This month, REVEREND DADA JP VASWANI answers our questions on education, happiness, suicide, science & more…
What is the role that education should play in today’s modern and secular society?
True education should teach us the art of living. For instance, it should teach us to speak the truth. It should help us develop a will power to consecrate to the service of suffering humanity. There are so many lessons that education should teach us. But education does not do so. Our modern education is only education in words. But we should be taught lessons that would help us to live the right way. We should be taught how, with the help of God, we can control our anger and our appetite.
Why is our happiness temporary? Why can’t we be happy forever?
The great saints of India talk about ‘Ananda’, which means happiness, bliss, joy that has no ending. But that happiness will only come to you when you have attained self-realisation, which leads to God-realisation. But our happiness depends on pleasures, which give you temporary happiness.
What is behind the explosion of youth suicide?
They don’t realise the value of human birth. Often I have said that on this earth there are millions, billions, trillions, uncountable number of species. Each species has billions of its kind of individuals. The number of jeevas living on this earth is countless. It may be greater than the number of stars that shine at night. This human birth has been given to us for a general purpose and a specific purpose. But we know neither the general purpose nor the specific purpose. We regard ourselves as animals. That is the reason why so many commit suicide very easily.
A spiritual aspirant encounters many distractions while trying to follow the prescribed path. How does one learn to overcome these distractions?
By directing one’s will power. Will power is very necessary for a spiritual aspirant. And you will get this will power if you pray to God constantly for will power. And once you have will power, nobody can distract you.
Is there a relationship between science and spirituality? Can science and spirituality ever talk the same language and collaborate meaningfully with each other?
Science is the study of the laws of the external world. Spirituality is also a science, but it studies the inner world. Now the time has come where both of them are drawing close to each other. Physics, for instance studied the atom, but after quantum physics, the atom is asking about who is the one who studied me? So they are coming closer. But one is concerned with the outer sphere while the other is concerned with the inner sphere.
Even though we understand what is right and wrong, the temptations are so strong that we go astray. Kindly guide how can we move on the righteous path?
You should come to the satsang; it will help you to move on the righteous path. And secondly, you must develop will power. All these difficulties come because of lack of will power. Our education has done nothing to help us develop it.
How can a married person strike a balance between their worldly life and spirituality?
I think you can always make a beginning by coming to the satsang. You can always make a beginning by not reading novels or watching TV, but by studying the lives of saints and holy men. Once you make a beginning, the door will open to you. The way will be shown to you.
Is it possible to assess our progress on the spiritual path?
There is no yardstick by which you can measure it. But as you move on the spiritual path, you will grow tender, you will grow softer, your behaviour will change, you will regard the difficulties of others as your own difficulties, and you will no longer live for yourself alone. And from these you can judge that you are making progress along the spiritual path. But there is no yardstick by which you can judge it.