Factors influencing Human Personality - Part 2: Sri Sathya Sai Perspective


What is the meaning of education? The purpose of education is not gathering of information. Education should enable people to control their mind and senses. Educated persons should try to control the senses and the mind. Teachers should help students to not only eschew undesirable habits but also cultivate good habits. As we nurture desirable traits, old habits which are detrimental to our growth fade away in a gradual manner. However, the reengineered self-image should be realistic and potent. Here is an example to illustrate this concept. Suppose there is foul smell in one corner of a room. You make use of room freshener or an incense stick to overpower it. Though the bad smell is there, it is suppressed because its proportion is less in comparison to the quantity or quality of the deodorant/incense stick. Therefore, one should improve upon the quality as well as quantity of positive ideas and habits. People in modern times should develop these two, quality as well as quantity and as such they should have training in human values.

Human nature implies that one is expected to conduct oneself like a human, and not like an animal. Humans must identify themselves with the Divine for greater self-improvement. How can one make the foregoing idea feasible? It becomes achievable because of the following mechanism provided by nature. Man can exist in four planes of existence: Animal, Demon, Human and Divine. How can you understand the meaning of these four planes? If you follow the body (the instinctive drive or lower mind) you would behave like an animal. An animal merely follows the bodily instincts. It lacks the power of discrimination. If there is tender green grass somewhere, an animal runs after it without bothering about the fence around or the wall or the caretaker. It will trespass the fence and eat the grass and may get a thrashing later. First reflect, ‘Am I the body? I am not merely the body, and I am not an animal.’ Animal qualities are lower order qualities. Anger, lust, greed, covetousness, jealousy and attachment are all the traits that are prompted on account of excessive identification with the body. When they surface, you would recognise that they are animal qualities. Suppose you are angry, repeat this assertion ten times “I am not a dog, I am a human being”. As a result of this assertion, that frame of mind will disappear. Suppose you feel like thieving (stealing something), you should tell yourself ten times, “I am not a cat, I am a human being.” The quality that comes next after this is the quality common to a majority of the people. They are bad thoughts and mad thoughts of a wavering mind. Mind is full of bumps and jumps, whims and vagaries. When you are affected by such wavering thoughts, sit in one place and think ten times, “I am not a monkey, but I am a human being.” But if you think I am an animal by nature, then you will enhance these qualities. Even if you repeatedly think that you are just an ordinary human being, such bad thoughts draw closer. You make mistakes repeatedly, which then becomes a habit. 

Second is the mind. Mind is a devil. If mind is lured by something, it will act unmindful of the consequences. It fails to discriminate between good and bad; safe and unsafe. Devoid of any discrimination, it pursues its desires without any limits or restraint. The third one, the intellect, possesses the power of discrimination between the right and the wrong. A person is one who has these three: body, mind and intellect. When one follows the path of discrimination between the right and the wrong, the ephemeral and the permanent, the good and the bad, one moves closer to Divinity. 

Body is only human. But you (the Indweller) are God. You are the spirit. You should move in that direction. If you think that it is human to err, you will be erring repeatedly. It is not human to err and humans are not meant to commit mistakes. Satya (truth), Dharma (righteousness), Prema (love), Ahimsa (non-violence), Sahanam (tolerance) and Sahanubhooti (sympathy) are human qualities. Compassion, purity, patience and perseverance are human qualities. Anger, lust, greed and avarice are all base qualities of the body that accrue to man depending on the nature of food and habits. Therefore they are related to the body only and not to you: meaning the Self. Human qualities would become sanctified and holy if self-imaging is thus positive and continues to be in the direction of God. 

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