This month, REV­EREND DADA JP VASWANI an­swers our ques­tions on ed­u­ca­tion, hap­pi­ness, sui­cide, sci­ence & more…

Citadel - - SPIRITUALITY -

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.

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