What is the learning? I at least want you to by-heart the verses. When you by-heart, you can always think about it. It is in your stock. If you have to open the book and learn, you will never be able to learn. You have to by-heart the verse, memorise it. After memorizing, every time it will come to your mind and you can think about it, what is this word, what is this construction, how does it blend with the other ones, what is the anvaya.
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Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.
I have been reflecting upon one idea. Mā always says that we are not spending time to teach you, to teach you, to teach you. My stand has been that sufficient teaching is being done here but whatever is taught is not being absorbed and processed by all you. So, there is a great difference between what Mā thinks and I think.
What is meant by teaching? You very clearly know that all of you are elderly, you have finished your educational career and you have come here. If at all, there is only one point, that is Sanskrit you may not know and you have to learn Sanskrit. For a grown up person, any language can be learnt. If help is there, it is well and good. Help is available here. But if you spend your time, effort, most important is you must love it and you must have the attention for it. Then the learning will take place.
You know about my Sanskrit familiarity. With this familiarity, I am delivering a series of telecast programmes in Malayalam as well as English. This Uddhava Gita is a subject which I have taken more than once in my life. At least in three places I have taken. When I read Uddhava Gita and also explained it, I explained it as usual but when it became a telecast programme and millions of people are viewing the programme, I thought that there will be an assortment of people and how to make it interesting. When I speak to people, they specifically come saying that “Here is a programme, we want to hear Swamiji”. So, there is a commitment on the part of the listerners and physically I am present there. So they know me, they have love and fondness and respect for me. I also love them. So that is the factor which bonds and enables the discussion to go on. But here I am talking to an invisible audience and that too an overwhelming number of people which naturally means there will be an amazing variety of people.
To make the talk interesting, do you know the time I am spending? I am myself amazed by the time I spend to deliver the talk in the manner in which I want. There are some occasions when a particular Sanskrit usage, a line in the sloka or maybe a word in the sloka, it keeps me occupied for hours and hours together. You know that I am busy, I have to attend to so many other items. In spite of it, when a word catches my imagination, I am not able to resolve it, a particular usage or a word, along with all the other work, I may go to the bathroom, I may answer the calls of nature, I may do some other work, I may talk to people, write. In spite of it, this enquiry and wanting to know, these are very dominant in my mind.
Very recently धर्मम् उद्वहताम् धुरम् – Three words, I could not make any, any satisfactory meaning in my own manner. द्रव्यस्य विचिकित्सार्थं– that विचिकित्सार्थं द्रव्यस्य - that particular phrase also I was not able to satisfactorily understand myself, then only I can explain. Very recently, these are the two expressions which kept on lingering in my mind. I did not get time also to sufficiently think about it but I was thinking. Now something happens in such a manner that I could not speak on it in the earlier installment. For example, before going to Calcutta and Jamshedpur. Now it has come to be talked after I came back. So, I got some more time to think about it. And after thinking, I think I have understood it and I have also explained it well.
Now, the whole effort is internal, internal, internal. Whenever you have something, put your mind into it. Now what I want you to understand is in this Ashram, teaching is not lacking at all. Here what is lacking is learning. Now you will simply excuse yourself saying that we have no time to learn, we have only time to work. There is a proverb. The washerman never completes his washing inorder to go to Banares. He cannot go to Varanasi after completing his washing. People will go on wearing clothes and the washerman will be given used clothes and he has to be continuously washing. If no washing has to be done, he alone should to be there and all the others should die. Now, this is a proverb which we always quote. The washerman never goes to Benares after completing his washing. So you will always have work. Are you wanting an Ashram life where you have seven to eight hours or ten hours of lazy hours here or would you like to be a busy person? This you primarily decide. I always quote the example of our household mother who had twelve children. Our 'X' who came, retired from ‘Times of india’, he was telling me, he is one of the twelve children. So as recently as this, our women have delivered twelve children. How did they manage the children with two hands and twenty four hours of the day?
So I personaly feel that many, many things you are hearing, but no effort is done on your part to make the knowledge yours, to make it yours. To make it yours, you have to spend time, spend time, spend time. What kind of a time? I dont want you to spend one thousand verses. I want you to spend at least fifty verses, hundred verses. These hundred verses will be more than sufficient. By the time you learn and understand hundred verses, one hundred verses, one hundred verses, how many verse would you have known and what would be your knowledge share of this wonderful Sanskrit treasure? So the next learning will be in the background of the hundred verses that you already know. So, the effort will be greatly less.
See, I am reading Ekādasa Skandham, one chapter I was dealing, the twenty second chapter. When I am reading, do you know that, do you think that I know all of it? Certainly not! But I love reading and by reading, I get my proficiency. First of all, I want to learn the verse. Then I start thinking about it. I want to learn the verse, learn the verse. I am giving a set of lectures. All people say Swamiji is a great Pandita, scholarly etc. But I am not. I would like to read Srimad Bhagavatam Ekādasa Skandham at least 100 times in my life. Now this learning, nobody in this world can help you, which Mā doesn’t understand. She is very obstinate in holding that we should make them learn. I will not be able to do it at all. You have to learn yourself.
What is the learning? I at least want you to by-heart the verses. When you by-heart, you can always think about it. It is in your stock. If you have to open the book and learn, you will never be able to learn. You have to by-heart the verse, memorise it. After memorizing, every time it will come to your mind and you can think about it, what is this word, what is this construction, how does it blend with the other ones, what is the anvaya. If we are spoon feeding you with anvaya and other things, then why should you learn at all! It is not our learning. So, Mā never understands it at all. She goes through the Sanskrit verses of Srimad Bhagavatam. Many verses she knows. Nobody has helped her. She is herself reading, learning, thinking. Swamiji also is going about it. You may say, both of them know Sanskrit. I dont think Mā knows Sanskrit as much as you are imagining. Whatever knowledge she has, she herself says it is very, very insufficient. In spite of it, she is learning. Very proficient she is and she asks very pertinent questions. Sometimes she says that how this word has come, how it is. This kind of a question I want from you. Now this will take place only when you start learning.
You tell me whether you have learned at least ten verses which you have known very clearly. When you start asking questions, then only the teacher also will be happy. Now every time what I find is, Swamiji takes Bhagavad Gita or the Upanishad. You may know what an Upanishad is. You may also know what Bhagavad Gita is. You may read hundred times Bhagavad Gita, but you will not be able to know it unless you begin to think, think, think and think. In order to think, every time you cannot depend upon the book. How many things we want you to by-heart, maybe Bhagavad Gita, maybe one or two Upanishads, maybe another 100 or 150 or 200 verses. This is all what I am expecting you to read and understand, nothing more than that.
You have come here. Years have passed. First of all you recite, do that swadhyaya and after doing swadhyaya, every mistake will be set right. Pronounciation will be all right. You have to listen to your own voice and be satisfied that you have pronounced each letter well. Now and then, we also hear, we will also correct you when we hear. You should yourself say, “Swamiji, today we dont want you to teach. I want to recite the verses I know before you. Please see whether I am right, correct me.” Nobody has said so far this. I myself will say “Go, recite.” And then when I recite or say the anvaya, all the students will keep quiet. When I have openly said, it is for you to repeat. Again I will have to say “Why dont you repeat?” See, what kind of an attention is this? Is this the way any student will learn? Unfortunately we have only five or six students here. So, I am not able to compare and contrast. Suppose it is a class of forty, at least two or three will be there sensitively to speak back. So, I think this learning is something not taking place only because of your lack of attention, lack of resolve and lack of some kind of an insistence in you. This insistence should be definitely there, then you will find learning automatically takes place. I would like you to think about it and let me know.
Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.