Condensed From Talks by – Pujya Guruji Shree Rishi Prabhakarji.
What is Development and how do we develop a nation?
Development has two aspects-subjective and objective. International bodies, like the IMF and the United Nations determine development according to the economic parameters of a nation and her people. For them, per capita income is an indicator of the prosperous, advanced and developed status of a country.
This is not true. Neither money, nor high education of today, even the power of a nuclear bomb does not account for sufficient development of a nation.
Our Great Rishis are the only ones who understood the true meaning of Development.
From them we must learn that we don’t have to go running after, or prostrate before, anyone who has education, wealth or power. We, as a nation, possess the greatest wealth. We are the only nation in the world, which has understood the meaning of development of a person and of a nation. We only do ‘padanamaskara’- prostrate to our parents and our elders, and to those who practice Vairagya.
Who is a Vairagi? Workers are worried about security, businessmen are worried about profits and politicians are worried about power. But a person, who has gone beyond all this security, money or power is a vairagi. It is to him that we prostrate to because he has a higher quest. We stand up in the presence of a sanyasi, because he is practicing vairagya, a sadhana of going beyond what I value. Subconsciously, I too want to reach the same stage of Moksha. That is the highest purpose of life.
What is Moksha? Moksha is to go beyond the disturbances caused by external environment, security, money, and power.
To be still within, and to be happy irrespective of what is happening outside is true development.
A person who has won over outside circumstances by going within, one who is not controlled by nature but has control over himself, one who has taken to developing himself, is worthy of worship.
Normally we are controlled by nature. When we transcend the control of nature, as our saints – the Siddhas, had done, we and not nature are in control. We stop being disturbed by nature and start respecting her. This is called Moksha.
What is Development?
The exploitation of resources is not development.
If all Indians were to have, as many cars as people have in America, then there would be no oxygen left in the world. Imagine, a mere 5% of the world’s population sitting in America, release as much as 25% of the world’s total carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. According to our sages, the definition of development is very simple.
A person, who uses the least amount of resources, and is able to live very joyfully, is a developed person.
His quest is to live happily, on as little as possible. According to our saint-poet, Kabir, what is it that we require in life? We just need ‘Ek Roti, Ek Langoti aur Ram naam’ (One bread, one piece of cloth and chant of the Lord’s name). A person, who lives on ‘Ek roti, Ek langoti, but no Ram Naam’ is a poor man. But, a person who lives on ‘Ek Roti, Ek langoti’ and sees Ram in everybody is definitely the richest man on earth, because he doesn’t need anything else. I have learnt to live very simply and I know that, that’s all that is needed. Life is very, very easy.
What needs to be learnt is how to live on the least amount, very happily. It doesn’t mean that you should not have a computer or a car. Have it and use it when you really need it. Gandhiji and Anna Hazare are our two role models in this regard. They are true Vairagis and that is why I prostrate before them. True greatness comes from simplicity.
We have another national heritage, and that is Patience. When we are patient, the amount of resources needed can be dramatically reduced.
For entertainment, one doesn’t have to watch television. One just has to close one’s eyes and look within to be with God. When all things come from within, you become an independent individual, not dependent upon external inputs for your satisfaction. To grow in that independence, in that freedom, is Moksha.
The western concept of development is to live on more of everything. Our idea of development is to live on as little as possible, but to give more.
In America, when a guest comes over, he is sent off to a motel. In India, when an ‘Atithi’ comes, we give him the best in our house. They, and not we, are the least developed nations.
Our country is great. She is precious and holy. It is in our genes, in our culture. Only, we are greatly influenced by the west today. We have forgotten the Brahmopadesam taught to us by our Rishis. No child was given education until he learnt to clear his mind and live joyfully.
Brahmopadesham is the state of going inward and living in joy. This is the state of Samadhi, the starting point of all development.
Brahmopadesham was the foundation of the educational program in our country. Sadly, it was lost over the years and is just beginning to be revived, by teaching people to go into Samadhi.
In the SSY program, you learn to direct your senses from going outwards, to going inwards through meditation and other techniques. And, suddenly you are happy, for no reason.
In that state of happiness, problems relating to blood pressure and other psychosomatic diseases disappear. When you don’t understand yourself, you fall ill. You become a patient, one who doesn’t understand one’s own body. The least you can do is to keep yourself healthy.
Once you start to do so through programs like SSY, all you need to do is to go for regular retreats, to rejuvenate yourself to become better individuals.
Once the individuals’ mental and physical health improve, so will the health of an organisation, of the entire nation.
I recommend to all companies, to stop giving medical leave to their employees, to stop paying their medical bills. Instead they should start supporting employees to do SSY program, which will ensure health and happiness to all.