Reform the Beginning to Reform the Life
The initial stage of life is very important. Elevation or downfall of life is determined by the samskaras inculcated in the childhood. A person who is compassionate, generous, having endurance, is devoted to his/her duty, amiable, and amasses virtues since childhood or youth – only such a person can become a good human being in the future. A youth who becomes an addict in young age, and who is dominated by traits of anger, arrogance, covetousness for sense pleasures and who is unable to withstand the impulses of desire, anger and taste – such a person in the future ends up blemishing humanity in society. One should consider only such a youth fortunate who from the beginning of his or her life amasses divine virtues while living in the company of good people, saints and evolved souls and stays away from bad company.
Being cautious while executing one’s duties and actions and having a firm resolve to complete them in the perfect way – all these are auspicious signs of success. On the contrary, being lethargic in performing one’s duty from the very beginning, to start the work with a melancholic state of mind without any interest – these are ill omens on the path of success.
Everyone has the experience that the day one wakes up late in the morning due to laziness, daily routine activities like defecation, bathing etc., don’t get completed in time and that day all tasks get messed up and become disorganized. The day one gets up at the right time and there is no indolence in executing one’s routine, that day all tasks are concluded in an organized way. That day appears to be a pleasant one.
The one whose life has a proper beginning, in accordance with Dharma, ethics and propriety of conduct is bound to have a good, pure, happy and auspicious future. There is no doubt in it.
Those people who, from the beginning, give importance to the beautification of their physical bodies, and for that they lay emphasis on clothes and jewelry and for that to wealth, are unable to adorn their lives. Such people remain enslaved by the material objects and human beings. If from childhood or puberty one gives place to laziness, luxury, bad habits and desires of sense indulgence in his life he invariably leads an inauspicious and unpleasant life later on and meets the similar end.
One can predict the future of man, either bright or dark, from the activities of the initial stage of his life. A small vice, bad habit, the habit of stealing small things, a tendency to tell a lie or any other untoward evil doing of the initial stage of life will not remain small in the future. Just as a spark turns into a huge fire when it comes in contact of firewood, the small vice will assume a dangerous form.
This is a point to be understood that whatever appears small in the beginning, never remains the same in the future. Be it a small vice or an accompanying minor mistake or a small virtue or a sublime feeling or a thought either noble or evil.
The intelligent man ought to be alert in eradicating whatever is inauspicious, bad, impure, unnecessary and unwholesome when it is in a lesser form. How can one renounce ‘more’ when he is unable to give up ‘less’? Therefore it is easier to forsake ‘less’ for it will be very difficult to renounce when it will become ‘more’.
The person who knows what is acceptable on account of necessity and wholesomeness from the beginning of every task and rejects what is unwholesome or harmful leads a virtuous and nice life in due course of time.
Generally, the stages of childhood and puberty remain under the charge of one’s guardians i.e. parents, brother, teachers and elderly relatives. Still, some wise children and youth are endowed with a good intellect and on their own have a strong dislike for inauspicious, bad, impure things and naturally they are inclined to auspicious, aesthetic, pure things.
It is the responsibility of parents, the elder brother and teacher that they should not allow their children to have any contact with anything impure, immoral and bad right from the beginning. Interest towards learning and education, behaving courteously while dealing with elders, good conduct, Dharma and the importance of God should be inculcated in the minds and hearts of children from the very beginning.
To make ones beginning wonderful, to not allow it to get corrupted by bad company and bad traits, to spend one’s energy in auspicious actions only, to intensify the desire to know the essence of dharma and of God – these are observed only in fortunate people.
The farsighted and intelligent man knows whether any man is heading towards a bright or dark future simply by looking at the initial stage of his life.
To save the beginning of any type from laziness and negligence and taking care of it in a planned manner is what makes for a good future.
When you wake up in the morning, first up remember that Lord, by the power of Whom you are alive and are enjoying the nectar of fulfillment of all your desires.
Understand the scheme of beginning any task on this day, the limit of its accomplishment and the schedule of the whole day. If you can’t keep them in mind, then jot down all the tasks.
When you meet someone begin a talk with him plain heartedly, sincerely and seriously with a calm mind uttering pleasant words. Don’t behave artificially and insincerely. If you establish a bond of love with someone then from the first only express your desire, your nature or your flaws to that person. Prepare the person in advance that incase he or she loves you then how the person will have to carry on while compromising with your flaws, your mistakes, your shortcomings. Don’t dupe the person so that you can avoid betrayal.
Whatever task you start, in the beginning itself gather the means needed to complete it. In order to face the obstacles that may come in the way and in order to make oneself alert, one should keep in his possession whatever may be required. This way you will not fail in the accomplishment of the task. This is about the practical living. One needs to be even more careful in the spiritual life.
What should we give to our children?
(Excerpts from Pujya Bapuji’s Satsang)
Great injustice is being done to the children of India. They are exposed to obscene literature and movies. Still, our children and youths are much better as compared to their counterparts in other countries. They are very hard working. They go to foreign countries and make some money bearing hardships. They are not pleasure-loving like the youth of other countries. This is because of the austerity of their parents who in turn are blessed by the great Indian culture and satsang of supremely ascetic Indian saints which is capable of eradicating all sorrow for all times. It does not eradicate sorrow by going to other world (heaven) or by removing or gaining something. It does not teach that you will get rid of sorrow by attaining something (pleasant) or by removing something (unpleasant). The (spiritual) knowledge of Indian culture makes you blissful in whatever circumstances you may be; your happiness does not depend upon your circumstances. It teaches you the art of remaining undisturbed in all situations. But unfortunately, influenced by the western culture, our countrymen do injustice to themselves and to their children.
A police officer came to my satsang in Delhi. I felt pity for his two children who accompanied him. I said, “They will not develop properly; their digestion is impaired.”
He said, “Yes, they eat chocolates.”
I said, “Why do you give them so much of chocolates? Don’t you know how harmful the chocolates and fast foods are? They upset the stomach.”
When people get money and power, they give to their children whatever they want. Children in turn, misguided by advertisements, ask for the things they see advertised on television. This is spoiling the children’s health and damaging the glory of India. Children are losing reverence for their parents. This is the result of convent education. If the parents do not avail of satsang in their lives, they too are deprived of the necessary wisdom. Happiness or Knowledge is not in enhancing ignorance, in sense-enjoyments or in struggle for power. The solution to all problems is found only in the Knowledge of non-duality. This Knowledge is taught only in Gurukulas.
In convent schools, children are taught to hate Hindu sadhus. Hindu gods and goddesses are ridiculed. They prove Hanumanji to be a monkey. They draw a picture of an animal with tail and ask the children, “What is this?” The children say, “It is an animal.”
“How do you know that?”
“It has a tail.”
Then they make a picture of Hanumanji and say, “Similarly this too is an animal.” Such derogatory traits are inculcated in children. When these children grow up and become high-rank officers, they harbour hatred towards Hindu saints, Hindu religion and Hindu scriptures even though they are Hindus themselves. They take to drinking. Drinking impairs their judgement. They fail in avoiding discord with own wife and parents. I know many such youths. A Sadhaka came and spoke to me crying bitterly, “My daughter did graduation; she got a job with a salary of Rs.30000 per month. Her husband also earned Rs.35000 per month. I spent 42 lakh Rs. on their wedding but my daughter is pregnant with four months of gestation and they are split-up. She lives with me.”
What is the cause? The education and training given to the youth today is ‘eat, drink and enjoy’. I have seen many such couples. There is a manager in a company with a handsome pay. His wife too is a manager with annual income of Rs.12-15 lakhs. Still they are miserable because of the attitude of pursuing sense-enjoyments that has been inculcated in them and the perverse training they have received, ‘We don’t care for others. We must enjoy our own life’. The pursuit of external pleasure deprives one of inner joy and stimulates animal instincts. The children, who have received good traits right from childhood, do not give much importance to external pleasures. They are happy and contented in whatever condition they are. Even those coming into contact with them learn something from them. It does not matter if we are not able to provide to our children wealth, big houses, cars or bank balance but we must instil in them good traits. If you have inculcated good traits in your children, you have given them great wealth; you have given them big assets. This wealth of good traits will make your darling children successful in every walk of life; so much so that this wealth will make them capable of attaining to God, the master of infinite opulence. It is the bounden duty of all of us to inculcate good traits in children. We should not be negligent in this.