Thought for the Day - As written at Prasanthi Nilayam
Thought for the Day Archive
01 September 2003
Seek the company of the good and the aspirants. Man must carefully select
proper company. But even when he is forced to work in a group of evil
people to earn his living, he can still avoid being affected, just as the
tongue avoids getting gnashed between the teeth.
02 September 2003
Consider the good influence that good association can exert. A big boulder
lying neglected by the side of the road can receive adoration of thousands
when it is sculpted into an idol and installed in a temple. However, evil
company demeans and debases man. Take the example of fire, which is held
sacred and religiously fed in every orthodox home. But, when the fire
enters the rod of a blacksmith, it has to suffer hammer blows. Attachment
to the iron brings about this calamity for the highly venerated fire.
03 September 2003
Man by his very nature has a tendency to make an effort to satisfy the
desires that arise within him or which are prompted through senses from
without. Very often these are deleterious. Is there any end to the list of
your worldly desires? When you satisfy one, another starts tantalising
you. If something is lost or stolen from you, you lose faith in Me. I have
not come to guard your jewels and your valuables. I have come to guard
your virtues and character, and guide you to the Goal.
04 September 2003
The company of good persons shall promote good thoughts. It is good
thoughts that help us to strengthen our will power, which is the basis of
acquiring other qualities, that is, discrimination, determination,
intelligence, and enquiry, but this will power becomes weak due to
limitless desires. It is a great pity that the mind of man is making him
sacrifice the good things in life like the love of God, fear of sin and
05 September 2003
The serpent is hated and beaten to death whenever it is seen by man. But,
in association with lord Shiva, the serpent receives adoration from
millions. So, Sathsang (holy company) is a very important requisite for
moral and spiritual advancement. If you keep Sathsang continuously, your
hearts will maintain purity. But, if you resort to it occasionally, then
like the less used utensil in the house, your hearts will get tarnished.
06 September 2003
A piece of string may be white and bright, but no one will wear it around
the neck; but, the moment it gets converted into a garland of fragrant
flowers, all would love to have it in their hair or around their neck. The
Sathsang (holy company) of flowers bestows on the string a high status.
The success of the Saadhana (spiritual practice) to follow the path of
Truth depends on self-control and sense control. This is necessary for
successful execution of our daily routine chores. Birds, beasts, insects
and worms suffer much by their activity directed by their senses alone.
But, in man it has become a highly developed skill because he must be able
to separate the chaff from the grain and decide on the constructive path
of truth and righteousness.
07 September 2003
If the yogi lives among worldly men, the chances of his yoga evaporating
into bhoga (indulgence in pleasures) are very great. Satsang is like the
bit and bridle for the wanton steed. The value of holy places, sacred
pilgrimages etc., consists in just this; that kindred spirits congregate
there and contribute to the value of spiritual yearning. You can take
sweet and sustaining counsel together in such places and strengthen your
faith and devotion. If at any place you do not find such an atmosphere,
avoid it and move on until you find such a place.
08 September 2003
The grace of God cannot be won through the gymnastics of reason, the
contortions of yoga, or the denials of asceticism. Love alone can win it;
love that needs no requital; love that knows no bargaining; love that is
paid gladly to the All-Loving; and love that is unwavering. Love alone can
overcome obstacles however many and mighty. There is no strength more
effective than Purity; no bliss more satisfying than Love; no joy more
restoring than Bhakthi (devotion to God) and no triumph more praiseworthy
09 September 2003
Man should not fall into the whirlpool of desires and be carried down into
the depths of grief. When breath starts to gasp, hair turns grey, teeth
begin to drop and eyes grow weak, man's greed to quench the clamour of the
senses increases instead of decreasing! Sathsang (holy company) is the
10 September 2003
Man, as a member of society, influences the people who contact him. His
life is turned or twisted by the standards, modes, and behaviour patterns
of the society into which he is born through the effects of his
accumulated actions. The body and the country are inextricably
intertwined. The body is an encasement for the spirit of man and so too is
the country. Use society for your uplift towards God; try to shape society
so that it will help the uplift of individuals and not turn them away from
11 September 2003
Through Sathsang (holy company) you develop freedom from delusion, and
then you develop faith in truth and thus attain liberation itself. Just as
the tame elephants surround the wild tusker and rope him before taming
him, the spiritual minded will bring the doubter around. The company of
the good and the godly will slowly chasten and cleanse the persons prone
to staying away from the straight path towards self-realization.
12 September 2003
When a sharp axe is used to cut a sandal wood tree, the sandal wood tree
does not feel hurt by the axe, nor does it get angry at it. On the
contrary, the sandal wood tree lends its fragrance to the axe. This is the
quality of good people.
13 September 2003
The company of bad men is the prelude to the disappearance of wisdom. The
company of good men makes wisdom blossom. Ascetic practices, years of
constant recitation of the name, pilgrimages to holy places and shrines,
study of sacred books-these will not help the aspirant to achieve
spiritual victory as much as communion with the godly and good.
14 September 2003
When you go to a doctor, you must take the medicine that he prescribes and
follow his advice and instructions. There is no use blaming him if you
default. How can he cure you if you do not drink the mixture or stick to
the restictions he has imposed or regulate your diet according to his
advice? Do as I say, follow My advice and then watch the results.
15 September 2003
Friends must serve as the lids serve the eye. The 'friend' should be
another 'me'. One must experience in equal depth the joy or the grief of
the other. Friends ought to be like milk and water, for when mixed
together and heated, the water evaporates as steam and the milk laments
the separation and boils over. Thus the only way to calm the milk is to
sprinkle a spoon or two of water on it.
16 September 2003
Today parents are neglected and even disowned. How can a nation that does
not revere those deserving to be revered, be revered in its turn. However
high you may rise, no matter how rich you may become, if your parents are
neglected in distress, your life has been a tragic waste. If you have no
urge to please those who are very happy when their children show the
slightest concern for their comfort, how can you even hope to please God?
17 September 2003
The earth is a caravanserai where men come and stay for the night and when
dawn breaks they tramp their different ways. Kith and kin are the words we
use for the attachment to the travellers cultivated in the caravanserai
during the short term of acquaintance. Husband and wife are like two
pieces of wood drifting down a flooded river; they float near each other
for some time and when current comes between, they are parted; each must
move on to the sea at its own rate and in its own time. There is no need
to grieve over the parting of the two.
18 September 2003
Man has been given a hundred years of life and plenty of work to fill the
years with, but you fritter the time in playful games, in founding and
fostering a family. You seem to have no time for reciting the Name of the
Lord or meditating on His Form. Want of time is a false excuse. Face the
reality and proceed towards the Truth. When you tread the path of Dharma,
imperceptibly you will be drawn towards the truth, gently and steadily.
19 September 2003
You should gradually get rid of attachments that lead you astray. But,
nowadays, instead of the elimination of mental agitations, every effort is
made to multiply them. The scriptures have laid down patterns of behaviour,
recommended modes of livelihood, and prescribed social rights and
obligations with the aim to sublimate the instincts. Do not decry that
discipline or the ancient sacred scriptures.
20 September 2003
The world is one vast society. Everyone is bound to it by the love that
draws man to man. This love is deep in the heart, but it is unrecognised,
ignored, doubted, denied and argued away. It is the secret source of all
sympathy and service; it creates the urge to live in and for society.
21 September 2003
Parents and teachers can earn My Grace only by becoming good and worthy
examples to their sons or daughters or to their wards and students. You
must examine yourselves every moment whether you are observing the
disciplines I have laid down, the programmes of service I have marked out.
That is the way to earn My Love.
22 September 2003
The home is a temple. The mother is the high priestess of this House of
God. Humility is the incense with which the house is filled. Reverence is
the lamp that is lit, with love as the oil and faith as the wick. Spend
the years of your life dedicating them for such worship in your homes.
23 September 2003
Children's minds are innocent, tender and pure. Their minds are apt to
grow crooked under the influence of the sensuous films, the hypocritical
atmosphere created by elders, the lure of glitter and fame. So, the
parents and schools have to attach great importance to discipline of
children. But, extremes have to be avoided at all costs. Disciplinary
rules have to be well thought out and adapted to the age group they wish
24 September 2003
Teach children not to receive anything for nothing. Let them earn by hard
work the things they seek. Love has first to gladden the home. The
character of children must be made strong and pure. Give them all the
confidence and courage they need to become good, honest, self-reliant
children. It is not enough if they learn something by which they can earn
a living; the manner of living is more important than the standard of
25 September 2003
If you give joy to your parents, your children will be a source of joy to
you in your declining years. Children should grow in the awareness of the
brotherhood of man and the fatherhood of God. If no provision is made for
this atmosphere and this teaching, we are denying them their due. Faith in
man involves Faith in God; Faith in God creates Faith in man. Without
faith, man is a creature bereft of roots; and he dries and withers
26 September 2003
Parents toil to leave a pile of riches for their children, but they do not
teach them the proper sense of values. Children should be taught to live
like lotuses in the lake, being in the water and yet unaffected by it.
Lotuses cannot survive when out of the water; yet they will not allow
water to enter! Be in the world, but see that the world is not in you.
That is the secret of successful living, which they do not teach the
27 September 2003
Teach your children this glorious and heart-expanding Truth from the early
days of life: the Atma is full and free. It is a wonderful discovery, a
thrilling thought. The Atma is by its very nature full; fullness need not
be attained or accomplished or added to it. That is why the sages declared
that Purity is our very nature and Fullness is our genuine reality.
28 September 2003
Children are charming saplings, full of promise, who can be made, by wise
care and well-directed love, to blossom into ideal citizens, able to
understand, appreciate and practice the tough discipline laid down in the
ancient wisdom for attaining self-knowledge. The early years of life are
the most crucial, and so the parents have to share the responsibility for
their proper upbringing. The skills, the attitude, the prejudices and the
emotions that make or mar the future are all built into the foundation of
character during those crucial years.
29 September 2003
Parents should not allow their children to fall away from their control
and wander about without a compass or anchor. Many parents feed and fondle
their children and then in the name of freedom, leave them to find their
own friends and pleasures. They take them to films regardless of the
impressions they create in their tender minds. They entertain the friends
of their children but do not enquire about their antecedents and habits.
30 September 2003
The thought that arises in the mind, the word that is formed on the tongue
and the act performed by the hand - when these three are in harmony, they
indicate humanness. Nowadays man appears to be man, but his human-ness is
absent, partly because he thinks one way, speaks another way and acts a
third way. Speak what you think, do what you speak; that is the sign of
true manhood. So, you must first act according to your own advice. Bring
about consonance between your thought, word and deed, and then guide your
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