Sacrifice has also been declared to be the only means of achieving immortality. Giving up what is taken in is a law of life. It applies to breathing, food and other things. Likewise, the wealth which one acquires should also be given back to society. Wealth includes not only riches, but every other form of acquisition including knowledge, scholarship, and skills of various kinds. The knowledge you have acquired through education should be imparted to others. It is by such sharing that your education gets enriched and purposeful. If you do not impart the knowledge you possess, it becomes useless. This means that the more you give, the more you grow.

July 6, 2005

When clouds gather in the high skies, they are usually accompanied by lightning. In the same manner, wherever there is education, it should be accompanied by wisdom. Since good qualities like sacrifice, forbearance, truth and love have been somewhat pushed to the background, the society is suffering from various ills. It is the sacred objective of education to rid the minds and hearts of people of all evil.

July 7, 2005

Man is not a mere combination of the physical, the mental and the intellectual, but also the spiritual. He is enveloped in five sheaths: the Annamaya Kosa (gross body), the Pranamaya Kosa (the sheath of life force), the Manomaya Kosa (sheath of the mind), Vigyanamaya Kosa (the sheath of the intelligence) and the Anandamaya Kosa (the blissful sheath of the spirit). The Upanishads (ancient scriptures) state that each of these Kosas (sheaths) are sacred and suffused with Divinity.

July 8, 2005

Man can be described as a conglomeration of thoughts and ideas. Every little thought becomes an integral part of one's life. The kind of feelings one has determines one's future. Therefore, one must install sacred ideas in one's heart. The fostering of pure thoughts will promote the spirit of selfless service in our hearts. Nishkama Karma (selfless service) uproots the bestiality in man and confers divinity on him.

July 9, 2005

The sun sheds its light equally and impartially on all - men and animals, birds and beasts, mountains and valleys. But the sunís image is reflected only in the placid surface of clear water. Likewise, the sacred vision of Paramatma (God) is revealed only in an unperturbed and tranquil mind in which all thought waves have subsided. A pure and holy heart will mirror the glory of Paramatma, while a man with a wavering mind can never experience divinity.

July 10, 2005

'Deha', the physical body, is composed of the five primordial elements of earth, air, water, fire and ether. Sooner or later, the Deha will perish. But, the 'Dehi' or the indweller, the Atma (Self), has neither birth nor death. It is indestructible, imperishable and immortal. And this Dehi is one with Brahman (Godhead). Atma and Brahman are essentially one. The identification of the Atma with Brahman is the final goal of spirituality.

July 11, 2005

Sacrifice means giving up kama (desires), krodha (anger) and lobha (greed). Man generally identifies himself with the Anatma (non-Self) without realizing his true nature. The reflection of the sky in a pot of water disappears the moment you pour out the water. Likewise, when you recognise the transient nature of all that is non-Self and empty yourself of desires, you get closer to the Atma. Unless you sacrifice desire, anger and greed, you cannot attain divinity.

July 12, 2005

The joy which you seek and the self-realization which you aspire for, are both within yourself. They cannot be found in the external world. It is as foolish as a person who begs for food on the street, even though there are sweets and other delicacies in his own house. You think that this world and its objects confer happiness on you. This is merely an illusion created by your mind. It is only when you follow the intellect that you will be able to enjoy Atmananda (the bliss of the Self). True happiness lies within you.

July 13, 2005

The mind is called 'Manas' because it is continually engaged in the process of 'Manana' or cogitation. Very often, the mind is led astray by conflicting impulses that are generated in it. The mind travels faster than the wind. Just as we apply brakes to halt a fast-moving vehicle, we have to curb the flow of our thoughts. The fickle nature of the mind acts as an impediment to manís spiritual progress. Hence, it is imperative that every spiritual aspirant gains control over his mind if he yearns to immerse himself in the bliss that is his inner self.

July 14, 2005

There are three states relating to the mind: shoonyathwa (emptiness), anekagrata (simultaneous pulls of multiple thoughts) and ekagrata (one-pointedness). These three states have their origin in the three gunas (inherent tendencies) in man. While Thamo Guna (indolence) brings about dullness in the mind, Rajo Guna (the quality of passion) provokes the mind into wandering hither and thither. Sathwa Guna (the quality that promotes the sacred aspects of human life) stills the mind into one-pointed contemplation. Thus, it is only those who cultivate Sathwa Guna that can undertake meditation with ease.

July 15, 2005

When you build a house, you build doors as well. These doors are meant to facilitate easy entry and departure of friends and relatives. Only those who are authorised to enter are allowed through these doors. The door is not meant for dogs and donkeys to come into the house. Similarly through the doors of the senses, we should usher in only sacred thoughts, feelings and ideas. The heart is the abode of God. The Lord cannot be enthroned in a heart fouled by evil thoughts, ideas and feelings. We should not allow either animal or demoniac qualities to enter into that sacred abode of Divinity.

July 16, 2005

Lord Krishna declared in the Bhagavad Gita - "Mamaivamso Jeevaloke Jeevabhuta Sanathanah" (all beings are an eternal part of My Self). There is a spark of divinity in the heart of everyone. It is because of Bhrama (delusion) that man is unable to realize his divine nature. Delusion causes evil feelings to arise in the heart. Therefore, man should make efforts to overcome this delusion and realize that God is always with him, in him, around him, above him and below him.

July 17, 2005

One should not strive for physical strength and happiness alone. One should strive hard for control of the mind. One who becomes a slave to his mind is bound to become weak, however powerful he may be. So, you should make the mind your slave. The power of the mind is matchless. It is from the mind that the most precious virtues originate. If wealth is lost, it can be earned back. If health is lost, it can be restored. But, if human values are lost, life becomes worthless. Only when we develop noble thoughts and follow the path of truth in our daily life will human values blossom in us and protect us under all circumstances.

July 18, 2005

Like the moon that illumines the night, the sun that illumines the day, and Dharma that illumines the three worlds, a good son brings glory on his entire lineage. Your foremost duty is to revere your parents. A good son sets an example by his conduct. A good son is one who reveres and serves his parents, who honours his preceptor, who is humble and respectful towards elders and who earns a good name by his service to society. Without reverence for these three, all your other achievements in life will be worthless. The mother, the father and the preceptor represent the Divine Trinity - Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwara respectively. But above all of them is the one God who is in all beings. Develop love for God and thereby show your reverence for all.

July 19, 2005

To achieve the attitude of surrender and dedication, you must have faith in God. This world is His play; it is not an empty dream that has no purpose. It is the means by which one can discover God; see Him in the beauty, the grandeur, the order and the majesty of Nature. These are but a few facets of His glory and splendour. Upasana (adoration of God) leads to the knowledge that He is all.

July 20, 2005

In this Iron Age, when darkness is enveloping the mind of man, any little lamp that can light the path is most welcome. That is why I advise you to resort to Sathkarma, Sadaachaara and Sathpravarthana (good deeds, good conduct and good behaviour), so that you may be established in the constant presence of the Lord. You must also strive to practise Shravana (listening to ennobling and elevating words), Manana (ruminating on those teachings) and Nidhidhyaasana (putting into practise the teachings and experience the fruits thereof).

July 21, 2005

Today is celebrated as Guru Poornima or Vyasa Poornima, the full moon day dedicated to Sage Vyasa, who codified the Vedas and presented them to the world on a full moon day. This is the day when people should seek to make their minds as pure and bright as the full moon. You can see God only through the Jnaana-chakshu (eye of wisdom). Realize God as the indweller of your heart and accept Him as your Guru (preceptor). There is no greater meditation than constant remembrance of God at all places and at all times. When you practise this, you will lack nothing and will be ever blissful.

July 22, 2005

There are two aspects to education: One involves collating facts about the external world and sharing them with students. The other is Educare. Educare involves gaining in-depth understanding of the knowledge that springs from within and imparting it to students. But the modern system of education gives the students only knowledge about the external world. It is culture or refinement that can develop a good personality and not this type of education. So, both education and culture are important.

July 23, 2005

Life is the chance afforded to man to recover the peace and the joy that he had lost when he was last here. If he recovers them now, he need not come again. But, he loses them through ignorance of their value and the means of retaining them. If only he would remain in the consciousness of Shivoham (the belief that "I am Shiva"), "I am immortal; I am the source and spring of Bliss", he would be supremely contented. But, instead of this correct evaluation of himself, this recognition of his innate reality, man goes about weeping at his helplessness, inadequacies, poverty and evanescence. This is the tragic fate from which man has to be rescued.

July 24, 2005

The study of the Vedas is the highest type of learning, since it leads to the conquest of death, while all other studies deal with the means of deriving little pleasures of the world. The Vedas show the path to the realms of eternal bliss, where there is neither birth nor death. People strive to know all about the world, but they seldom try to know even an iota of their own inner realms.

July 25, 2005

"Kaarunyam paramam thapah" (Compassion towards all beings is the highest spiritual discipline). Man is the crown of creation; he is the highest among living beings. Therefore, he bears a great responsibility. He has to love other living beings, serve them and save them, for they are his kith and kin, and they too have the Divine Principle as their core. But, man is proving himself worse than animals due to self-centeredness, conceit, envy and anger. Though man is endowed with the virtues of compassion, charity, sympathy, fortitude and joy, he has given up these virtues and become inhuman in conduct and behaviour.

July 26, 2005

There are three levels of truth: Nijam (fact), Sathyam (truth) and Ritam (absolute truth). To speak according to what one has seen is to merely state a fact. Suppose I see you wearing a white dress and say "you are wearing a white dress", this becomes a statement of a fact. Later, at home, you may wear a blue dress. Then what I had said earlier will not hold good anymore. Thus, a fact is subject to change. Truth on the other hand does not change with time. A person may change any number of dresses. But, the person, as such, remains the same. Thus, truth is the same at all times. Ritam, however, relates to the Atma (self) which is changeless and eternal, unlike the body or mind that are subject to change. It transcends both good and evil. It is described as attributeless, pure, eternal, permanent and unsullied.

July 27, 2005

Vice breeds disease. Bad thoughts and habits, bad company and bad food are the main cause of ill-health. Arogya (good health) and Ananda (happiness) go hand in hand. When the mind is happy, the body too is free of disease. Indulging in evil habits is the chief cause of sickness, physical as well as mental. Greed affects the mind; disappointment makes man depressed. Man can justify his existence only by the cultivation of virtues. Only then does he become a worthy candidate for Godhood.

July 28, 2005

There is at the basis of everything, a power that is continuously at work. It is the Will of the Divine that maintains the balance in the universe. You may ask that if God is controlling everything, then what is the need for human effort? God is like the electric current. To obtain light from it, you need a bulb and a wire. Sathya (Truth) is the current, Dharma (Righteousness) is the wire, Shanti (Peace) is the bulb and Prema (Love) is the light.

July 29, 2005

The philosophers of all lands and all times have sought to discover the truth about God, the objective world and man. Maya is the Will that causes all the three. It is a clear, flawless mirror. When Sathwa-guna (purity and goodness) is reflected in that mirror, God results. When Rajo-guna (passion and restlessness) is reflected, the jeeva or the individualized Self results. It is ever anxious to grow, to grab, to survive and to be secure. When Thamo-guna (inertness and inactivity) is reflected, matter or the objective world is the result. All the three are basically Divine, but appear diifferent because of the interplay of the Gunas.

July 30, 2005

Let the petty wishes for which you now approach God be realised or not; let the plans for promotion and progress which you place before God be fulfilled or not; they are not so important after all. The primary aim should be to become masters of yourselves, to hold intimate and constant communion with the Divine that is in you as well as in the universe of which you are a part. Welcome sorrows and disappointments for they toughen you and test your fortitude.

July 31, 2005

Man's character gets transformed into good or bad depending on his company. Noble company bestows noble feelings and bad company gives rise to evil traits. Your speech and conduct are based on your feelings. You deserve to be called a human being only when you develop good feelings. Form alone does not constitute a human being. A true human being is one who embodies good habits, helps ever and hurts never. You should not merely be an Aakara Manava (human in form); you should become an Aachara Manava (human in conduct). Speak good, see good, do good and be good. Divinity will manifest in you only when your conduct is good.


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