Today is the day of
great happiness for the people of Kerala. The farmers reap the harvest,
bring the grains to the home and rejoice. Food is very essential for the
nation. It is the farmers who feed to the nation and bring peace and
prosperity to it. It is their good fortune to be able to render such
joyful service to the nation. Only when the farmers who give us food are
happy and contented, can the nation be peaceful and prosperous. Right from
dawn to dusk, they toil in the fields and render great service to the
This land of Bharat is very sacred and
meritorious. Since time immemorial, Bharat has been imparting spiritual
education to all nations of the world and thus bestowing peace and
happiness on all. This is the eternal glory of Bharat. The motto of the
Bharatiyas has been Loka Samasta Sukhino Bhavantu (May all the people of
the world be happy!) Sarvam Khalvidam Brahma (verily all this is Brahman).
As Brahma pervades the entire world, Dharma should permeate all actions of
man. Karma will be sanctified only when it is based on Dharma and Brahma.
It is said, Karmanubandheeni Manushya Loke (human society is bound by
action). Nobody should waste time. Right from the time he wakes up in the
morning, man should utilise his time and energy for the welfare of
society. This is his main duty. He should realise that his welfare lies in
the welfare of society. I have seen that the people of Kerala are always
engaged in some activity or the other. They work very hard. They are not
interested in comforts and pleasures. They derive happiness in working
hard and serving society. They strive for peace and security of one and
all. That is their most sacred virtue.
Embodiments of Love!
Kerala is the seat of
education. It is the land which stands as testimony to the profound truths
enunciated in the Vedas, Sastras, Puranas and Itihasas. In such a land of
peace and sacredness, today people are unable to experience unsullied
happiness which their ancestors were able to enjoy in the past. However,
there is no cause for worry. A time will come, when Kerala will regain its
past glory. Time plays an important role. We have to discharge the duties
ordained on us by God and thus sanctify our time. Whatever actions we
perform are the reflections of our inner feelings only. You should
undertake such actions which will provide internal as well as external
happiness. Nobody can remain without performing action.
Man is born from action, is
sustained by action and ultimately merges in action. Action is the
cause for pleasure and pain. Truly speaking, action is God for man.
Man's life is bound by
Kala, Karma, Karana, Kartavya (time, action, cause, duty). Due to the
effect of Kali Age, man does not work hard. Both the educated and the
uneducated have become lethargic. You have to sanctify your life by doing
righteous actions. Action is the cause for everything. Action is life. It
is very unfortunate that man has not understood the importance of action.
He wants to lead an easy life. Even the students want to pass the
examinations without putting much effort. They want to secure jobs without
working hard. After securing jobs, they want salaries without discharging
their duties. This type of conduct is not good. It is said, Kashte
Phali (hard work yields rich rewards). The rewards that one gets will
be in commensurate with the efforts he puts in. One should recognise this
truth and work hard accordingly. Unfortunately, such a spirit of work is
not seen these days. There are people who go to office only to give
attendance. Each one has to question himself whether he is discharging his
duty properly or not. It is most essential that man becomes duty
You have to bend your body and work. Discharge
your duty with the sweat of your brow. Only then can you get the right
reward. Today people are suffering for want of food and drinking water.
What is the reason? Man is not undertaking righteous actions. When man
does his duty sincerely, there will be no shortage of food and drinking
water. Without working hard, one cannot lead a happy life. Na Sukhat
Labhyate Sukham (one cannot derive happiness out of happiness). We
can get happiness only when we work hard. For every action of ours, there
is bound to be reaction. For every sound that we make there will be
resound. When we undertake righteous action and utter sacred words, the
same will come back to us in the form of reaction, reflection and resound.
Our actions should be such that they bring
happiness to ourselves as well as others. First of all, we have to enquire
what is true happiness and what is sorrow. People think that happiness
lies in eating to the fill and having a sound sleep. That is no happiness
at all. Happiness lies in working hard and serving society. We can
experience peace and happiness only when we help the poor and needy. After
our daily prayer, we utter the word peace thrice - Santhi Santhi
Santhihi. Where is peace? It is inside, not outside. Outside there are
only pieces! You are the embodiment of peace, you are the embodiment of
truth, you are the embodiment of love, you are the embodiment of God. How
foolish it is to look for peace outside when it is present within! You
have to put in proper effort to experience the peace within. You have to
turn your vision inward. When two branches rub against each other
repeatedly, fire is produced. Similarly, continuous hard work will produce
Jnanagni (fire of wisdom).
Today, nobody wants difficulties. Everybody
aspires for happiness. Where is happiness? It is everywhere. We should
earn the deservedness to experience it. Our Judge (who spoke earlier)
mentioned in his speech that he was disappointed when Swami did not speak
to him in spite of having worked hard. He did a lot of self-introspection.
As a result, he got a good chance today. Without working hard, you cannot
get any reward. But today man is not prepared to work hard.
Upanishadic times, people would offer their salutations to the Karma
before undertaking it - Thasmai Namah
Karmane (salutations to action). We have to offer our salutations to
the Karma in the first instance so that it gives us good result. In
Bharat, some people follow this sacred tradition even today. A cricket
player pays his respects to the ball before starting to bowl. A dancer
salutes the anklets before tying them to her feet. Even an uneducated
driver offers his obeisance to the steering wheel before driving the
vehicle. But most of the educated people have forgotten such an ancient
tradition and culture. That is why accidents are on the rise. There is a
sense of fear and insecurity among people. First of all, we have to offer
our respects and express our gratitude to Karma before undertaking it.
Every one has to understand his duty and perform it to the best of his
ability. Before the commencement of any music programme, musicians pray to
Vinayaka, the remover of obstacles. One who has no Nayaka (master) above
him is Vinayaka. He is the master of all. Hence, we have to offer our
prayers to him before the commencement of any activity. Since ancient
times, Bharatiyas adhered to such sacred traditions implicitly. People
decorate their houses with buntings of green leaves on festival days. Big
pandals of mango leaves and plantain leaves are erected at the time of
marriages. Green leaves are given place of prominence in such decorations.
What is so special about them? Can't we have a shamiana instead? No, that
is not in accordance with our ancient tradition. What is the logic behind
this tradition? As you are aware, we inhale oxygen and exhale carbon
dioxide which pollutes the atmosphere. At the time of marriages, many
people gather at one place. As a result, more and more carbon dioxide is
released into the air and the atmosphere gets polluted. The green leaves
of the pandal inhale the carbon dioxide and release oxygen and thus purify
the atmosphere. In this manner, they bestow health and happiness on us.
Thus, every tradition of Bharat has a profound inner meaning. Such sacred
traditions are ignored today. Wherever a marriage is performed or a big
meeting is held, people prefer decorative shamianas to pandals, plastic
festoons to green leaf festoons. Can you get oxygen from plastic festoons?
Can they absorb carbon dioxide? The shamianas and the plastic festoons may
be aesthetically pleasing but they serve no purpose in keeping the
atmosphere pure. We should never forget our ancient traditions. In Kerala,
even today ancient traditions are followed. On festival days, they place a
lamp on rice, with beautiful decorations around. It is very auspicious for
the house. Onam and Vishu are the sacred festivals which the Keralites
celebrate. You must understand the tradition and significance associated
with the celebration of Vishu. It is not merely meant to wish each other
'hello' and shake hands. Vishu is that day when your house has grains in
plenty and the State attains prosperity. This is how the festival was
celebrated in ancient times. Today Vishu celebration is confined to
wishing each other. This is not the way to celebrate Vishu. You have to
aspire and work for the happiness of others. True celebration of Vishu
lies in each sharing the happiness of the other. Give and take. It is not
'one way traffic'. You have to give happiness to others. Only then will
you have the right to receive it from others.
plantain trees and coconut groves in abundance. You find greenery all
around. Keralites prepare various types of puddings with plantains. There
is a special type of plantain called 'Nendra Pazham' which they distribute
The Gayatri Mantra begins with the syllables 'Om',
'Bhur', 'Bhuvah' 'Suvaha'. 'Om' is the primordial sound, Pranava. 'Bhur'
represents Bhuloka, the world of materials (materialisation). 'Bhuvah' is
related to the mind (vibration). 'Suvaha' represents Prajnana (radiation).
When you understand these three principles, your life will be sanctified.
But today man is not interested in such divine principles. He craves for
worldly gains. How long can he enjoy physical pleasures? They are
momentary. They do not give true happiness. This is what Adi Sankara said
in his famous "Bhaja Govindam" song thus:
Ma Kuru Dhana Jana Yauvana
Harathi Nimeshath Kalah Sarvam
(do not be proud of your
wealth, progeny and youth; the tide of time may destroy them in a moment.)
you should not crave for worldly happiness. You should strive for eternal
peace and everlasting happiness. You should not be caught up in the
endless cycle of birth and death. You should transcend birth and death and
Punarapi Jananam Punarapi
Punarapi Janani Jathare Sayanam
Iha Samsare Bahu
Kripayapare Pahi Murare.
(Oh Lord! I am caught up in
this cycle of birth and death; time and again, I am experiencing the agony
of staying in the mother's womb. It is very difficult to cross this ocean
of worldly life. Please take me across this ocean and grant me
Once a person was sitting under a tree on the bank of
river Ganga and trying to master the nuances of Panini grammar. He was
repeating 'Dukrun Karane', 'Dukrun Karane'. Sankara was going to the river
with his disciples for a sacred bath. He took pity on the person, went up
to him and said, "My dear one, by learning the rules of grammar, you
may become a great scholar. But it is not going to save you from death.
Hence, chant the name of Govinda, who alone is your saviour." It was
then that Adi Sankara sang the famous 'Bhaja Govindam' song.
Govindam Bhaja Moodha Mathe
Nahi Nahi Rakshati Dukrun Karane.
(Oh foolish man, chant
the name of Govinda; the rules of grammar will not come to your rescue
when the end approaches.)
Some of the other verses of this song
were composed by the disciples of Sankara. It is said, Yatha Raja,
Thatha Praja (as is the king, so are the subjects). The same can be
said of Guru-sishya relationship. Yatha Guru Thatha Sishya (as is
the preceptor, so are the disciples). The preceptors of those days were
highly noble. They set great ideals which their disciples emulated. We
don't find such masters and disciples today.
One should not crave
for scholarship or name and fame. They come and go. When there is plenty
of water in the pond, frogs make their way into it. When the water dries
to a trickle, you do not find a single frog there. In the same manner,
when your pocket is full, many people swarm around you. But when your
pocket is empty, no one will look at your face. This is the way of the
world. Do not get deluded by the Loka (world). Contemplate on Lokesha
(Lord of the world) incessantly. Sankara made a great contribution to the
spiritual wealth of this country. We should express our gratitude to him
by following his teachings. We should never forget our cultural heritage.
Each State has its own traditions. They have to be followed in letter and
spirit. Today, fashions have displaced traditions. Do not be carried away
by fashions. Let the ancient traditions be imprinted on your heart.
In villages, people sprinkle cow dung mixed with water in front of
their homes. It is considered to be auspicious. What is the reason? Cow
dung destroys disease-causing germs and thus helps maintain good health.
It can cure many diseases. Today people of other countries have recognised
this truth and are taking full advantage of it. But the Bharatiyas are not
making efforts in this direction. In earlier days, cow dung was used as a
remedy for wounds. People used to bandage the wound with cow dung. In
modern times, people have a wrong notion that the wound becomes septic if
cow dung is bandaged over it. It may become gangrenous also, they argue.
It is a baseless argument. If cow dung is applied, the wound will be
healed in three days. The cow dung has such sacred power. Even the cow
urine has medicinal properties. It is mixed in water and sprinkled on
people infected with the pox. But, the modern trend is against such
natural remedies, which are in fact, beneficial to one and all. The
Bharatiyas have to revive such ancient traditions. Let people say what
they want, we have to follow our sacred traditions. On the day of Vishu,
people have a sacred bath and put on new clothes. Mere external
cleanliness is not enough, you have to cleanse your mind and develop inner
purity. Antarbahischa Tatsarvam Vyapya Narayana Sthita (That
all-pervasive God is present within and without). We have to offer
obeisance to our elders and seek their blessings. We have to develop good
relationship with all. Therein lies the true celebration of Vishu. Today,
even among the Keralites, many do not know the true significance of Vishu.
It is a symbol of our great cultural heritage. Today people are not aware
of the greatness of Bharat. It is said, Yenna Bharate Thanna
Bharata (what is not found in Bharat is not found anywhere else).
Bharatiyas are those who sing the glory of God with Bhava, Raga and Thala
(feeling, tune and rhythm). Music will be pleasing to the ears only when
these three are in harmony.
Right from young age, the children
should be taught the greatness of our ancient culture. They should be
moulded into ideal citizens. They should be made to practise our
traditional values. For anything, practise is very important. The
responsibility lies with the parents and teachers to make the children
adhere to our ancient tradition. Then society will certainly progress and
enjoy peace and prosperity. If you practise our ancient values, society
will attain Kshemam (welfare), otherwise, it will be afflicted with
Kshamam (famine). Do not think about the welfare of you and your family
alone. Strive for the welfare of everyone. Loka Samasta Sukhino
Bhavantu (May all the people of the world be happy!)
efforts to understand the greatness of our ancient culture and traditions.
Respect everyone. Do not be rude to the elders and guests who visit your
house. Whether your parents are at home or not, offer them a seat and give
them a glass of cold water or buttermilk. Speak to them with love.
However, such noble practices are not to be found among students of the
present times. If somebody rings up asking for father, even if he is at
home, the son keeps down the phone saying he is not there. Even over
phone, you should talk in a respectful manner. You can earn the respect of
others only when you respect them. Respect does not mean merely saying,
'hello'. You should offer your Namaskara with humility and reverence.
Na-maskara means offering your respects without a trace of Ahamkara and
Mamakara (ego and attachment).
Matru Devo Bhava, Pitru Devo
Bhava, Acharya Devo Bhava, Atithi Devo Bhava (revere your mother,
father, preceptor and guest as God). Since our ancients adhered to such
sacred principles, our nation earned the respect of the entire world. We
should develop humility, love and reverence towards elders like the
ancient Bharatiyas. We should practise and propagate our sacred culture.
That is the true sign of education.
concluded His Discourse with the Bhajans, "Prema Mudita Manase Kaho
…", "Govinda Krishna Jai Gopala Krishna Jai …" and
"Om Sivaya Om Sivaya …"