Sri Sathya Sai on Message of the Scriptures: Watch Your Words, Thoughts and Vision

Sri Sathya Sai Speaks in Sai Kulwant Hall at Prasanthi Nilayam

Insights from the Ramayana - Watch Your Words

What did the Ramayana say? Through His life, Rama demonstrated many ideals. But the most important among them is ‘words’. Through words man can conquer empires and rule over them. And through words, he can lose the empire that he has conquered. All the comforts and wealth he wins through words, he also loses through words. Through words, we also get the Goddess of Wealth. Through words, we gain friends and relatives. It is only through words that we lose the relations and friends that we have gained. We are also bound by our words. Through words we gain liberation from bondage. All the experiences that we get in our daily life like happiness and sorrow, birth and death are also through words. Therefore we should try to control our words.

Kaikeyi was the daughter of the Kekaya kingdom, the King of Kashmir. She was very dear to the King Dasharatha. The desire for a family life is an important one among the worldly desires of man. Due to such family responsibilities, man gets many worries and has to face many troubles. The man, who enjoys peace, comfort and freedom when he was single, is bound to these responsibilities after the marriage. Many people say that there is no bondage after marriage and no bondage in family. But is reality, there is bondage in family life. However, for human beings, the bondage increases through ‘words’. A small example. In the Ramayana, Kaikeyi is a very important character. There was a servant who was very dear to her. Her name was Manthara. Servant means that she is under the control of the queen. But it happened that the queen was under the control of this servant. Senses are like our servants. We say that this is my body, my mind, my senses, etc. Then who am I? You are the Master. The body, mind and the senses are your servants. You should become a master who controls these senses. But in the modern age, it goes against this dictum. The Master (man) is under the control of the servants (senses). Because of that, in the Ramayana, a lot of troubles started. The servant Manthara, under anger and jealousy against Queen Kaushalya, complained to Kaikeyi at the time of the proposed coronation of Rama. She couldn’t tolerate the coronation of Rama. Against God, she did all sorts of treachery. She poisoned Kaikeyi’s mind by saying, “If Rama becomes king, he will treat you as a maid servant and your son Bharata will become his servant; so don’t allow this coronation to take place.” Because of jealousy towards Rama, Manthara went on accusing Rama of all sorts of wrong things. Because of bad advice and jealousy, she had to suffer a lot in future. Therefore we should control our words.
Rama consoling Dasharatha before leaving for exile
Kaikeyi was also a great person. It was Kaikeyi who taught all kinds of archery and weapon yielding to Rama. She loved Rama more than what she had loved Bharata, her own son. Because of listening to bad advice from Manthara, her mind also got polluted. That is why Swami says, ‘Run away from bad company’. You should not be under the control of wicked people. You should not listen to talk by jealous people. Because of listening to bad advice from Manthara, Kaikeyi’s mind got poisoned. What happened to both of them later? All the people of Ayodhya thought that they were wicked ladies. People thought that these both were sinners because they sent Rama into exile to the forest for 14 years. People thought that they were devils because they came in the way of the happiness of their subjects. Nobody accepted these two ladies. Even after thousands of years after the Ramayana, will anybody name their daughters as Manthara? Will any baby girl be named after Kaikeyi? No, they will not. What is the reason? In society, these two names were completely removed as these ladies had come in the way of the happiness of people. We should not complaint against others and should not talk wrong things about others. We have to control our words. Even the wealth that we may have gained, may be lost because of our words. This is what happened in the Ramayana. Both, the one who gave bad advice, and the one who listened to the bad advice, both became criminals in the end. 
Among our senses, first we have to control our words, i.e. our tongue. When we speak too much, we may also speak untruth. We may hurt others hearts also. Because of that, we may get into some sort of trouble also. We may get agitated also. Because of our talking we may get into many of these bad things. Talk less, study more. Students should study more and talk less. We must not become like Manthara by talking bad things. We should not speak with jealousy against anybody and should not listen to such talk at all. You must move away from the place where such talk is going on. If you listen to those words, you become like Kaikeyi. Except Manthara and Kaikeyi, you can aspire to become like any character in the Ramayana.

Insights from the Bhagavatam – Watch Your Thoughts

In the Bhagavatam, the two characters of Hiranyakashyap and Hiranyaaksha, hated God all the time. They were thinking against God all the time. What happened to them? Because of bad thoughts and hatred towards God, they couldn’t attain any happiness or peace inspite of their achievements. Hiranyakashyap was a great scientist. Hiranyakashyap and Hiranyaaksha had achieved great powers, thousand times of what the scientists of today have achieved. They also tried to change the orbits of the planets. Today’s scientists have been able to go up to the moon only. Hiranyakashyap went up to the sun also. He tried to even pull down the pole star. However, even though he was a great scientist, he never had peace of mind. What was the reason behind this? He wasted his life in only hating God. He also always had bad thoughts. Because of these bad thoughts, he could never get peace of mind. In spite of the physical, spiritual and mental powers they had, they led useless lives.

Insights from the Mahabharata – Watch Your Vision

In Mahabharata, Duryodhana and Dushasana were two such people. You all know both of them well. You should not develop friendship with such people. Duryodhana was all the time thinking and plotting against the Pandavas who were the embodiments of Dharma. They trusted God. Pandavas always followed the principle of “God first, World Next, Ourselves Last.” They gave first importance to God and as a result could achieve everything else. The Kauravas always had bad thoughts and continuously troubled the Pandavas. Ultimately, what happened to them? Among men, is there anybody named Duryodhana, Dushasana or Hiranyakashyap? In the whole world, there is nobody with those names. Because of their bad thoughts, the names Duryodhana, Dushasana and Hiranyakashyap have been cast out of the society. 

Bad vision is also very dangerous. Do you know why these two eyes have been given to us? The eyes are given to us so that we see the beautiful nature and the Divine form of God. You should not see things that provoke your senses or agitate them. Pandavas were the embodiments of Dharma. For 13 years they were in the forest in exile, and the last one year, they lived incognito. At that time Draupadi lived as the maid servant in the kingdom of King Virata. She was serving the queen of the King of Virata. A gem will remain a gem wherever it goes. Even if a big diamond is found in a pit, it doesn’t lose its own value. It is always valuable. It is said that ‘even if the egg of a peacock is hatched by a hen, its color and form do not change’. Draupadi was a lady of great character. Even though she was a maid servant in the palace of King Virata, her face had great radiance. Kichaka (brother of the Queen Sudeshna) saw that great radiance. These were bad looks from the side of Kichaka. We should not look at other women. Even if you look at them, you should treat them as mothers. You should not give scope for bad thoughts. Ultimately what happened to Kichaka? His head was broken into pieces. How did this happen? With his fist, Bhima broke the head of Kichaka like a coconut! Will any man be named after Kichaka, the man with a bad vision? Thus in society, bad looks, bad thoughts and bad words make human beings behave like animals. 

Source: Discourse 17, Watch Your Thoughts, Words and Vision, My Dear Students Volume 5; Divine Discourse on June 14, 1997

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