It is very important to learn Sadguru’s mother tongue. Therefore, all of you must learn Kannada. It is as important as learning English, Hindi and one’s own mother tongue. Hence take the pledge that you will learn Kannada. The moment you step into Karnataka, this language transforms into an asset. More importantly, you will be able to understand and appreciate what your Sadguru speaks.
Attempts towards learning newer languages lead to a spurt in memory. Everyone born in India must learn a minimum of 5 languages. Hindi as it is the national language, English, as it is the universal language, Sanskrit, one’s own mother tongue and the language spoken in the neighbouring states must be learnt. Hindi helps when travelling in India, English is useful when travelling around the world barring about 3 countries i.e. China, Japan and Russia. Residents of these three countries take immense pride in their mother tongue. They refuse to speak in English, despite knowing that language.
Likewise, we too must take pride in our mother tongue. To learn about the ancient Hindu dharma, the ancient Indian traditions, our own culture and our value systems, it is imperative to know our mother tongue. Learning Sanskrit is a must. Understand that only about 2% of our ancient texts have got translated into English while about 80% of these Sanskrit texts have been translated into our mother tongue (Telugu and Kannada). Is there any comparison between 80% and 2%? Tamilians take great pride in their mother tongue. Barring 2 or 3 texts, all other texts have been translated into Tamil. Such is their persistence in maintaining their language. Same is the case with Hindi. But we, Telugu and Kannada speaking people, chase English as we believe it to be a primary requisite for earning wealth.
Earning wealth is definitely not dependent on any language. Even a daily wage worker or a trader earns wealth although he doesn’t understand a word of English. In this world one can eat grass and survive, but under no circumstances can he survive without real knowledge.
What is the history of our country? Why did we take birth? Who were our ancestors and what was their greatness? What were the value systems they followed? To know about ourselves and our past, it is highly important to know our mother tongue.
While restricting TV usage only for news and for educational purposes, one must shift to those sources that help us enlighten ourselves and make us knowledgeable. What do we stand to gain by playing video games or watching cricket match for hours at stretch? I am not against games nor am I against watching TV. But I insist that it must be for a very limited time. It must consume only a tiny fraction of all other useful daily activities.
Those who sit for long (more than an hour) on sofa tend to develop lethargy, which in turn leads to depletion in memory. Exam fear seeps in when memory weakens. Sitting for hours at stretch on the sofa watching serials or playing games is detrimental. Such students fail to absorb the lessons taught at school and fare poorly.
Hundreds of children in US, despite hectic school schedules, memorized the entire Bhagavad Gita in a short span. What to say of their determination! This stands proof of their love for Swamiji, whom they lovingly address as Tataji. The youngest child in that group is just 5 years old. As a result of this memorization, they are today faring extremely well in their academic education.
There is nothing equivalent of learning the Bhagavad Gita. It causes devotion to spurt in the person. It imparts knowledge of our ancient culture, our morals and our dharma. It teaches what is right. It enables the person to learn Sanskrit easily. It turns a useful tool in all circumstances, even in later professional activities.
The students of the very first batch of VGBS are today employed. They were able to secure good jobs. Some are software professionals, some have become scientists, some are into sports and the like. When they got their first job, each of these children eagerly came and offered the first salary to Swamiji and in great delight expressed that VGBS transformed them.
‘Swamiji, I was going on the wrong track. I had become disrespectful towards my parents and was averse to their advice. At such time, Swamiji conducted VGBS. Spending 3 days with You and learning under You brought unimaginable positive transformation in me. My focus on my studies increased. I developed love and respect towards my parents and today I treasure them. I am grateful to you and to VGBS’- there are many who have returned to me with similar reports.
I desire to see such positive change even among you all! Merely 3 nights of staying in the ashram, eating food here and spending time learning in these classes has profound effect on the student. Although the same lessons as taught in school are taught here, it feels wonderful to learn here. It feels like a unique experience.
Remember ashram is your spiritual home. Just as you visit your grandmother regularly during school vacations, make it a habit to visit ashram as often as possible. By staying and eating here, your health will improve, your memory will sharpen and you will benefit spiritually. All of you will need Swamiji even in your adulthood. You must preserve the Datta tradition in your adulthood. You are the future members of this ashram. Therefore, without giving any excuses, make it a point to regularly visit the ashram as frequently as you visit your relatives. Aspire to spend maximum time in the ashram. The doors of this ashram are always open to you. Try to understand and analyze the meaning of the various activities being conducted here. Enquire from your parents the experiences that caused them to frequent the ashram. What is it that they gained from frequently coming here?
Often ascetics visit sacred pilgrim centres to conduct chanting. Why? Does it mean that they lacked the facilities to chant Bhagavad Gita or Ramayana in their own homes? Why did they take the trouble to travel to the pilgrim centre? This is because the chanting in the sacred pilgrim centre yields tremendous results. It is the same with ashram. Studying here will cause the subject matter to get firmly imprinted in your mind. Students who fare badly in maths and science at times visit ashram, stay in a room here and study the subject for a few days. They find great improvement in their marks. This is because of the greatness of this land (kshetra).
When in ashram, learn to take up some volunteer work. Try to offer some seva. After returning home, show more interest in your school studies. If you perform well in academics, your parents will permit you to visit ashram more often. If, even after this course, if you remain negligent in your studies, your parents will get disheartened.
Be frank with your parents. Open your heart to them and update them about all happenings in school. Inform them of the problems you face with your friends, classmates and teachers. If you are facing difficulty in understanding any subjects, bring it to their notice.
Every parent must frequently have heart to heart conversation with the children. It is not enough to take them on vacations, or to buy them expensive gifts. Parents must be aware of the child’s various activities.
Children must give their mobile phones to their parents every single day unfailingly. They must allow parents to freely access their mobiles, their facebook and other social media accounts. There must be absolutely no secrecy with parents. Parents have to know the friends you have and the company you keep. Only then they can guide you properly.
Many parents are adamant that their child must become a doctor. In case you feel you lack the ability to complete that course, be frank with them. ‘I do not desire to become a doctor. I want to do BA. I am struggling with science. Don’t force me’. In case your parents still continue to put pressure on you, threaten them that you will report the matter to Appaji. What is the use of taking up a course beyond your capacity? It is better to be frank upfront. If you have decided to pursue journalism or any other course of your choice and which also happens to be within your financial means, inform your parents accordingly.
Come and consult Appaji regarding your higher studies. Why do you fear to approach Him? Perhaps I may not encourage elders to frequently approach me with queries, but children, who are the future of this ashram, I will never restrict. Come and inform me of your limitations, your interests and seek guidance for your future career.
When you fare academically well and your name gets published in the newspapers, I am the one who experiences the highest joy. It is not your parents. They only share the news with all neighbours and friends. But I really share the joy along with you. It is my desire that all of you shine academically.