Walk for values

For the first time in India perhaps first time in Asia, people walked for values yesterday ie 22 Feb 2015. It was organised by Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisation New Delhi, at Noida. These walks have already been organised in the USA, Canada and some other countries.

It was to bring awareness on importance of human values essential for mankind especially at this point in time; stressing on the 5 basic human values propagated by Sri Sathya Sai Baba; namely Sathya-Truth, Dharma- Righteousness, Shanti-Peace, Prema- Love and Ahimsa- Non violence. These values are the basis of all the religions as well. These teachings are universal irrespective of cast, creed, religion, culture, nationality, theist, atheist etc.

Doordarshan Metro and DD sports channels aired it yesterday. Below is the link to the video

What Parents Face Today- Speaking tree

I was in California once where I happened to meet a senior Indian immigrant. We got talking about education. I remarked that it was the age of education and that the greatest need of our generation was to be educated to the highest standard possible. But my companion expressed disappointment at the effect such education was having on youngsters. He said he had come to the conclusion that what we needed was de-learning!

Could parents have something to do with education going off track? For parents, there were only two options: either accept whatever was going to become of their children or try to understand them and address their minds in such a way that what they, as parents, required of them was made clear to them.

This dilemma is visible in every country. Parents, having failed to understand their children, go on complaining about them. It is, of course possible to change your children’s way of thinking, but you must first be endowed with the intellectual ability to properly address the minds of your educated children. The fact is that in our present society the majority of parents are traditional in their outlook, but they want to educate their offspring in modern educational institutions. This requires an optimal blending of the old and new. But there tends to be confusion in this regard and parents often end up arguing with children with the result that children begin to resist education.

It is not so much a question of de-learning as a question of self-training. If parents want to bring about a change of attitude towards learning in their children, they must prepare themselves to be good counsellors. There is a great deal of lack of parental counselling. Another problem is pampering. Parents have great affection for their children and this often leads to their pampering them. While affection is good, pampering is bad. Children become easy-going and that is that worst thing that can happen. They become fussy and refuse to heed advice. They know nothing but their own desires. Harsh realities have no place in their dictionary. It is for this reason that pampered children cannot meet the challenges they have to face in the external world.

Once I met two Indian boys, both graduates, who said that they found themselves in difficult circumstances. When they were at home, they were living under the protection of their parents, who were always ready to provide anything they wanted. But now that they had left their homes and wanted to find a place in the external world, they felt unloved and unwanted. Their homes had been ready to give them everything free of cost, but now they found that the external world was quite different. Here everything had a price in terms of hard work, adjustment, acceptance of reality, proving their ability, and making compromises. They found that at home they had not been trained to meet such challenges. Indulgent parents can do grave potential harm to their children. They end up “making” their children unfit, like unwanted products in the marketplace. Parents must understand that their children need double education – professional education as well as spiritual training. The former can be had in educational institutions but the centre for the latter is the home. And parents are teachers at home. However, the language of dos and don’ts will not serve the purpose. Parents will have to prepare themselves for a more sensitive and complex approach. Indeed, they must ground themselves in what may be called rational spirituality.

Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

Importance of human values

Academic qualifications, be it Masters or Doctorates, may enhance the doing capabilities of an individual but never the quality of his being.

A school principal, who survived a Nazi camp, wrote, ” I am a survivor of a concentration camp. My eyes saw what no person should witness. Gas chambers built by learned engineers. Children poisoned by educated physicians. Infants killed by trained nurses. Women and babies shot and killed by high school and college graduates. So I am suspicious of education. My request is help your students to be humans. Your efforts must never produce learned monsters, skilled psychopaths, or educated maniacs. Reading, writing, spelling, history and arithmetic are only important if they serve to make our students more humane.

Infinithoughts- Dec 2014 magazine

Sri Sathya Sai Baba always has emphasised the need or human values through the HUMAN VALUE programs for children where it works towards bringing out the true meaning of “End of Education is Character”

The story of Krishna, Arjuna and the Dove

Value- Faith

Sub value- Devotion

The “famous” episode between Lord Krishna and Arjuna goes like this.

“Krishna, for me, your words are more
trustworthy than evidence of my eyes”

The two are on a stroll in the garden when they see the bird hovering in the skies. Pointing to it, Krishna says,

“See that bird Arjuna… Is it a dove?”
“Yes my Lord! It is indeed a dove”, replies Arjuna.
“But wait… I think that it is is an eagle. Isn’t it an eagle?” asks Krishna
“Yes! That is definitely an eagle”, is the answer.
“No! It does not look like an eagle”, says Krishna, “it is definitely a crow.”
“Without a doubt Krishna, it is a crow”, replies Arjuna.
At this point, Krishna laughs and chides Arjuna,
“Are you blind my friend? You do not seem to have eyes of your own! You are simply agreeing to whatever I say.”
Arjuna says, “Krishna, for me, your words are far more trustworthy than the evidence of my eyes. When you say something, you have the power to make it so – be it a crow, dove or eagle. Hence, if you said it is a crow, it must be so!”
Learning
This story is oft quoted to exemplify how faith must be. This is the kind of faith one must develop on the guru and God. This is the faith on Krishna that Arjuna could win the war between good and evil.
http://aravindb1982.blogspot.sg/2013/07/platform-heroes-and-practical-zeroes-sathya-sai-baba-sai-student.html

On doing good- Purpose of right conduct

Why do good work?
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika

Why do we do good work? Because it is a blessing to ourselves. Swami Vivekananda calls upon us to serve God in man, and gives the key to blessedness in the following words:

“We may all be perfectly sure that it will go on beautifully well without us, and we need not bother our heads wishing to help it. Yet, we must do good; the desire to do good is the highest motive power we have, if we know all the time that it is a privilege to help others. Do not stand on a high pedestal, and take five cents in your hand and say, ‘Here, my poor man,’ but be grateful that the poor man is there, so that by making a gift to him you are able to help yourself. It is not the receiver that is blessed, but it is the giver. Be thankful that you are allowed to exercise your power of benevolence and mercy in the world and thus become pure and perfect….

“No beggar whom we have helped has ever owed a single cent to us: we owe everything to him because he has allowed us to exercise our charity on him. It is entirely wrong to think that we have done, or can do, good to the world, to think that we have helped such and such people. It is a foolish thought, and all foolish thoughts bring misery. We think that we have helped some man and expect him to thank us, and because he does not, unhappiness comes to us. Why should we expect anything in return for what we do? Be grateful to the man you help, think of him as God. Is it not a great privilege to be allowed to worship God by helping our fellow men? If we were really unattached, we should escape all this vain expectation, and could cheerfully do good work in the world.”

Letter from Lord Ram

Value- Love

Sub Value- Compassion, seeing God in all

Shavani went to her mailbox and there was only one letter. She picked it up and looked at it before opening, but then she looked at the envelope again. There was no stamp, no postmark, only her name and address.

She read the letter:

“Dear Shavani: I’m going to be in your neighbourhood Saturday afternoon and I’d like to stop by for a visit.

Love Always, Lord Ram”

Her hands were shaking as she placed the letter on the table. “Why would the Lord want to visit me? I’m nobody special. I don’t have anything to offer.”

With that thought, Shavani remembered her empty kitchen cabinets.

“Oh my goodness, I really don’t have anything to offer. I’ll have to run down to the store and buy something for dinner.”

She reached for her purse and counted out its contents. Five dollars and forty cents.

“Well, I can get some bread and Veg, at least.”

She threw on her coat and hurried out the door. A loaf of French bread, various vegetables, and a carton of milk, leaving Shavani with grand total of twelve cents to last her until Monday. Nonetheless, she felt good as she headed home, her meager offerings tucked under her arm.

“Hey lady, can you help us, lady?”

Shavani had been so absorbed in her dinner plans; she hadn’t even noticed two figures huddled in the alleyway. A man and a woman, both of them dressed in little more than rags

“Look lady, I ain’t got a job, ya know, and my wife and I have been living out here on the street, and, well, now it’s getting cold and we’re getting kind of hungry and, well, if you could help us. Lady, we’d really appreciate it.”

Shavani looked at them both. They were dirty, they smelled bad and frankly, she was certain that they could get some kind of work if they really wanted to.

“Bhai ji, I’d like to help you, but I’m a poor woman myself. All I have is a few vegetables, some bread and milk and I’m having an important guest for dinner tonight and I was planning on serving that to Him.”

“Yeah, well, okay lady, I understand. Thanks anyway.”

The man put his arm around the woman’s shoulders, turned and headed back into the alley. As she watched them leave, Shavani felt a familiar twinge in her heart.

“Bhai ji, wait!”

The couple stopped and turned as she ran down the alley after them.

“Look, why don’t you take this food. I’ll figure out something else to serve my guest.”

She handed the man her grocery bag.

“Thank you lady. Thank you very much!” “Yes, thank you!”

It was the man’s wife, and Shavani could see now that she was shivering.

“You know, I’ve got another coat at home. Here, why don’t you take this one.”

Shavani unbuttoned her jacket and slipped it over the woman’s shoulders. Then smiling, she turned and walked back to the street…without her coat and with nothing to serve her guest.

“Thank you lady! Thank you very much!”

Shavani was chilled by the time she reached her front door, and worried too. The Lord was coming to visit and she didn’t have anything to offer Him.

She fumbled through her purse for the door key. But as she did, she noticed another envelope in her mailbox.

“That’s odd. The mailman doesn’t usually come twice in one day.”

She took the envelope out of the box and opened it.

She read the letter:

“Dear Shavani: It was so good to see you again. Thank you for the lovely meal. And thank you, too, for the beautiful coat.

Love Always Lord Ram”

The air was still cold, but even without her coat, Shavani no longer felt the cold. A thrill ran through her entire being and her eyes were filled with tears of joy.

Learning

Service to man is service to God. One must learn to see Lord in all His creations and love and serve them whenever we get an opportunity.

http://www.hinduism.co.za/stories-.htm#Two Goats

Transformation of a thief

Value- Truth, Right Conduct

Sub value- Honesty

Once there was a thief and he was looking for things to steal, but could not find very much. In desperation, he went in a temple where the Pujari (Priest) was giving a religious speech to many people. The thief had decided to steal money from the businesspeople, but after observing a new man’s presence with different face he decided to listen to the speech for a little while. The Pujari was speaking on the topic of truthfulness, and the thief thought that the talk was not so bad. He was completely lost in the true feeling of truthfulness. When the program was over everybody went home except for the thief who was not ready to leave.

The thief began to worry that the Pujari would think the thief would do something wrong in the temple. To help feel less fearful, the thief asked the Pujari, “I have nothing to do here but you gave a very deep speech on the importance of truthfulness which I really liked. However my mind is still not going to digest it.” The thief had many questions and arguments in his mind regarding the imbuement of truthfulness. He wondered how a thief could become free from not speaking a lie. The priest gave deep advice to him that by speaking truth also he would do his business. By using the virtue of truthfulness also he would remain safe and secure no matter where he was or what he stole. The Pujari gave the thief confidence that he could be successful, even while stealing. The thief firmly determined to follow the Pujari’s advice in the practical life and promised to follow the norm of truthfulness and honesty from that day in all respect. He committed to speak fact and reality everywhere from that very moment.

As making the promise not to speak a lie in his life when the thief was going out from there, in the same time, the king disguised in an ordinary form was roaming there to look after the atmosphere of the capital city. Coincidentally the thief met a person on the way in a roaming condition. The roaming gentleman asked the thief who he was. The thief recalled his promise to always speak the truth, even though difficult, he still revealed that he was a thief. The gentleman replied happily and excitedly that he is also a thief. These two men became friends by handshaking and hugging with each other. The new thief suggested that they steal some very valuable things, and that he knows exactly where to find them. He took him in such incognito way that both of them arrived in front of the Grand Royal Palace and the new thief led way to the Royal treasury and asked him to break the the safe. After breaking open the safe, they found five most valuable diamonds. The thief friend suggested that they take only four diamonds – two for each of them because breaking one diamond in half would be valueless. So they took four and left one diamond in the safe. They soon parted ways after sharing their loot.

The next day as the royal palace offices were opened, they found the royal treasure of the palace was broken. When the royal treasurer checked it he noticed that 4 were missing. He saw this as a great opportunity, so he put the remaining diamond in his pocket and announced to the King that the 5 valuable diamonds had been stolen from the royal treasure. The King then ordered the security guards to arrest the thief, and bring him to the palace. After bringing him to the palace they presented the thief before his majesty the king. The king carefully observed him from his head to toes and said, “So you are the thief. What did you steal?”

The thief replied, “I cannot speak a lie, so you must know I have stolen the diamonds of the royal treasure along with my friend.” “How many diamonds did you steal?” the King asked. “We stole four. Two for each of us. Since we could not break the last one in half, we left one diamond in the safe.” The King then asked to the treasurer, “How many diamonds are missing?” “All five, your Majesty.” Realizing what had happened, the King immediately fired the treasurer and appointed the thief as the new treasurer for his commitment to always being truthful.

Once the thief developed the habit of speaking the truth; he was rewarded and soon he gave up all other bad habits also. Practice of one good habit with determination and conviction will help us to remove other bad habits as well and be a good transformed human.

Learning

One must forget the wrong done to them by others and the good that they do to others. When one takes up some positive task; the negative attitudes will fall off. Good habits will drive out bad ones.

http://www.spiritual-short-stories.com/spiritual-short-story-227-Truth+Will+Set+You+Free.html

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