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Rishis of India
were not merely a blind and utopian thinkers
with no practical application
in the way of life of the people.
Their intention was not
merely to speculate upon the reality of the world, reality behind the world,
but their idea was
how can we tame the humanity
to live cohesively in society
each one doing his job as best as he can
and enrich the community.
Therefore they evolved a 'philosophy of living'.
And it is even today the most satisfactory
blueprint of a successful man's life.
Why man's life? Even the community and society and the world.
that in this blueprint,
a child from the childhood onwards, his education,
give him a training
to respect and revere certain essential values of this self-discipline.
They are called 'dharma'.
These values were insisted upon
and made it a part and parcel of the educated children
and based upon these values,
without any compromise to these values,
let them go out in the world,
save if they want to save or spend as they want.
Artha -- wealth must be created
only when the mind is well disciplined in Dharma.
Even in the army you don't give your guns to people,
youngsters with broad shoulders, no doubt,
but you don't give them the gun unless you disciplining them properly.
Disciplined people alone can really be the strength of an army.
This personal discipline is very important.
In the same way here, first discipline the mind,
inculcate these great values of life to them
and then let them out in the society.
Let them honestly sweat and toil and create wealth for the society
as well as for themselves
and with that wealth
so honestly made, let them fulfil their desires.
Rishi's there were not impractical people.
He did not say that everybody must give up all their desires.
On the other hand he said dharma, artha-wealth, and with that wealth
fulfil your desires. Dharma, artha, kama.
Marry, beget children,
have a building, etc., whatever that you want.
Your desires, you fulfil with the wealth you have earned
through the right values of life.
When an individual has thus lived in self-discipline,
served the society, earned the money, served the society and lived,
it is to such an individual that the right
to withdraw from life's activities and strive in contemplation, meditation
for higher spiritual path, moksha.
was that blueprint that has been given by these great Rishis
for a human being to live a full life.
dharma itself is gone out now from the society.
The concept of higher values have gone.
From the Second World War onwards
values have been crumbled down.
You do anything that you like in order to fulfil what your plans are.
Hitler brought about,
we can't say that Stalin did not help it.
Mao certainly supported it.
Today we are in a world where
there is no moral self-control in the individual
and hence you find all these bleeding points in the world
whether it is in...
Iraq or in the Middle East that we are seeing now
Iraq and Iran war. In all these things are slightly sprung out
because the value system has gone.
Now when we say 'values',
no doubt they had enumerated certain things as higher values
and certain things as dangerous to the social
happiness of humanity when they are living together as a community.
In all of them,
the idea propounded or the idea behind these,
whatever that you and I do in the world,
when the action is springing from your own selfish desires
that action is
amoral and very often immoral.
But the very same action
undertaken with no selfishness at all,
for the benefit of others,
that very same physical action becomes a moral and ethical action.
Actions by themselves is neither good or bad.
But if out of my ***
I kill some girl in the roadside it becomes ***.
But a doctor
in the operation theatre
using the knife
upon a girl
to cure her and if she collapses
the doctor is not called as a murderer.
Action is the same.
Under my knife also a girl died on the road.
Under his knife the girl died in the operation theatre.
the doctors are not hung
I deserve to be hung, because I have done something wrong.
Now, action, external action remaining the same,
one is a noble act other is an ignoble, immoral act
because of the motive behind it.
what are you doing there?
In the front,
you are seeing your enemy coming and just shooting.
Shooting not to frighten them, shoot to kill.
But are you all murderers?
But if I do with the gun,
my neighbour I shoot him down, I am a murderer.
Why? I am murdering him,
what is my motive?
Because he's always looking at my wife therefore, I don't like him.
My ***, my selfishness,
When thus my selfishness, when I act
the action becomes of low-value,
and the higher values are, to the extent I can,
surrender my little ego
for the benefit or for the love of other members of the community.
So in this essential discipline is to learn to work
sinking your ego
and acting in the world outside.
Now it is said so,
it is not easy.
This can never be
a practical method
without ego and selfishness
man cannot function.
Whatever you do in life
all actions are
the idea of 'I' plus 'I want'.
If these two motivations are removed
man cannot function.
As in deep sleep
you cannot function
because there, there is neither 'I'
nor 'I want' attitude.
Without these two, action is not possible.
Therefore all the western
nay, even modern thinkers
think that this what is called as selfless action
is an impossible utopian theory.
It is only at best a mere speculation,
it is not a way of life.
We sympathise for all those who are criticised.
where ego and selfishness are not there.
That is when
we are surrendering our ego
at the altar of an ideal.
In the altar of love alone
you can rise above
dangerous impulses within us,
the ego and selfish desires.
The man who is a hero in the war, it is a moment when
he was inspired by his own love for the country,
and he doesn't understand where is the danger.
That I may be killed or I may die
that selfishness is gone.
There springs forth from him unknown to himself
such a great courageous heroic act,
he himself is surprised at what happens at that time.
Love of science,
love of art,
love of literature,
Maybe the love between the two persons,
love for the county, love for the community,
love for certain ideals.
It is there that we act
without ego and selfish desires.
When these two are not there
your instrument, the body itself,
is made use of by some universal power
for the benefit of all.
This is the main theme
in the Bhagavad Gita.
It is called karma yoga
how to act in the world outside.
Not what you act.
Your profession needs your professional training.
But when all this is done
it is you who have to function in the world.
How am I to act?
is propounded as no other textbook in the world
as in the Bhagavad Gita especially in the third chapter of the Gita.
The modern man,
I have tried it very many places around the world,
the moment you start talking of moral ethical values
their nose becomes smaller,
lips come down,
there is a funny animalistic pig-like look
on the human body.
They say, "Ha...Phuu...who cares for it?"
This idea is only because
the moralists of the last two hundred years
have been approaching the public wrongly.
They made it as a mere insistence.
They made it as "Thou shalt"
and "Thou shalt not".
That is not the way to convince an intelligent human being.
Even if your child,
you tell the child don't do it,
the child will try to do it at least when you are not there.
Because the child, a human being, is an intelligent being.
When you say "Don't"
his intellect asks the question, "why not?"
It is natural,
in schools and colleges.
you say that "Don't"
In the lawns
write there a board "Don't walk on the lawns."
Within three days you will find a footpath there.
When you give an order, and all army people know it,
the orders must be positive
not negative language.
Don't tell "Don't do it!"
Tell them, what to do.
Please walk on the cemented
They will walk.
But if you say don't walk on the grass everybody will start walking.
Now the moralists have been going on...
"Thou shalt not, thou shalt not"
and everybody thinks, "why not?"
every action that you are doing...
...is activities prompted by your mind.
Mind is the doer
and not the body.
Body is only a toolkit.
Activities are undertaken,
planned and thought of and
by the mind and then the hands and legs
and other equipments
function to express it,
to execute your plans, your ideas.
Mind is the decisive power,
of all the doing.
Mind is the instrument,
the 'doer' in every one of us.
in the army
because there is no time for you to think, to discuss
or to have a committee meeting.
You have to take decisions on the spot.
So you need an alert
vigilant mind at all times.
If the mind is already exhausted and fatigued
with this over indulgence in the outer world
that mind has not got the grip
to come to a decision
and act upon
what you should do
according to the circumstances available for you.
So the wealth,
the true wealth
of a man is his mental vitality
and this is called in Hinduism as Lakshmi.
Lakshmi is not cash,
is not money outside.
It is only man understands it because
that is the only thing he understands in the world.
Real Lakshmi is the inner wealth,
inner dynamism of the mind.
If this is not there
that individual may be anatomically a human.
You may give him your uniform, you may give him a gun
but the gun will be very easily available for your enemy
to take and use it against you.
To meet the challenge is necessary.
There is a right way of meeting the challenges in the day-to-day life
and a wrong way of meeting.
The right way of
contacting the outer world
of situations, even crises,
is a method by which
with minimal mental exhaustion
you do the job most spectacularly.
These are the higher values of life.
I will just give you one example.
If I love the world
and I have got a lot of lov e to give to the world,
my disturbances in the mind is minimum.
But I am angry with the world,
disgusted with the world,
all negative thoughts,
I hate everybody.
The government I hate, the people I hate, my boss I hate,
I hate everybody
The poor man's mind is never at rest.
It is always in agitation.
As an individual has no reserve energy of mind.
This goes on... it is natural everywhere.
So we say hatredness is a negative value
while love is a greater value.
Here are some
asked by the army
because of their immediate application.
They are very good ones.
One of the questions is,
What qualities and values are desired of a military leader?
Whether it is a military leader
or a leader in any other profession
the moral values that are necessary are fundamental.
There is no change.
It is the very heart of human endeavour.
Whatever be your profession
or whatever be the field of your activity,
the heart functions.
And another one was,
Will the traditional moral values be relevant to today's environment?
the traditional values and today's environment?
One and the same.
The environment cannot change the moral values.
Your behaviour can change,
your external behaviour can change
but the values of the mind will be the same.
It cannot change.
In the modern times
Can we have...
can we take potassium cyanide? You can not.
It is a poison then and it is a poison today.
How can you change that?
They are all fundamentals.
The same value, love
you can't change it,
today love is not that way as before, no.
Your behaviour may change, external behaviour,
your expressions may change but the values in you
They are all eternal.
The another question that the...
that I have been asked is
on the point of end justify the means.
This is the attitude of many of the modern man.
And from that standpoint they see
that those who are unethical, immoral, corrupt,
they seem to be prospering.
While the honest,
seem to be suffering.
Now the joy and suffering
Nobody else can say that Mr. A is suffering
or B is enjoying.
You have to learn to live that life.
then only you will understand the joys of it.
People at home may think that you are suffering
in the army in the warfront.
Only when you are there, a true soldier,
you understand the joys of it.
Ordinarily the rich man thinks
that the poor man in the slum area is very unhappy.
And every slum dweller thinks that the rich man is very happy.
You be a rich man to know his sorrows.
You have to be a slum dweller to know the peals of thunderous laughter
that comes in the evening from these hutments
because he has done his job and he got his pay
and his children wife are around him and he is happy.
careless of tomorrow, he lives happily.
So who is happiness or unhappy?
Mahatma Gandhi in the jail,
will not his grandmother worry that my grandson is in the jail.
How he is suffering.
But be a Mahatma Gandhi then you will understand
that he is so happy there,
because it is part of his service to the country.
So what is it that you want?
If only accumulation of wealth and properties that you want,
loot, plunder, kill,
burn down and get it.
But if what you want is a peaceful, quiet mind
which you can apply for your creative purposes,
a moral and ethical standard is to be maintained.
Continuing upon this point
I am asked,
about the philosophy of end justify the means.
Everybody talks about it.
So then whatever be the end,
I mean according to the end,
the means can begood or bad in order to achieve the end.
It is true.
But don't forget
that the end is only
the sum total of the means.
The means are the effects...
Means are the causes
by which the end, the effect is reached.
So whatever be the means, when you say,
if immoral and vulgar means are followed
maybe temporarily, you can see that there is a lot of wealth around.
But the moment
it is discovered or you are punished for it
that very same end becomes very sorrowful.
But if the means are good,
the end also is good,
the joy or the achievement or the success, the victory also is permanent.
But if unfair means you are reaching your goal,
the goal itself is the product of these
so it is negative,
it can never be permanent.
It can never bring about
a salutary effect upon a country or a community or any individual's life.
And Swamiji, these contrary states of mind,
what effect they have on the quality of performance of the individual?
when you are doing it in the wrong way, the mind is very agitated.
Agitated mind cannot apply itself consistently in it.
That is why we find that the great...
the great commander in chiefs in the world,
I mean all very straight and morally good and ethically perfect.
It is something like saying the modern man says a small-scale industrialist
he starts drinking
and we ask him, "why did you start drinking?"
"Swamiji, in my business unless I drink, I cannot tell my friends."
I cannot come in contact with others.
But then the top ones,
Tatas or the Birlas, look at them,
they take only Ganges water.
They don't drink
and yet they are on the top.
This petty paltry fellow,
who is earning probably a few thousands a day, a month,
that fellow says
"unless I drink, I cannot contact." It is not, it is a wrong notion.
Similarly army doesn't mean drinking.
Manekshaw, look at him.
Even though they are in the foreign places,
they are teetotallers.
The question that you are asking is,
how to sustain this?
Enthusiasm is sustained
when your hold on your goal is consistent.
a man who is trying to climb to the Everest,
even though tired, exhausted,
and the snow coming, blistering snow coming, how does he maintain it?
Because of his hold of his idea that I must conquer
and climb up to the Everest top.
If that consistent desire is not inspiring you
at the effort, when the obstruction come,
or difficulties come, you return.
In Sanskrit there is a great saying or a poem,
that some people
start a work
and whatever be the obstacles en route
he never cares for it but faces them head on,
and strive until he reaches the goal.
Another type of people,
they undertake great projects
and continue working
until they meet the first obstacle,
then they will drop it and run away.
The third variety is,
and it seems to be in our nation the national character,
never start any...
fearing that all kinds of obstacles will come.
Such an individual can never reach anywhere,
gain any goal,
So in order to maintain the man to strive on
and discover the courage in themselves,
to meet the challenge whatever that be in front of him,
he must have continuously drawing his inspiration
from the goal that he has kept in himself.
even from childhood onwards on the Corsican sea
he has decided.
Somebody asked him, "My dear little baby, what do you want to become?"
He said, "I am going to become the Emperor of France."
He did not know at that time the geography of the Europe,
where France is,
but he has decided in the mind
and really, in his life he came up.
Even though he was not tall enough,
he has joined the army, I don't know how.
And he became...
See, grown up
And he maintained that idea,
reached the highest goal. So that, it is a question of
you holding onto your goal,
drawing inspiration from it and face all challenges,
The man reaches the highest.
All people who have reached the great goals in life,
who have achieved stupendous
are all people
who consistently held on to the goal that they want to reach
and struggle on.
Now the jawan onwards
to all officers up to the General,
how can we maintain these values?
Inspire them and continuously repeatedly explain to them
the goal that we are keeping.
Your job is to protect and defend the country.
We have no ambition to conquer other nations.
That is not the Indian tradition.
But the sanctity of our frontiers, we will maintain.
That kind of an idea
must be drummed into them
especially at the lower level
again and again and again.
And the officers also must be pulled up, the moment you see
that they talk loosely or behave badly.
Pull them up
and remind them of their great goal.
Once they get that
idea that the goal is great
they have got a greater self respect in themselves
they don't want to disobey, and be disloyal to their own ideal,
and it can be maintained.
Just as when we are saying that, on the one hand, people think that "Catch them young"
"you can't then, afterwards"
On the other, they say that it has to be demonstrated from the top,
if people are behaving badly so we can do nothing.
So in both cases, they say,
we can do nothing, because, you can't catch them young,
even if you do, when out they come from the academy into the market place of the army,
and they start seeing this and what they have learnt, they unlearn it faster
and they give every thing up.
On the other hand,
now we have to wait for the...
supernatural power that somehow, by coinsidence,
they must put the right set of people: the Chief, the Army Commanders,
the Core Commander, who all are willing to live a valued life.
So that they give a demonstration
that even if that grand prudence can be arranged by Nature,
it can be a very short lived.
so most people say frankly though it is desirable
it is a terminal case, you can do nothing.
Under these circumstances is hung, between these two ends of the spectrum
As a national program
they must be caught young
and trained from school days onwards,
The British empire was built
The British Empire was built
in the playgrounds of Eton.
It is true.
Yadyad acharati shrestah.
The top ones whatever they do
the others implicitly follow.
It is the law.
What they demonstrate in life
is that which is...
...followed by others.
Now the question is
at the top also how are we to get it.
The top, the argument is
that we have already been established in that.
If that be so,
why do you have your training centres,
why do you have it?
Because this officer can never improve. So?
Is it not that we train them new technique,
take them to foreign countries and see that army doing.
Is that there not the methods of developing?
In the same way,
everyone, at any level, at any time,
can start the creative living
even though in his foolishness and ignorance he might have lived a longer,
he can start coming out.
Even an alcoholic,
the AAs, they try to help him
and many of them come out of it.
So it is not that you cannot be redeemed
if you put forth the right effort.
And the effort you can put forth only when you understand the logic behind it,
the science behind it.
A couple of questions
that have been asked.
How does a man acquire his individual sense of values
and why do people behave as they do?
Values are acquired
naturally by the individual under the pressures around him,
And there afterwards he may change it slightly during education.
But mainly it is under the pressures of the circumstances.
Some people come to accept intellectually
a certain thing as the very goal of his life.
Some would say that "Money is everything."
Others would say "Power is everything"
A third one says, "No, achievement is great thing".
Ravana is one
who conceived in himself that the greatest thing in the world is
money, power, sensual enjoyment.
He has accepted it,
and that becomes his value.
This accepted intellectual concept of each individual
becomes the value of life in him
and this value of life colours all his mental thoughts and physical actions.
One who has accepted that money alone is everything
all his thoughts are how to make more money because that is his goal
and all his actions are
to acquire, to possess, to aggrandise
by means fair or foul more and more money.
And he himself doesn't know why he is doing it.
All his values of life colour,
all his thoughts and actions
these values of life can be changed.
That is another question.
It can be changed by two methods.
Ordinary people come to change their values
by a very painful process.
His own experience in life.
It can be a death, an accident,
it can be a great disappointment.
Some shock must come to him
from the world outside and nature supplies it plenty.
A sensitive man,
his shocks are sufficient when he cuts himself out
of the old pattern or way of life
and he turns into a new way of life.
This shock can also be self-created.
A new thought process comes to him
because he has come in contact with a wonderful
and inspiring ideology,
either through another individual,
organization, institution or through his study.
Once thus he gets inspired,
once thus he gets inspired by an ideal
his entire lifestyle changes.
A highly sensuous man,
A highly sensuous man,
a highly sensuous man overnight we suddenly find him
to turn towards totally the other end of the spectrum,
extremely spiritual, religious.
In the army this must be your everyday experience.
A really square-shouldered gunda of the town,
once he gets entered in the army
and when he has gone through the process of
exercises and training,
he becomes one of the most useful members of the society or the community.
He wanted to have a field where he can express his strength,
and applauses from others.
In the streets he can do it only through 'gundaism',
and therefore he was a famous gunda of that area.
He himself walked into the selection board,
and then he thought probably that it is wrong and therefore want to come out
but once...it is a one-way traffic to the army.
Once inside, you can't come out.
And there, they get trained,
and the man becomes one of the most productive
servant of the society. Yes.
So, as I said
these values in you decide the texture and quality of your thoughts
and the texture and quality of your thoughts determine the...
beauty or the ugliness of the performance in the world outside.
The gunda was a gunda not because he is really a born gunda
but the quality of your actions.
He had no such ideals,
a healthy ideal in him.
Then after joining the army, when he got trained
he has got a vision now
and therefore, you find the quality of thoughts changed
and his performance becomes useful to the nation's defence.
Now your question is, how are we to change the values of them?
As I told you, either a shock.
Everybody, very many people
after a shock, the wife died, the son in an accident...
a great disease to the wife,
when such a thing happens, all of asudden
your ideal idea goes away.
The old values change
a new concept comes.
It is a very painful way.
The other is by your own thoughts.
As I told you, an ideal that you have gained
a view you gained from a book
or from satsang,
from contact with the wiser people,
And then you start rethinking.
even though she had been the faithful wife of mine for the last twenty years
and the mother of my three children,
and for twenty or twenty-two years, I have been with her and I loved her really,
all my love for her can go overnight,
I mean in one afternoon
the moment, I discover
in whom I start loving.
Once as I hold on to that mistress
my love for my wife, my children slowly goes away.
We hold on to certain values of life because we have fallen in love with them.
And we have been living it for a long period of time.
The moment we discover another ideal
and get fascinated by it
the old ideas drop off without any effort.
Mind cannot remain and function without an ideal in them.
The quality and quantity of the ideal,
the texture of the ideal determines the texture of your performance.
The last of the questions,
What exactly is the duty of a soldier
when he is ordered to do something which is against his faith or conviction?
What is a soldier expected to do
when he is ordered to act against his own belief.
such as killing the citizens?
In order to answer this question,
is the entire Mahabharata is written by Vyasa.
Everyone has got duty, no doubt,
That is called the Dharma.
But each individual has got definitely two different personalities.
One is himself
as a creature.
As a being that individual is living in society,
and therefore he has to be
in contact with other members of the community.
He has to be in an institution,
as a member of an institution
he has a totally different personality.
Bhishma Pitamaha was one of those who have respected
the highest values of life throughout his existence
and that was his goal.
Not only that he was one of the greatest warriors but he refused to
ever compromise with anything that is immoral or amoral.
he fought the war among the Kaurava forces
against Krishna and the Pandavas.
So when he was lying down in the bullet bed
not yet dead
at that time Krishna goads Arjuna to go and ask him.
"Why did grandpapa..."
"Grandsire, why did you join this..."
"evil forces and fought against the Lord?"
So he explains it.
As a member of an institution
You are not
you have got a dharma separate from
as an individual you live in the society.
So as a soldier
your job is to obey instructions come to you.
You are not there, the right or the duty of yours
to check whether it is right or wrong.
Whatever instructions come to you, you have to implicitly obey it.
That obedience and loyalty to the army
is the greatest dharma.
In case you feel that it is very unjust,
you have to leave your uniform.
Get out of it
and then from outside, fight
and remove the immorality in the army.
You can't be in the army and then live
against the instructions or the obedience.
If you are a banker or a corporate executive
your first duty is to see the corporation is functioning well.
For that you have to do all that is necessary
in order to maintain it's prosperity and profit.
That is not immoral
that is what you are doing as an individual.
The famous case in London
in the seventeenth century
where the judge
pass a judgement upon
his own son
who is being accused of ***.
The judge heard both the sides
and he passed the judgement.
The accused must be hung
till he is dead.
After having passed judgement and announced it in the court,
he opened up his
and went down, and embraced the son.
One is his duty as a father and the son.
The other is the duty of that chair.
There are two duties in everyone.
So as a soldier in the uniform with the government gun in your hand
you are not to judge
whether the order that came from the top is right or wrong.
Whether it is politically inspired, whether it is just or not is none of your concern.
Your's is but to do and die
your's is not to question, "why?".
So there is no problem.
In the Nazis
even though they knew that it is wrong they obeyed
and they were punished
Therefore, they are true soldiers.
But if they had felt that it is wrong
and extremely immoral against humanity
they must have the guts
to come away
and then fight for
trend of the time
Their argument was
that we were told to do so and we obeyed. Yes you are right.
But it is not a justification.
In case thus you are feeling that it is very immoral,
it is time that you change the, I mean you resign,
and that spirit of sacrifice must be with you.
But if I give up what will happen to me?
If that is your fear stay on there.
And when you are staying in the organisation
you will have to be loyal to the organisation.