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Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru.
Everyone has his or her mind. This mind has been functioning right from the beginning. If an individual knows that he is living, it is not because of his body but because of his mind. A new born child may not know that it has a body and it is living in this world. Only when the child grows, at one particular point of time he or she comes to know that “I am living” and that “I have a body.” What is the reason? Because the mind has to develop, and the mind is the one to tell you about the existence of the body and one having a body.
Why I said this? Right from the beginning, we are familiar with our mind and also familiar with the functions of the mind. But alas! The functioning of the mind is such that it always takes us away from the understanding of the mind. The moment we see an object before our eyes, we are allured by the object, involved in the object, all our thoughts are focused on it. Where is the time for us to think about the source of all these things? The mind itself! So something is wrong with us. “Familiarity breeds contempt,” we say. Here it takes away our real attention and real worth even!
Why I am saying this? There are some qualities about which we speak. One quality that we always speak about in our conversation is “to be true, being true, truthful.” So the word is not unfamiliar to us, we know it very well. But tell me very clearly how many are truthful in this world? Our country suffers, and recently because of so many exposures about scams, 2G scams etc., we are able to understand that funds which are required for development of the country, to the tune of lacs of crores of rupees, only because of untruthfulness, the money has been taken away or the government has lost it. So what is the point in saying about truth and truthfulness?
It is so much known a word we are familiar with, but we are not able to practice it and cultivate it. When you come to spirituality, some of these common words representing a very good value, they become the foundation, as well as the ultimate factor to determine one's progress, growth, and fulfillment. Similarly, I am finding a word called ṛjatva or ārjava. I have to read the chapters of śrīmadbhāgavatam from Krishna's dialogue with Uddhava. So there he is describing Varnaashrama dharmas – varna aashrama dharmas. The whole of our society falls into 4 varnas and we also have 4 aashramas. The 4 varnas and 4 aashramas will completely exhaust all the society that we have members.
Now after defining the codes of conduct meant for each Brahmana, Kshatriya, Vaishya and Kshoodra, Sri Krishna speaks about sārvavarṇika dharma. There are some elements which are common to all the people who are born in human society. Out of them, ārjava, he lists as one.
The word ārjava normally means straightforwardness, being open, transparent, etc. Now you find, our country has discussed, has begun to discuss this word transparency. The Supreme Court begins to ask, “Did you receive this letter? When did you reply? How long will you take to reply a correspondence you have received?” So many questions are asked. Ultimately what are they looking for? Truthfully what has transpired in a particular event or in a particular transaction.
Everything is supposed to be recorded and these records are examined and verified by the Controller and Auditor General, and he finds inconsistencies there. Then he comes to the conclusion that so much of money has been lost by the government because of this. Now what reveals this truth? Only the recording. Now the recording has not been true, the behavior has not been true, the explanation has not been true. That is why it is even costing the country it's development. So what do you say about truthfulness? Truthfulness is a proposition that is applicable to the individual human mind and intelligence. Though values bear upon individuals, in consequence, the values can mean anything. It can involve and concern the whole nation. The individuals dealing with a certain allegation, if they have not been truthful and transparent, then what happens? The whole country is affected adversely to an abominable level. And what is spirituality? Spirituality discusses these qualities called truthfulness and transparency - straightforwardness. ahiṁsā, satyam, asteyam, śaucam, indriya-nigrahaḥ. In one way this is what Manu says. Sri Krishna puts it in another manner.
ahiṁsā means non-hurting,
satyam means being truthful.
asteyam means not taking away the property or money belonging to another. In all these scams, the money belonging to the government and the people, has been siphoned out. This is the big stealing. asteyam. But wherefrom does it begin? It begins and it operates in the human mind.
So, what do you think of the values?
śaucam, indriya-nigrahaḥ - cleanliness outwardly and inwardly, we should be clean.
indriya-nigrahaḥ - the senses should be controlled, under control. Whenever a person lives in an improper manner, it is only to propitiate either his tongue, or his eyes, or his nose, or his skin. Only because of the attractions to the sensory objects, we are getting into trouble. So the senses should be moderated, they should be regulated, they should be refined, they should be kept under check and a balance. Now these five, he says, are applicable to all people, whatever varna or aashrama they may belong to. What does it mean?
Our values are wonderful. All these values bear upon the individual human mind. This you should understand. So, values are values only when they relate to the human mind and intelligence. It is either in the way of avoiding something irregular and undesirable, or including something regular and desirable. The 2-way process of discarding and eliminating the undesirables, and including and incorporating the desirables, this is the sole purpose of human life. You may have been born anywhere, to any set of parents, in any circumstances, rural, economically poor, or otherwise. But values for all of us are common. When we say non-stealing, is it that you can steal tens and hundreds, or only bigger stealings like thousands and lacs are meant? Certainly not!
I think, the word ārjava always makes me think. When I first read it in Calcutta, I said, “What is this?” Straightforwardness is a simple behavioral point. “Why is it mentioned as a spiritual quality?” I was wondering. But when I move about and I find, I think people seldom have these qualities. They don’t cherish and they don’t express it also. So, some of the things may be very very common, and commonly heard and spoken, but I think very seldom are they practiced. This gap between hearing and knowing on the one hand, and doing and practicing on the other, is the one as we call it – yawning gap. This is the one we should be conscious of, and trying to deal with, and eliminate, reduce and minimize in every one. I think this is something that requires a lot of thought. What is meant by straightforwardness and why is it that it is listed as a spiritual quality? And what is meant by truthfulness, and why is it listed so? Everybody would have heard about straightforwardness and truthfulness, but these are the two virtues which are, perhaps, eluding us, or we don’t want them to be part of our life. I think, one has to think deeply. It is not necessary to think in a protracted manner, go after bombastic words. Certainly not. The truth is very simple, the self is closest. God is present everywhere, and it is only a simple, a guileless heart that requires to approach it properly.
Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru.
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