Living in compartments

A peculiar religion has now appeared and is gaining influence among the people. It can be named Modernism. Navaneetha (new fad of fashion); giving up the old because it is old, getting enamoured of the new because it is new. It takes delight in light things; discards ideas that are difficult to understand, attitudes that are difficult to learn, duties that are felt to be burdensome, obligations that are considered irksome. Gaiety, vanity, effervescence — these are its traits. It recognises no bonds, no limits, no restrictions, no bounds. It will not bend before age or learning or goodness or authority. It discards all the directions of the ancient texts about rites, ceremonies, fasts, vows, worship and the rest. It laughs at those who practise moderation and self-control, at old people who insist on tradition and on maintaining age-old customs.

They carp at pilgrimages, for no place is holy or hallowed in their estimation. They cannot understand the joy and the enlightenment that seekers derive from image worship; they dismiss it as superstition and as flummery. This fashion has enslaved even the so-called educated class, who wear the livery of the west, who are the maanasa puthras (brain washed sons) of the west. They are not educated enough to weigh the pros and cons of their beliefs; they have no training in discrimination between what gives lasting content and what is but flimsy and flamboyant; they have been plucked by their roots and subjected to artificial feeding. So they are subject to this illness of navaneetha.

Why go begging when you have a treasure?

The Prashaanthi Vidwanmahaasabha (Assembly of scholars) has been established in order to combat this infection. These Pandiths will reveal that man is a precious jewel encased in a fivefold box, a treasure preserved within the five koshas: Annamaya, Praanamaya, Manomaya, Vijnaanamaya and Aanandhamaya, as they are named (five sheaths :the material, the vital air, the mind, the intelligence and the inner bliss). The Pandiths will ask the question: why do you sell this jewel for a bag of coal? Why demean yourself and go begging and fawning when you have this priceless treasure in your own custody?

When men degrade themselves and behave worse than the beasts from which those rose, the Avathaar takes place and God moves among men, warning, exhorting, revealing, encouraging, inspiring, illumining and leading man towards his destiny. He served as the charioteer for Arjuna, for the Avathaar utilises every chance to uplift man and teach him the mastery of his impulses and instincts and even of his intelligence. Krishna told Arjuna, I have decided to assume a big office in the conduct of your war with the Kauravas. I too have decided upon a big task and these Pandiths of the Prashaanthi Vidwanmahaa-sabha are the instruments I have chosen for it.

Dhroupadhi in the Mahaabhaaratha, when she was suffering in the Viraata court, prayed to Krishna, saying, “How can I submit to the wickedness and vileness surrounding me?” I am a daughter of Bhaarathabhumi (the land of Bhaarath) I am born in a great family with honourable traditions, I have inherited the incomparable eternal Culture.” You too must live that heritage in order to find yourself.

Hearts of all must be purged of hate

About nine centuries ago, Krishna Mishra wrote a drama called Prabodha chandrodayam, in which Virtue is monarch, Shaantham (or Equanimity) is the queen and the rival against whom the king has to wage war is Moha (attachment). Vedhaantha Desika composed a similar play called Sankalpa suryodaya, which deals with the same theme. King Viveka is there obstructed at every step by King Mahaamoha, until he overcomes Vighna (obstruction), who has travelled about in the five regions of yama, niyama, aasana, praanaayama, prathyaahara (outer and inner sense control, seating posture, breath control and withdrawal of sense activity) and found his way barred everywhere by righteous observances. Prabodha is the manas-thathwa, the mind which has to be purified and sublimated through saadhana and discrimination. Pour the mind into the crucible of saadhana and melt it so that you can mould God thereby; then every atom of the mind will become an atom Divine.

The world is now living apart, in compartments, on the bases of race, religion, colour, creed, caste, convictions, etc. Those who question the validity and value of these compartments are themselves in a compartment, by themselves. Metal pieces heaped together are still pieces; they have not become one. The world has become united only in the form of a heap; it has not been melted in the crucible of love and moulded in the image of God. The hearts of all men must be purged of hate. Speeches and writings cannot bring about the unity of man; can the ocean get hot, when the forests are aflame with fire?

Deeds that will confer self-respect on you

The aanandha (bliss) that you derive when you are good and do good must be enough inspiration, enough reward. Resist all temptations to fall into vice; avoid treading wrong paths; keep away from evil company. This will confer on you self-respect; you will rise in your own estimation; you need not bend your head before any one. If you live like that, that life itself is the best prachaara (pathcity) for Me. When falsehood and malice are raving mad, take it as a test of your viveka and of your kshama (forbearance). Newspapers of today are the waste papers of tomorrow; unless they are nuisance papers, they cannot earn even a few coppers. I am glad that some fellows are able to earn some livelihood by using My Name.

You must treasure your experience and ignore the vapourings of people who have not had similar chances or who are wilfully vile. Some worms have to bore through cloth; they make no distinction because their nature is to injure and damage. Silk or wool or cotton, cheap or dear, imitation or genuine, they cannot distinguish. They just damage, for the sheer mischievous pleasure they derive from the exercise of their faculty. Keep away from such; develop sath sang (good company) and be happy like the fish which have water all around them.