Swamiji said feel at home in the ashram. Be happy. Only when the person is happy, the lessons learnt touch the heart. At times, we fail to grasp the subject. Why is it so? This happens due to disinterest in the subject or the pre-conceived notion that the subject is difficult.
Prior to studying, it is important to be calm and happy. A pleasant mind enables proper grasping of the subject. Mental as well as physical exercise are crucial pre-requisites if the right enthusiasm (josh) is to spurt in us. Not just students, everyone must ensure that they remain fit. Towards this, good food and adequate exercise are a must.
Spending time is different from wasting it. There is no need to preach about wasting time. It is known to all. As such, spend time wisely.
Vidyarthi- what does it imply? It is vidya+arthi= one who seeks knowledge. Vidyarthi is he/she who truly seeks the right knowledge. Till how long should a person remain a vidyarthi? Lifelong. In other words, you are lifelong members of VGBS.
Think for yourself- are you seeking the certificate or are you truly seeking the knowledge? To truly acquire knowledge, josh (enthusiasm) is a must. Towards this, the student must eternally be sharp, active and enthusiastic. Check for yourself whether this enthusiasm exists in you or not. Even in enthusiasm do not go overboard. Over enthusiasm can lead to downfall, but enthusiasm is extremely beneficial. For instance, during exams, when the language paper is extremely easy, the student turns over-confident due to which he becomes slack in further preparations leading to lower marks in those papers. Therefore, over-confidence and over-enthusiasm are harmful.
A student, who seeks to lead a peaceful life, must never turn towards illegal ways. The term illegal not only applies to breaking rules laid down by the Government, but also to the rules laid down by our Shastras, our Sadguru, parents, teachers and other well-wishers. Lead a peaceful and transparent life. Why did Appaji ask you all to frequently hand over your mobiles to your parents? It is purely for your betterment.
Due to over-excitement, a person loses control over himself. In such a situation, he could go to the extent of abusing or ridiculing others, albeit in the name of a joke. Who is the best comedian in this world? One who cracks jokes upon himself is the best comedian. Ridiculing others is not a joke. Make fun of yourself in a jovial way. There is no harm. Who are you to ridicule someone for being fat, thin, short or ugly? It is absolutely incorrect. Do you have any inclination of the potential hidden in that person? Remember that every object in this universe has a great significance and value. Why is it so? This is because everything is created by God. Hence, if you are ridiculing someone you are actually ridiculing God.
During school life, students at time lose their alertness (hosh) and act differently. A student who is alert listens attentively in class. This attentiveness is the trick behind good learning. Do you know why God gave us ears? Ears are crucial for listening. Listening is the basis for learning. Without ears life becomes miserable. Hence use your ears to be attentive.
Do you know what shape emerges when both the ears are joined together? The heart. In other words, the person who attentively listens, directly takes the message to the heart. Why is it that we never forget our name? Why is that we never forget our address? Because it has touched the heart tightly and registered there. Its grip is so strong that it will never leave us. In other words, anything that we listen extreme attentively, directly touches the heart and remains firmly there.
Therefore, enthusiasm and alertness (josh+hosh) gives rise to Santosh (happiness). After all, all the activities in the world are aimed at acquiring happiness, aren’t they? If we can obtain such happiness through our studies, then what more do we need in life? In this young age if you obtain happiness through your hard work, then life-long you can be happy. You are presently investing your time so that your future will be happy. If you are slack in your studies now, then lifelong you will struggle and remain unhappy. Therefore it is crucial to remain alert, attentive and enthusiastic during lessons.
Present education is filled with stress and enormous portions. Many new subjects have been introduced which did not exist a few decades before. I agree. But I do not believe that it is impossible to complete the course successfully. I do not expect everybody to climb the Everest. But you need to accomplish what you set out to do. You need to fulfill the goal chosen by you. The word possible exists within the word impossible. You need to work for it.
Who is the best student in the universe? Hanuman. Although He is a God, He considers himself to be an eternal student and hence is always seated at the feet of his master Lord Rama. Such is his simplicity. We must develop such simplicity. Do you know why he is addressed as the best student? Because he mastered the entire knowledge in just 3 days. Sun is his Guru. Sun represents the universe. That itself was his university. In other words, he learnt directly from Mother Nature.
This period of Kali, despite all its demerits, has its own merits. There is no point in leading lives criticizing this Yuga. Instead work hard towards rectifying it. If you desire to see change in the society, at first change yourself.
While Hanuman was the best student in Treta Yuga (second eon), in the subsequent Dwapara yuga the best student was Arjuna. Why did Krishna preach Bhagavad Gita only to Arjuna? What made Arjuna special? He had the guts to admit his lack of knowledge. He did not falsely boast of knowing everything. That is why Krishna could easily teach Arjuna. But yet, this is not the real reason. I want you to think as to why Arjuna was considered the best student. This is your homework.
Developing compassion towards all living beings including animals and birds is the foremost requirement in life. It is foundational. Share a little of your food daily with birds and animals. When you share water and food, the animals that you feed shower their blessings upon you. They mentally wish you good. When you feed a cow for about a few weeks, then automatically the cow (or dog) begins to recognise you. When it sees you it rushes eagerly towards you. The day you don’t come, it waits for you. It worries that you haven’t come. This is its way of showering blessings upon you. With all such good habits, our character is built.
Tomorrow when you visit Shuka vana, look at the birds with compassion and love. The joy when you get when you feed animals, you will not get with TV or video games.