|Date: 17 May 2002||Occasion: Summary of Evening Discourse||Place: Brindavan|
of Divine Discourse
at the Summer Course
(evening, 16 May 2002)
Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba
Today, it is rare to find children who revere their fathers or fathers who care for their children. The teacher-student relation is deplorable and tainted without any respect being exchanged. Parents at home don't know how to set ideals for their children. Brothers don't care to stay united, and children don't bother to maintain the family's honour. Husbands and wives lack understanding and are unable to set examples to the society in which they stay. Honour and respect are ignored and too much freedom is given to all.
The problem begins at the home, which is the first school of a child. The parents are the first teachers. They should teach their children how to respect elders, speak the truth, follow righteousness, respect the teachers, and interact with other children at the school. The discipline of the school must be followed. Only such an exercise can generate ideal students.
In the days of yore, students would arise as the cock crowed at dawn. After their ablutions bath, meals consisting of nourishing and palatable items would be taken in limited quantity. Loitering about in dirty and unhealthy locations was never done. Willing participation in sports and games was common. It was these set of practices that ensured good health. Good health is essential for a sound education.
Basic courtesies and ideals, absent in the modern age, are demonstrated in ample measure in the holy text of Ramayana. The way that Dasaratha received the sage Vishwamitra with courtesy demonstrated the honour and regard with which a guest was treated. Sage Viswamitra came to the court of Dasaratha to seek his help in destroying the demons that kept defiling and troubling the yagna (ritual) the great sage was performing for the welfare of the world. When Dasaratha put himself along with his army at the sage's disposal, Vishwamitra instead asked for Rama. Afraid that the tender-aged Rama would come to harm, Dasaratha hesitated; but sage Vasista explained to him Rama's divinity. He told him that his sons were like the lightning bolts that would destroy the demons. Hence pacified, Dasaratha summoned Rama and Laxmana to his presence. Viswamitra, who knew their divinity, was lost in their splendour and kept offering his prayers to them in his heart.
The sons of Dasaratha had some unique habits. While Laxmana always stayed with Rama, Sathrugna shadowed Bharatha! The secret to this bond can be traced to the divine payasam (a rice pudding) that Dasaratha presented to his queens. Sumitra's share was whisked away by an eagle. The three queens lived in great harmony and loved each other dearly. Hence, Kaikeyi and Kausalya each gave Sumitra one half of their share. They then took sage Vasista's blessing and drank the sacred payasam.
However, when the children were born, it was discovered that Sumitra's twins --Laxmana and Sathrugna-- set up a constant wailing! They would neither sleep nor eat. Sage Vasista saw the reason with his divine vision. He explained that since Laxmana was born from Kausalya's share of the rice pudding and Satrugna from Kaiakeyi's share, the twins craved to return to their origin! When Laxmana was placed next to Rama and Satrugna next to Bharatha, they finally calmed down and started playing happily! In truth, all four brothers lived as one.
The ladies in the royal family were equally noble. Sita and Urmila were daughters of Janaka, while Manadavi and Shrutakeerti were daughters of Janaka's brother. All the four were ideal daughters-in-law to the queens. Hence, the family stayed united, strong and peaceful.
Kaikeyi is depicted as having succumbed to the evil promptings of Manthara and demanding the two unjust boons. She was a lady of strong character and was too noble for such petty things to overcome her. She knew that unless Rama was sent to the forest, the annihilation of the demonic hordes would not occur. She loved Rama more dearly than her own son Bharatha. She knew that unless she asked for the boons, the destruction of Ravana was impossible.
Ravana had acquired a boon that his death could not be caused by the Gods, gandharvas, kinnaras, demons or kimpurushas. Thinking men to be insignificant, he had not included them in the list! Thus, one should be extremely careful about what one asks from God and how one asks it! It was also prophesized that the day a monkey would defeat the guardian of the city --Lankini-- Lanka would face its doom.
This may be the modern age. But truth must still be spoken, and humility and obedience must be incorporated in our behaviour. Man is born to set and live by ideals. Children must know that the entire humanity is one family living in the huge mansion of this world. Unity must be fostered. For example, all the organs of the human body have their specific allotted tasks. Yet each is vital in contributing to the total human body.
Also in the past, parents would also not weep with sorrow when their daughters married and went to their new homes. On the contrary, they felt proud that their daughter was to assume new responsibilities. Real tears must be tears of joy and not sorrow. 'Nayana' means eyes and 'Nara' means water.
Scholars depict Kausalya to have been extremely sorrowful at the exiling of Rama. On the contrary, she blessed him wholeheartedly and sent him. She told him, "By giving birth to you, I have discharged my responsibility. You are now earning great fortune by discharging your responsibility. Ayodhya without you will henceforth be a forest. The forest in which you dwell shall become Ayodhya." She hence sent him so graciously.
Rama firmly believed in the dictum, "All are one, be alike to everyone." The nature of Avatars is inscrutable and worthy of emulation. Dasaratha means one who controls his ten senses. To such a person, a noble son like Rama will be born.
I was speaking about lavanya (beauty) the other day. This causes eternal youth and can be got only by perfect sense control. Krishna and Rama are never seen or depicted as old men! Age never goes with the years. This body is 76 years old; but I can still walk at a rapid pace. No Avatar was ever bothered by problems of old age. My eyes are as radiant as bulbs, and I can clearly see distant objects. There is no problem of cataract either. My ears are of sound hearing, and I have unlimited strength and energy in this body. Sometimes speed breakers are set up to control the car's speed. That does not indicate a defect in the car. Similarly, I Myself exercise control and regulate the flow of energy through My body.
In days to come, you will see more evidence of this Divinity. I do not deal at the physical level. I am beyond all such issues. Rama and Krishna both left their bodies by their own will and were not slain in battles or by old age, as is stated in the texts. The bodies of the Avatars cannot be touched by anything evil. You are blinded by ignorance because I talk, walk, and move amongst you. This ignorance hides and masks your wisdom. Some ladies have been complaining that I am afflicted by some kind of knee pain. I walk slowly because I have to see that My feet do not get entangled in the folds of my long robe and the dhoti. My gait is always gentle, soft, tender, and delicate. There is not an iota of roughness in Me --it is all softness and sweetness.