As is the Dress, so should be the Behaviour: A Story by Sri Sathya Sai

Sri Sathya Sai Speaks
The situation which the world is facing now is not due to one’s thoughts, but one’s head. The reason for this is that the humanness in man is decreasing day by day. Just as the water level in the earth is going down; the memory in the students is on a decline. The householders have given up their responsibilities. In such a situation, nobody knows how to talk to these people, correct them and bring them on the right path. When man’s behaviour and manners are not worthy with respect to his dress, he will lose all his respect and honour. Today’s humans are human only in their form (Aakar), but their behaviour (Aacharana) is that of an animal. 

As is the Dress, so should be the Behaviour

Once upon a time, a person whose profession was that of an actor, put on the dress of Shankaracharya and entered the court of a king. He went over there and started chanting many Shlokas (Sanskrit verses). One of the Shlokas which he uttered was:

Mata Naasti, Pita Naasti, Naasti Bandhu Sahodara
Artham Naasti, Gruham Naasti, Tasmad Jagrita Jagrita
(Mother, father, friends and relatives are not real.
Wealth and properties are also not real. Oh Man! Ever be vigilant.)

He also said:

Janma Dukham, Jara Dukham, Jaya Dukham Punah Punah
Antahkalam Maha Dukham Tasmad Jagrita Jagrita
(Birth, death and disease brings sorrow; the world is full of grief and sorrow and is temporary. Oh Man! Ever be vigilant?)
All the courtiers’ in the king’s court were amazed to listen to these verses. He also taught many other things to the people who were present there. He said, “Man is born with a form, but he does not have the behaviour which is worthy of his form. Should we call him a Nara (man) or a Vanara (monkey)? In this world today, people change their form only to earn respect from others. Their words and talk are full of arrogance, egoism and pride. Their nature is that of a monkey, but the words are that of a man. Is he really a man or a monkey?” He thus went on dealing with many such questions and doubts. There is one verse in the Bhagavad Gita, “Sarvam Khalvidam Brahma” – Everything is Divine. He said, “Anityam Asukham Lokam, Imam Prapya Bhajaswa Maam – This world is temporary and full of sorrow. There is only one thing eternal which is God. So think of God, chant His name, only then you will be able to understand this temporary world.” As a result of his preaching, all the ministers and subjects in the court could get some teachings. Even the king was very much pleased. The actor with the attire of Shankaracharya told the king that now he would leave the place. The king ordered the minister to bring a plate full of gold coins. The minister brought it and gave it to the king. As the king was giving it to the actor, the actor who had donned the role of Shankaracharya said, “You are giving me something which is temporary. There is no happiness in it. If you want to offer me something, then offer me your Atmic principle which is always permanent. I don’t need these gold coins. You take it back.” So saying, he gave them away. While leaving the court the actor told the king that on the next day, he would enter the king’s palace with another form or dress. 

The next morning all the courtiers were waiting for the man. But they heard the sound of the anklets. They found that a woman dancer had come. When she entered over there she started dancing in a very enchanting manner. Nobody could see her feet touching the ground. Even the King had not seen such a great dancer. She went on dancing as long as the King did not stop her. Then the dancer told the king that she would take his leave. The king ordered the minister to get some gold coins in a plate for the dancer. This dancer saw a very small number of gold coins in the plate. Then she told the King, “Oh King! Yesterday you gave me a plateful of gold for speaking few words. Today, I went on dancing till I was completely tired. Is this the reward which you are giving me for this great dance? Yesterday when I just spoke few words of wisdom you rewarded me with lots of gold and today you have just ignored me when I went on dancing till I got tired.” Then the King took the courage and told, “Yesterday when I offered you lots of gold coins you refused them. Today you are asking for more!” Then the dancer replied, “When one behaves according to his dress, then it is respectable for both – the actor and the audience. Yesterday I was dressed as the great Shankaracharya. He was a great man who had done great sacrifices in life. At the age of 12 he could chant all the Vedas. He renounced the world thereafter. Thus when I put on that dress, I didn’t need that gold. Today I am dressed as a great dancer. In yesterday’s dress, money was not required. But in today’s dress I require more money. Thus, Oh King! You must not only look at the behaviour of a person, but you must also look at the dress of that person. In the age of Kali, people struggle to earn money in many ways. The gold that you offer me today is not enough for me.” The king then replied, “We see in the world only external forms. One is the Pravritti (outward form), the other is the Nivritti (inward form). All that is connected with Divinity is an inward form (Nivritti). A person who is on the inward path will have the characteristics of Shankaracharya only. When you are on the worldly path you will have characteristics of a dancer only.” 
Today’s students look like students, but they are not true students at all. Are they earning the education, or the education is earning them? When the student forgoes his memory power, what is the use of his education? Householders have lost their morality. When they lose morality, there is no truthfulness. How can such householders understand the truth? In golden times, we used to get water after digging two feet into the ground. But in this age, even though you dig 200 feet, you don’t get even a single drop of water. Even Mother Ganga is angry with the behaviour of human beings. That is why her water levels are going down day by day!

In olden times, there were people who in spite of losing everything, never gave up their human values. In man today, you don’t find the human quality at all. When can you see these human qualities? You can see the humanness in man when Satya, Dharma, Shanti and Prema are in harmony. A person who does not have the four human values cannot be called a human being. One who has humanness can be called human. A race with morality can be truly called the human race. Apart from cleverness, a student should also have wisdom. If you think that you know all the things in the world, then in reality, you don’t know anything. 

Once upon a time, a great scholar went to Tirupati. He went there and used his entire scholarship to pray to Lord Venkateshwara. But God cannot be attained with words. He prayed to Lord Venkateshwara, “You are lying on the great Adishesha, please give me wisdom. You are the Lord of the Lords and I am your servant, please come and bless me. I know that in all the lanes and the bylanes of the world, it is You who is experiencing the joy. Oh Govinda! Please bless me and shower Your grace on me. You are the Master Dramatist in the drama and also its Director. You are the King of the kings. This whole world is Your drama, and I am also an actor in Your drama. To guide me in doing my acting properly please come forth as a director and guide me.” God is the Director and all are actors. Actors who follow the words of the Director become good actors. You are acting, but you are not obeying the Director’s instructions. We have forgotten our true nature (Swabhava), and are only trying to get influenced (Prabhava). Influence (Prabhava) is imaginary; nature (Swabhava) is permanent. Swa-Bhava is that which comes from within. It should be one’s own feeling which comes from within. 
Among the four forms of Mukti (liberation) – Saalokya, Saarupya, Saameepya, Saayujya; the first one is the Saalokya. Therefore whatever you ask for, it should come from the heart. When do the feelings come from the heart? When you throw out all the worldly desires from yourself, then only the true feelings comes from the heart. You throw away all the external desires. Then the bliss comes from within.

The scholar continued to pray to Lord Venkateshwara, “Shri Ramaa Ramani Manohara – Oh Lord! You are the Master of Lakshmi who is the Goddess of Gold. When you have the very embodiment of Lakshmi with You, how can others find You?” 

Source: The Fifth Goal of Human Life, Discourse 5, My Dear Students Volume 5; Divine Discourse on January 28, 2001

No comments:

Post a Comment

Back to Top