QUALITIES RIGHT FROM CHILDHOOD
in trivial play with other children.
Youth passes in amorous sport,
Middle age absorbs time and effort in amassing wealth,
Come dotage, time crawls in futile longing for worldly desires,
yet there is no time for contemplation of God.
Thus is wasted the precious heritage of human birth, deeply
entangled in the net of karma.
Why waste your
time in idleness?
Time wasted is life wasted;
Arise, awake, it is not too late,
Think of the future, at least now. (Telugu
of Love! Dear Students!
If you spend your time thus, if you fritter away your time
and energy in vain pursuits thus, what for is your human birth?
What will happen to you in future? Did you ever ponder over
this? Time is the measure for human life. Time is the most
precious aspect in human life. Don’t waste time. “Time
wasted is life wasted”. You have to seriously question
yourself whether it is sensible to waste your time thus. If
you waste your precious time in this young age, when will
you be able to sanctify your life?
Man has to perform Karma in this Karmabhumi
(field of activity) right from birth to death. In fact, the
human birth has been given to us to perform Karma. We are,
therefore, engaged in performing various Karmas, continuously.
But, very few make any effort to enquire to their selves whether
the Karmas performed are Sathkarmas (good deeds) or not.
One has to strive to sanctify his time, right
from childhood. We are, partaking of a variety of items as
food, to sustain the human body. But none is making an enquiry
whether the food one partakes of is proper and healthy; whether
it is beneficial for nourishing and nurturing his physical,
mental and spiritual health.
is born out of karma, grows and
departs from the world due to karma;
Karma is verily the embodiment of divinity.
It is only due to Karma that
Happiness and sorrow occur in the world.” (Telugu
The Bhagavadgita exhorts that man has a right
only to perform his duty and none to the fruit thereof. Of
course, there will be a result for every Karma that is performed
by a human being. There will be a good result for a good Karma
and a bad result for a bad Karma. This is the eternal law.
When you partake of a mango fruit, you will only have the
belch of that fruit and not that of a lime fruit. In the same
manner, your head (thoughts) will always be conditioned by
the type of food you consume.
“As is the food, so is the head (thoughts).
As is the head, so is God” Thus, the food, the head,
and God will be on the same wavelength. Hence, one has to
cultivate good and noble thoughts always. If you eat Sattwic
food and cultivate Sattwic nature right from childhood, your
entire life will run smoothly. Hence, one has to be wary of
his food and head (thoughts). If you wish to sanctify your
human birth, you should not live like a bird, beast or an
animal. Having taken birth as a human being, one has to perform
the Karmas worthy of a human being. One has to conduct oneself
as a human being. What does the term “Human Values”
imply? Sathya (Truth), Dharma (righteousness), Santhi (Peace),
Prema (Love) and Ahimsa (non-violence). It is only when we
cultivate and exhibit these five human values in our daily
lives that we will be entitled to be called as human beings.
Human being is a repository of Trigunas, namely, Sattwa (calm
serenity), Rajas (passionate activity), Thamo Guna (sloth
and slumber). Unfortunately, today, we find the Rajo and Thamo
Gunas more active in human beings. We do not find even a trace
of Sattwic Guna anywhere. Hence, it is of utmost importance
today that people are taught and encouraged to cultivate Sattwa
Guna, perform Sattwic karmas and finally reach the abode of
You are now in the stage of childhood. This is the right age
to cultivate Sattwic Guna. The quality of your life in the
later stages will depend upon the qualities you cultivate
now. What is the use of trying to cultivate Sattwic Guna at
the fag end of your life, when your physical body refuses
to co-operate with you in your Sadhana? Hence, you must cultivate
and put into practice the sattwic guna in the youthful age
itself. If man wishes to experience Manavatwa (humanness)
and reach Daivatwa (divinity), Sattwic Guna is very essential.
It is only when you consciously cultivate Sattwa Guna that
you will be able to attain Sattwic nature. If you aim to attain
Sattwic nature but indulge in Rajasic and Thamasic acts, it
is not possible. All our ancient sages and seers did their
Sadhana when they were young and strong.
You have to partake of Sattwic food. By partaking of Sattwic
food, you will be able to cultivate Sattwic thoughts. And,
by cultivating Sattwic thoughts, you will be able to undertake
Sattwic Karmas. It is absolutely necessary that one should
have Sattwic friends in youth and constantly move about in
their company. It is said,
company leads to detachment;
Detachment makes one free from delusion;
Freedom from delusion leads to steadiness of mind;
Steadiness of mind confers Liberation.”
Hence, you have to partake of Sattwic food
keeping your goal of liberation in the mind. You may at times
have a doubt that you may not get such Sattwic food. I do
not at all agree with this view. Don’t you get vegetables
and edible green leaves in plenty? In fact, the moment you
are born out of your mother’s womb, you are surviving
and thriving on your mother’s milk or cow’s milk.
Is this not Sattwic food? Can you not live upon a vegetarian
diet consisting of vegetables, green leaves and cow’s
milk? Why should you cater to the dictates of your palate
adding chillies, salt, tamarind and spices? It is only when
you gradually reduce these ingredients for taste you will
be able to cultivate Sattwa Guna. Parents have a great responsibility
in teaching the children about the efficacy of Sattwic food
and getting them accustomed to it right from their childhood.
On the other hand, if the parents themselves prepare and serve
Rajasic and Thamasic food consisting of meat, fish, etc.,
in their homes, how can they expect the children to develop
Sattwa Guna? I am of the view that the children at least should
abstain from such Rajasic and Thamasic food and demand from
their parents only the Sattwic food. One has to consciously
cultivate the habit of partaking of only Sattwic food. Only
then will one be able to develop Sattwa Guna.
All our senses are conditioned by the Trigunas and the Gunas,
in turn, are conditioned by the food we consume. Hence, if
we start eating Sattwic food, undertake Sattwic Karmas and
move about in the company of Sattwic friends, I am sure that
we can transform ourselves into Sattwic individuals. It is
the bad company that is responsible for evil qualities. If
you want to cultivate good qualities, you have to eat Sattwic
food. In fact, it is the food that we consume is responsible
for all the evil qualities.
If you develop bad qualities like anger, passion, envy, jealousy,
etc., right form this early age, your entire life will be
spoiled. You are poisoning your young minds with these evil
qualities. My advice to the youngsters and students is eat
Sattwic food; cultivate Sattwic behaviour and keep the company
of Sattwic people right from this early age. I often observe
that youngsters today join bad company the moment they enter
the school or college and continue to move about in the company
of bad people. With the result, they cultivate bad qualities,
resulting in bad behaviour. Frequently they are not even aware
of the subtle changes taking place in their behaviour towards
elders, parents, teachers and society. They think that they
are on the right track, since they are pursuing education
in a good educational institution. The education they are
pursuing may be good, but the core of their heart is polluted
due to bad company. Several bad thoughts emanate in their
mind even at a young age.
People often think that it is a natural phenomenon
due to young age. I do not at all subscribe to this view.
It is not a natural phenomenon at all! It is most unnatural.
Since, you are partaking of bad food, you are having bad thoughts.
Hence, first and foremost, give up bad food. People who are
devoted to Swami, must join Satsanga. But, you are joining
bad company and, as a result, are developing bad thoughts.
Once bad thoughts enter your mind, none can drive them away.
Hence, you have to cultivate good thoughts, even before bad
thoughts enter your mind.
There are several parents who are not concerned about the
future of their children. Either they are too busy pursuing
their vocations or they are helpless in supervising your behaviour.
But, if you tread the right path they will be most happy.
On the other hand, if you are moving about in bad company
cultivating bad habits, resulting in bad behaviour, they will
be very sad and will be unable to share their distress or
anguish with anybody. Hence, it is your foremost duty to keep
your parents happy. If you want to keep your parents happy,
you must tread the right path. So, tread the right path and
keep your parents happy. Only then will you be able to cultivate
good behaviour. There are three aspects in human life, which
are interlinked – the thoughts, behaviour and the end
result. As are the thoughts, so will be the behaviour and
as is the behaviour, so will be the result. Teachers expect
good behaviour from their pupils. How is it possible, when
the students move about in bad company, eat wrong kind of
food and entertain bad thoughts? The end result is always
bad in such a situation. While taking bitter food, how can
you experience sweetness? In short, the Rajasic and Thamasic
food that you consume is the root cause for the bad thoughts
that are entering your mind.
All of you must tread the right path. Even if your parents
for any reason offer you Rajasic and Thamasic food prepared
in the home, you must explain and convince them of the ill-effects
of such food, saying, “Mother! If you serve Rajasic
and Thamasic food to me thus, I will only get bad thoughts.
This is not conducive to good behaviour on My part.”
You must also convince them of the need to prepare and serve
Sattwic food to all members of the family. Not only should
you eat Sattwic food, you should also read good books. Your
entire life is dependent upon good food, good thoughts and
You should not read all sorts of trash like cheap novels,
stories, etc. Such trash will generate bad thoughts in you
and pollute you mind. When you go to a library, you should
read the biographies of great and noble people which will
help to cultivate good qualities and good thoughts in you.
One reason for the pollution of young minds and proliferation
of bad thoughts in them is reading all sorts of cheap literature.
In fact, it is only the mind that is responsible for good
or bad thoughts. That is why it is said, Manaeva Manushyanam
Karanam Bandhamokshayo (mind is responsible for both bondage
and liberation of man). Unfortunately, in these days it is
only cheap books that have become popular and acquired great
attraction. Good books have become a rare commodity. A question
may arise as to where one would get such good books. You go
to good libraries of institutions committed to the moral and
spiritual uplift of humanity. Frequently we come across people
travelling in trains and buses purchasing worthless books
available in the railway platforms and bus stands and reading
them with absorbing interest. They may say that they are reading
them for whiling away the time. They do not realise how harmful
those books are in generating bad thoughts and polluting their
minds. Hence, you must always select books that contribute
to your intellectual, moral and spiritual development.
If you wish to cultivate good thoughts and good behaviour,
you must read good books. Several students today consider
it a fashion to read cheap literature that is available for
a low price. With the result, cheap thoughts and cheap behaviour
are generated in them. They look for cheap books and trash
distributed free of cost. They woefully lack a sense of discrimination
to judge whether such writing is conducive to their moral,
spiritual and character development. They will, however, realise
the consequences of their action after their minds are totally
polluted. Then it will be too late for them to retrace their
steps. It is only through good books that good thoughts and
good behaviour can be cultivated.
There are several other important aspects to be taught to
you in these three days which will enable you to cultivate
noble thoughts and tread the right path. I will teach several
aspects in due course that will enable you to cultivate pure