Article by: BK. T. D. Joseph, Bangalore, India tdjaum(AT)gmail.com – If you have questions or remarks about this article, please contact the author.
Once King Yadu asked a hansome young man, named Avadhūta, who showed extra-ordinary practical wisdom: “I see that you are not engaged in any practical religious activity, and YET you have acquired a most expert understanding of all things and all people within this world. Kindly tell me, sir, how did you acquire this extraordinary intelligence, and what is the cause of the great ecstasy that you are feeling within yourself?” The young man replied: ‘I have gained the necessary wisdom from the whole creation, through 24 Gurus.’ In other words he was copying the priciples which sky, sun, moon, sea etc. were displaying.—Śrīmad Bhāgavatam Canto 11:7.
If this is the case, we are actually flooded with gurus. Taking a cue from him we will shortlist some five familiar things around us that can make us smart, such as Sun, Moon, Ant, River & Tree (the first letters of which make the word SMART).
SUN is the supporter of all living beings on earth giving them light and heat to everyone alike. Hence sun is a guru teaching us silently that whatever we say or do must be enlightening to others and be providing warmth to them—something Jesus too stressed in his sermon on the mount. (Mathew 5:13, 14) Talking about our disappointments and distress would make others gloomy and weak, hence it reflects lack of love on our part as all are overwhelmed by some distress some way or other. Before speaking to someone, we need to examine whether what we are going to say is “non-offensive, truthful, pleasant, and beneficial.” (Gita 17:15) If not, the best course of action is to be “silent” which will save us energy and spare much distress later.—Gita 12:19.
MOON, reflecting sun’s light, helps us in the night. Earth and moon rotate on their axis, yet we always see only one side of the moon. Because the rotational period is exactly the same as the orbital period, the same portion of the Moon’s sphere is always facing the Earth. Moon thus teaches us that our action should always reflect the qualities of the Soul as we are all souls, the children of the Supreme Soul, and we should never let our other side (the egoistic, selfish side) of our personality be seen by others.
ANTS are very small in size yet it is wiser than human rulers. “It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest.” (Proverbs 6:6-8; 30:25) They teach us to be prudent, acting with care and thought for the future—something that humans are yet to learn. If human rulers were prudent, we would never have even heard of poverty. Take the latest news! European leaders spent their resources recklessly; and now they force what they call AUSTERITY MEASURES on people. Even US Government is no exception as it too plans Austerity Measures for the next 10 years for the same reason! We have pollutted air, water and land making virtually impossible for the next generation to live. Present world population is 6.8 billion, and 870 million (more than the populations of USA and the European Union combined) people do not have enough to eat, while the bulk of the rest suffers from obesity!
RIVER flows continuously till it reaches ocean. It is not interested in the pleasant or unpleasant sights on its way. When met with with obstacles such as rock on its path, it still flows by its side or over it. Hence river is the symbol of non-attachment. It quenches the thirst of many living beings, and cleanses those taking bath in it. Then there is subtle lesson too: “You can never step into the same river; for new waters are always flowing on to you,” says Heraclitus of Ephesus. This is typical of what happens with the cells in our bodies, sanskar, values, experiences and circumstances, all of which keep changing. This helps us to treat others always fresh, not under the influence of their past behaviour to us. Again, it is a symbol of consistency: whether it experiences turbulent times or peaceful times, it keeps flowing. What great lessons for us to copy!
TREE is a true symbol of God, the Benefactor. It silently works to produce fruits which are to be enjoyed by others who may appreciate the tree or not. While itself being in the hot sun, it provides refreshing shade to other beings. What better lesson can we have on the principle of ALTRUISM, “taking delight in the welfare of all beings” which is the very basis of spirituality, also called “eternal duty” (sanatana dharma). (Gita 12:4, 20) Take the case of trees like mango. It produces seed in which countless future generations of that tree remain protected [SAT=truth]; then it covers the seed with flesh which will be a deliciously beneficial treat for other beings [SHIVOM=benevolence]; and finally it presents it to us in attractive/appealing colors [SUNDARAM=beauty]. Thus they display God’s cardinal qualities also.
If you can practice the above principles, symbolized by those very familiar things around us, you will be amazed to be found SMART by others, and also always be successful in whatever field you put your hands on. Why stop at that? You can even become SMARTER at both spheres—Materialistic and spiritual—getting an inheritance of even 21 births in a very ideal surroundings! This requires that you need to be at the right place, at the right time, with right people and doing the right thing. Let us see how:
Before seeing how, we need to have some back-ground information. Sociology presents, among other theories, what they call SOCIAL CYCLE THEORY which states that “events and stages of society and history are generally repeating themselves in cycles.” Interpretation of history as repeating cycles of Golden and Dark Ages was a common belief among ancient cultures. Bible too confirms that history passes through four different stages with 2nd to 4th steadily decling in quality; and it symbolizes each stage with metals such as pure gold, silver, bronze and iron respectively. (Daniel 2: 31-44) History of the righteous will be “like the morning sun, shining ever brighter till the full light of day,” then it become dimmer and dimmer to become “deep darkness” at the end. (Compare Proverbs 4:18, 19) Thus history is broadly divided into “Day,” a period when people would live by the light within, and to NIGHT, a period when people would live selfishly. (Compare John 9:4; and 11:10, and 1 John 1:6) And NIGHT will climax when people will perfect their selfishness in all its forms. (2 Thimothy 3:1-5) This classification of DAY and NIGHT suggests that history repeats itself just like day and night do.
When the wicked are more and the righteous are very few, who will effect the switch-over from NIGHT to DAY? Remember the three major roles God plays, as taught by virtually all religions: GOD = Generator, Operator, and Destroyer. What does he generate, operate and destroy? He is the Generator of Heaven on earth, Operator of the heavenly kingdom of Vaikund (literally means no kunta or obstacle, a place where there is total auspiciousness, beauty and peace as opposed to what we see here on earth now), and Destroyer of this old degenerated world (hell) on earth, which was a heaven in the beginning. His supreme quality, BENEVOLENCE (on the basis of which He has the most appropriate personal name as Shiva), will not allow Him to force people to change their ways. He can only provide the right knowledge, and right atmosphere. Thus, His teaching program and subsequent replacing the hell on earth with heaven are in conformity with the very core of His personality—BENEVOLENCE. (compare Gita 4:7; Isaiah 2:2-4) This will transform some ordinary people into holy ones, whose integrity and beauty will be like that of a diamond, who will be the foundation of the golden age to come on this earth.
This divine teaching program happens during the last generation of the iron-age. Thus God, the Supreme Father, prepares a pure generation in parallel to the hard-iron-aged generation. Hence the present time is a Diamond Age for those who take advantage of the Heavenly Father’s teaching program, whereas it is the climax of iron age for the rest of the humanity. You can be SMARTER by finding yourself in this Diamond Age which means you are in the right place, at the right time, with the right people, and doing the right thing. Let us see how:
Those who want to live in DAY of righteousness, the heaven on earth, have to live by SHRIMAT (dictates of God) which means walking with God. Greatest Shrimat of God is that we should be SOUL-conscious, which involves having a “maximum time in loving remembrance of God the Father as the Supreme Soul” and having loving kindness towards all humans as fellow souls. (Murli 18.06.1969) Thus you have first step (S) of being SMARTER. You climb the second step of (M) when you attend His MURLI class daily in the morning. This is a class after the morning meditation where His Shrimat is explained through which we develop an intoxication towards our Heavenly Father.
We know that happiness depends on the quality of our thoughts. But quality of our thoughts depends on the people with whom we choose to associate. Hence we act in our own best interest when we associate with quality people, pure ones, who walk with God. Thus Association becomes the 3rd step (A) of being SMARTER. When you are among the pure ones (whose soul is the ruler of their senses), you return the Rulership from ego-intellect-mind combination to its rightful heir—Soul—to rule over your senses. Thus you have the 4th step (R) of being SMARTER. Now with the ego taking the back-seat, you have right perspective that you are not the doer. You begin to see “inaction in action, and action in inaction” and so many invisible causes operating behind one’s action (Gita 4:18; 5:14) The cause you perceive will only be a tip of the ice-berg. Thus you come to a firm conviction that you are a tool in the hands of God, who is like a Drama Director. On becoming Tool-consciousness, you “neither rejoice on obtaining what is pleasant, nor grieve on obtaining the unpleasan.” (Gita 5:20) Thus you have the 5th step (T) of being SMARTER.
Once you have firm foot on the above principles, you completely exit from false sources of security: your body, your objects and your relatives, all of which appear, remain for a while and disappear after some time. This Exit makes you step on to the 6th step (E) of being SMARTER. With all the above steps being right, you happen to be on the right place, at the right time, with the right people, and on the right road, doing the right things. This helps you to take right decision at the right time which you will never have to regret later. Thus you are always right. This is the last step (R) of being SMARTER.
You may wonder if this is possible for you! That is because we are used to simply living rather than choosing. We seldom realize that we have enormous power to choose. For example, when someone introduces a subject you don’t like to discuss, you often change the subject. This shows you have control over your thoughts and are also innume to other’s influence. There may be many people who feel like murdering others for some reason, yet very few only do so. That vast majority refrain from killing others thinking of the consequences. Even a habitually angry person controls his anger when he is with his employer or high police officials. All these show that we have control over our thoughts and actions. We can have control even over our destiny as it is the result of habit which is nothing but our repeated action.
Now taking this a little backward, we touch the larger picture! Our gross body depends on the quality of our subtle body. Quality of our subtle body depends on the quality of our Causal Body. Quality of our Causal Body depends on the quality of our sanskar (or vasanas, literally smell or fragrance, hence stands for latent tendencies in one’s nature), which means things we look forward to do or enjoy doing, carried over from our previous birth/s. If vasana is chosen, all the resultant actions are fixed or determined. Vasana and its development are like seed and tree. From seed starts the tree, and its picture is complete only when see the invisible (seed + roots) and the visible (trunk, branches, leaves and fruits).
No wonder that Shiva Baba consistently asks us, through all Murlies, that we need to build a sanskar of remembering Him. “Fill yourself with the sanskar of Satyug. As you fill your sanskar, so your reward is fixed.” (Murli 14.01.1982) Once a sansakar is chosen, its results are automatically fixed or determined. It is like what happens when you hear words such as friend, sister, wife, mother etc. Instantly various attitudes are formed/chosen in your mind, which are like seed [cause] which later matures into action [effect]. Thus free-will and pre-determination are like two sides of the same coin. Greatest proof for this is your own life: you know your present is the result of choices you made in the past. Hence your future will be the result of choices you make in the present. Hence you can choose to be SMART, even SMARTER. The firmer you cling on to our Heavenly Father, higher the chances that you “will be able to claim a number at the front,” and “filling up your treasure-store of all attainments for all time.”—Murli 12.11.1979 & 14.12.1983