The Governor, Dr. Raamakrishna Rao, spoke now so feelingly
about the urgent need to cultivate spiritual values. When economic
progress is made without modifying the spiritual background, then
egoism, competition and greed bring the community to grief. Here
in Thiruvananthapuram, there is no forgetting the spiritual
background. The temple of Padhmanaabha dominates the town as well
as the daily life of the people, not only of this place but of the
entire State. Kerala is itself a holy land, and its holiness has
increased by the advent of Shankaraachaarya and his teachings.
The land is very beautiful, as I saw when I came from
Coimbatore all the way to this capital city. The scenery formed by
the backwaters and the coconut groves stretching from one end of
the State to the other was like a vast painting by a great artist
on a huge canvas. The Lord enjoys these things as a painter; he
appreciates His own handiwork, standing before His own painting or
sculpture. To see the Lord's own loveliness in the lovely scenery
around you requires not the outer eye but the inward eye. If you
develop that, walking over the land or voyaging over the waters is
itself a pilgrimage through holy land, giving you glimpses of God
in every speck of cloud or patch of green. But all this Sundharam
(divine beauty) must lead man to Sathyam (truth) and all this
Sathyam to Mangalam (Goodness). That is the natural path. The
beauty of the Lord's handiwork leads man on to the glory of the
Lord; the picture makes you curious about the painter. The Lord,
when His truth is grasped, confers bliss which is auspiciousness
Kerala is ancient Repository of spiritual Wisdom
I found also that the people here are very hardworking and
industrious. From one end of the State to the other, people were
busy on the roadside, in the shops and fields, in the gardens and
the canals. Another thing that attracted the attention of all
those who were with Me was the stream of children hastening to the
schools, with cadjan leaves or slates or bags of books slung on
their shoulders, boys as well as girls. The percentage of literacy
here is, I know, the highest in India. Besides every family has a
number of highly educated men and women. Thiruvananthapuram is the
centre of many great educational and cultural institutions.
In spite of all the ancient traditions of spiritual victory,
all the granary of spiritual lore, all the activity and all the
industry, all the passion to get educated and all the
opportunities that are so gladly grasped, I find here a great deal
of Ashaanthi (unrest). There is no 'inner peace' prevalent here,
where one would expect to find it in large measure. Of course, as
the saying goes, "An aged tiger still has the stripes." Let Me
tell you that the breath is still there but strength has gone from
this ancient repository of spiritual wisdom, which once taught the
secret of equanimity and Shaanthi to all.
Gramophone records are all made of the same material. So too
are all hearts, of the same Chaithanya (supreme consciousness).
The grooves carved in them appear the same in all the plates. The
grooves carved upon the hearts by grief and joy are also more or
less the same. It is the needle which runs over the groove that
produces through the sound box and the amplifier good music or
bad. The needle is the Manas (the mind), the mind that runs over
the happiness and the misery and translates or exaggerates the
response and makes you feel elated or dejected. If the needle is
sharp, the music is a pleasure to the ear. If it is blunt or
broken, then sound becomes a screeching torture.
The Education Man must first secure
The mind is the wind that brings to us the smell, foul or
fragrant, of the world. When the mind turns to the foul, it makes
you disgusted; when it turns towards the fragrant, you are made
happy. The wind gathers the clouds from the four quarters;
similarly the mind brings into your consciousness the
disappointments of many hopes. Again, it is the mind that, like
the wind, scatters the clouds that darken it or make it feel lost
in the night of doubt. Control the mind and you remain unruffled.
That is the secret of Shaanthi; that is the education that man
must first claim and secure. We find today that the man who is
most highly educated is the very person who is most discontented
and unhappy. Then, what is the gain from all the study he has made
of books and of men and things?
To gain this equanimity, you have to do not reading, but
systematic Saadhana (spiritual effort). Then, you can be happy
whether you are rich or poor, appreciated or rejected, prosperous
or unlucky. That is an armour without which it is foolish to enter
the arena of life. If the arena is entered just for getting
sensory joy, you are in for all kinds of trouble. It is like
sailing in a tiny boat on a storm-tossed sea, without a rudder.
So, enter upon the path of spiritual discipline now itself.
Meditation will teach the Mind to be sharp
You have each one of you a great deal of concentration; you
know the art, for every task requires it and everyone benefits by
it. The carpenter, the weaver, the clerk, the boatman, all have it
in a greater or lesser degree. Use it for this task also; direct
the mind towards its own working, examine it and train it to
restricts itself to good company, good thoughts and good deeds.
Practise meditation on any form of the Lord and repeat, with the
awareness of the sweetness, any name of the Lord. That will teach
the mind to be sharp and produce good music out of the joys as
well as the griefs that are incidental to life.
Like underground water, the divine is there, in every one,
remember. The Lord is Sarvabhuutha antharaathma (indweller in all
beings), Sarvavyaapi (all-pervading). He is the Aathma (soul) of
every being. He is in you as much as in every one else. He is not
more in a rich being or bigger in a fat being; His spark illumines
the cave of the heart of every one. The sun shines equally on all;
His grace is falling equally on all. It is only you that erect
obstacles that prevent the rays of His grace from warming you. Do
not blame the Lord for your ignorance or foolishness or
perversity. Just as underground water wells up in a gushy spring
when a bore is sunk down to that depth, by constant Raam Raam Raam
Raam Raam, touch the spring of divinity and one day it will gush
out in cool plenty and bring unending joy.
Nothing can give unmixed Joy
Life is a pilgrimage to God; the holy spot is there, afar! The
road lies before you; but unless you take the first step forward
and follow that step with others, how can you reach it? Start with
courage, faith, joy, and steadiness. You are bound to succeed. The
mind and the intellect are two bullocks tied to a cart, "the inner
man." The bullocks are not used to the road of Sathya, Dharma,
Shaanthi and Prema and so they drag the cart along the road
familiar to them, namely, falsehood, injustice, worry and hatred.
You have to train them to take the better road so that they may
not bring disaster to themselves, the cart they are yoked to and
the men inside it.
Your child gives you great joy by its play and prattle but when
it interferes with your work or teases you when you are otherwise
engaged, you get very angry with it. It is a source of joy as well
as grief. There is nothing which can give unmixed joy; even if
there is, when it is lost, it brings about sorrow. This is in the
very nature of things; so try to correct the very source of joy
and sorrow, the mind; control it and train it to see the real
nature of the objective world, which attracts and repels you by
turns. That is the real fruit of education.