Sai Sankalpam

TODAY is thrice blessed, because first, it is the New Year Day for those who follow the Solar Calendar, second, it marks the beginning of the Vasantha Navaraathri; and third, because of the entry into Brindaavan, which you all witnessed this morning. For the Kannada country, there is an additional reason for rejoicing, for, just now we are inaugurating in their State the activities of our Prashaanthi Vidwanmahaasabha. On such an auspicious day, it is the duty of every one of you to gather and cherish in your hearts the wise words, the drops of Amritha (Nectar), which these Pandiths offer you from their knowledge and experience. Not merely hear, but, endeavour to act accordingly, for, the rain has to fall on prepared soil in order to promote the growth of the crop. You have to collect the rain, store it in tanks, direct it along well laid out canals to the fields which thirst for it; you should not allow it all to flow into waste or into a sea of salt. These Pandiths are repositories of ancient learning and I can assure you, whatever subject they speak upon, they will not stray a hair’s breadth from the path of India’s genuine culture.

We have here today Jatti, the Finance Minister of Mysore, Sawant, the Agriculture Minister for Mahaaraashtra, and Members of Parliament like Dr. Raamakrishna Rao, legislators chosen by the will of the people. Dasaratha, when he desired to crown Raamachandra, consulted the representatives of his people, as well as the Pandiths of the court. He placed before the people, not merely :his personal wish, but also the reactions of sages like Vasishta to his proposal. But, at present, the link between the Pandiths and the politicians, the religious heads and the rulers has snapped and each goes his own way, irrespective of what the other thinks or feels. Long years of foreign rule during which the Pandiths were considered to be symbols of an out-dated civilization contributed to this, no doubt. But, even after that rule has ended, nothing has been done to re-establish the link.

Scriptures are like traffic signs

The system of education which promotes an attitude of contempt towards the learning which does not yield immediate pecuniary benefits is very largely responsible for the neglect of these great men. I must also mention as another cause the fall in the general level of morals. When all are sliding down the easy path of flippancy, those who advise against it and warn the victims about the inevitable disaster are ignored and laughed at. Sunk in the search of pleasures and cheap recreation, people become deaf to the counsels of the past and calls of the sublime.

Another factor which I must condemn is the hatred between castes and religions. The Pandiths are mostly of one caste and the politicians treat them from the angle of communal hatred. This hatred is not based on reason; it is rooted in fear and ignorance, and so, is undesirable. The Vedhas, Upanishadhs and Shaasthras are like traffic signs on the road; if they are removed, the journey is rendered slow and difficult, replete with accidents. We cannot afford to destroy them. We have to restore them in the interests of humanity itself. Caste (Jaathi) has to be determined on the basis of Gums (qualities) though a man belonging to a caste can be judged fit or unfit, on the basis of his Karma. If jaathi has to be decided on the twin bases of Guna and Karma (qualities and actions), as evidenced by the character and activities of the individual, a person will have to be labelled differently every hour or every minute of his life! It is only in pitch darkness that the ground appears level; day reveals the heights and hollows. So too, it is only ignorance that makes people talk of equality; knowledge reveals basic differences in health, equipment, attitude and tastes!

Bhakthi-directed education is today’s need

Sai Sankalpam is to bring together once again the Paalakas (Rulers) and the Pandiths, the guardians of the welfare of the people in the secular and the spiritual fields. That is why the ministers and the legislators are here on this platform, along with Pandiths and Shaasthris. Without the cooperative functioning of these two, there can be no progress, no success in the attempt to build up a new world. The Kauravas had all the ‘instruments for victory; wealth, might of arms, allies, fanatic hatred of the enemy, Kama! But, they all became dust, for they never paid heed to the higher values of Dharma; they did not equip themselves with the Grace of God, which is reserved for those who walk the path of humility and peace. Krishna was not their charioteer: they put their faith in lesser things.

When plans are laid by the rulers for the uplift of the people and for training the children of the land, I want that the ancient wisdom of this land, still preserved and practised by these Pandiths, must be consulted. That will keep the keel of the ship straight. I want that the knowledge embodied in the Upanishadhs should be handed down to every one. Bhakthi-directed education must take precedence over the Bhukthi-directed (enjoyment-directed) schooling that prevails today in most countries of the world. Bhakthi is the Aashakthi or yearning which goads you on to the spiritual discipline which will endow you with that Jnaana. Have both faith and steadiness – and you will win.

Calamities must heighten your faith

You have been putting up since morning with the Sun and the lack of accommodation in this crowded pandal; your faith and steadiness have not been shaken by these. Keep them unaffected by the still greater difficulties and disasters that might blow over you. The gale helps to toughen the trunk of the tree. Calamities must deepen your courage, enlarge your faith; your spiritual practise must be intensified just when the weather is inclement. In fair weather, a care-free attitude is pardonable, but, in foul weather, every precaution is of value.

These Pandiths know the precautions and they will tell you about them. Treasure them well and act accordingly. That is My message to you today. The Prashaanthi Vidwanmahaasabha is bound to extend its activities in Karnataka and enter, as Sawant said, not only Mahaaraashtra State, but all States of India and all countries of the world. For the Wisdom of the Sages is the Heritage of Humanity.