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Aap Sabse Shrestha Hain.

The Superior Species the Human Being.


Swami Akhandanand Saraswati

Siddhi Vindati Manava.

Human beings have two special qualities. One is mother

Shatrupa, who symbolizes shraddhaa faith and the other
of father Manu who symbolizes the mind. This is why the
human being is eligible for achieving the four Purusharthas
(human achievements), and has the capacity to do so.
Brahmaji was delighted when he created the human form,
because this form has the acute intellect that enables him to
obtain the direct experience of the Brahman. The form of a
human is like the divine form of Bhagwan. All the senses
can be developed to their full powers. Humans interact by
using both the gnaane`ndriya (senses) and karma`ndriya
(organs of action). A human can achieve Anand, Gnan, and
fulfillment. He is free to speak, act, and progress.
Shri Laxmipat Singhanias family has always been devoted
to Dharma. These talks organized by them in 1994, were
recorded by the Satsahitya Prakashan Trust, and transcribed
by Shrimati Satishbala Mahendralal Jethi. They have now
been translated by Smt. Purnima L. Toolsidass, to enable
the English speaking public to obtain the nectarine wisdom
of Maharajis analysis of Dharma. My blessings to the
Singhania family, Smt. Satishbala, and Smt. Purnima.

Anand Vrindavan Swami Sachhidananda Saraswati

June 2008.

Aap Sabse Shreshtha Hain.
(You are the most superior).

Chapter I

Shree gane`shaaya namah. Shreesadgurubhyo namah.

Naasmaakam mokshachintaa praviditamahasaam
brahmabhaavam gataanaam,
Kintve`shaa bodhadhaaraa
Svachhandam dandhvaniti pratipadamadhunaa

The oldest definition of the word manushya (a human being) that is

found in Sanskrit literature is manasaa seevyati. That means, a
human being is one who attaches others to himself by his resolves,
feelings, and love. He makes others his own. He makes birds and
animals his own. He even makes the earth and water his own. To
create a relationship with main (me) and sustain it is the oldest
meaning given in Sanskrit literature.
I had heard about a village woman who had somehow gathered
some valuables for the forthcoming marriage of her daughter. A
gang of dacoits heard about it and raided her house one night. The
woman spoke to the leader of the gang. You are my brother, she
said. Your sisters daughter is getting married. You may, if you
wish, take everything away, or else, leave it for her.
The leader was touched. Today onwards, you are my sister, he
said. I will make all the arrangements for your daughters
wedding. I will come on the day of the marriage, and do the rituals
that are done by the brides maternal uncle.
Then he turned to his men. Let us go, he said. We are not to loot
this place we are to give something here. When the time came,

he kept his word and fulfilled the duties of an uncle. He also paid
the expenses.
This capacity of turning even a dacoit into a brother is the
manifestation of human nature. A manushya is one who has the
capacity to create a loving relationship with his mother, father,
brother, son, family, all mankind, and even with animals and birds.
Only such a person is called a manushya, and only a manushya is
called a maanusha (human). The subject given for this discourse
has the word manush in it.

Na maanushaat shre`thataram hi kinchit.

(The human being is the most superior.)

The basis of the word maanav (human) is, the child of Manu. In
this cycle of time, called the Vivasvat Manvantar, Manus father is
Vivasvana the Surya (sun). In the Svayambhuva Manvantar, he is
the son of Brahmaji, who is also called Svayambhu. Shatrupa
shraddhaa (faith) is Manus wife in both Manvantars. The word
manu is made from manana, which means profound thought.
Mananaat manuh. The poornataa (wholeness) of Gnan and
shraddhaa (faith) manifest in many ways, in our lives. Sometimes,
they manifest through the eyes, sometimes by a bowed head, or
folded hands. Sometimes it is glimpsed in speech, and sometimes
by some sign of respect. Thus, shraddha is not confined to any one
form. Faith appears in hundreds of ways.
Shatrupa is shraddha. She is the companion of Gnan. Gnan
sometimes becomes arid. It becomes dry knowledge. Shraddha,
however, bestows sweetness to Gnan. Shraddha adds benevolence
to Gnan, and gives it bhakti. Neither dry knowledge, nor blind faith
is desirable in the life of a human being. Shraddha should contain
Gnan, and Gnan should have shraddha. A human being is made by
a union of Manu (deep thought) and his wife, Shraddha (faith).
That is why a combination of faith and knowledge are needed in
our life. A man should not be blinded by faith; nor should
knowledge make him arrogant and dictatorial. A man is called a

man because he maintains this balance. I will not discuss the
virtues of humans. I first wish to draw your attention to the faults
that come into our life.
Once, all the birds organized a conference. The topic of discussion
was how superior they are. We have all the characteristics of
shre`shthataa (superiority) that are given in the Shastras, they
said. We endure the cold, heat and rain. We take shelter in trees.
We forage for our food, and eat fruits, flowers, roots, etc. We do
not cultivate deep personal attachments. We stay naked, like the
avadhoota (Mahatmas who have no possessions). Therefore, we
are the most superior species on earth. We carry on with the age
old traditional method of building nests. We do not invent new
methods and designs.
However, what kind of a being is this manushya? He is a very
dangerous kind of animal. This is why we fly off at the sight of a
human being. Humans catch us, eat us, imprison us, and kill us.
The manushya is not a trustworthy creature. A unanimous decision
was taken at this conference, that they should keep far away from
this terrible species called the manushya.
The animals also held a similar conference, and came to the same
conclusion. The species called the manushya is very clever. They
overpower even the elephant, who is the strongest among us. They
sit astride elephants, and ride on horses. They take elephants and
horses onto the battlefields. They yoke oxen to ploughs and carts,
and load donkeys with all sorts of goods. It is best for us animals to
save ourselves from this clever manushya, as far as possible.
There is no doubt that these stories are imagined, but it is a fact
that birds and animals fear human beings. The question comes up,
as to how a human being can be considered the most superior,
when all other species are afraid of us.
The human factor in the human race the humane qualities in
humans is based on an acid test. Mankind has to establish his
superior qualities by being a manav; being truly superior to birds
and animals. The onus of establishing this rests squarely on human
beings. It is not that we can claim superiority simply because

ancient books say we are superior. Nobody becomes superior on
the strength of a Certificate. He must prove it by living a superior
life, a life that is worthy of a manav. No other species is given this
responsibility. Neither animals nor birds need to establish that they
are the superior species. It is only the human who has this
responsibility. He must show that he is, indeed, the most superior
species on this earth.
The Manusmriti (Manus Code of Righteous Conduct) says that
there are ten points that should not be present in the life of a human
being. The first four are connected with our speech. One is that we
should not talk offensively. We should be soft spoken. Whatever
we say should be spoken with gentleness. Our speech should
contain the sweetness of our heart. Harsh speech should be given
up totally. Manuji has referred to harsh speech as paarushya.
There is a story in the Tapasmala. A Guru was going somewhere,
accompanied by his disciple. He told the disciple to go to the
house, and find out whether the Master of the house was at home.
The disciple did not know how to talk in a cultured way. He went
up the lady of the house and said, Hey, woman! Where is your
spouse? The lady was offended. She sent him off. Then, Guruji
went himself, and said, Mother, where is the respected gentleman,
your husband?
Please come in and be seated, replied the lady. My husband is
out, but he will be back very soon. Thus, the Guru and the disciple
both asked the same thing, but there was a difference in the way of
asking. This is why it is a sin in a humans life, when he speaks
roughly. It lowers the entire human race.
The second point is anritam. Anritam means to say something that
is contrary to our knowledge to tell a lie. There is a similar word
in the English language right. If you do not say what you
know, that is acceptable; but when you say something, let it be in
keeping with what you know to be true. You should not insult your
Gnan. You should not give offence to your knowledge. When we
tell a lie, we do not cheat anyone else; we give offence to our own
Gnan. Our Gnan is displeased, and says, This man is covering us

with a curtain of lies. He is concealing us. What is the use of
staying with him?
The third point to be avoided in our speech is paishunya, meaning,
we should not carry tales. In common parlance this is called
chugli. People gossip about others, creating mischief and
misunderstanding. At our village, we used to call such a person a
lootur. The urban dwellers may never even have heard this word!
Oh, my brother, why do you carry the information of one
household to another? Are you their errand boy, or messenger, or
partner, or advocate? To carry tales of one to another is paishunya.
It is chugli. It comes within the aasuree sampatti the demonic
qualities. It creates ill-will in society. What is the need to try to
publicize somebodys secrets? Why should we spread the news?
The fourth fault in speech is asambaddha (unconnected) pralaapa
(prattle) to go on talking about irrelevant things. Someone asked,
Is there a mango tree here? The other man replied, Look, this is a
neem tree. My brother, he is asking about a mango tree, and you
are showing him a neem tree!
Someone asked, How many sons does that man have? The other
man answers, He has four daughters. This is not the proper way
of talking. What we say should be relevant and to the point. If
someone is talking about a wedding, you shouldnt start talking
about somebodys death. And, if someone is talking about a tragic
death, you shouldnt start talking about a wedding.
This is called asambaddha pralap. Our lives have become filled
with such idle chatter. If someone talks about their son, we
immediately begin to talk about our son. At that point, we should
show an interest in his son. That will give him pleasure.
Therefore, a persons way of talking may have many good points,
but his talk should be free of these four faults. He should not talk
harshly, he should not tell lies, and he should not gossip. He should
talk to the point. These four faults are called the paapa (sins) of
vaani (the power of speech) vaangmayam
syaachchaturvidham. Any person whose talk has these faults

incurs sin. A human being should, therefore, be careful to avoid
Now comes the mention of the three sins of the mind.

Paradravye`shvabhidhyaanam manasaanishthachintanam,
Vitathaabhinive`shashcha trividham karma maanasam.

The first of the mental sins is to think about other peoples wealth.
He has this much money. He is so wealthy. How can I take away
some of his wealth? My brother, why do you think like this? You
should work hard and earn money. Give in charity. Begin trading in
goods. If you think only about the wealth others have, your heart
will begin to burn with envy. Who knows what wrong step you
may take? This is why it is a great sin to give thought to other
peoples wealth. We should keep our mind free of this tendency.
The second mental sin is to think about harming anyone. Forget
that thinking is not a sin. It is a sin to entertain wicked thoughts.
The reason is that when someone makes a mental resolve, it begins
to churn in the mind, creating certain chemicals in the body, and
these impel a person to act according to the thoughts. This is
something to be very watchful about.
It is not proper to think, Oh so what if I had a bad thought about
harming someone? It cropped up on its own. It is not a sin! It may
not be a sin, but it sows a sinful seed in your mind. This seed has
the capacity to sprout and turn into a large tree. It can make you
paapa-paraayana (filled with sinful tendencies). So, never let any
thought of harming anyone enter your mind. It is undoubtedly a sin
to entertain sinful thoughts. We should keep ourselves safe from
such thoughts.
The third mental sin is vitathaabhinive`shashcha. To believe as
the gospel truth, something about which we have no actually
knowledge. What is Satya (the Truth)? Satya is that, which can
never be proved to be false. Satya has only one characteristic
abaadhitatvam satyatvam. Satya is that which can never be

negated. Nobody can obstruct its existence. That is called Satya.
We do not know that Satya, yet we claim to know it!
I will give you an example of something good. It is your faith
your firm conviction that Shri Rama is above everyone. It is a
very good conviction. However, it is wrong to say that Shri
Krishna is inferior. Similarly, to say that Shri Krishna is the
greatest and Shri Rama is inferior or that Shiva is the greatest
and Vishnu is inferior, or the reverse is not proper either. Nor is it
proper to say that the niraakaara (formless Brahman) is greater
than the saakaara (with form) Ishwara.
When you have no personal knowledge about the matter, how can
you declare that it has to be according to your belief? It is wrong to
create an inflexible conviction about the things you have only
heard about.
In the same way, how can it be considered proper to create a
dispute about whether the tilak (auspicious mark on the forehead)
should be vertical or horizontal, and beat up anyone whose opinion
differs from yours? This was once the cause of a quarrel between
two sampradaaya (religious sects) in Vrindavan. They fought so
violently that one person cut off the nose of another. The point of
dispute was how the sandalwood paste should be applied!
So, it is a sin to be so adamant about our beliefs that we disdain the
beliefs of others. People get so immersed in their own convictions
that they insult the faith of others, creating friction and strife. This
is a sin. It is contrary to maanavtaa (humanity).
There are three kinds of physical sins. Those who claim to be
human beings, have a vanity of being the superior species, and take
pride in their humane values, should pay attention to these sins.
They should be careful to save themselves from incurring these

Adattaanaamupaadaanam hinsaa chaivaavidhaanatah,

Paradaaropase`vaa cha shaareeram trividham smritam.

If these three sins come into your life, you may remain in a human
form physically, but the inner world of a human being is disrupted.
Now, give you attention first to the three physical sins. Only what
is yours by right belongs to you. It may be an inheritance from
your forefathers; it may be something you have bought, or received
as a gift. It is possible that you have won it by conquering a
However, to take anything that belongs to another without his
knowledge is a physical sin. Stealing is a sin done by the body. We
remove things by stealth, so that the owner does not realize that it
is stolen. This is called a lobhakrita paapa a sin caused by greed.
Laabhah lobhaat pravartante` when we start getting
something, or some benefit, it increases the tendency of greed in
us. So, it is a greed-induced sin when we take anything that is not
rightfully ours. We must use only that, which we have inherited
rightfully, earned, made, or received as a gift.
The second physical sin is hinsaa chaivaavidhaanatah. It is a
physical sin to do anything that is not in keeping with Dharma or
the law of the land. When our actions are in keeping with the
eternal laws of righteousness, it is called Dharma. Dharma is that,
by which we and our neighbor are uplifted; and no obstacle rises to
block the upliftment. The upliftment for us all should not be only
laukik (worldly) progress; it should also be paaralaukik (pertaining
to the realms after death) and aadhyaatmik (metaphysical;
spiritual) progress.
The jeeva (Atma attached to a body) is shaashvat (eternal,
undying). Nobody can obtain the experience of his own death.
Death is something that is beyond the field of experience. From
time immemorable to the present, and from the present to eternity,
nobody can say, I am dead. The person who says he is dead will
have to be alive to say anything! Only an animate being can
experience anything. This is why death is not something that can
be included in the range of experience.
This is why our Constitution our code of conduct is made from
the viewpoint that the Atma is undying and ageless, and it will

always exist. We must be careful that no dirt, sin, or impurity gets
attached to it. Kalmasha (impurity) is that which destroys even a
good deed. The Shrimad Bhagwat says

Lobhah svalpopi taan hanti shvitro roopamive`psitam.

Just as a single patch of leucoderma spoils the beauty of an

extremely beautiful woman, any kalmash that comes into our
activity is enough to mar the good work being done. A drop of
poison falling into a pot of milk or curds is enough to make the
whole lot poisonous. So, we should examine our life minutely with
great care. Every thought and action must be monitored carefully.
We should make sure that no impurity seeps into our life at any
Violence can be legal or illegal. When the hangman hangs
somebody, he is not punished for the death of the man. In fact, he
is paid a salary to do this job. When a soldier attacks the enemy
with a gun, machine gun, bomb or missile, it is not considered an
offence. He is not considered a criminal. So, the violence that goes
contrary to our Shastras should not be allowed into our life. We
should take great care to ensure that nobody is hurt by the way we
live, or talk, or by the resolves we make, or the praise we bestow.
This is the way to fortify humanity, protect humane values, and
enhance the prestige of mankind.
It is very important to pay attention to four points. One is our
actions. The second is our indulgences. This third is what we take,
and the fourth is our speech. None of these should be the cause of
suffering for any other as far as possible. We should try our best to
avoid causing pain to any. This is embellishing mankind, and it is
essential for protecting the life of humans.
Now, what is the third paapa that comes into a human body? The
first fault I spoke of regarding wealth is caused by greed. The
second fault violence is caused by anger or hatred. We get
convinced about someone having good qualities and someone
having bad ones, without actually knowing the truth. The fact is

that every person has some good qualities and some bad ones.
Even poison has its utility. Snake venom is used for medicinal
purposes. Snakes eat rats, thus protecting our grain. When we are
convinced that a particular person is good or bad, we become
attached to the person we believe to be good, and averse to the
person we believe to be bad. Then we become partial to the person
we like and hard-hearted towards the person we dislike. Our
aversion leads to violence, and violence results in revolt. So, we
should be alert and watchful from the very beginning.
We have to practice restraint from two sides, to guard our humane
values. One is that aversion should not come into our action, and
the other is that the intellect should not justify our prejudice. The
third physical sin is caused by desire or lust.
The first sin stems from greed; the second stems from anger, and
the third from desire. Violence is anger in action. Stealing is greed
in action, and an illicit relationship is desire in action. Na
heedrisham anaave`shyam loke` kinchana vidyate`. There is no
greater factor than an illicit relationship, for causing disease and
death, and reducing the life span. This is an overstepping of the
boundaries of human morality. Birds do not have these moral
restrictions; nor do animals. Neither Devtas (demi-gods) nor
Daityas (Demons) are subject to these morals. This decorum is a
special factor of the human race.
Take the example of the vivaaha (marriage) sanskaara (a ritual that
leaves subtle subconscious superimpositions). Lobha (greed) is a
vikaara (mental distortion). Krodha (anger) and kaama (desire) are
also mental distortions. Kama is inherited from the forefathers. It
was present in the minds of the parents, and the parents of both
parents. There is no method for keeping this vikara within the
limits of decorum in any other species. It is only in the life of a
human being that this method is accepted. The parents, parents-in-
law, and Agni (the sacred fire) are made witnesses in the ritual of
the marriage between a man and his wife. This is called the vivaha

A husband and wife become eligible for doing the Yagya (ritual
fire worship) after the ritual of marriage. In Sanskrit, the word
patni (wife) is made on the basis of being eligible for doing a
Yagya patyuno yagyasanyoge`. The suffix n is added to the
word pati (husband), when she is a companion in a Yagya, or any
Dharmik activity. She is an equal partner in Dharma a
This restricting of a womans relationship to one man, and a mans
relationship to one woman by Dharma, makes a human being the
most superior, restrained, and decorous of all species. This is not
done by animals and birds. These days, people learn mostly from
animals. Drugs are tested first on animals. People believe that if
the drug benefits the animals it will also benefit humans. However,
we see that animals do not maintain relationships like a father and
daughter, or a mother and son. So, a manushya is not a pashu
(animal). He is a human being, and he should have this thought
of not being an animal established firmly in his mind.
It is another matter that human beings knowingly poison their
bodies. A man drinks poison with full awareness. People know that
drinks are intoxicating. A person loses control of himself when he
is intoxicated. He loses his sense of right and wrong. Brothers
quarrel and abuse each other when they are drunk. People vomit all
over themselves, and fall into drains. However, why should we
discuss such people? It is futile to talk about them.
I will say only this and I will say it repeatedly that a manushya
should definitely do what safeguards the humanity in him. One is
the method of enriching humanity, and one is the method of
safeguarding humanity. An Army is needed to protect the Nation,
and there are other that are needed to bring prosperity to the
When you manufacture cloth, or till the field and grow food it
adds to the Nations prosperity and also to National security. The
soldiers who guard our borders also do something of great
importance. People can follow their Dharma properly only when
their safety is secured.

The lapses in the life of a human that are caused by greed, anger
etc, can only be removed by observing decorum. It should be
decorum that is socially acceptable. It should be acceptable to your
jaati. Jaati means the manushya jaati the human species. Jaati is
that, which is recognized by its form. The difference in the form of
men and women is a difference of gender. There is a jaateeyataa
(castism) among people. Animals are also jaateeya. However, the
sampradaaya (religious sects) started by an Acharya (Teacher) do
not have any shaashvat (eternal) vidhaan (Constitution). The
Sanatana (eternal) samvidhaan (Constitution) is that, which is
made from the viewpoint of the Atma, the viewpoint of Bhagwan.
Now, see what maryaadaa (decorum) is. Maryi means that, which
a manushya accepts into his life, is according to Dharma,
according to the dictates of the Ishwara, and from the viewpoint of
the Atma as well as the viewpoint of humanity. A life without
decorum does not remain the life of a human. It can only be the life
of an animal or a bird.
Once, Shri Laxman Narayan Garde spoke about someone, saying,
He is vilakshan. I asked him, What does vilakshan mean?
Vilakshan means a person who has no lakshan (characteristics),
he replied. Similarly, Bhikshu Shankaranandji one said, My
brother, that man is not a human being.
If he is not a human being, what is he? I asked.
You must make your own assessment, whether he is a Daitya or a
Devta, he replied. I do not say that a manushya without decorum
is a Devta or a Daitya but it is certain that he is not a manushya.
So, my brother, a human being has a natural quality of Dharma. I
have enumerated the factors that ruin humanity. These apart, there
are factors that enhance humanity and make it poorna (complete).
All these are present in our lives.
What are all the modern inventions made by man? They are
nothing but miracles of the human intellect. For our enjoyment, we
have dancing, singing, music, and new ways of improving them.
The smiles that brighten our face are a manifestation of Anand.

Inventions are miracles of Gnan, and beautiful works are the
miracles of Satta (existence).
Understand how special you are. In the next four days I will tell
you about the special qualities of human life. Dharma is not
borrowed from anyone else; it abides within us. It has to be
revealed. The sparkle in a diamond is not put into it from outside;
it is within the diamond. It has to be revealed.

Om Shantih Shantih Shantih.

Chapter 2

Svaschhan kinchana chichchamatkritighanam vishvaarpanam

Svachhandam vimrishaami maamahamidantvantadvichitram
Dikkaalaartha-vikaasa-haasa-sushamaa vishvakkramaa
Spandante` sakalaa kalaa avikalam yasminjagadrashmayah.

It is written in the Shrimad Bhagwat that Bhagwan made man in

His own image. A man has the same kind of form as Bhagwan,
with two feet, two arms, ears on either side of His face, two eyes
and a nose in front. It is as though Bhagwan took off His reflection
and made it into the human being. Bhagwans form in Vaikuntha,
Goloka, or Saket is just like ours. Like us, He also walks erect on
two legs, works with His hands, and speaks through His mouth.
There is no difference in the way in which our bodies and
Bhagwans body is made. It is a very important factor that
Bhagwans form is not like the form of any animal; it resembles
only the human form. All of you know that Bhagwan is
sacchidanandaghana (filled with Sat=existence,
Chit=consciousness, Anand=bliss).
Once, man said to Bhagwan, Bhagwan, You made us, but You did
not give us the Gnan about Your special attributes. I dont know
why I have been made in this human form.
No other form has the capacity that a human being has, replied
Bhagwan. You should be aware of your own superior qualities.
You know that no other species uses such a vast range of
fragrances. Only the human has access to such a variety of scents;
this is not available to animals and birds. They cannot manufacture
fragrances the way humans do. Perfumes are created only in the
houses of human beings; not in the homes of any other species.

It is only in a human abode that a fire is lit. No other species lights
a fire and uses it to cook food. Only we, humans, can cook foods
with different flavors and create such a variety of tasty dishes.
Tigers and bears run away from fire. None of the animals or birds
light fires in their homes.
The inventions of the motor car, railways, air planes, and buildings
are only possible for human beings to achieve. No other species
knows how to weave cloth; no other species have fans in their
houses. The art of music with its seven notes and infinite variety
is known only to humans. Only humans can make new
inventions and undertake scientific and chemical experiments.
This is why the people who consider man to be just another
species, and want the social and Dharmik norms to be based on the
way animals live, are absolutely wrong. The human species is
different from all the other species. Bhagwan has given us the
ability to do things that no other species is capable of. The human
being can read the Vedas and the Shastras. A desire for Heaven can
prompt him to do punya (meritorious deeds), and a fear of Hell can
restrain him from sinful acts. A human being can meet the Ishwara,
and know himself to be the Brahman. Brahmaavalokadhishnam
mudanaatmade`vaah only the human is such that he has the
capacity to know that he is one with the Brahman. No other species
has this capacity.
However, the total of our sanchit (accumulated fruits of countless
actions of past lives) is so great that even if Bhagwan wants to
enumerate them, He cant. Bhagwan cannot see the aadi
(beginning) or the anta (end) of our sanchit karmas. If you say that
it is audacious to make such a statement, and ask whether
Bhagwan is agnaani (lacking in Gnan), then I say, No, Bhagwan
is not agnani. He would be agnani had there been any beginning
and end of our karmas. How can Bhagwan know the beginning of
our karmas, when there is no beginning? Not even Bhagwan can
tell us at which point in Time the jeeva was created.
Kaala (Time) does not touch the jeevaatmaa (Atma attached to a
body) then how can Bhagwan know its beginning and end? What

I mean to say is that the countless karmas of the jeeva who has
no beginning and no end come and stand before the jeeva. The
jeeva can never be free of the fruits of his karmas. Bhagwan is
overcome with compassion when He sees the jeevas pitiable
condition. He gives the jeeva a human form so that he can attain
This is why Goswami Tulsidasji says:

Kabahunka kari karunaa nara de`hee,

De`ta eesa binu he`tu sane`hee.

The meaning of this is that the calculation of the karmas does not
give the jeeva the eligibility to get a human form. It is impossible
to say when we will be qualified for this. However, Bhagwan is so
compassionate that He gives us a human form out of turn, even
though we dont merit it. Bhagwan simply puts aside the other
karmas, gathers the good karmas, and favors us by giving us this
human form. That is because He loves us without having any
particular reason.
Look; I have yet to come across a spoon that can compare with the
human hand. With our hand we do the homa (ritual fire worship)
and eat our meals. You may use a spoon when you eat, but spoons
dont have joints like our fingers and palms. No spoon has the
flexibility and dexterity of the human hand. How could you hold a
spoon if your fingers didnt have this flexibility?
You can wear any kind of spectacles, or use binoculars, but what
will you see if you dont have eyes? You see because you have
eyes that look through the spectacles and binoculars. This is the
way Bhagwan has made things. This heart and this brain, this life
that is a part of Sat, this intellect that is a part of Chit, and this
smile that is a part of Anand, and all the methods of increasing our
happiness through new inventions, are an inheritance. Bhagwan
made the human race so that we would have the experience of the
kind of Gnan, life, anand, and guna-Dharma that He has. A human
being is not like an animal or bird, nor like the trees and shrubs, or

the worms and insects. In the wonderful creation of the Lord, His
unimaginable artistry is revealed in the human form.
The human form has such abilities that nothing is impossible for
him. If he wants wealth, he can obtain wealth with it. Or, he can
obtain bhoga (luxuries and indulgences), Dharma, or Moksha
(liberation from rebirth). If he wants to immerse himself in pre`ma
(pure love) for Bhagwan, he can do so. However, when a man
begins to imitate animals, saying that animals live this way, and we
should also live like them and eat like them, he loses the qualities
of a human. A human beings lifestyle should be such that his
special qualities are not destroyed.
I had read in some ancient book, Yogyataavachhinnaa dharminah
shaktire`va dharmah. This answers the question as to what the
Dharma (essential nature) of a manushya is. The definition of
Dharma that is given is that a human being should keep intact
those capacities in life that he has been granted by Bhagwan. For
example, when you plant a seed of a mango tree, it produces
mangoes when it matures. It produces the same kind of mangoes as
the tree it originated from, whether it is a langda, dashari, or hapuj.
The Dharma (innate nature) of the mango tree will be safe only if
this happens; otherwise, its Dharma will be altered. Later on, it will
stop giving fruit. It will become barren.
The Dharma of the eye is to see. The Dharma of the ear is to hear.
The Dharma of the nose is to smell, and the Dharma of the tongue
is to taste. In the same way, the Dharma of the human being is to
protect our senses, heart, intellect, and anand. Bhagwan has sent
you to this earth with certain capabilities. If your actions are
contrary to them, and you lose these capabilities, then you fall
from your Dharma. Your Dharma is despoiled.
Incase you are disinclined to hear about Dharma, I will tell you
something about the Vaisheshik Darshan (philosophy). This
describes the Dharma of objects. The essence of the Dharma of any
object is decided by seeing its saadharmya (the object with the
same qualities)). And, the object is separated by seeing its
vidharmya (what is contrary to its nature). The Dharma of

sankheeya (arsenic) is different; the Dharma of grapes is different,
and the Dharma of kare`laa (a bitter vegetable) is different. They
are used according to their Dharma.
It was in the year 1933 or 34 that the question arose in my mind,
that it is the Dharma of the earth to uphold. It is the Dharma of
water to satisfy. Heat is the Dharma of fire, and light is the Dharma
of the sun. To allow us to breathe is the Dharma of the wind, and
the Dharma of space is to carry sound and make room for all
None of these essences give up their Dharma. They follow their
Dharma continuously and fully. Then why does only the human
being give up his Dharma? How can he give up his Dharma? What
is the dharma-tyaaga (giving up Dharma), or dharma-parivartan
(changing the Dharma)?
The fact is that when the human being begins to imitate animals,
he loses his special attributes and his Dharma. This is his Dharma-
tyaga or Dharma-parivartan. Svayambhuva Manu has told us, You
are my descendents. You are manavs. The wealth of the forefathers
is inherited by the sons. So, be careful about at least ten things.

Dritih kshamaa damoste`yam shauchamindriyanigrahah,

Dheevidyaa satyamakrodho dashakam dharmalakshanam.
(Fortitude, forgiveness, self-restraint, not coveting what belongs to
another, purity, restraint of the senses, proper intellect, dexterity,
truthfulness, and not succumbing to anger, are the ten Dharma of a
human being.)

The first point is that if you ever face any problem or danger, you
should not panic. You are my children, and yet you get so
frightened at the slightest hint of trouble. That is not worthy of my
You see, Manuji has not said this casually. Once, he was doing a
ritual asceticism with his wife Shatrupa, on the banks of the
Sunanda river. Seeing them, the Rakshasas (Demons) ran to devour
them. Manuji showed no fear. He sat unmoving, and began to

chant this mantra of the Ishavasya Upanishad
Eeshaavaasyamidam sarvam (everything is the Ishwara). When
Bhagwan noted with appreciation, that Manuji remained
unflinchingly true to his Dharma, and that the Rakshasas wanted to
kill him, He came at once with His divine discus and protected
Manuji and Shatrupa. Hence, our fear is contrary to Manav
A gentleman went on a long journey. He lost his way in a forest.
Night is falling, he thought. What should I do? Why dont I just
stay here till morning comes, and then go further?
You all know how long time seems to be, when we are in trouble.
That is why it is said:

Dukhitasya nishaa kalpah sukhitasya nishaa kshanam.

Philosophers have dismissed the idea that time is tangible matter.

They have also said that when a man is going through a period of
suffering, the night seems endless. But when he is enjoying himself
with music or festivities, the night passes in a flash. Night
becomes a short span of time for someone who is happy, and it
becomes half a year for someone who is unhappy. Thus, time is a
pulsation of the mind.
Now, when this man sat in the dense forest waiting for the night to
pass, it seemed as though the night would never end. This night is
the night of doom! he thought. I dont know when it will be over.
Every moment passed with painful slowness. He had no watch on
his wrist. At about four in the morning, his fear became
unbearable. He prepared mentally for death. I will hang myself,
he thought, because this night is the night is unending. When his
fear reached its pinnacle, Manuji said, in an aakaasha-vaani (a
celestial voice), My son, have courage. Dont be afraid. The night
has passed. It is the time just before the break of dawn. Hearing
this voice from the heavens, the man gained courage. What a good
thing that night is over! In a few minutes, I will see the first rays of

Thus, a manushyas first Dharma is to maintain his Dharma. Under
no circumstances should he give up his Dharma. In our life, night
comes and day comes; disease comes and good health comes; there
are happy days and sorrowful days. We want to meet someone;
sometimes we meet him, and sometimes we meet people we dont
want to meet. No situation should make us nervous. The vehicle of
our life should be well driven. This is Dharma. The Manusmriti
calls it dhriti. Dhriti means, to hold on, to control. The Gita

Dhrityaa yayaa dhaarayate` manah praane`ndriyakriyaah,

Yoge`naavyabhichaarinyaa dhritih saa paartha saatvikee.

We should always have saatvik dhairya (the courage to uphold

lofty principles). We should never let our chitta (fluctuating mental
inclinations) become agitated. We should not let worries weigh us
down. It often happens that people make us worry unnecessarily.
For example, you get a mild fever, and the doctor scares you by
saying that it can turn into pneumonia unless it is properly treated.
Or, your pulse rate is a little higher, and the doctor says you may
have heart trouble. In such cases, the suffering of the body is
minimal, but the mental suffering caused by these possibilities is
much greater.
So, the dhriti of a human being should be such that he faces every
adverse situation with courage, and controls his breath. That
means, he should not become nervous, or do anything improper.
Neither should his hand do anything improper, nor should his
tongue say something that ought not to be said. Dhriti is to stop the
tongue, hands, feet, and all the other senses from everything that is
not right and proper. It is to uphold the praana (life spirit).
Bhagwan has given the human being the capacity to control his
senses, actions, and even his mind. I have seen that when I give
sweets to little children, they say, No. Then, when their mother
tells them, Take it, my child. It is praasad (sanctified food), they
take it gladly. Children are tempted when they see a nice sweet,

because generally all children are fond of sweets. However, the
well-behaved children are so obedient that they control their urge,
and take the sweet only when their parents give permission. So, we
should also laalaye` chitta baalakam teach this mind of ours,
that is like a child, to not get carried away by little things. Our
breath should not hiss like an angry snake over trifling matters.
Our mind behaves in an insane way. It wants to touch things that
are not to be touched. A brahmachari (avowed celibate) was
staying with me once. I was sitting in the office of Dr. Kakkar, who
was the civil surgeon at the Mathura hospital. The brahmachari
was with me. He picked up a bundle of letters lying on Dr.
Kakkars table, and began to read them. Dr. Kakkar and I looked at
each other silently, wondering at this impertinence. This is an
example at the kind of bad habit, meaningless, or improper speech
and habits of people.
On our way back, I told the brahmachari to buy a couple of
tomatoes. He went to the vegetable shop, and told the man to give
him tomatoes worth twenty five rupees. The man came to me and
said, Swamiji, he is asking for tomatoes worth twenty fine
My brother, I told the brahmachari, why are you buying
tomatoes worth twenty five rupees?
I have twenty five rupees with me, he replied. That is why I
asked for tomatoes worth twenty five rupees. I understood that the
man was mentally unstable.
Thus, when our intellect goes out of our control, we become
incapable of rational thought and behavior. Our mind, methods,
and senses become imbalanced. And, when this happens, you can
take it that we are losing our Dharma.
Therefore, the ability to restrain ourselves must be preserved. You
can run, but dont run in such a way that you cant stop yourself,
and you smash into a tree or a wall. Drive a car, but have the
ability to apply the brake when you want to. This is called dhriti.
The second point mentioned by Manuji regarding the Manav
Dharma is kshamaa (forgiveness). The capacity to forgive is

present in every human being. It is our weakness when someone
else does something wrong, and we begin to wonder what we
should do. We can, if we want, forgive him even if we have the
power to punish him. Kshama is the Dharma of a strong person; a
weak person will lack the ability to forgive anybody.
However, when should forgiveness be given? We sometimes make
wrong use of forgiveness. When is forgiveness misplaced? It is
misplaced when we do something wrong and say, Well, these
things happen. Yet, when someone else makes a mistake, we are
quick to blame and punish. This is overstepping the boundaries of
manushyataa (humanity). Forgiveness is not for our self; it is for
others. When we make a mistake, we should atone for it, or do
penance. We should repent, and ask for forgiveness. We should
make a firm resolve to avoid making mistakes in future. Kshama is
not to be used to condone our own lapses it is to be used when
someone else makes a mistake.
Now, look at the extent of your power for forgiveness. We tend to
ruin something important because of our tendency to give undue
importance to little things. I had read about an incident in the life
of Mahatma Gandhi. Somebody stole his watch at the Sabarmati
Ashram. The thief was caught and brought to him. He smiled at the
thief. Then he told the man who had brought him, Look, my
brother, this man needs a watch very badly. He needs it so badly
that he is even prepared to steal. I have very little need for a watch.
I had merrily left it here and gone out; and this man picked it up.
Give the watch to him, but dont say anything to him. As per his
wishes, the watch was given back to the man who had stolen it. I
want you to take a look at Mahatma Gandhis heart. This was not
encouraging stealing; this was melting the heart of a thief.
If you begin to inflict punishments, you will find that the one who
should be punished the most is yourself, because you know about
all your wrong actions and tendencies. You will find that your wife,
children, and others are less guilty of making mistakes than you.
Then, who all will you punish? You can spend your whole life
punishing people, but there will be no end to mistakes. It is the job

of the authorities to punish let them do their job. Why do you
sully your heart by worrying about the punishment others deserve?
Once, I was traveling by car to some place, from Vrindavan. I was
with Mataji (the matriarch of the J.K. family). The driver of the car
made some mistake that made Mataji very angry. Her eyes turned
red with rage. She began to think about what punishment she
should impose on the driver.
Think later about punishing the driver, I said gently. At present,
your eyes have turned red, your brow is furrowed, your lips are
trembling, and your heart is burning. It was the driver who made a
mistake, but it is you who is suffering. At this moment, you are
being punished. So, compose yourself first. Calm down, and then
decide how the driver should be punished. After we reached our
destination, the driver came and bowed down to me. Swamiji, he
said, I heard everything. You are very compassionate. Mataji has
forgiven me.
When we set fire to our own heart, and set out to rebuke others, it
may or may not have any effect on them; it first affects our own
heart. So, a human being should be forgiving. Animals do not have
the capacity to forgive. If a dog gets angry, he bites. If a bull gets
angry, he attacks with his horns. If a tiger gets angry, he eats up the
person. An animal does forget, but that is different from forgiving.
The art of forgiveness is known only to humans.
If you lack the ability to forgive your mother, wife, son, or
husband, you are not fit to run a household. The ability you have,
to manage a joint family and live in harmony, will be lost unless
you are able to forgive. Shri Hanumanji told Jankiji, Mother, these
demonesses have harassed you greatly. If you permit, I will
trample them, lacerate them with my nails, and tear out their hair!
What are you saying, Hanuman? asked Jankiji. Will this enhance
Shri Ramachandras prestige? People will say that Shri
Ramachandras servant, and Jankis servant, did such a shameful
Therefore, my brother, when we do anything, it should be done
only after giving due consideration to our family, our own image,

capacity, and the role given to us. Why do you get tense and
nervous? Forgive others, and the Ishwara will forgive you. If you
cannot forgive others, how will you be in a position to ask
forgiveness from the Ishwara? I have seen many examples of
forgiveness in my life, in the lives of others, and in the lives of
Saints and Mahatmas. Keep one thing in mind your life as a
human, is superior to everything in this world.
So, be forgiving. If a plate breaks, let it break. If the bed is not
made properly, get it made again; get it cleaned. However, dont
consider the servant who does the work to be inferior. He has this
capacity that the Ishwara can manifest in him. If you dont forgive
one in whom the Ishwara abides, and can manifest, how can
anyone know that this is your mind, this is your tongue, and this is
your hand? If your mind, tongue and hand are not under your
control, and you cannot keep calm at the right time, how will
anyone know that you exist?
Somebody was giving abuses to Mahatma Buddha. He told the
man, I do not accept your abuses, and walked away. I have seen
one Mahatma being criticized to his face. The Mahatma listened
attentively, going closer to hear more clearly. When the man
completed his tirade, the Mahatma said, I was waiting to hear
about some new fault of mine. I will try to get rid of the faults that
you have spoken about. I have all these faults, and I am aware of
them. I try to get rid of them. However, you have not spoken of
any fault of which I was not aware. So, please continue, so that I
can be more alert about my faults.
Do you know what it means, to justify faults? It is an amazing
psychology. We are not aware of the fault until some incident
occurs to expose it. After doing something wrong, we begin to use
our intellect. What reason can I give for my wrong action? If you
are alert and attentive, you will see that we find a reason for the
wrongdoing after having done it. This is to hold a brief; it is a
lawyers job. It is not the job of a Judge.
Very well; what is the meaning of justifying a fault? It is to give a
reason for the mistake we have made, and to prove that the offence

was justified. However, if there is a reason for making a mistake,
how is it a mistake? What you are actually saying is that you have
done nothing wrong. Therefore, the ruling of our Shastras is that
we should be honest in accepting our faults, and be vigilant about
not making mistakes in future.
Now, according to what Manuji has said, the third Manav Dharma
is dama. Regarding this, it has been said that there are many people
who are ready to incite us, but very few genuine well-wishers. I
remember an incident of my childhood. I was walking with my
grandfather, without looking at the path. I stumbled and fell. Oh,
did you get hurt? he asked. He did not rebuke me by saying, Why
dont you look where youre going?
Please note of this point. It is very easy to point out someones
mistake, but it is not so easy to express sympathy for him. After all,
the person who makes a mistake will have realized that he made a
mistake. He will regret it. So, be careful about whether you are
easing his sorrow by offering sympathy, or adding to his sorrow by
using sharp words. If you think about this, you will find something
else in yourself.
A human beings Dharma is extraordinary. All of us want that
nothing should happen to annoy us, and that nobody irritates us.
Enemies are not the only ones to cause agitation in us. When
someone places a tasty dish before us, it excites our palate. When
people begin to lavish praise on us, it excites our ears, and when
they come to show off their beauty, they excite our eyes. These are
things that excite and incite our senses. When we add different
spices to flavor our food, it arouses the taste buds just as oil poured
into a lamp that is about to go out makes the flame bright again. It
is at such times that we find out about a persons Dharma.
About sixty years ago, my village came under the district of
Gajipur. I would go to Gajipur occasionally with my grandfather. A
court case was going on at the High Court, where Thakur
Prasiddha Narayan Singh was to give evidence. He was a highly
intelligent and extremely learned man. He had written over a score
of books. He also had considerable knowledge about the law. At

that time he was the most learned man in the district. When the
opposition lawyer placed a question, he would first understand the
implications and then reply accordingly.
Ultimately, the lawyer snapped, Do you understand anything, or
are you replying without understanding my questions? He used
this trick to rouse Thakur Prasiddha Narayan Singh. Hearing this,
Thakur Sahib burst out angrily, I can teach you law for ten years
more! In the heat of the moment, Thakur Prasiddha Narayan Sigh
praised himself, and his testimony ended there. The lawyer said to
the Judge, I ask for these words to be noted. There is nothing more
I have to say. My cross examination is over. This is how worldly
people want to excite you. If you get caught in their trap, you are
I had a friend who kept telling people, I have torn up my M.A.
Certificate, and thrown it into the Gangaji. He would also say, I
am a great tyaagi (full of renunciation), and a pre`mi (filled with
pure love) bhakta. One day, I had a mischievous impulse. I said, in
an offhand manner, The poor chap would have scraped through
his M.A. somehow. So what if he threw the Certificate into the
Gangaji? Hearing this, he lost his temper. I can teach you for ten
years more! he said. At this, Shri Laxman Narayanji Garde told
him, My brother, why are you losing your temper? You have not
thrown your Certificate into the Gangaji. You have hidden it in
your heart.
What I mean to say is that I roused him, gave him cause to get
angry, and his vanity was exposed. Dama is to be used on such
occasions. What is the meaning of dama? The meaning is that we
should not get carried away by anger even when there is cause for
Maanavtaa (humanity) becomes clear in the ten Dharmas Manuji
has ordained for a manushya (human being). This is a method for
strengthening human values. A human being should have courage,
and not get nervous. He should forgive others as we forgive
ourselves. He should think about removing the faults, and convince
the wrongdoer lovingly, to avoid doing anything wrong in future. A

human should explain things to the offender, the way he would to
his son or daughter. And, a human being should not lose his self
control, no matter how others excite or incite him.
Brahmaji spoke the syllable da-da-da three times. He asked the
Devtas, What did you understand? The Devtas replied, You told
us, damtyata. We should do daman; practice restraint.
Brahmaji asked the Daityas (sons of Diti, a clan of Demons),
What did you understand? The Daityas replied, We understood
that you are telling us dayadhvam do dayaa, be
Brahmaji asked the Manushyas, What did you understand? We
understood that you are telling us datta do daan, give in charity.
The letter da was the same, but the meanings became different.
Thus, dont allow any guna-dharma (the Dharma of the three
gunas or tendencies that fluctuate and make us lowly, lofty, or
filled with desires). Maintain only the sadguna (the lofty
tendencies) through which human values are strengthened. This is
manavta, and this is Manav Dharma.
I will tell you more tomorrow.

Om Shantih Shantih Shantih.

Chapter 3.

Vishvam darpanadrishyamaananagareetulyam nijaantaragatam
pashyannaatmani maayayaa bihirivodbhootam yathaa nidrayaa,
Yah saakshaatkurute` prabodhasamaye`
svaatmaaname`vaadvayam tasmai shreegurumurtaye` nama idam

The effort for purifying external objects is called shrama, and the
effort to purify the heart is called Dharma. Shrama is when you
want to manufacture or alter any external object, and Dharma is
when you work to make your heart pure.
Knowledge about external objects is called vignaana, and the
knowledge about the essence that is within us is called Tattvagnan.
You must keep in mind that everything created by Nature protects
its natural Dharma (the innate nature of the object). If you mix
anything that has a smell with the earth, it will absorb and digest
the smell. If you mix anything dirty with water, the water will
absorb and digest it. Similarly, fire and the wind will also digest
the unclean things they touch.
In other words, space absorbs the sound, the wind absorbs the
touch, fire absorbs the form, water absorbs the flavor, and earth
absorbs the smell. Because of this, their essence is not subject to
any paapa-punya (sin-spiritual merit). In the earth, water, fire,
wind, and space, there is no I, and no mine. There is no
kartrittva (the subtle ego being the one who does the action) and
no bhoktrittva (the subtle ago of being the one who has the
experience). This is why they are free from paapa-punya. Trees and
shrubs, insects and worms, animals and birds do not get paapa-
punya, because they are established in their innate nature.

Maanushe`shu mahaaraaja dharmaadharmau pravartitau.

The divisions of Dharma and adhrama (that, which is contrary to

Dharma) is only for the human race. When a human being does
something that is contrary to his satsvaroopa (his essence, that is

Sat=existence), that asat karma (an action that is contrary to the
Satya) becomes adharma. When he does something that is contrary
to his chitsvaroopa gnaana (the Gnan that is the essence of the
Chit=consciousness in him), his tendency becomes adharmik. And,
when he hurts someone for his own pleasure, he becomes paapa-
paraayana (inclined towards sinful acts). Therefore, only a human
being with an intellect is attached to Dharma-adharma, or paaya-
punya. A person who is mentally unbalanced does not incur sin.
Nor does a little child. Only a person who knowingly does
something wrong gets paapa. This means that Dharma and
adharma are not inherent in any object or action; they are in the
intellect of the doer of the action, and in the desires we have. So, a
human being should be very careful about what he does, and why.
Dharma also has a social utility. You may be working to earn
money, or you may be doing business. Whatever work you do, you
must have the virtue of being trustworthy and dependable. If a
woman is Dharmik, her father, husband, brother, and son will all
trust her. So will the neighbors and relatives. If a man is Dharmik,
everyone who deals with him will trust him. They will believe
what he says. They will say, This man will not lie. He cannot
cheat, deceive or betray anyone. Thus, even from the worldly
viewpoint, it is very beneficial to be Dharmik.
It is only when your social image is that of being a trustworthy
person with integrity, that people will be able to trust you
unhesitatingly. People are afraid to trust even their wives or
husbands, if they doubt the integrity of their spouse. They hesitate
to trust their son, and even their parents, if they doubt their
truthfulness. To achieve anything in society, it is vital to be known
as a person people can trust.
The quality of being trustworthy comes from Dharma. Your
Dharma will not allow you to get scattered even in the matter of
conjugal relationships. It will protect you in society. Restraint is
the essence of Dharma in life. You must restrain yourself from
going to the wrong places, doing anything wrong, taking anything
you shouldnt, eating anything that is forbidden or harmful,

indulging in anything improper, and saying what should not be
said. Dharma means the power of dhaarana (to control an impulse,
or to hold on to what is right). The Dharma that is described by the
Shastras is believed to be the cause of advancement and benefits.
Firstly, you will progress to lofty realms after death. Secondly, you
will remain free of worldly bondages. When people realize that
you will never do anything that is against your Dharma, they will
stop trying to tie you down to lowly actions or indulgences. Nor
will you fall into the trap of the temptations they offer.
An acquaintance of mine had vowed to never speak an untruth.
The result of this was that every person in the village was
convinced when he said something. They knew that he would
always keep him word, and say what was true.
A lawyer had the same reputation. He would not accept the brief of
any prospective client unless he was convinced of the innocence of
the client. If he accepted a case, and later on found out that his
client was not innocent, he would give up the case half way. As a
result, no crooked person asked for his services, Even the Judges
had faith in his integrity, and judged his cases accordingly. Thus,
people at all levels of society have faith in a dharmaatmaa (a
person who adheres to Dharma), and he attains great abhyudaya
What is the meaning of abhyuday? Just as the sun rises at dawn,
and continues to rise higher, when Dharma comes into the life of a
person, he rises in every way. His life is enhanced.
Now, listen to some more things about Dharma. I had told you that
no matter how adverse the circumstances may be, you should
never lose courage. You should never take a hasty, ill-considered
decision out of fear. This is Dharma, and this holding on to courage
is called dhriti. For example, you may be doing some business
and you suddenly face a heavy loss. If you panic and take some
hasty step, you will only increase your losses. So, bear the loss
with fortitude, and proceed wisely. This is Dharma. This is dhriti.
What should you do if a person does something that is wrong? We
all do things that are wrong. Who is there, who has never been

guilty of some offence? What do you do about your own offences
and lapses? You should have the habit of tolerating the mistakes of
others, the way you tolerate your own. You should not get carried
away by people who incite you. If you protect what belongs to
others, others will protect what belongs to you. Dharmo rakshati
rakshitah. And, if you wish to take away what belongs to another,
others will take away what belongs to you. I have spoken about
this before.
Now I will tell you something about pavitrataa (purity). Regarding
purity, the Shastras say that if a person is absolutely pure, and a
thunderbolt is to fall on him, not even that can harm even a hair of
his head. In Sanskrit, the word pavitra (pure) has one more
meaning. The word pavitra comes from the root patri. The
grammatical analysis is, vajraat traayate` iti pavitrah. That,
which protects a person from even a thunderbolt, is called
pavitra. Even a thunderbolt cannot harm a person who is
absolutely pure.
What is purity? Please apply your mind to this. We get up early in
the morning. This is the rule of our routine in Dharma. At that
time, we should go to the toilet if we have a need to do so;
otherwise we should sit quietly and utilize the brahmamuhoorta
(the time just prior to sunrise). We should get up before the sun
rises, and think about that, which is pure.
All our desires are quieted when we sleep; they enter our lives
gradually when we wake up. The Brahmamuhurta is a time when
we are awake, but worldly desires have not yet arisen in us. If, at
this time, you give thought to the essence of your Atma, the Satya
(ultimate Truth), then it will be like recharging your batteries for
the day. As soon as you develop a relationship with the Paramatma,
His power manifests in your heart.
If you feel that your body has some impurity, take a bath.
However, rather than give your attention to routine, it is more
important to meditate on the Paramatma. There is no better object
of meditation for purifying your thoughts and life. If you
remember the Paramatma at this time, for even a couple of

minutes, you will obtain a tremendous source of power for the
whole day; for your entire life.
If you have the feeling that the body is dirty, you can meditate this
way: Shivaji is in your head. The Gangaji flows from his matted
locks, purifying your whole life. Below your moolaadhaara
charka (the lowest of the six centers of energy, situated at the base
of the spine) there is a fountain of shakti (power), Gnan, and
purity. One stream rises up and reaches the Brahmarandhra (the
center of energy at the crown of the head), purifying the body as it
rises. The lotus-feet of your Sadguru (true Guru) are entering your
Brahmarandhra. The Gangaji that flows from the locks of
Shankarji who is seated in your head is purifying your body;
has originated from the feet of Vishnu Bhagwan.
If you cant meditate this way, imagine that you are walking along
the bank of the Gangaji. Go towards Gangotri and Badrinath.
Bathe in these pilgrim places. This will bring purity into your life.
You people spend a lot of time thinking about worldly matters.
What is the harm if you spend five minutes to keep your mind
clean and healthy? It can do no harm; it can only bring benefits.
We should definitely get up before sunrise. The sun gives us light.
If we do not show respect to the one who gives us illumination, we
will not be able to show respect to even the one who gives us
Gnan. We must have gratitude for the sun that gives light to our
eyes, and enables us to see everything in the world. Otherwise,
how will we feel gratitude towards the person who gives us Gnan?
The meaning of getting up before sunrise and doing poojaa (ritual
worship) is to show respect.
It is our tradition to welcome and respect a guest by washing his
feet and hands. This is called paadya-arghya. Offering him water
for rinsing his mouth is called aachamaneeya. We should arrange
for his bath and offer fresh clothes. It is customary to light incense
to make his room fragrant. All these are tokens of the elements.
The fragrance is offering the essence of the earth. We offer water.
Offering beautiful objects is offering te`ja the essence of light.
By offering things that are soothing to the spirit, we offer the

essence of the wind. We offer the essence of the wind when we fan
someone. Saying words of praise, or playing music, is offering the
essence of space. And, showing respect is offering the mind.
Puja is not something offered to the unknown. It means an action
of giving a respectful welcome. It is the duty of a human being. We
should also show respect to our body. In the Niti Shastra (the
Shastra of ethical behavior), there is a shloka

Kuchailinam dantamalopadhaarinam,
Vavhaashinam nishthurabhaashinam cha.

What if someone wears dirty clothes, doesnt clean his mouth and
teeth, eats huge quantities of food, speaks harshly, and sleeps at
sunrise and sunset? It is said that if even Vishnu Bhagwan lives
this way, Laxmiji will leave Him. In todays parlance, she will
divorce Vishnu Bhagwan if He keeps Himself dirty, and His mouth
smells, and He becomes indolent. So, it is a part of puja and
Dharma to get the affection and goodwill of people. This includes
the puja of others as well as of ourselves.
Now take a look at what you eat. This is about the food of a human
being; not of animals. If a human being does not behave
intelligently, what difference will there be between a man and an
animal? So, you should be careful about what you choose to eat.
This is also a part of the Manav Dharma. The Upanishads say

Aahaarashuddhau sattvashuddhih sattvashuddhau dhruvaa

(Pure food makes us pure; when we are pure, our memory of what
is right and good becomes pure.)

The seventeenth chapter of the Gita contains some references to

food. It tells us what kind of food we should eat. The opinion of
Shri Ramanuja Acharya is that the food we eat should be so pure
that our mind becomes limpid after we have eaten. We should

avoid eating foods that cause indolence, and we go to sleep after
eating. Nor should we eat foods that excite the emotions.
The Shrimad Bhagwat has said three things about our food.
Pathyam pootam anaayaasam. The meaning of this is that the
food should be pathya beneficial. It should be naturally pure, and
it should be quick and easy to cook.
This is very easy to follow if you are careful about one thing. If
you have the puja of Thakurji (an image of the Lord) in your home,
you should see if the food you plan to eat is suitable to be offered
to Thakurji or not.
Even if you dont place the food before Thakurji, dont put a Tulsi
leaf on it, and dont circle the food with a little water in the palm of
your hand, just think of whether you can offer Thakurji what you
are about to eat. There is no difficulty in doing this. Bhagwan sits
in the stomach of all beings, and eats what we consume. Not only
does He eat the food, He also digests it. He has, Himself, stated in
the Gita

Aham vaishvaanaro bhootvaa praaninaam de`hamaashritah,

Praanaapaanasamaayuktah pachaamyannam chaturvidham.
(I abide in all beings as the praana [life spirit] that mingles with
apaana [one of the five winds in the body] and the fire called
Vaishvanara. It is I who digests the four kinds of food.)

Therefore, the food you are about to eat is what you are about to
make Bhagwan eat. It is what you are about to put into the fire of
the Vaishvanara that is like an offering in a ritual fire of worship.
The food you eat will become the offering, and become Dharma.
There is no difficulty in understanding this.
Another factor to remember is that the vessel that is used for
cooking should also be pure. Even the person who cooks the food
should be clean, pure, and happy. If the person who does the
cooking is unhappy because he has not be paid his salary, or the
housewife is depressed, or the cow weeps as she is milked, then the
food or milk cannot give satisfaction to anyone.

Another factor that must not be overlooked is that of the
ingredients that are added to the food or drink. There was an
incident that is not really worth narrating, but I will narrate it to
illustrate this point. A Mahatma went from Vraja to Karachi. This
was before Pakistan was formed. He drew his own water from a
well, and cleaned the utensils himself with some sour substance
like tamarind. He would carefully clean the rice, dal, flour ad
vegetables before cooking them. He passed away just a couple of
years ago. He was very learned.
When he went to Karachi, a gentleman gave him some powdered
seasoning. Swamiji, if you add this powder to your dal, it will
become very tasty, he said. Mahatmaji spent about two months at
Karachi. He would add a little of the powder to his dal every day,
because it did, indeed, enhance the flavor of the dal. When he
prepared to leave for Vrindavan, he told the man, My brother, tell
me what spices you put into the powder. I will make it when I
return to Vrindavan, and add it to my dal.
Maharaj, there is nothing else in it; it is only dried and powdered
fish, replied the man. The Mahatma was stunned to hear this!
Never, in his life, had he eaten fish. He did not know the taste or
smell of fish. So, he never realized what he was eating. Thus, we
should be very careful about the ingredients that are used to season
our food.
There is another factor, and this is the most important. The
digestive system of the human beings is not as strong as the
digestive system of animals. We humans cannot digest the things
that an elephant, horse, cow, or pig can. Our system is not such as
to be able to digest any cooked and uncooked items. This is why
humans have to cook some of the items we eat. Actually, sunlight
ripens some foods, water ripens the items that grow in water, and
the wind also ripens some of the items we eat. When ripe or
cooked food goes into the stomach, the nutrition in it becomes a
juice an enzyme. This is why cooked food is suitable for us. It
may be cooked by fire, or ripened by the sun, water, or wind. The
human being is the only species that cooks its food.

Now, the most important factor of all is that we should see whether
the food we eat is rightfully ours. Our Shastras say:

Yorthe`shuchih sa shuchih syaanna mridvaari shuchih shuchih.


Sarve`shame`va shauchaanaamarthashaucham param smritam.

Repeated washing with earth and water does not purify everything,
but when a person eats food that is rightfully his, his life becomes
pure. So, it is necessary to make sure that what we eat is pure in
every way. Our sanskriti (traditional culture) is not bhoga-
pradhaana (when enjoyment is considered the most important
factor) or artha-pradhaan (when wealth is considered the most
important factor). We do not believe that wealth is the be-all and
end-all in life.
I have seen Sadhus, as well as Grihasthas (householders), who
have nothing. They are not insane they are in their full senses and
are very intelligent people and their lives are serene and happy.
The state of their mind is so tranquil and limpid that any person
who meets them also feels happy and at peace. When they put their
hand on someones head, or look at him, the person gets prasaada
(Grace, or blessings). So, money is not everything. A pure and
tranquil mind is of great value in life. Our mind should always be
happy and at peace.
Look; if someone takes away a coin from your wallet, you wont
like it. But, if you willingly gift two hundred thousand to someone,
your heart will become limpid. Had happiness abided in money,
your giving away two hundred thousand would have caused regret
and laments. When you give willingly, you feel happy. Purity is
needed if you want to lead a life of happiness.
Shankaracharya Bhagwan has elaborated at length about the effects
of our intake. Shri Ramanuja Acharya has mentioned only four
factors the purity of the place, vessel, food, and the cook; and

that the food should rightfully be ours to eat. Shri Shankaracharya,
however, has said that our intake is not limited to the food we eat.
Our ears, eyes, nose, and skin and even our mind contribute to
our intake. He says

Aahaaryante` iti aahaarah.

Aahaara (food or intake) is what we take in from outside. The

intake of our ears has a strong influence on us. When you hear
something detrimental about someone, you wonder whether it is
true. Thus, as soon as you hear anything bad about anyone, a doubt
is raised in your mind. What you heard put an element of suspicion
into your mind. Do you know what happens when doubts and
suspicions enter the mind?
The Gita says, Naayam loko na tu paro na sukham
sanshayaatmanah. When doubt comes into the mind, it results in
the loka-paraloka (this world and the realms after death), sukha-
dukha (happiness and sorrow), etc all being destroyed.
Sanshayaatmaa vinashyati. When somebody tells you something
negative about another person, you may not believe him, but he
certainly sows a seed of doubt in your mind. Even if you dismiss
the doubt, the person certainly brought a disgust or dislike for the
person he criticized. If disgust rose in your mind regardless of
what the person is like then, disgust gets a place in your mind.
Listening to something that caused disgust filled your mind with
the mucous of disgust. It sullied your mind. And, in case it resulted
in hatred, then your heart will start burning with the fire of hatred.
The intake of your ears caused your mind to be filled with
suspicion, disgust, and aversion. So, be vigilant! Just as you are
careful about the food you eat, be careful about what you hear.
Shri Shankaracharya has also told us to be careful about what we
touch. Dont touch anything that excites the senses. You dont
touch a live wire, because you know that you will get a shock if
you do. Similarly, you should not touch anything that gives rise to
desire, anger, or greed. We should always guard ourselves from

these. Touching something is an intake of the skin. The skin
absorbs the wind and warmth. When you walk, or sit in the sun, the
rays of the sun enter your body. They are food that is absorbed by
the skin. When you sit in a place where a pure breeze blows, the
breeze touches your skin and becomes a pure food that refreshes
you. So, stay in a place where even your skin gets pure food. This
is Dharma.
Please note what it is that you see with your eyes. Does the object
you look at arouse greed in your mind? Dont you think, I should
have this kind of furniture, or, I should have a house like that?
What you saw remained outside, but greed was awoken within.
Then you apply your mind as to how you can procure these. Next
comes the effort to procure them. The things that you saw turned
you into a beggar. Through your eyes you imbued something that
created in you a feeling that you lacked something.
In the same way, some of the things that your nose absorbs also
sully your mind. Hence, the meaning of intake is not limited to
what you ingest through your mouth. Everything that is absorbed
by our senses is also our intake, our food.
Carelessness in maintaining purity will result in great harm for
you. I know that you are very careful about the quantity of food
you eat, about the places you go to, and about how you live. You
are very careful about guarding yourself from disease, so that you
remain healthy.
But, how alert are you regarding your antahkaran? External objects
may or may not always be with you, but your mind is absolutely
attached to you. It is always with you. If your mind is troubled
with sorrow, ignorance, or anguish, not all the luxuries and worldly
indulgences will make you happy.
The art of being happy is something different. It is in no way
affected, whether you eat dry rotis or buttered rotis. Your heart
should not be dry. To keep the heart satisfied to keep it saturated
with compassion you must have kindness. Your heart must melt
and soften. Unless your heart melts, you cannot be kind and

helpful to those who are suffering. You should not let your mind
think about anything that hardens your heart.
Therefore, the thoughts that linger in your mind should be such
that your mind becomes limpid; and this will create an atmosphere
of purity.
Very few people are aware of the fact that our thoughts create an
aura that surrounds us. The aura of some people is large, and some
people have a small aura; but a subtle sphere composed of our
thoughts and feelings is created round every person. Just as we can
see effulgence all round the sun, the subtle vibrations created by
our thoughts surround us all.
If our aura is one of pure thoughts and benevolence, then the
people who come into the sphere of our thoughts will also be filled
with pure thoughts. Therefore, the purity of our mind benefits not
only ourselves, it also benefits all society; the whole world. So, be
careful that your mental intake is free of disgust, aversion, and
indolence. The methods for keeping our heart pure are what we
call Dharma. The actual essence of Dharma is to keep out heart
unsullied. In defining Dharma, our Acharya has said
Yatobhyudayanihshre`yasasiddhih sa dharmah.
That, which helps us to rise higher, progress, and flourish; and
which frees us from worldly bonds, is called Dharma.
Thus, our Acharyas have described the methods which help us to
live according to the injunctions of Dharma. Jemini has explained
how Dharma comes into our life. Chodanaa lakshanorthah
dharmah Dharma is when our behavior is in keeping with the
laws of Dharma, so that the purpose of our life is achieved.
Dharma does not come at our whim. When we follow our
inclinations, it harms us in both ways. It increases our vanity if we
succeed, and it makes us depressed if we fail. If we succeed, we
think, I made a resolve, thought out everything in depth, and I was
successful in my endeavor. This makes us proud.
But what if we fail to achieve success? We become depressed! So,
to save ourselves from both depression, and vanity, we should obey

the commands we are given by the Shastras or by our Guru or
What is anushaasana (obeying the rules)? According to our
tradition, the Acharya teaches the Vedas to his students. When the
teaching is completed, he tells the students, Maatride`vo bhava,
pitride`vo bhava, aachaaryade`vo bhava, svaadhyaayaan maa
pramadah. That means, respect you Mother, Father, and Teacher.
Never be indolent in your studies. All this is anushasan.
That means that when a person acts according to his own
inclination, he becomes vain when he gets success, and depressed
when he gets failure. However, when we do as commanded by the
Shastras, we have the satisfaction of knowing that we have done
our duty. The focus is not on success or failure the focus is on the
fact that we have been obedient and did what we were commanded
to do. Whether we succeed or fail, this satisfaction will remain
with us. This Prasad is obtained only by following the commands
of the Shastras.
The meaning of Dharma is the fulfillment of desires, as well as
becoming free of desires. The Vedic mantras are used to obtain
what we desire. The chanting of many of the sookta (invocations)
of the Rig Veda can be used for the fulfillment of many different
desires. Just two or three days back, a Punditji had brought the
Shri Vidyarnav to me. It has a list of the names of the suktas
given in all four Vedas. It tells us which desire can be fulfilled by
which sukta. This is recommended even in the Shrauta Sukta. It
gives the different methods of doing japa (ritual chanting) of the
Gayatri Mantra to obtain different benefits. If we do japa without
any particular desire, our antahkaran is purified; it becomes
nishkaama (free of desires).
However, nishkaamataa (the state of being free of desires) is
something that must be understood. People have some business;
they have a shop. They are dishonest in their dealings. They say, I
do business with a nishkaama bhaava (a feeling of being free of
desires). Tell me, how can a man cheat anyone without desire?

Many couples say, We live together with a nishkama bhava, and
have a row of children. Where is the nishkamata in this?
It is a fact that desire is present in our life. We should be honest in
accepting that we have desires. We should use the methods
prescribed by the Shastras for their fulfillment. When we undertake
some ritual at whim, our senses lack restraint, and the mind is not
kept pure. Then how can we succeed?
Look; I have been telling you repeatedly that these things apply
only to us, the human beings. They are not meant for animals or
any other species. Only a human being can follow these
injunctions. The human is the most elevated creature in the
Kingdom of Nature. Whoever was created by Nature continued to
evolve. Trees and shrubs take food from below and grow upwards.
Animals and birds take food from the front and grow lengthwise.
Humans eat from the top and grow downwards. This means that
Nature does not have the capacity to raise any species higher than
the human. The manushya has reached a position where he can, if
he wants, go beyond Natures Kingdom. He can be liberated. So,
humans are no ordinary beings. It is not an easy thing to be a
human. As a human being, you have the capacity to rule over
Nature, if you so desire.
A gentleman came to me one day. He had had some mystical
experiences. Swamiji, he said, what should I do? You know
about my various supernatural experiences. You know about the
miracles in my life. However, my own children dont believe in
these things.
My brother, I replied, if the children dont believe, let them not
believe. But your faith should not waver. Nature is not affected by
peoples disbelief.
What all am I to tell you? I have had the darshan (see with
reverence) of Mahatmas who could control the laws of Nature.
They had power over fire, the wind, clouds, and rain, etc. If you
dont want to believe these things, dont believe them. Dont ask
me about them later on. However, I will say this when the power

of Dharma comes into someones life, he can control the whole
world. Dharma has this capacity; it has this power.

Maa no dharmo hatovadheet.

But, if we destroy Dharma, Dharma will destroy us; and if we let

go of Dharma, Dharma will let go of us. If there is no Dharma in
our life, there will be no morality, no decency. There will be no
idealism, and neither will true anand be present in our life. All that
will remain is an aimless wandering, without any ethical guidance,
worries and laments. We will be filled with regrets for the past and
fear for the future.
That is why Dharma is needed to make our life as a human a
successful life. Dharma should be present in our Gnan, karma, and

Om Shantih Shantih Shantih

Chapter 4

Maayaa chaayaa varaakee kathamiva labhataam mayyanante`
pratishthaa masthaane` che`shvaratvam druhinahariharaa hanta
vanhe`h sfulingaah,
Advaite` dvaitakhe`laa gagananalinavat svapnavajjeevame`laa
shreepoornanandavaanee shrutishikharasudhaa svarnadee nah

In Dharma, the first point is that Dharma should not depend upon
the whim of any individual or group of individuals. That, which we
impulsively accept as Dharma, disdaining the strictures of the
Shastras and the injunctions of the Guru, is something that
increases our vanity, and leads us astray. Vanity pushes us towards
a road that is full of dangers. Dharma done whimsically inflates
our ego when we get success, and leaves us depressed when we get
failure. Anushaasana (orders or rules) are essential in Dharma. The
anushasana may be of the Shastras, the Sadguru, our parents, or
elders who are genuine well-wishers. If we consult our elders
before undertaking any enterprise, we do not get dejected if we
make a mistake; and we dont become proud if we succeed.
The second point is to see, who is our support? When we do
Dharma with faith in the Ishwara, depending on His Grace to
bestowing success, our ability to carry on will be maintained. Our
capacity for work will not wane. But, if we embark on any venture
depending only on our own powers without the blessings and
moral support of any elders then doubts will begin to rise
regarding our attaining success and getting the fruits of our labor.
The main driving force in us will disappear. So, along with
anushasan, it is necessary to take the refuge of the Ishwara, in the
Dharma we undertake.
The third point is that we must not allow our desires to cross the
boundaries of Dharma. Suppose you expect to make a profit of a
billion rupees, but you make a profit of one million instead. You
will not feel happy. Your desire for a profit of one million will
make it appear as though you have made a loss. Thus, the footsteps

of hope should be slow and steady. We should not set our hopes so
high that we get dejected if they are not fulfilled completely, and
we fail to get the satisfaction of what we did achieve. Those who
allow their desires to exceed the boundaries of Dharma become
The fourth point is that when we embark on any venture, it should
not be with the thought, I will complete it myself. We may
complete the task, or our brother may complete it, or our son may
complete it. When there is a worthwhile Dharmik venture, it is
good if we can complete it, and it is equally good if someone else
completes it. To embark on a worthwhile undertaking with the
thought, It is only good for me, is not proper. We should
undertake auspicious goals with the faith that it is a good thing to
do, no matter who does it or when it will be completed.
It is important to be aware that the undertaking itself is a
worthwhile objective. Gangaji was to be brought to the earth. It is
true that Anshuman did not succeed in achieving this; nor did
Anshumans son. However, to bring Gangaji to this earth was a
noble venture. Anshumans grandson, Bhagirath, succeed in this
remarkable achievement. Had Anshuman thought, It is not
possible for me to bring Gangaji down to this earth in my lifetime,
and not embarked on the attempt, how could this mammoth feat
ever have been accomplished?

Praarabhyate` na khalu vighnabhye`na neechaih praarabhya

vighnavihataa viramanti madhyaah,
Vighnaih punah punarapi pratihanyamaanaa praarabhya
chottamajanaa na parityajanti.

Oh, there are many problems in this! To think only about the
problems and refuse to begin a good enterprise is the characteristic
of a lowly person who lacks valor. The average person begins the
work, but abandons it when difficulties crop up. The characteristic
of a superior person is that he does not give up his efforts even
when problems come repeatedly and he gets hurt battling them.

There is one point that is not likely to appeal to everybody, but I
heard about it from the lips of Shri Udiyababaji Maharaj. I was
most impressed by this point. It seemed as though I had made a
great discovery, and gained knowledge about something I had
never known. So, I felt elated that day. Just as businessmen feel
happy when they make money, we people feel happy when we
learn something new. Even today, I feel the same appreciation for
this, as the day I first heard it. I think it is an extremely important
point. Now, you would all be impatient to know what this
important point is, so let me tell you.
The thing is, it is not necessary that we get material rewards for the
work we do. The purpose of doing a good deed is to cultivate a
good habit. We should work with the thought that we are
cultivating a good habit in ourselves. A tip of five rupees is not the
real reward for offering a glass of water to a thirsty person. The
real fruit of the work is that a good habit is inculcated in our self.
Isnt it enough to make us feel happy, that we offered water to
some thirsty people? Will you need a tip for doing something
good? This is the difference between a Master and a servant! There
is no greater satisfaction than that of having done something good.
It is the greatest fruit for what we do. It is chitta-prasaada (the
blessing of the state of mind). This is the minds becoming pure. It
is the purity of the antahkaran. Therefore, all the activities that
bring us these gifts are called Dharma. Manuji has said

Yatkarma kurvatosya syaat paritoshontaraatmanah,

Tatprayatne`na kurveeta vipareetam tu varjaye`t.

What kind of work should we do? We should do the kind of work

that makes our heart pure, and gives us a feeling of satisfaction. It
should be like the muddy waters of a lake becoming clear; or like
the stormy waves becoming calm. The work we do should have a
soothing effect on our mind. It is the greatest fruit of our labor,
when our work results in our mind becoming lucid. Getting some
worldly return is not the real fruit of our work.

As I told you before, the work we do should be within the rules of
what is right. This is the shelter the refuge of the intellect. We
should have the support of our elders that is the refuge of our
faith. We should complete the work to the best of our ability. If it is
not completed today, it will be completed on the second day, or on
the third day. We should have the satisfaction that we worked
Regarding our Dharma, our philosophers have two points of view.
The followers of the Mimansa philosophy say that to do good work
is Dharma in itself. The followers of the Nyaya school of thought
say that the result of doing good work is that a happy feeling
comes into the antahkaran. This feeling stays with us constantly;
and it is this feeling that is called Dharma.
Our life is a combination of Gnan and karma. We see with our eyes
that is Gnan; and we walk with our feet that is karma. The body
has karme`ndriya (organs of action), like the hands and feet and
tongue; and gnaane`ndriya (sense organs) like the eyes, ears, skin,
nose, and tongue. The life of every person progresses with a
combination of knowledge and action. The more you progress, the
more you see, and the more you see, the farther you go. Thus,
knowledge and action contribute equally to our progress. Where
there is only work, the person becomes a machine. Where there is
only knowledge, the person will not achieve anything. So, if we
want to progress properly in life, we should combine knowledge
with action, and then proceed.
Manuji says that it is vital for a human being that he never lets go
of his intellect. Dheervidyaa satyamakrodho dashakam
dharmalakshnam the dhee here, refers to the intellect. Dhatte` iti
dheeh that, which upholds, is called dhee. Dheeh
dhaaranaatmikaa me`dhaa the intellect that uphold is called
me`dhaa. The synonyms of buddhi (the intellect) have minute
differences in their connotations. We should not become so
emotional that we get separated from prudence. We should have
emotions, we should have affection and bhakti, but great harm is
done when people are so overcome by their feelings that they

become partisan and cruel. They lose their capacity for rational
thought, and their understanding of what is proper. Such irrational
emotional behavior is also to be seen in animals. So, in the
characteristics of Dharma the Dharma that has a constant
influence on our heart should always be present in our life.
However, there is no need for any karma that seems very good for
a while, but leaves no impression on us. A constant watchfulness
and prudence is essential in life. This is called dheeh.
Some of us were once sitting at the house of a gentleman. His son
was looking down, out of the window, watching the children
below. The children were jumping over some high object. The boy
climbed onto the window sill, saying, Ill also jump! His father
saw that he was about to jump out of the window. He was terrified.
He thought he would lose his son. Then his intellect came to his
rescue, and he called out, Biscuit- biscuit! At once the little boy
turned his head, holding out his hand. Where is the biscuit? he
asked. Quickly, the father went up to him and caught the childs
hand. The little boy was saved. What is this? It is the intellect that
comes from Dharma. It means to become instantly alert as to what
is the right thing to do in a crisis. Regarding Dharma that is empty
of the intellect, Acharya Vrihaspati has said

Yuktiheenavichaare` tu shaastrahaanih prajaayate`.

We should ensure that what we plan to do is just, and called for.

We should be sure that it is logical. The matter should be given due
consideration. Nothing should be done in haste. The country, time,
age, strength, and place should all be taken into account.
What should you do, if you are in a forest when it is the time for
the ritual of the Sandhya Vandan? If you delay in going ahead, it
will become dark and you may lose our way. You can also be
attacked by robbers and dacoits. In such circumstances, you should
do a token Sandhya Vandan of three minutes, in whatever way is
possible. Or you can do a mental Sandhya Vandan as you go on

your way, and do the ritual properly when you have reached a safe
Suppose your train is about to leave, and you sit doing the Sandhya
Vandan thinking that the Devta will hold up the train for you, it is a
sign of foolishness. Dharma should be followed considering the
time and situation.
When you grow old, you can no longer bathe the way you did
when you were young. The age factor should also be considered
while doing Dharma. So should the condition of your health. To be
foolish and stubborn is not Dharma. Dharma is when you do every
little thing after evaluating all the factors. This makes the human
life flourish, flower, and fruit. We should do everything that will
help the humanity in us expand, and find expression in our lives.
There is no scope for being rigid or inert.
The instant response of the intellect is, at times, quite amazing. I
know a gentleman who, fifty years ago, planned for the future. He
would calculate what he would do is his expectations turned out to
be valid, and what he would do if they proved to be wrong. He
planned his finances in such a way that he would be able to absorb
a few losses. In those days there was no insurance, but he planned
everything so well that he could cope with unexpected setbacks
and business losses.
When I was young, we had to walk nine miles to reach the nearest
Railway Station. We would make plans, that incase we missed the
train, we would visit a village close by and meet some known
people, and finish some work, during the six or seven hours before
catching the next train. Thus, in no situation should we give up our
intellect, wherever we may be.
In the ten characteristics of Dharma described by Manuji,
dheervidyaa is given together. The buddhi (intellect), however, is
different from vidyaa (wisdom or specific knowledge). Buddhi is
when we see something in this world, and use our intellect to
assess things. Buddhi is that, which establishes the pratyaksha
(seen), anumaana (estimate or surmise), upamaana (understood by
comparing to a known object), arthaapatti (reasoning, in which

one topic is proved with the help of another), and anupalabdhi
We should always be alert, and consider everything from both
sides. What happens when someone is present, and what happens
when someone is absent? What is the connection between our
actions and anvay-vyatire`k (mutual relationships like the cause
and the effect, and its negation). The food will be cooked only if
there is fire in the house. If there is no fire, the food cannot be
cooked. So, we should remain untroubled by the presence of fire in
our house. We should use gas, electricity and matches, because fire
is created by these.
Intelligence is something we learn from people, but wisdom is a
separate thing altogether. Wisdom tells us things that the intellect
cannot grasp by itself. Manujis commentary on this shloka
explains the difference between vidya and buddhi. Manuji has said
that vidya is that, which creates the buddhi about even the things
that cannot be seen. This miracle of vidya is amazing.
Someone asked, My brother, why should we take the name of
Bhagwan like this? The buddhi cannot see anything. I recall an
incident when we were at the Paramhansa Ashram at Vrindavan.
Hathibabaji Maharaj was also present. He was a great Saint of
Vrindavan. He had a superb physique. Nobody was able to guess
his age.
A gentleman from Calcutta asked me, Swamiji, what benefits do
we get by chanting the name of Rama? Before I could reply,
Hathibabaji commented, Swamiji, this man seems to be a baniyaa
Yes, I replied, he is a baniya.
A baniya is one who sees only the profit and loss not the good
in what he does. That is a baniyas basic nature. That is why he is
seeking benefits in chanting the name of Rama! Babas words
were a rebuke to the man.
It is the same with the buddhi; it pushes us towards activities that
give worldly benefits. Vidyaa (right thinking) says, Look, brother,
you should certainly make a profit, but dont harm anyone in the

process. Dont cheat anyone for your personal gain. Dont be
unscrupulous or unfair in your dealings. If you associate with
satpurusha (saintly people) your intellect will learn this. If you do
not obtain the company of saintly people if you get into the
wrong company your intellect will learn all the wrong things.
Vidya gives refinement to the buddhi. It gives Gnan about the
Ishwara. The buddhi is incapable of giving this knowledge. Our
respected Acharya, Shri Ramanuja Acharya of the Vaishnavs, has
said that the buddhi does not have the capacity to establish the
Ishwara. In his commentary on the Brahmasutra, he has refuted the
Ishwara established by the Naiyayiks (followers of the Nyaya
school of thought). He has written that the Ishwara who is
established on the basis of surmise, arguments, and the intellect, is
not the real Ishwara. If some other person who is more skillful in
presenting these refutes your stand, he can successfully disprove
the Ishwara you have established through these methods.
Therefore, that which is unknown to the intellect can be known
only by wisdom.
The Shastra prescribes three kinds of sanskaara (subtle
subconscious impressions superimposed on the mind). They are
called doshaapanayana (removing the faults), heenaangapoorti
(instilling that which is lacking), and gunaadhaana (inculcating
what is missing). Our books on the Ayur Veda have two types of
treatment svaasthya samvardhan (improving health) and
roganivaarana (removing the disease). One treatment is to cure the
ailment and the other is to enhance good health, to keep disease
Now, let us take a look at the intellect. Our intellect inherits some
faults from the maternal grandparents. The Shrimad Bhagwat has
an episode where Vena became a very wicked King, because of the
tendencies he had inherited from his mothers father. Sunithas
father was a very wicked man, who enjoyed harassing people. So,
Sunithas son, Vena, also developed the same traits. He became so
wicked that he did not even have enmity for the Ishwara, leave
alone friendship! Ravana, Kumbhakaran, Hiranyaksha,

Hiranyakashipu, and Kansa all had enmity for the Ishwara. Vena,
however, refused to believe that there is an Ishwara. So, who
would he hate? He did not even have a feeling of hatred for the

Kathamapi na ve`na syaat panchaanaam purusham prati.

The question came up as to how such a son came to be born in the

lineage of Dhruv, who was a great devotee of the Ishwara. The
Mahatmas explained that it was due to the flaw in his ancestry. The
fault in the parents of Venas mother came into their grandson. This
is why it is customary to examine the lineage when arranging a
marriage. People make sure that the prospective bride has good
qualities, and that her ancestry is a noble one. To see the history of
the families of the bride and the groom is a part of Dharma.
Faults come with the genes. Our Shastras prescribe the methods for
their removal. A sanskara is done. In the Vedic tradition, it is
believed that there are two kinds of faults one is gaarbhik (of the
womb), and the other is beejik (of the seed).
Suppose the seed is very hard, and the earth is full of termites. The
farmer wants to till the land. What will he do? Farmers spray the
earth with medicine to kill the termites, and soak the seed in some
chemical to protect it from termites. Then they grow their crop.
In the same way, sanskaras are used for removing the faults that
have come from the mothers side and the fathers side. These
sanskaras are called Dharma. There is a garbhaadhaana sanskaara
(a ritual done just before the time of inception). This is still done at
Kashi, among some groups. I had once gone to the house of
Punditraj Rajeshwar Shastri, just after the marriage of his son. I
saw that the women were singing songs, Pundits were chanting
Vedic mantras, and a homa (ritual fire worship) was being
conducted. I asked why, and was told, It is the garbhadhana
sanskara today. There is no cause for embarrassment in this.
After the garbhadhan, the punsavan sanskara is done when the lady
is in the third month of pregnancy. Punsavan means that the son to

be born should have all the superior qualities. The
seemantopannayan sanskaara is done in the seventh month of
pregnancy. These sanskaras have a tremendous influence on the
unborn baby. People are gradually forgetting these things.
If you dont know this story, it will surprise you. If you know it,
that is fine. The Vrihadaranyaka Upanishad contains an episode
where Gargi and Maitreyi have a long discussion on Vedanta. It
says, Ye`naaham naamritaa syaam kimaham te`na kuryaam,
meaning, what will I do with the things from which I cannot
obtain the amritattva (enlightenment)?
The same Vrihadaranyak Upanishad gives the method for having
an excellent son. It tells us which foods should be eaten and which
mantras should be chanted before conception. After that, what kind
of emotions should be evoked at the time of inception, so that a
healthy and noble child will be born. All this is explained in detail.
Only then will the son be superior in every way.
When the Gita Press was preparing for this Upanishad to be
published, the founders were reticent about placing these details
before the public. They decided to give the main Sanskrit text, with
Shankaracharyas commentary. They avoided giving the Hindi
translation. However, this is a matter that has great utility in
peoples lives.
After the seemantonnayan sanskar, the jaatkarma sanskaara and
the naalochhe`dan sanskaara are done at the time of cutting the
umbilical cord. All these sanskaras are done to remove faults that
the baby has inherited from his parents, and grandparents from
both sides, and also from his own countless past lives. It is just like
the removal of unwanted hair from some parts of the body. These
doshapanayan sanskaras are Dharma. Similarly, when some good
quality is lacking, it is given by doing the gunadhan sanskar, or the
heenangapurti sanskar. People use artificial hair, if they are bald.
They teach a child to talk, if he has a speech problem.
You should examine your own life and see. If there is dirt on your
body, you wash it off with soap. If your lips are pale, you add color
superficially. Similarly, it is the task of Dharma to remove the

faults of our antahkaran and lifestyle. It is Dharma to fill our mind
and life with good tendencies and activities. And, it is Dharma to
develop the good habits we lack.
We cannot know the Ishwara through the intellect. To make up for
this inability, we need to use the sanskar of the wisdom of the
Vedas. Then, the Ishwara comes into our mental inclinations; He
manifests for us. He is already there, but He appears later. Vidya
removes our avidyaa (lack of vidya, or nescience) regarding the
Ishwara, and helps us to recognize Him. I do not have any
knowledge about the people who claim to have gone to other
realms after death, and come back to narrate their experiences!
Some people tell us that they remember the last three of their
lifetimes. There was a girl in Katni, who said she could remember
her past three births. There was a woman who became a Marathi
once a week, and a Bengali once a week. On the days she would
become Bengali, she would talk in Bengali, sing Bengali songs,
and dress like a Bengali. She said she had been a Bengali in her
last birth. One day every week, her birth as a Bengali would
influence her. I have no knowledge about these things, or any
personal experiences of such matters.
Our Shastras present the matter in an excellent way. The Ishwara is
for this very life of yours. All the divine lands Goloka, Saket,
Vaikuntha, Brahmalok and Swarga are described to improve this
life of yours. The purpose is to make your life cultured and refined.
I have told you that in the opinion of Maharshi Jemini, all the
Vedas, Shastras, and rules of Dharma are meant for this very life of
a human being. The vidya that doesnt prompt you to good deeds is
not a vidya at all.
So, you should see which actions Vaikuntha prompts you to do.
What does Swarga prompt you towards? Dont set off with a
handful of instruments, in search of Swarga, expecting the
instruments to lead you there! Do the things that the Shastras tell
you to do, to obtain Swarga. Open centers for the distribution of
free drinking water. Give food to the beggars and clothes to the
poor. Arrange for needy people to get free medicines. The

descriptions of the pleasures of Swarga are not given for the
purpose of alluring you to go there; they are given to prompt you
to do good deeds.
If we listen to descriptions about Saket but fail to develop bhakti
for Shri Ramachandra, then it was a futile exercise to hear the
discourse. If we listen to the descriptions of Vaikuntha, but make
no effort for pleasing Narayana in our lives, what has our listening
achieved? All descriptions of Goloka are useless unless we develop
a bhakti for Shri Krishna.
Our Vedas and Shastras are not for praising Goloka, Saket, or
Vaikuntha. Their purpose is to inspire us as human beings
towards praiseworthy activities. Maharshi Jemini has gone so far
as to say, Vidhinaa lokatvaat stutyarthe`na vidheenaam syuh.
This means that the Shastras tell us to do certain things, praising
the results of those actions, to strengthen our conviction that it is to
our benefit to do the good things they recommend.
What will happen if you wander in the heavenly garden called
Nandanvan, and an apsara (celestial nymph) gives you carnal
pleasure, and you are able to drink amrita (ambrosia), and obtain
eternal youth? Goswami Tulsidasji says, Svargahu svalpa anta
dukhadaayee. (The joy of Swarga is limited, and it ends in
sorrow.) Therefore, these descriptions are all given with the
intention of leading us towards the kind of life that will ultimately
bring us happiness. The main objective is not to obtain these
indulgences; the main objective is to improve the lives of human
Manushe`shu mahaaraaja dharmaadharmo pravartitau.
Our Shastra are not meant for Devtas because the Dharma for the
Devtas is different. Just as Indian law does not apply in America,
the Dharma of the manushya does not apply to the Devtas. They
have a different Dharma, and we have a different Dharma. The acts
that take us to Narak (Hell) do not take the Devtas to Narak; and
the acts that take us to Swarga do not take the Devtas to Swarga.
Suppose the Agni Devta begins to do a Yagya, what will he say?
Will he say, Agnaye` svaahaa (I offer this to Agni Devta)? Will

he make an ablution to himself? How can he be the yajamaana (the
one who worships) as well as the Devta who is worshipped? No;
Dharma is different for them and different for us.
So, with regard to Dharma, this is also a point that should be
properly understood. The Shastras praise that, which we wish to do
and should do, because of the benefits we obtain by doing what is
right. The spirit is to encourage us to good deeds.
Similarly, the Shastras criticize the things we shouldnt do. Their
intention is to discourage us from wrongdoing. This is stated
clearly in the Purva Mimansa philosophy. This does not suit the
viewpoint of the Maulvis, Purohits and Padres (priests of
institutionalized religions) so they so not explain it clearly. I am
telling you openly.
Isnt the body of the Devta saakaara (with form)? Doesnt he
accept the puja we offer? Doesnt he feel pleased with our
offerings, and doesnt he grant boons when he is pleased? These
points are debated hotly by the older and more recent Shastras. It is
unnecessary to go into details here. Let the difference of opinion
remain a difference of opinion. As far as you are concerned, you
should continue to do all the good deeds you can.
Regarding good deeds, I want to place some calculations before
you. Once you understand them, they are very simple. Everything
has its own mathematics, but some people know it, and some
dont. There is a calculation about the actions that constitute
Dharma. Which of your actions will be Dharma, and which will be
adharma (contrary to Dharma)?
Look; I will tell you something very simple. You exist. There is no
dispute regarding that. I exist. You exist, he exists, we all exist. We
want to continue to exist. Now, our Dharma came and said, Just as
you wish to live, so do others. Under the circumstances, what will
your Dharma be? It will be that you stay alive and help others to
stay alive. To keep ourselves alive and help others to survive, is
It is our Dharma to give food to someone who is hungry, to give
water to someone who is thirsty, and clothes and medicine to the

needy. It is our Dharma to arrange for housing for the homeless.
We dont wish to die; nor does anyone else. So, we should protect
ourselves from death and save others from dying.
We should not fear death, and we should not instill the fear of
death into another. I will die is not a thought to be entertained.
Our Atma never dies. So, the thought of death should not frighten
us, and we should not use it to frighten others. To fear death and
instill the fear of death into another are both adharma.
This is the mathematics of Dharma. Four Dharmas emerge from
Sat (our existence). Live and help others to live; dont fear death,
and dont frighten others with the thought of death. These are
divided into different parts food, clothing, housing, medicine,
and water are needed for survival. Making these available becomes
Now, see another point. We have some knowledge, and we wish to
obtain more. Others also have some knowledge and want to obtain
more. The Dharma that comes from this is that our Gnan should
increase, and the Gnan of others should also increase. For this, we
need vidya, ethical education, sermons from the Sadguru, and we
need a sadsampradaaya (an ethical religious sect). All these are
needed for increasing our Gnan and the Gnan of others. It is
Dharma to increase Gnan.
However, to keep someone ignorant, and to remain ignorant is
adharma. We have knowledge because our essence is
consciousness. Four Dharmas emerge from this we should know,
and help others know; we should not remain ignorant nor keep
others ignorant. The things that are needed for this are basic
education, Satsang, religious discourses, and institutions for
advanced education. All these are a part of Dharma.
See also how much we love ourselves. Not only we, each person
loves himself. To love is our essence; it is out nature. So, dont talk
lovingly to only your own children; talk lovingly to the children of
others, too. Dont talk sweetly only to the people you like, talk
sweetly to everyone.

Be happy, because if you are happy you will also give happiness to
others. Spread happiness. Go on making others feel happy; and
dont become sad. You do not like sorrow, so dont give sorrow to
another. It is not enough to wear dirty clothes and have a rosary in
your hand, pretending to be a holy person. To be a dharmaatmaa
(one who is committed to Dharma) it is essential that your mind is
happy, and you give happiness to others. The more happiness you
give, the happier you will feel.
The Gandharva Veda is also our Veda. It contains the vidya of
dance and music. Dont think that these have come from foreign
lands. In music, there is vocal music and there is instrumental
music. Some instruments are played by beating, some by scraping,
and some by strumming. The most superior of these is the music
created by our breath, like the flute, shehnai, or conch shell. These
calm the life spirit in us.
The instruments are outside the body; dance is the movements of
the body; singing is when love fills the voice, and drama is when
acting skills are manifested to give happiness to the audience.
Thus, to keep ourselves in a happy frame of mind, and help other
people to be happy; and not become unhappy or make anyone else
unhappy, is Dharma.
There is no basic difference in the way the Ishwara has created us.
The ears are always at the sides of the head, and the eyes are in
front. We all have a nose and a tongue, and hands and feet, and we
all breathe in the same air. There is such a great deal of similarity
among us. The differences are very few compared to the
similarities. The bodies of human beings are so similar that we
should live in harmony, with unity. We should neither go astray,
nor lead anyone else astray. We should cooperate with others, and
encourage them to cooperate with each other.
Thus, Dharma is, in itself, something quite extraordinary. It is
paripoorma (whole, complete). Now, we will discuss a little more
about Dharma tomorrow.

Om Shantih Shantih Shantih

Chapter 5

Yasyaagnaa dharmashaastram

Dhyaanam sarvaatmamaanam sthiracharahitahrit chhe`mushee
Aashcharyam chaarucharyaa jananayanamanomohinee
Tam poornaanandateertham gurumamritamritam brahmamoortam

Karma (actions) or shrama (labor) is that, which purifies an

object; and Dharma is that, which purifes the heart. Yoginah
karma kurvanti sangam tyaktvaatmashuddhaye` the work done
with detachment by intelligent people purifies the antahkaran. This
is the statement of the Bhagwat Gita.
Now, I will tell you one or two things more about Dharma. The
different components of Dharma like being truthful, etc have
an inherent connection with our Self. Just reverse this and see. If a
person decides to speak only untruths; if he makes a resolution that
he will only tell lies, will it be possible for him to adhere to his
resolution? No man has yet been born, nor will ever be born, who
can say only untruths. First of all, nobody will believe him. Then,
if he makes a system like saying sit instead of walk people
will soon connect what he says to what he means.
However, if someone makes a pledge to speak only the truth, or
else remain silent, he will be able to keep his pledge. It is not
always necessary to speak. Mauna (being silent) is also a form of
Dharma. So, if you want to speak, speak the truth, or remain silent.
Both will be Dharma. Dharma is that, which brings steadiness into
our life. Through Dharma, we can keep our pledge and lead a
disciplined life.
The second point is that if you take a vow to harass people
continuously, abuse them verbally, and harm them economically,
then, nobody can carry out such a vow. Nobody can make a resolve
to remain angry all the time, either.
However, if a person makes a resolve of ahimsaa (non-violence),
he can sustain it all life long. Ahimsa is a vow that can be kept
steadily, but himsaa (violence) cannot be sustained without a

break. It cannot be a discipline or a pledge. Satya (truth) and
ahimsa both connect us to the everlasting Paramatma.
In the same way, if someone decides that he will continuously steal
things, he cant do it. But, he can certainly resolve that he will
never steal, and keep his resolve. That will bring steadiness into his
life. His life will contain restraint. He will be connected to the
ananta (infinite), shaashwat (eternal) vastu (thing, the Atma, the
The same principle applies to brahmacharya (celibacy). It is not
possible for anyone to break brahmacharya continuously, but a
man can certainly practice brahmacharya as long as he lives. What
I mean to say is that restraint, steadiness, a connection with the
indestructible Paramatma, and an experience of the Paramatma can
all be obtained by walking on the path of Dharma.
No unreliable person will get a good reputation. Nor will his
business flourish. His antahkaran will not be purified, and he will
not obtain Swarga either. The Ishwara will not be pleased with
him, and he will not experience the essence of the Atma. So, the
path of adharma is a path that leads to downfall. It cannot be
considered appropriate from any angle.
I will tell you something about Dharma in brief. If there are many
Dharmas, it will create a problem to follow them all. The fact is
that the basic essence of Dharma should be one.
What is that? For example, not doing himsa, meaning, to practice
non-violence. Practicing non-violence means peace of mind. We
get peace of mind if we do not steal. Practicing celibacy means
peace of mind, not hoarding means peace of mind, and not telling
lies means peace of mind.
Habitual liars have to carry the load of being very careful about
what they say. They are always afraid. I said this yesterday. I must
be careful not to say anything that will expose my lies. They are
forced to tell ten more lies, to protect the one lie they said earlier.
They will have to remember all the things they have said.
However, if you speak the truth, you have no need to guard it, or
remember what you have said. We people believe that maintaining

mauna is even more internal than speaking the truth. To speak the
truth is a part of verbal asceticism. This is what the Gita says.

Anudve`gakaram vaakyam satyam priyahitam cha yat.

Mauna, however, is a mental asceticism. Therefore, it is at a deeper

level. If you hold on to mental peace, wish to remain peaceful and
free of desires, then your Satya will be maintained, your ahimsa
will be maintained, your aste`ya (non-hoarding) will be
maintained, and your Brahmacharya will be maintained.
Now, see the philosophical viewpoint. If you wish to attach your
life to Satya if you wish to experience Satya then you will have
to love Satya, and have a desire to know Satya. Unless you love
Satya, how can you hope to experience the Paramatma who is
Satya? Only a person who prefers to adhere to the truth from the
very beginning will try to find out what the truth actually is. This
Dharma of his will detach him from everything that is false. This
Dharma will make you a seeker of the truth, and you will
ultimately experience the truth. That is why the Mundaka
Upanishad has a shruti that says that the Atma is experienced only
with the truth.

Satye`na labhyastapasaa hye`sha aatmaa samyag gnaate`na

brahmacharye`na nityam.

If your mind remains tranquil you will be free of all tensions and
perplexities. The best thoughts arise in a tranquil mind. I once
spent a full year in complete silence, except for an hours discourse
once a day. During that period, new insights about our Shastras
came to me daily. I realized many different aspects on and
meanings about what the Shastras say. I would feel a thrill of joy
each time something new struck me. My joy may be compared to
the joy of a man who gets a son after many years of marriage, or
that of a bachelor who has waited for long years for his marriage to
be arranged.

You should remember how helpful Dharma is, for you to lead the
right kind of life, and understand the Satya. So much so that even
if you undertake some worldly enterprise, a Dharmik ritual will
give you the intellect that will bring success. It is possible that in
the beginning you feel that there are many obstacles, but Dharma
will remove them all. That is why dhriti (the ability to persevere) is
the first quality in Dharma.
There is one thing more, and it is paaramaathik (connected to the
Paramatma). If the object of your intellect is something that is
destructible your intellect will also be transient. It will rise up and
die down repeatedly. The intellect has no independent existence; it
takes on the form of the object to which is connected. If you apply
your mind to paltry things, your intellect will become more and
more petty. If you apply your mind to great things, your intellect
will expand accordingly. This is how it obtains the knowledge of
the Paramatma; and this Gnan gives the Gnan of everything.
Yasmin vignaate` sarva vignaatam bhavati.
This one Gnan is such a Gnan that it gives the person Gnan about
everything. It also gives the power to give up everything, and
makes the person free of fear. Abhayam vai janaka praaptosi.
So, the purpose of an anushthaana (ritual) of Dharma should be for
the loftiest goal. People conduct rituals for personal benefits, for
the benefit of the community, their religious sect, political party, or
State. These are not the proper goals. When you think from the
viewpoint of the Paramatma, the thoughts become infinite. Your
activities for the Paramatma will become infinite. And, the infinite
Gnan of the Paramatma you obtain will make you infinite, too.
Now, please listen to something about Dharma from the viewpoint
of our lives. Each person has his own level. You have to decide
what you want to use your abilities for. You have to understand the
essence of your goal, the extent of faith in you, the degree of your
competence, and what the ordained method is. What are your
skills? How much strength do you possess? What is your faith
like? How great is the object you wish to obtain? Do you adhere to
the prescribed rules and methods?

You should know the calculation of all these. Dont think that the
Devtas dont know how to count! They are expert mathematicians!
You want a profit of billions and spend only a couple of thousands;
you will not get the billions you desire!
A person who truly wants to obtain the Paramatma has to take his
mind away from all that is petty. Only after that does the essence of
Dharma appear before him. Tyaage`naike` amatatvam aanasuh. It
is extremely rare to find a person who obtains the Paramatma
through tyaaga (renunciation).
We people consider the Gita to be very practical. Mahatma Gandhi
used to say, Whenever I face any dilemma, I open the Gita, and I
get the solution to my problem. He would also say, I have
obtained the Dharma-rasa (the deep pleasure of adhering to
Dharma). I enjoy Dharma. I find Dharma makes me feel happy.
So, dont do anything superficially. Take pleasure in Dharma. If
you feel happy when you give food to someone, it is the rasa of
Dharma. If it gives you joy to give clothes to a beggar, you are
getting the Dharma-rasa.
Perhaps I told you this last time. I was once traveling from
Vrindavan to Gorakhpur. We stopped at Kanpur for a day. When
we were about to leave, Maji that is, Bharat Hari Singhanias
grandmother wanted to give me something for our expenses.
Dada was with me. He said, Maji, a man has come from
Gorakhpur to escort us. He will pay for the tickets and all other
expenses. So, we have no need to take anything from you.
I will tell you what Maji said. Am I to wait for the day when you
have nothing no roti, no clothes and you need things? Dada, I
dont want the day to come when I give you something because of
your need! Nobody can meet the needs of this world. I am pained
when I dont give. It hurts me that you came to my house, and I
made no offering, rendered no service. I am not giving this because
you need it; I am giving it because I need to give, to remove my
own discomfort.
You are all intelligent people. Just imagine the depth of pleasure a
person would be getting in giving, if not giving results in pain! It is

the pratyaksha (visible, instant) fruit of Dharma, when you feed
someone, render some service, or give something, and feel a deep
satisfaction. The paroksha (unseen, future) fruit of Dharma is
given to those who have a desire to go to Swarga when they die, or
save themselves from going to Narak. When people have no desire
to build up a credit balance to save themselves from Narak, carry
them to Swarga, and give them all happiness in future births, they
get instant joy from Dharma in this very life. The depth of this
happiness can be experienced only by a Dharmatma.
Very well; let me reverse this. It is just a way of talking, nothing
more. Your character and behavior must be pavitra (pure, chaste).
This is the first layer of the foundation of Dharma. The meaning of
pavitra is that our character and behavior should not be obstructive
to the progress of another. If your action hinders someone elses
progress, it is not Dharma. If your sankeertana (singing devotional
songs loudly) disturbs someones namaaz, it is not Dharma. If your
Dharma obstructs the puja in a mandir, or the pealing of temple
belles, that is not Dharma either.

Dharmo yo baadhate` dharmo na sa dharmah kudharma tat,

Avirodho tu yo dharmah sa dharmo nripapungava.

Dharma that obstructs the Dharma or anushthana of another is

not Dharma; it is kudharma (a wrong presentation of Dharma).
Dharma is that, which never hinders anybodys Dharma.
Take a look at your character first. Your character should be such
that it elevates. Your actions should be such that you do nothing
that is detrimental for anyone. Abhyudaya (rising up) and
pataneeya (leading to downfall) are both Vedic words; they are
shrauta words. Dont drop lower than your present level. Dont
behave like an animal, bird, or worm. Your level as a human being
should be maintained.
Once, Pundit Motilal Nehru told Mahamana Malviyaji, I will not
take offence even if you give me a hundred verbal abuses.

Malviyaji replied, Why should I sully my mouth with bad words?
Thus, we should not sully ourselves, or others.
Just this morning, somebody asked me how we can decide whether
certain things should be done or not. I told him, If the work has
the approval of your elders, Guru and father, you can take it that it
should be done. This is the test. Whatever you do, if you can
continue doing it without feeling embarrassed if any elder sees
you, then the activity is a good activity.
Thus, it is essential to have an unsullied character. This is the first
layer on which Dharma rests. The second layer is the ability to
restrain the senses. When we sit on a horse, we hold the reins in
our hand, to be able to control the horse. In the same way, we
should be in full control of our senses. The Sanskrit word for
holding the reins is sanyaman. The meaning of the word
sanyam is that if an attractive object comes before our senses, we
should be able to control ourselves, and not get carried away by
temptations. If temptation doesnt come, there is no problem.
Otherwise, an attractive form appears before our eyes, a pleasing
sound is heard, a tantalizing touch is felt, delicious dishes are
presented to the tongue, and an alluring fragrance wafts into our
nose. That is when we should be able to restrain ourselves.
We should not get carried away by praise either. This, however, is
e`kaangi (one-sided). It is good to understand the other side of this
as well. What happens when you hear yourself criticized, when
something rough touches you, when you see an ugly person, get
food you dont like, or get a foul smell? Can you maintain your
equilibrium? This is the second test, and the second layer of
Generally, people practice self-restraint, but when an extremely
adverse or extremely attractive situation arises, people dont easily
realize how they get carried away. What is the paapa (sin) in just
looking? What is wrong if we just talk for a while? What harm is
there in touching just once? When we think lightly about sin, sin
carries us into a pit.

A Mahatma lived with total renunciation. He had no possessions
not even a loin cloth. Somebody gave him a booklet on the Gita.
Maharaj, it is true that you are a renunciate, but what is the harm
in keeping this booklet with you? If you feel like reading it
sometimes you will have it at hand. The Mahatma thought, It is
the Gita, after all. What is the harm in accepting it? The Mahatma
accepted the booklet.
Now, when the rains started, the Mahatma tucked the booklet
under his armpit to protect it from the rain. A devotee said,
Maharaj, how can you always keep the Gita tucked under your
armpit like this? Let me have an open shed built. You can sit under
it, and the Gita will also be safe from the rain.
What is the harm in this? thought the Mahatma. The shed was
built. One night, a rat came in while the Mahatma was sleeping,
and cut some pages of the booklet. Rates are very destructive,
said the devotees. We will keep a cat to keep rats away. What
objection can there be to that? The Mahatma accepted the
suggestion, and a cat was brought.
Now, food and water were needed for the cat. People brought milk
from the village. The devotees said, Let us keep a cow here. It will
be our go-se`vaa (service to the holy cow) and milk will be readily
What is the harm in this? said the Mahatma. Get a cow. Then,
grass and grain were needed to feed to cow, so it became necessary
to do some farming. What is the harm? said the Mahatama.
Arrangements were made for farming.
Then, servants were required. The devotees offered to arrange for
servants. Very well, said Mahatmaji, make the required
arrangements. What is the harm?
Some days later, the man who had given the book to the Mahatma
came there. He was surprised to see the changed lifestyle of the
Mahatma. Maharaj, he asked, what is all this?
This is the lineage of the booklet you gave me, replied the
Mahatma. It is the family of the booklet on the Gita.

So, we should never accept anything on the basis of what is the
harm? We should see whether we have a need for it. The right
direction of thought is not, What is the harm in eating something,
smelling something, or looking at something? We should accept
only what is needed. If not having something hampers your
progress, you should accept it. You should gauge yourself from the
viewpoint of how well you restrain your desires.
Vyavahaara (worldly interaction) is defined by the Shastras. It has
been divided into different sections to help us understand properly.
You all know aahaara (intake). What you eat, what you take in
from outside, is ahara. And, what you give out; that, which comes
from within you into the outside world, is called vyavhara.
Vyavhara is what we think and say.

Vyavahaarah shabdochchaaranam sfuranaroopo vaa.

One Mahatma has said that what we think and say is vyavhara. A
person who is not careful about what he says will not be careful
about what he eats, does, and takes. In Rajasthan, it is considered a
sign of carelessness if someone uses too much water. Similarly, it
is a sign of wastage in our life when we are not careful in using
People say, This man talks too much. He wastes money. He eats
even when he is not hungry. He increases the heaviness of cooked
food. When a person eats according to his need, the food becomes
flesh and blood and gives strength. When he overeats, the food
turns into soil.
Words are like diamonds that emerge from the lips. We should be
careful about how we scatter them. Organize your thoughts in such
a way that you need to speak the bare minimum.
Your speech should be sweet, beneficial, frugal, truthful, as per the
requirement, and appropriate to the occasion. This is superior
I will now tell you the third layer of the foundation of Dharma.
That is what do you think about? What are the thoughts and

impulses that rise up in you? I cannot tell you to battle with your
mind, because we cant predict what will come into our mind next
minute. Why only we nobody in the world knows what thoughts
will arise in his mind after one minute.
Under the circumstances, it is essential that we are watchful about
goodwill being maintained in our hearts. We should make every
effort to fill our mind with benevolence towards all. Our attitude
should not be, Goodwill will come when it will. Whatever is to
come will come anyway! Dont leave your mind to its natural
tendencies. We should not be indolent about tackling our mind. It
is dangerous to feel complaisant about the thoughts that enter our
mind at random.
Plan your thinking pattern. Decide what you will think about when
you wake up. Then tell yourself what kind of thought you will
permit your mind to dwell upon. Make a firm resolve to meditate
on Bhagwan. Pray to him. When you pray, tell Bhagwan,
Bhagwan, let me not speak any untruths in the next twenty four
hours. Let me not get angry or utter harsh words. Let no wrong
thought enter my mind. I am touching the lotus feet of the Lord,
and making a pledge that I will not willingly allow any bad thought
to come to me. You make plans about your work; similarly, make
plans about the thoughts you will entertain.

Kaalam nayate` ve`daantachintayaa dadhyaat,

Naiva tarangaa kaamaadinaam manaagapi.

* * *

Bharee saraaya raheema lakhi aapu pathika firi jaaye`.

You are Satya (the truth). You are rit (that which is right, proper).
If you deliberately fill your mind with good thoughts there will be
no scope for wrong thoughts to come. Bad thoughts come when
your mind gives them some accommodation, or an entry. Wrong

thoughts flourish in a vacant mind. Be`kaara mana shaitaana kaa
ghara (an unoccupied mind is the house of the Devil).
So keep your mind filled with good thoughts through proper
planning. Practice for half an hour at first, then one hour, and then
increase this gradually. Your heart should always be filled with
benevolence. This is the third layer of Dharma. The first is purity
of character, then the restraining of senses, and then a mind filled
with goodwill. Thus, our Dharma gradually becomes more internal.
Many people read the Gita these days. I was about nineteen or
twenty when I first read the Gita. The second half of the forty-ninth
shloka of the eighteenth chapter struck me forcefully when I first
read it.

Naishkarmyasiddhim paramaam sanyaase`naadhigachhati.

(A person who is free of attachment, is intelligent, and having an
alert mind obtains the supreme achievement of being free of the
fruits of his karmas by using Sankhya Yoga.)

However, I was not able to find a satisfactory explanation for this.

I read Tilaks commentary, Gita Rahasya, and Mahatma Gandhis
commentary, Anasakti Yoga, and also Samarpan Yoga published
by Shri Aurobindo Ashram. When I was older I stayed with Seth
Jadayal Goenka for four months, when he was writing his
commentary on the Gita. However, none of the interpretations
satisfied me. This is because naishkarmya (enlightenment) has
been connected to siddhi (achievement) in this shloka. Further, the
adjective paramam (supreme) is given; and then the method for
obtaining this is sanyaase`na (through becoming a Monk).
Then I noticed the seventh shloka of the fifth chapter, kurvannapi
na lipyate`. The meaning of this is that he does not get attached to
the work even while he is working. However, the word api in this
hammered my mind. Why is api placed here? When kurvannapi na
lipyate` (he does not get attached to the work even while doing the
work) is written, why is kim punah akurvan (then why does he not
repeat the work) given? Such thoughts sometimes get stuck in the

mind and cause perplexities that stay with us all life long. You can
go on listening to discourse after discourse, and some point will
strike you so strongly that you can never forget it.
So, have universal goodwill. Dont have ill-will for any. The more
venomous the snake, the greater is its utility. The same applies to
scorpions. The more milk a cow gives, the more she is valued. The
sweeter the grape, the better its quality; and the more bitter the
karela, the better its quality is appreciated. All these reach the
wholeness of their natural qualities. There is no need to praise or
criticize them.

Parasvabhaavakarkaani na prashanse`nna garhaye`t.

The intellect should be filled with good thoughts. We should think

about the loftiest things. If you do business, then there are many
lofty thoughts in it. But, they get diverted when you want to obtain
the maximum profit from it.
You should give a thought to what is needed in this world. What
are people desperate for? How can we help to fulfill their needs?
Your objective should be to lower the prices to a level where even
the destitute can be clothed, and the poor can afford houses. This is
a way of thinking. So, enrich your thoughts by considering the
welfare of all.
I will now tell you about the form of Dharma where the aham
bhaava (the subtle ego of individuality) is absent. Your character
should be pure, your senses should be restrained, your heart should
be filled with goodwill, and your mind should be filled with lofty
After that, find out the essential needs of the people. Examine the
extent of those needs, and think about what you can do, and strive
to meet those needs to the best of your ability. You can donate
money, or you can give through your business. Your wealth will, in
any case, go to others one day. Even it remains in your family it
will go to others, and if it goes out of your family, it will also go to
others. You should certainly enjoy your wealth. The most

important thing is to avoid getting an aham bhaava while doing all
this. Pay attention to these statements of the Gita:

Naayam hanti na hanyate`.

Naiva kinchit karomiti.

Yasya naaham krito bhaavah.

Merge yourself into the Paramatma in such a way that just as the
Paramatma remains detached, you also become detached; you have
a complete absence of identification with your body.
Remain niraham (without aham; without the subtle ego of being an
individual). The paramaatmatattva (the essence of the Paramatma)
is in the niraham. It may rise up as the aham (I) and your previous
inclinations may pulsate, but let the Paramatma remain as the
eternal factor.
So, the zenith of Dharma purifies our karma. It purifies our senses,
feelings, and thoughts. It purifies our subtle ego, and ultimately
immerses us into the Paramatma.
The method of Dharma this form of Manav Dharma is
extraordinary. No other species has this vidya. This vidya is
present only in the Dharmik activities of human beings. It is
present in the consistent spurts of joy in our lives. Tattvagnan
(enlightenment) is also Dharma. Our infinite essence is our natural
Dharma. So, may Bhagwan
Dharme` matirastu attach our mind to Dharma,
Bhagavati ratirastu let our love be for Bhagwan,
Svaatmani sthitirastu may we be established in our Atma.

Om Shantih Shantih Shantih