The first is purity of the place in which one lives. It is necessary to fill the room in which one resides or studies with a satwic (pure) atmosphere. The pictures or other objects you see should fill you with peace and pure thoughts. Objects that arouse agitation and bad thoughts should have no place. The room should be clean and free from anything that is impure.
Second: In the family in which you live, there should be mutual understanding and cooperation and a sense of harmony. There should be no discord in the family that will create a bad atmosphere. A harmonious atmosphere will give you true peace of mind.
The third need is satwic food. This means that none of the edible items should be excessively sour, bitter, or hot. You should eschew rajasic (passionate) food like fish or meat. Even good satwic food should not be taken in excess. Some people consume so much satwic food that even though it is satwic, it develops rajasicqualities. It is only satwic when you sit for the meal with a light stomach and get up from it with a light stomach! If you sit with a light stomach and get up with a heavy stomach, it becomes tamasic (slothful).
Fourth: Whatever fluids you take should also be satwic. You should not drink whatever water is available. It should be pure water. Alcoholic spirits should be eschewed.
Fifth: Satwic thoughts and feelings are of great importance. Students tend to neglect this factor. Only if your thoughts and feelings are pure, can you get the full benefit of a clean room, a good family, and pure food.
Sixth: If you want to develop satwic feelings and thoughts, your vision must be pure. All srishti (creation) is based upon drishti (sight). It is only when you have wrong vision that you have wrong thoughts. You must look upon every elderly woman as your mother and all women who are younger as your sisters. When you are filled with such pure thoughts, you will have pure feelings. It is because you are students that you have to be told this. Imagine how offended you would feel if someone looked at your mother or sister with an evil eye. Realising this, you have to entertain pure feelings towards other women. You should not commit the sort of offences that you would not tolerate in others.
Seventh: Whatever books you read or whatever you write should be pure. This is the spiritual practice relating to study—sahitya satwika. If you read or write that which is not pure, it warps your mind. A good book makes for a good mind. Any book you may study about physics or chemistry or other subjects, does not affect your character. But books that are literary are not always good literature. If improper books are prescribed for study, treat them as mere textbooks and do not attach any high value to them as guides for life.
Eighth: Pure satwic service. With regard to service, you have to decide what is satwic and what is rajasic. We clean streets, build roads in villages or dig wells and do them all as a service to the community. But the kind of service that we do should give real happiness to the people. In the name of “social work” you go to a hospital and approach a patient. This is not real service. Any person whom you wish to serve, you should regard as an embodiment of the Divine. Going to the help of the destitute and the neglected is rendering service to God.
Narayana has two forms: one is “Lakshmi Narayana,” the other is “Daridra Narayana.” This “Lakshmi Narayana” is full of wealth. He is able to help any number of people. He will be able to get many persons to serve him. But for “Daridra Narayana,” there is nobody to serve him. It is to such persons that we should do satwicservice.
Ninth: Sadhana. This is spiritual discipline. This must be satwa. Some people do hatha yoga. Some strive to develop the kundalini sakthi. Some invoke evil spirits to do harm to others. These forms of sadhana are not sadhana at all. The individual is Chith (Consciousness), God is Sath (The Eternal Absolute). When Sath andChith combine, you have Ananda—Sath-Chith-Ananda. Only the sadhana undertaken to realise Satchidananda is true sadhana. Where is this Sath? This Sath, the Divine, is in everybody. So, you must be prepared to serve everybody, regarding everyone as the Divine. You may have a normal relationship with your kith and kin. There is nothing wrong in this. You must perform sadhana in the spirit that the One pervades the many. In this process, you must cultivate the feeling of love. There is no higher sadhana than the cultivation of love!
Gopikas’ Devotion to Krishna
Uddhava was an adept in the path of jnana yoga (knowledge and wisdom). He wanted to teach the gopikas (the cowherd girls of Brindavan) the path of wisdom. So he approached Krishna. Krishna told Uddhava: “The gopikas are totally devoted to me. Their devotion is fundamental to their life and reaches My heart! Their purity and devotion are like a light that shines! You cannot understand the hearts of such devotees! I am completely enshrined in their hearts.” Uddhava doubted whether ignorant illiterate gopikas could understand the Divine. To dispel the doubts of Uddhava, Krishna sent him to Repalle. Uddhava summoned the gopikas and told them: “I will teach you the path of jnana (wisdom) to realise the Divine.” The gopikas came to Uddhava and told him: “We are not interested in learning any scriptures! Teach us one simple means by which we can realise Krishna! We are not aware of any yoga or bhoga (sense pleasure) or mantra. Krishna is everything for us, our yoga or bhoga. Please, therefore, tell us the means by which we can obtain Krishna! We do not want to waste our time on yoga.”
Uddhava asked the gopikas: “How can you become one with Krishna?” One gopika answered: “If Krishna were a flower, I would be a bee whirling round Him. If He were a tree, I would be a creeper twining round him. If He were a mountain, I would be a river cascading from its top! If Krishna were the boundless sky, I would be a little star, twinkling in the firmament. If He were the deep ocean, I would be a small stream, joining the ocean. This is the way I would be one with Krishna and merge with Him.”Another gopika said: “If Krishna were a flower, I would be a bee that goes on sucking every drop of honey in the flower tasting the nectar that is there! This is our approach to God.” So, spiritual sadhana means to regard a mountain or a tree, or a flower, or the ocean as a means of God-realisation.
Tenth: Your occupation or profession. What is the kind of work you should take up? It should be work that can benefit the nation, the community. The nation enables you to earn a living. You must see what you can give to the nation, in return. You must ask yourself: “What is the service, what is the help I can do for the community?” You must see that there is no untruth in any work you do, no unfairness, no fraud, no evil motive.
Ensure Freedom from Birth by Present Karma
These are the pure things that you have to observe in your life. If you engage yourselves in right action, you will not be bound by the consequences of karma.Because of past karma, you have your present life. By your present karma you can ensure freedom from birth. Through love, you develop faith; through faith and earnestness, you acquire knowledge; through knowledge, you develop sadhana, and through sadhana, you achieve the goal. So for practising sadhana, you require wisdom, and for acquiring wisdom, you require sraddha (earnestness and faith), and for sraddha, you must cultivate love. So love is the means and for this you must acquire control of the senses. If you gradually reduce your desires, you will be able to bring the senses under control.
You should strive to get rid of all your bad thoughts, give up all your bad traits, discharge your obligations to your parents, render selfless service to the community, and thereby redeem your lives and earn the grace of God. This is my blessing for all of you.
Sri Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume XVIII
Chapter 31: Students and Satwic Purity.