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Darshan with Swami Krishnananda
by Swami Krishnananda

27. Values in Human Life

(Darshan given on October 27th, 1995.)

A visitor: Can we inculcate values in the younger generation and, if so, what is the methodology?

Swamiji: Why are you asking “Can we”? You have to inculcate values, because would you like anybody to live a valueless life? But only, one must know what the value is, what kind of value you are trying to introduce. What kind of value is required? Is it moral law, political law, ethical law? What kind of law? A value is that which determines the very existence of things, and we have a principle laid down in ancient times that there are four values in life which include every other conceivable value in the world, namely, economic law, which is the necessity to look to the material needs of people and to provide all means that are required for furnishing material necessities to people. Then there is vital law, emotional law, aesthetic law. We do not want only material comfort. We also seek a heart, beauty, aesthetic perception. Don't you like beautiful things? There is an urge for anything that can be regarded as attractive. The principle of the attraction of a person to anything in the world is included in the whole area of knowledge called emotional value. It is a deep subject, which perhaps comes under aesthetics.

Then you have got eternal value. According to our Indian tradition, it is called the liberation of the spirit from every kind of bondage. In Sanskrit they call it moksha. Only that person can be regarded as a truly wise person who can harmonise these three kinds of values without bringing about any conflict among themselves under a determining law, which is called dharma. ‘Dharma' is a Sanskrit word which means, finally, the law which binds things together, and binds in every way.

When dharma operates as a binding factor in the physical body, it is called health. When dharma operates through the reason, it is called rationality, logic. When it operates through the feeling, it is called joy, happiness. When it operates through society, it becomes friendship, goodwill and harmonious behaviour. Even gravitation is a part of dharma only, which decides the very existence of life in the world. The gravitational force that decides the course of the earth around the sun, and of the planets everywhere, is the dharma of the physical universe. That is to say, that is called dharma which is the law that keeps everything intact harmoniously without dismembering anything that is originally organic. Life is an organic inclusiveness of every kind of value, and if you dismember the part, that is adharma. Adharma is the tendency in any area of life which dismembers the wholeness that is operating in things and violates the law of integrality in all the areas of life.

Four values have been mentioned. The law that regulates everything, even the very existence of a human being, even the very existence of the Earth itself, is called Universal Law, on which is based every other kind of law you can think in your mind. You can make any law, but it cannot stand if it violates Universal Law. And I mentioned other things: the economic law, the vital law, and the eternal law. These are the four aspects of supreme value, which is life itself.

Life itself is a value. You cannot disregard life, neither your life nor anybody else's life. Life is sacred. Your life is sacred, and everybody else's life is also equally sacred. You cannot insult the life of any other person or any other living being even, let alone human beings. This is India's concept of values. And you mentioned to me, “Is it necessary to inculcate values in people?” That is the only thing that you have to inculcate. What else is there? I It includes everything else.

Visitor: I realise the importance or the significance of values. But the problem is, we have our limitations. How to inculcate values in a young person?

Swamiji: If you are yourself living this kind of life, your very personality will speak more loudly than the words that you utter before students. You will shed a ray around you, and everybody will recognise “Here is a stalwart, here is a great man”, and they will be forced to salute you because of the might and the magnanimity and the magnificence of your personality, which you will automatically imbibe by the entry of these cosmic powers to which I made reference just now. What you are is much more than what you say or what you do, and your personality will attract even mountains, what to speak of students. So you must be a great man in the sense of what you call greatness, and then you will see things bend before you. And you should believe what I say. It is a hundred percent truth. The teacher is greater than the students. He is not one among other people. The greatness does not lie in his physical tallness or anything like that. It is a majesty that manifests itself in his own personality due to his living this integral life in his own personal life. What you teach must also be lived; otherwise, what is the good of teaching law and so on when you yourself break the law? So this is what I can tell you briefly. Think over it.

Visitor: It is very inspiring and enlightening. It is crystallised wisdom.

Swamiji: This is what I try to place before you: the crystallised part of India's culture, to which I made reference in the beginning.

I belong to all the religions. That is a new thing I am saying about myself. I do not belong to any particular religion, but I belong to every religion and I accept the truths of all the religions, all the prophets.

It is difficult to belong to all religions. It is not easy to do that because each one differs from the other apparently, isn't it? Christianity and Buddhism and Jainism and Islam – you cannot connect them together because of their operative differences. But if you go deep into them, you will find there is something common among them. You can become friends, if you want.

A visitor: What is your concept of God?

Swamiji: I first of all want to know what is your concept; then I will comment on it.

Visitor: My concept of God is the all-pervading power that keeps the creation going, and all of us have a little piece of Him in us. Our consciousness is…

Swamiji: This is a very, very correct definition. We all have a piece of Him, a little bit. That is what you are saying. A little piece of Him is present in each one of us.

Visitor: Yes.

Swamiji: What is the purpose of loving God, according to religion? Why do you want to love God? What for?

Visitor: Well, because you want to know your own origin.

Swamiji: After having known it, what happens to you?

Visitor: Well, the body will vanish, and my consciousness will somehow live on.

Swamiji: Where will it live?

Visitor: I am an old man, so I will know pretty soon.

Swamiji: If you're an old man, what does it matter? I am talking about the location of consciousness after having known the origin from where you have come.

Visitor: Well, I think our consciousness will dwell in a place where time and space, in a sense, is irrelevant and so it is useless for us to…

Swamiji: This is another way of saying you will dwell in God. This is the essence of religion, and it is beautifully put by you, and it is wonderful. This is my concept also. We agree with each other.

Visitor: You have taught me something, after all.

Swamiji: After all, we have agreed with each other. It is a great achievement. People never agree with each other. This is the first time two persons are agreeing.

Now you have understood the whole thing correctly. The real thing is what you have told just now. If that is clear to the mind, and one can live the life of oneself in this world in the light of that knowledge, one is really a religious person, call him by any name you like.

It is wonderful to remember all these things. The concept of God is the same as the concept of life and the concept of the aim of existence. They all mean the same thing.

We do not always wish to be a little piece of God. Let us be full unity. Why should you be a little piece? Better than a little piece, you can become a larger and larger part, until you are inseparable from Him. The ray of the sun is a piece of the sun, you may say. A little bit of the sun is coming through its rays. Through the rays you can go to the real because, primarily, the rays cannot be distinguished from the sun. They are the sun only. So this little piece is exactly like the original, and it is the passage to reach that original itself, for which purpose only we are existing through these religious activities, prayers, meditations, etc.