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Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.
I had a short talk with ‘X’. He has come here to stay for a little longer than one or two days. And he is studying for B.Pharm in BIT Mesra. I keep him in my mind and I am talking something today.
We are all born into this world with a body and depending upon our own family, heredity and other factors, the life of the body can be something like sixty, seventy, eighty, ninety years. The longevity has increased with a number of medicines and public health, hygiene, consciousness having increased after independence. Though the birth is related to the body and hence life also is related to the body, the actual factors that count in our life are not merely bodily factors.
The body completes its growth at the age of twenty-one latest. Only after that you become an adult. And as an adult when you begin to work with your own choices, selections, goals, values etc., the body has already completed its growth and it starts declining. So the question becomes imperative as to what are the other factors in our personality which are yet to grow? The answer is your mind and intelligence. They alone employ the body and bodily parts for any activity whatsoever. In fact, every activity is wished, willed and shaped by the mind. Then the mind alone implements it through the body and bodily parts. When the action is completed, the net result of the action is again in the mind in the form of an experience, knowledge and memory.
I would like ‘X’ to understand how important and fulcrumatic the mind is. And this mind is invisible to us. It is inward to the body; it is not actually a part of the body. Brain maybe a part of the body but not mind. So a non-bodily constituent namely the mind, is constantly at work to create the body, the bodily different parts and also to employ them for various activities. So in human life, our sole focus has to be on the mind.
We also speak of intelligence. This intelligence is no other than mind itself in a refined form. When the mind is at work, the intelligence will not be working and vice versa. Therefore, the factor that works as the mind doing mentation, thinking, is the same thing which does the intellection by generating reason. The substance is the same. How can the mind and the intelligence be improved in their quality, in their performance, in their skill, in their achievement, becomes an important question.
‘X’, you are studying. Why are you studying? Is it to improve your body and add more height, weight, and number of parts in the body? Certainly not! You are studying in order to enrich, enlighten and empower your inner personality, namely mind and intelligence. You are getting a lot of knowledge by your studies but all this knowledge is called object knowledge. Knowledge of various objects including minutest forms of matter, atom, quark, wave, particle all these. The object knowledge in your case is something like pharmacology or pharmaceutical sciences. That is an object knowledge but this knowledge is accruing to you in your brain and intelligence.
Like the object knowledge therefore, thus we also have subject knowledge. What is subject knowledge? Knowledge about the subjective constituents of our personality as I said - Mind, intelligence and their function. In subject knowledge, we aim to enhance the skill, the ability, the performance of the mind and the intelligence. How can the mind and intelligence be improved, if you ask, mind can be improved only by mind’s own qualities. Intelligence can be improved only by intelligence's own qualities. And what are the qualities of the mind and intelligence, becomes the next question. This is where religion, spirituality, yoga, philosophy etc. come to play. All these subjects like philosophy, yoga, religion and spirituality, they deal only with the mind and intelligence.
What is meant by improving and refining the mind? See you must be able to develop more and more sensitivity. Every time, the response or reaction that takes place in the mind should become a subject of introspection and examination for you. Mostly people say we are very irritable. We get angry, angry, angry, we don’t want to get angry, but we become angry. So this is a trait that we have to deal with. We have a number of desires. Often the desires create disappointment and disgust but we are given to desiring, so that is another trait. We have a lot of hatred, that is another problem. Sometimes we become jealous, that is another wrong. We are not able to tolerate matters, i.e. intolerance is another trait. So the mind generally has a number of unwelcome and undesirable traits. They are to be eliminated. And there are a number of desirable traits and they are to be included in the mind. So in the mind sphere, it is a question of eliminating the undesirable and incorporating or including the desirable. So you have to think about what are the desirable virtues or enrichment for the mind and what are undesirable. Now this is the sign of religion, spirituality, yoga and philosophy. These are relating to your mind which is a subjective constituent in your personality, its functions, its intricacies etc.
So far as the intelligence is concerned, our intelligence must be able to probe into whatever is necessary in your life. Intelligence is noted for its quest for knowledge. It is a knowledge seeking mechanism or an instrument. In order to develop the intelligence, you should develop the art of introspection. And the best introspection will be about the subjective matters. About the object parts you already study, you have to write examinations, subjects are taught by expert professors and the others, I don’t say anything about it. But if you want to become a good human, you must be able to employ your intelligence to do subjective introspection, truthful introspection. ‘Swamiji, what is that?’ It is thinking about various matters which make life good, better, and best.
You know, after sixty odd years of independence, we have not been able to develop a responsible and ethical government. So the one subject that I hear, I am also called upon to speak on, is ethical governance. Why did we become independent? To have our own people to rule the country, to see that nothing is stolen from the country, whatever is generated is employed for country's own development. And what are we finding now? We are finding that unimaginable extent of money is being taken away from India, unauthorized-ly and these are kept in unknown banks outside the country. Did we become independent to be stolen (from) and looted like this? And who are the people who do this? People who are elected by our own people, Indian citizens. So there is something gravely wrong. So the governance has to become ethical. It is not merely governance. The individual life has to be ethical. The family life has to be ethical. The societal segmental life has to be ethical. The national and global life also has to be ethical. So I would like you to think about what is meant by ethics? You should take up the introspection on what is meant by good, what is meant by proper, what is meant by truthfulness as opposed to untruthfulness and why should we become truthful and not untruthful, what is the wrong in bad qualities. These points you should start thinking as an adult.
We have a word called 'Dharma'. Dharma really means ethics! I would like to define it in this manner. When two or more people begin to live and move and function together in the world, ethics becomes necessary. I am walking, you are also walking. When I walk, I cannot hit you and you cannot hit me. We are walking on a small narrow bund. You are coming against me and I am coming against you. Now we cannot be hitting each other. So one will have to give way to the other. Who will give and what should be done? This is something very important. So ethics means a kind of a regulation, it permits the desirables and it tries to control and moderate the undesirables. Here is one difficulty my dear ‘X’ I would like you to think about it. You are in the Ashram. You have nothing to do except eat, sleep and think. You have to think about it.
So in ethics, we are always trying to find out what is good, what is desirable, what is helpful, what is harmful. You are not the only person who live in this world. There are many others. Any individual cannot disturb other’s life, he can only help and facilitate. So what are the norms we shall adopt, in order to enable community or collective life? And how can good children be born? How should the children born be fostered, cared and brought up? The people who do not rule the country, suddenly they cannot become wrong when they go to parliament and the executive positions. There is something wrong in them in their very birth and growth. That is why they display their negative qualities when placed in positions of power. So I would like you to think about these matters.
The word Dharma means, that kind of a power or process which is capable of sustaining human life in any given situation. One may be poor, another may be rich. One may be unfortunate, another may be very fortunate. One may have a lot of hindrances, a lot of misfortunes, others may not have. So whether it is in prosperity or poverty or adversity, whether it is in favour or disfavor, whether it is in promotion or demotion, the individual life will have to be sustained and that sustaining force or power is called dharma.
So our dharma is not merely ethics but something more than that. We go into what is this power, where is it to be located, how can it be identified, how we can develop it, to which extent and what is the last stage of development, when does a human become full and complete, all these points are taken up by Dharma. So our dharma and dharmik values always bear upon the mind and intelligence. That is why, they have become eternal.
Think of the most ancient barbarous man and the present civilized man. His body remains the same, with eyes, nose, ear etc. hands, feet and the like. Nothing has been added to or taken away from the body. And his mind is as emotional today as it was. The intelligence is as given to knowledge as it was earlier. So there is something constant in the human, in spite of millennia the society has lived upon this earth. Our Dharma relates to, relates to this human mind and human intelligence. Any dharmik value when rightly propelled or explained, will evoke an emotional persuasion from the hearer. ‘X’, mark my words, whenever a value, if it is a real value, it is always enriching and empowering the human, when it is properly explained you will find, emotionally it will have appeal and persuasion from the reader or listener. Similarly, in the intelligence level it will evoke some rational compulsions. It is not merely emotionally appealing, it is also rationally compelling. Yes it is necessary. When two or more people begin to live and move in this world, there must be something called ethics and values. So we are discussing about the ethical governance here. We have a governance, it is not bad, but the governance is not ethical. As a result of which there is dissatisfaction, our own responsible people elected ministers and the officers are put in jail. They are supposed to be very respectable and we should feel safe in their hands, they are so wrong that they are put in prison. Is this the way a country should be ruled? And where is the wrong? Where is the wrong? How to deal with it? Any extent of enactments can only physically restrain people, but mentally the growth of virtues, the development of virtues cannot be instilled by law. Law is mostly preventive and punishing. But the growth and enrichment of the mind by values, by disciplines, by goals, by beautiful feelings and emotions, this cannot be accomplished by law. There must be some other methodology, one of education, one of inspiration, one of persuasion, working in a different level. So we must have good people as leaders, thinkers, who will think for this society every time, such people are necessary. If such people are lacking, the society grows weak.
The existence and function of an ashram have to be evaluated and viewed in this very deep and large context. ‘X’, I have given you sufficient ground for thinking. And I would like you to think and develop your own views about life, growth, achievement and excellence.
Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.