|A Translation of Swamishri's Blessings to a Large Gathering of Ex-Students of
BAPS Student Hostels on 18-11-2001 in Gondal..
The knowledge you have attained and the instruction you have received have to be firmly practised in life. Whatever you have attained in this life, through studies, etc. is for doing good work in your life. You have to make a resolve that wherever you go, the values and morals you have learnt from here should inspire others. You should also remember to offer devotion to God and observe His commands.
Whatever job or business you are doing, always remember your dharma, your guru, your God so that you never do anything improper in life; never do anything bad. To please God you have always received wholesome thoughts from here. They should be repeatedly remembered and sincerely practised. This is the foundation and should not be forgotten. Whatever your dharma, the instructions given in the scriptures, the values learnt and the commands of Yogiji Maharaj should always be remembered. Bhagwan Swaminarayan has given the Shikshapatri. All of you also read the Shikshapatri daily. But what is written in it should be firmly engraved in your life. You should know that Maharaj likes this, does not like this; this is His command and this is what He inspires. You should also read one Vachanamrut and five Swamini Vato daily. You all have a lot of duties, but in the morning spare time for puja; reading scriptures; recollecting incidents of Swami and memories of your time in this hostel and the mandir. Only then will your thoughts be peaceful and your difficulties be removed.
Over time, many things are forgotten. There is a daily erosion (of memory). You wash your clothes daily, you clean your home daily - all things have to be cleaned. Your body has to be washed also. Similarly, for cleaning the mind, there are all these things. To clean the mind there is devotion to God, reading of scriptures and continuous contact of good people. The mind is very wavering - it is tempted by whatever it sees. But, for this, read and resolve that bad actions should not be performed, improper things should not be seen, improper food should not be eaten and bad company should not be kept. Then this will serve as a constant reminder. That is why all this should be practised daily. Then thoughts of God, our values and service will remain throughout life. Today, the world has progressed a lot, but in this progress difficulties also arise in which our traditional values are lost. They should not be forgotten. You have to work to maintain them. Whether you are in India or abroad, they must be preserved.
"Sansãrmã sarso rahe, man mãri pas,
Jene sansãr lope nahi, evo Harino das."
(Even if a person lives a worldly life, if his mind is on Me; And if he is not attached to the world, he is a devotee of God.)
You are all devotees of God. If you behold these commands of God and live accordingly, then you will be able to fulfill your worldly duties and still remain non-attached. Even great kings of the past (eg. Janak, Ambrish, etc.), despite governing their kingdoms, were able to remain detached. Dada Khachar was a great devotee of Maharaj. Even he was involved in worldly activities and had a wife and children. But he had only one aim - to please God. That is why he became a great devotee. Parvatbhai was a farmer, yet while farming, he engaged his mind on God. On waking up, he spent an hour or two in meditation, then went to farm and whenever he got time he meditated. Shivlal Sheth of Botad was also like that. He was a big businessman. So, whatever the type of work: farming, job, business, etc. this can be done - whether one is a king or a pauper. If one fixes this aim in one's line of work, then one's business and job run smoothly - nothing is spoilt. By doing God's work nothing is spoilt.
"Hari bhajtã haju koini lãj jatã nathi jãni."
(In worshipping God, nobody has been known to lose out.)
By worshipping God and engaging in His service, our family and business tasks are not spoilt. On the contrary, they turn out to be profitable.
Shivlal Sheth operated a business. Yet, in the morning he meditated for two to three hours, offered worship to God and then went to his shop. And at the shop, whenever he was free, he offered worship. If you resolve, you can also give much of your time in this. But due to laziness, procrastination and pre-occupation with other things, such as, eating, drinking, bathing and gossiping, time is wasted. Much time is spent in looking at other things. But this time can be saved and used for constructive things.
Money is also spent for bad things, such as addictions. It should be saved and used for good things which enable our traditions and values to be strengthened in life. Wherever you go, whatever you do, preserve our traditions and values. We are Hindus. Our dharma is the Vedic Hindu Sanatan Dharma. This belief should remain firm throughout life. If dharma is practised so that God is pleased, then one reaps positive benefits. So, preserve the values you have learnt and inspire them in others. And may today's messages remain with you for life. Practising them intermittently does not achieve anything. If you plant a tree and move it every few days, its roots will not take hold. But if planted properly in one place and given sufficient water and nutrition, its roots become strong and the plant blossoms. Similarly, if one nurtures one's traditions and values daily, one's life becomes virtuous and fragrant. Flowers give a pleasant fragrance because they have 'decided' from the outset to do so. Whether they are treated with respect or not, cared for or not, their nature is to give a pleasant fragrance. In the same way, whether anyone respects you or not, preserve traditions and values and become flowers at the feet of God. Then you will not experience difficulty or displeasure. It was Yogiji Maharaj's wish to create such a society. Today, in this world, you offer many services, but by service to God, service of sadhus, service of Yogiji Maharaj, the atma attains peace and ultimate liberation.
Also, live a simple life. Do not become extravagant. Do not waste money. Much time is wasted. So many different clothes! If you have only two-four sets, then by all means get some more. But many keep 50-100 shirts, and ties and hats and trousers and all sorts of other things. This dress is for the night, this for the day, this for the bathroom and so on. What is the need for all these different dresses? This one dress is enough for us. We travel the whole world in it. Nobody questions us as to why we have worn this and come. Since I became a sadhu I have worn this. We even go to meet kings, ministers, the poor and the tribals. The main thing is that one's life must be pure. Traditions and values are the important thing. Nobody will give awards to you for your looks. Nobody will employ you for your looks. They will analyse your education, character and other virtues and employ you. There is no value in superficial appearances. Adorning the body is of no value. Virtues are one's true wealth, they are one's ornaments and they make one special. Otherwise, lots of wealth does not make one attractive. What is of importance is one's generosity, compassion and benevolence. They are our Indian values, passed on from Vedic times. Thus, the Vedic Hindu Sanatan Dharma is ours. Preserve it in India and abroad. Be proud of it. We should have pride in our Dharma and in our country. Whatever the consequences, no other thoughts should be entertained.