Thought for the Day - As written at Prasanthi Nilayam
Thought for the Day Archive
01 June 2003
When obstacles come, meet them with courage. They harden you and make you
tough. Suffering and misery are inescapable acts of the Cosmic drama. God
does not decree these calamities, but man invites them by way of
retribution for his evil deeds. This is the corrective punishment by
nature, which induces man to give up the wrong path. All this is part of
the grand synthesis in which the negatives serve to glorify the positives.
Thus death glorifies immortality; ignorance glorifies wisdom; misery
glorifies bliss; night glorifies dawn.
02 June 2003
Worry or Grief there will always be, of one type or the other, in the
Past, Present or the Future; while waking, dreaming, and sleeping. But
place faith in the Lord and do your tasks as dedicated to Him and they
will both vanish. Grief is caused, as joy is caused, by the attachment of
the senses to the objects. Once you know that you are not the senses or
the mind, but He who operates the senses and wields the mind, you cross
the bounds of pleasure and pain.
03 June 2003
Joy and sorrow are like two pots carried by a man on a pole. They are
inseparable. No one can tell what the future has in store for any
individual. Just as apparently opposing conditions like heat and cold are
of use to man in certain situations, similarly joy and sorrow, loss and
gain are also helpful to man. If there be no sorrow, how can man
appreciate happiness? To realize the greatness of light, darkness is
04 June 2003
Generally man seeks only happiness and joy; under no stress will he desire
misery and grief! He treats happiness and joy as his well-wishers and
misery and grief as his enemies. This is a mistake. When one is happy, the
risk of grief is great. Misery prompts inquiry, discrimination,
self-examination and fear of worse things that might happen. Happiness
makes one forget one's obligations to oneself as a human being. It drags
man into egoism and the sins that egoism leads one to commit. Grief
renders man alert and watchful. So misery is a real friend; happiness
spends out of the stock of merit and arouses the baser passions. So
happiness really is an enemy.
05 June 2003
It is best to regard both happiness and misery as gifts of God. Two things
are essential for happy life; dhan (grain) and dhyana (meditation). While
in search of happiness, pay attention to three basic duties: 1. Forger the
world around you with its fatal pleasures 2. Man has to reach the goal of
the Divine. 3. Man has to give up material desires and pursuits.
06 June 2003
Man cannot eliminate all desires from his mind. The ancient scriptures
(the Vedas) lay down four goals before man: Dharma (Righteousness), Artha
(Wealth), Kama (Desire), Moksha (Liberation). As far as we can make out,
man today is running after the middle two (wealth and desire), because he
finds that compliance of Righteousness and Liberation is difficult without
detachment and depravation of sensual pleasures, and man has today
declared them impractical and a waste of time. All the misery in the world
is due to this dire mistake. What has to be done is to take the four as
inseparable pairs. Earn wealth through righteousness and use wealth for
the promotion of righteousness; and let liberation be your only desire.
07 June 2003
Though the world has become a very small globe as a result of fast means
of communication and transport, man has not yet learnt the art of living
together in close proximity as brothers and as children of the One God.
The closer men are brought, the larger the differences that appear. Thus,
the little World is now riddled with problems of conflicting cultures,
competing creeds and contesting ambitions. The sorrows of one State spread
fast into all its neighbours and inflict on the whole world. The world has
become one vast battlefield.
08 June 2003
Cast away the vice of egoism, the evil of greed and the poison of envy.
When you seek joy from something outside you, remember that a far greater
joy lies in wait within your own inner consciousness. When the night grows
chilly, you draw the rug tighter around you. So too, when grief assails
you, draw the warmth of the Name of the Lord closer around your mind.
09 June 2003
Worldly goods do not confer happiness. It is the mind that conveys the
feeling. For example many drink coffee and some drink tea, with or without
sugar and milk. If coffee could make man happy, then everyone would drink
coffee. Those who suffer have My Grace. Only through suffering will they
persuaded to turn inward and make the inquiry, without which they can
never escape misery. People suffer because they have all kinds of
unreasonable desires and they pine to fulfill them and they fail. They
attach too much value to the objective world. It is only when attachment
increases that you suffer pain and grief.
10 June 2003
You should not allow yourselves to be overwhelmed in any way by
difficulties and sorrows, doubts and disappointments. You must have faith.
Have confidence in yourself and others to understand well the nature of
God's Love. To secure that love is the sacred goal of human life.
11 June 2003
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, do not listen to your mind, for mind is but another word for
"need". The mind engenders need; it manifested the world, because it
needed this. It is all 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.
12 June 2003
What is the root of worry? Wants: and the efforts to fulfill them, and the
fear of not succeeding to the extent desired. Reduce wants and you reduce
worry. You congregate here in the Nilayam-verandah, seeking personal
interviews with Me, with a load of wishes in your heart, wishes that you
want me to fulfill! Why carry all the load? Carry only one load, the
desire to win the grace of God; he will confer what is best for you. Leave
the rest to Him.
13 June 2003
Spiritual health is preserved and promoted by attention to three Gunas:
Sathvika, Rajas and Thamas. Health is preserved and promoted by attention
to three humours ; Vatha (wind), Pitha (bile) and Kapha (phlegm). The
three humours must not get vitiated or unbalanced. A healthy body is the
best container for a healthy mind. Illness makes the mind agitated and
anxious. The material and the spiritual are the two pans in the balance.
They have to be attended to, in equal measure, at least until a certain
stage of progress is attained in spiritual development.
14 June 2003
The body is the temple of God; hence it is the duty of man to keep it in
good condition. Health is the primary requisite for all activities,
physical, intellectual and spiritual. The body has to be kept ever clean,
bereft of disease, dirt, defeatism and distress. Any injury or illness
that affects the body adversely has to be attended to with loving care.
15 June 2003
For what purpose should health be maintained? What is the best use to
which the body has to be put? For this body, with all its equipment of
senses, intellect, feeling and memory is an instrument, is but an
implement to reach a certain goal. The owner of the chariot is any day
more important than the chariot itself; it is for his sake that it has to
be kept trim and efficient and in good condition. Health is the essential
prerequisite for success in all aspects of life, for realizing the four
ideals that should guide humans; moral living, fulfilling beneficial
desires, prosperity and liberation from grief.
16 June 2003
Illness is caused more by malnutrition of the mind than of the body.
Doctors often speak of vitamin deficiency. I will call it the deficiency
of Vitamin 'G', and I will recommend the Name of God. That is Vitamin 'G'!
That is the medicine; regulated life and habits are two-thirds of
treatment, while medicine is just one-third. Fear is the biggest cause of
17 June 2003
To many, it may appear strange that, in a place that is dedicated to the
health of the Spirit, prominence is given to bodily health. But, for
attaining the four aims of Human life, Dharma (Righteousness), Artha
(Prosperity), Kama (Fulfilment of Desires) and Moksha (Liberation from
Bondage), the basic requirement is health of the body and the mind. Fear
and anxiety that prevail today are the results of degradation of values,
the ignorance of what is significant and what is not. People prefer what
is pleasing to what is beneficial.
18 June 2003
Advice handed down by the seers of the ancient times is, 'Eat in
moderation and live long'. This advice is seldom heeded. Most of the
people are overeating all the time. They are ruining their digestive
systems by consuming rich and heavy foods. Evil thoughts cause ill health.
Anxiety, fear and tension also contribute their share. All these result
from greed, which in turn result in sorrow and despair. Contentment can
come only from a spiritual outlook
19 June 2003
What are the main causes of ill-health? Millions of living beings sustain
themselves by the food provided by Nature. But man, in order to satisfy
the cravings of the tongue, changes the composition and characteristics of
things provided by Nature, and prepares food by the process of boiling,
frying and mixing concoctions, which hardly have any nourishing value in
them. Thus, vitamins and proteins that are valuable nourishment are
destroyed. The billions of cells are so interdependent that one is
weakened and or damaged, all of them suffer.
20 June 2003
When the body is fit, mental functions too, run smoothly; when the body
suffers, the mind too gets unsettled. So, this raft called the body, which
is the only means of getting across the sea of changes or samsara, has to
be kept in good trim. Devotion and morality are as important for physical
as they are for mental health. They free the mind of agitation, they feed
it with joy and contentment, they quieten the nerves and help even the
bodily processes. All must equip themselves with strong bodies.
21 June 2003
By regulating your diet and avoiding bad habits, you can preserve health.
Moderate food of the Sathwic type will promote mental poise and physical
happiness. Many people consume more than necessary quantity of rich food.
If you do not smoke, you escape a number of illnesses that follow that
Rajasic practice. Avoid any intoxicant or stimulant, because it disturbs
nature's balance and is thus harmful.
22 June 2003
Today, there is pollution in everything, such as the air we breathe, the
water we drink, the sounds that are jarring to the ears, and the food we
consume. Because of all this, man's health is affected. Apart from this,
man's mind also is polluted, making him susceptible to diseases. Man
should make an earnest endeavour to lead a serene and pure life.
23 June 2003
It is not only unbridled passion which damages the health of man. Living
on ill-gotten money also causes ill health to some extent. Living on
earnings got by unjust means causes many unknown diseases to take root in
us. It is said, As is the Food, So is the Mind; As is the Mind, So are the
Thoughts; As are the Thoughts, So is the Conduct; As is the Conduct, So is
the Health. Man today is the victim of worry. What is the cause of this
worry? Worry causes hurry and both together bring about ill health. So
worry, hurry and curry (fatty foods) are the root cause of cardiac
24 June 2003
You complain of lack of devotion for God. You have lost devotion because
you have eaten unwholesome food, not because you have had a surfeit of
good food. You have no knowledge which food is wholesome. You wrongly
believe that the unwholesome food you get through the impure gateway of
the senses keep you healthy
25 June 2003
Food and recreational habits are the two main causes of ill health. Care
has to be taken to ensure that these habits do not develop in to injurious
tendencies. At present though drugs have multiplied and hospitals have
been established in every nook and corner, ill health is also widespread.
This situation is attributable to the spread of indiscriminate food habits
26 June 2003
The scriptures proclaim that health is the very root of all endeavours in
the four fields of human achievement-Dharma (Righteousness), Artha
(Prosperity), Kama (Fulfilment of Desires) and Moksha (Liberation from
Bondage). Without health, man cannot overcome temptations, earn a decent
living, fulfill his basic needs or succeed in spiritual sadhana. Man can
engage himself in obligatory and optional duties, only if he is healthy.
27 June 2003
Diseases which torment man are many in number. Of these, hatred, envy and
egoism are the worst. Even the doctors cannot cure them, for even they
suffer from these afflictions! Anger is another enemy of health. It
injects poison into the bloodstream.
28 June 2003
Man should try earnestly to live long, without falling into the hands of
doctors.Most illnesses can be cured by simple living, simple mental and
physical exercises and by not succumbing to the temptations of the tongue.
29 June 2003
No doubt, physical comforts are necessary up to a point, but they should
be limited to meeting the basic demands of nature. Admittedly, food is
essential, but it should be wholesome and sathwic. Excess of anything is
bad and it will lead man to sorrow. As long as desires remain, fear and
insecurity will be chasing man. Desist from catering to the tongue. Do not
be a victim of Lust and Taste. All your knowledge and experience are
useless if you cannot exercise control over your organs.
30 June 2003
Man must prefer sathwic to rajasic foods.By drinking intoxicating stuff,
one loses control over the emotions and passions, the impulses and
instincts, the speech and movements and one even descends to the level of
beasts. By eating meat one develops violent tendencies and animal
diseases. The mind becomes difficult to control when one indulges in
rajasic food; it can never be remoulded if thamasic food is consumed with
relish. To dwell in Rama principle, one has to be vigilant about food and
drink consumed by both body and mind. Eat sathwic food; uncooked food,
nuts and fruits, germinating pulses are best.
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