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Beacons of Light from Omega
Address to students of the CBSE stream, Lalaji Memorial Omega International School (LMOIS), 25th February 2009, Chennai, India
My dear children,
Whenever I come here and sit before you all, I am subjected to two emotions: one of nostalgia, thinking of my own past when I was a schoolboy in Jabalpur (Christ Church Boys’ High School), and the other of envy, that our schools weren’t as well provided, as well furnished, as well staffed as modern schools are, that we had no computers. We had half a dozen subjects: history, geography, chemistry, physics, English, maths, second language, football, hockey, cricket, all under the British tradition of those days. I am speaking of the years 1937 to 1943, when I was in school myself.
So when I come here I feel both energetic, as if I am young, back in those days, and also very old when I see all of you. Yet I love to be here, because though I cannot claim any direct input into your intellectual, moral and spiritual growth, I am a sort of benevolent bystander who offers his blessings to you all, and that is a big role to play, too. I was recently away for a month, and I think it was in Indore in Madhya Pradesh at about four o’clock in the morning, I had something which was between a dream and a vision, that I am opening the newspapers and in the tenth Board results, I see six of our students’ names in the first ten.
It is easy for me to have a vision or a dream or whatever, but you boys and girls have to work to make it a reality. You are responsible for what I am going to see in the newspaper. Because I saw it and I will see it, in between the two is your performance, your preparation, your ability to do things as I have seen them happen, and for that I wish you all my Master’s grace, blessings and love.
More than this there is nothing that I have to say which your people are not already telling you. Because to speak of so many things again and again and again, is tiresome for me and nauseating for you to listen to, all over again.
So I wish you all well this year for the tenth Board students, and in the subsequent years for all of you. May you all be beacons of light shining from Omega, and our ambassadors to the future.
Work in the Present for the Future
Address to students of the Cambridge stream, Lalaji Memorial Omega International School (LMOIS), 25th February 2009, Chennai, India
Dear children, dear staff and my dear Master:
I should perhaps tell you that my entire schooling was in the Cambridge system. In fact, when the Cambridge people came here to look at our facilities to approve of our joining the Cambridge scheme, they were quite impressed to know that in 1943, which is sixty-six years ago, when most of your parents were not born, I took the Cambridge Senior School Certificate as it was then called, from the Christ Church Boys’ High School, Jabalpur, in Madhya Pradesh.
In those days our exam papers used to go to England to be corrected. You know there were no flights, so the exam papers were sent by boat, corrected and then the certificates came back. That process generally took three months. So we had the examination in May, and, Insha-Allah [God willing], we got our results and our certificates in July, in time to go to college. It is a wonderful system of education — demanding, of course, demanding the best in terms of effort.
The school years are the most enjoyable in life and also the most demanding. This is a time for maximum study, with concentration, with confidence in yourself and with the determination to advance towards the goal, in both material and spiritual spheres. It is also the time when you must build your character, which is moral. It is also the time to build your bodies by play, by exercise, so that you are strong enough to face the world physically, mentally and morally when you quit.
So please remember that school is not all books. We are not trying to make bookworms here. Bookworms come naturally in old books. We are here to create children who will leave school with a well-rounded personality: physical strength, moral fiber and intellectual acumen. It is more necessary to study and learn than, unfortunately in India, just pass examinations. I know many people who pass through school and college with degrees, including gold medals, and who knew nothing of the subject. But they could recite it mentally from memory, like a parrot. In North India we used to have a lot of parrots, especially in the area of the Ganges (Allahabad, Benares), which used to be taught to speak, “Ram bolo, Ram kaho [say Ram], Seetharam kaho” [say Seetharam] — that sort of a thing.
We don’t want parrot-wise vomiting of knowledge. We want knowledge which is part of you. Like when you eat, you have to digest the food. What is good for you becomes part of you: your muscles, your bone, your blood and your brain. Similarly, education must be inside you, not in your books. I know many big industrialists who don’t even have a degree to their name. The first thing they do is to order a library and they say, “I want twenty-four feet of books” — shelf space, all leather covered, beautifully bound, gilt [edged]. It only shows that they have never read any of them. It is a show and they like to be sitting there and photographed for the press, when all that they have is money and nothing else — nothing here [head], nothing here [heart].
Now, we want ninety-eight percent of your education in your heart. The brain knows what it knows. It is like a computer. You put in the data and say ‘save’, it is saved. How to use? Are we going to use it for welfare? Are we going to use it for selfishness? — “My self, I must be... I must be rich, I must be strong, I must be powerful.” Or, are we going to say, “I am here to broadcast what I know, what I can do for the welfare of all”? In your prayer, you have been taught to say, “We are working for all.” No? Something like that? I cannot be happy if everybody around me is unhappy. Can I be? I cannot be healthy if everybody around me is sick; and I cannot be wise if I am surrounded by fools. So my physical strength, my moral well-being and moral fiber, and my intellectual acumen, my knowledge are there not for myself but to be used for the welfare of the world.
Welfare of the world means, in today’s language, the environment — protect it from pollution, secure it. I saw there that the world is going to be a dust-bin. Do you understand what is written in that small piece of paper there? And who makes the world a dustbin? Not the elephants, not the lions, not the zebras; we human beings, who are supposed to be the highest as far as the ladder of evolution is concerned, so far. We are polluting the world, its atmosphere, its lakes and, worst of all, the minds of people. We are broadcasting thoughts of violence, of sadism, of lust, avarice, and all this sort of thing. We are broadcasting because that is what we have here [in the heart].
Therefore, when you are old enough to come to Sahaj Marg, as I hope all of you will, our first business in Sahaj Marg is to clean, remove all the waste. You know, every house has to be cleaned, swept and wiped. But unfortunately in India you have seen, every house — they wipe it and clean it and throw the dust out on the street. That is not the way of cleaning, because you are only throwing your dust onto others, your filth outside on the streets.
You must learn clean habits for which I admire our Western world. I know a child of two — I mean, she was two at that time. When given a chocolate, she would unwrap it, take the wrapper to the waste-bin and throw it in — at the age of two! It is training. Our parents are dirty, filthy, nasty, therefore our children are what their parents are. You must be bold enough to correct your parents and tell them, “Daddy, (or) Mummy, you didn’t send me to school to become like you.” Because every parent wants you to be — Mummy will say, “You must be like Daddy, my darling.” “Daddy, what? Another kanjoos [miser], another swindler, another black marketer, another drunkard who beats his wife? No! Not if we can help it!” You must have the guts and the love.
It is love which gives courage. You must have the courage to tell your Mummy, “I love Daddy, but I cannot admire him. I love my father very much but I cannot take him as my role model, because he is not a role model. If he is, he is the wrong type of role model. He is teaching us to tell lies, to cheat, to swindle, to corrupt. If I become like him and my children become like him, what is this world going to be?” Forget the past. We must have love for the past, hope for the future and work in the present. This must be my motto. This must be the motto of every one of you. Love for the past, which includes my parents, grandparents, great-grandparents and everything else — my culture, my tradition; hope for the future that a new world will come into being. Through whom? Through us — through children.
You are the standard bearers of evolution: physical evolution, mental evolution and moral evolution. So, remember, you are not just passing exams for your sake, to go and get your job and earn your money. Nature has given you what you have got, in terms of the ability to study in a good school, to pay for it, to have health, happiness, wisdom, which, like a tree, you have to throw out again. One seed produces one tree and it has produced millions of seeds in return, for the future of that.
So, remember, that you are working in the present, with love for your past. You are what you are because you have descended from what they were — your culture, your language, your tradition. But that is not the be-all and end-all of existence. If you are a German child, you don’t need to continue to be a German child. You must be German — meticulous care for things, in their punctuality, but not in other Germanic traditions which we have learnt to abhor and to throw away even from human memory.
If you are French — ditto. Take all that is good of the French culture, of the French language, tradition, blend it with everything else and create for yourself your own culture, which will not be Indian, not French, not German, not English, but an evolved human being’s culture and tradition.
So this is what I hope for all of you. This is what I want you all to remember and hope for yourself. And this is what I want you all to remember so that you will have the strength — physical, mental and moral — to work in the present for the future.
Thank you and my blessings.
Questions and Answers
Lalaji Memorial Omega International School (LMOIS), 25th February 2009, Chennai, India
M: In this question, you are putting the cart before the horse. The question should be, how to incorporate worldly life in spirituality, because we are born with a soul and that is the main life — that is the life. All the rest that we acquire in this world: knowledge, foolishness, strength, illness, dependence, independence, they all depend on how we lead life and therefore we have to incorporate those into spirituality and then mould them into spiritual principles, into what they ought to be. That is how we become as close to a perfect human being as possible.
Q: Can you explain how the Third World War is going to happen?
M: You want a Third World War? You want one?
Q: No, I don’t want one. But I think it is going to happen...
M: What we don’t want we should not talk about. Because, you know, everything comes first into the mind and then into the active world. And if everybody is thinking of the Third World War, it will happen. So we must train ourselves not to have thoughts about unwanted things, about negative things, about sickness, about illness, about meanness. That is why it is important that you think well of all your classmates, of your school children, so that if you think so-and-so is bad and nasty, that person will be bad and nasty, at least to you. So everything in the world happens from our thought. Thoughts lead to action. Therefore moral law says, purify your thoughts. It says in the Latin, mens sana in corpore sano (a healthy mind makes for a healthy body). Not only a healthy body but for a healthy world. Thank you.
Q: Master can we do meditation when we are young?
M: The answer is no.
Q: Master, is it good to be innocent?
M: Good to be innocent? Innocence is a natural divine state. It is a state — not of purity, not of childhood or elderliness. It is a state of, shall we say, no knowledge of good and evil.
According to the Christian tradition, when Adam and Eve were sent out of the Garden of Eden, they were not sent out because they had sinned, which is a wrong conception and totally a lie. There was no sin at that time. But the Bible says that they had eaten of the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil. Therefore they were expelled from the Garden of Eden. As a human being, the nearer you go to God, the less you know of good and evil. Ultimately there is no good, there is no evil, there are only as things were and as God wants them to be.
For instance, a snake has poison. To us we think it is bad, it is evil. But for the snake without the poison it cannot exist. Isn’t it? There are carnivorous animals which live by eating animals. A tiger has to kill. It is not cruel; although human beings, we speak a lie when we say, “He is as cruel as a tiger,” or “He is as dirty as a pig.” Pigs are not dirty. They live the way they were created to be. Fish swim in water, not because they need to be wet or because they want water to be cold but because they cannot exist outside. So God’s universe is as God wanted it to be. When we pervert it by our own human thinking which is invariably selfish — “what I want it to be” — then we sin. Then we are out of a state of innocence. So, actually, a state of innocence can be from baby to the old man who is dying, when in his mind there is no difference at all in anything that God created. I hope you will all attain that state.
I have only five minutes more, three to be exact.
Q: Master, what is the next level of evolution, after the humans?
M: Before human beings came on earth, according to Darwin, we are supposed to have been descended from the monkeys. If you had asked a monkey, “What are you going to evolve into,” it wouldn’t know. Isn’t it? So the future is never known until it has become a reality. That is why we say the past is history, the future is a mystery. Today is the present; that is why it is called a ‘present’. Today, the present is a present to us, to do today what we can, what we must, to make the future good. You will know what it will be when you evolve. Thank you.
That is the end of questions and answers. I am sorry I have to leave all of you because I have a lot of work to do.