(Notes from the talk given by Swamiji Adhyatmananda Saraswati, Chinmaya Mission for CHYKs (Chinmaya Yuva Kendra) in Dombivli, Mumbai on 28th June 2009)
Four Mahavakyas or four Fundamental, Philosophical, Psychological Statements:
- People are OK
- People are Different
- People can Think
- People are responsible for their destiny; and their destinies can be changed.
Swamiji: Which of these statements do you like the most and why?
All CHYKs were asked to think and say their opinions. Each one explained their thought on a point and in the end it was found out that all the four points were interconnected.
People are OK. It is just that they are different; and different people think differently. As a result, the destiny of every person is different as per their deeds. The same thing is explained in science – “Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.” Jesus Christ told the same thing – “As you sow, so shall you reap.” You sow wind, you reap whirlwind. The Karma Theory in Hinduism explains the same thing – Cause and Effect Theory. “What we are today is the effect of something (cause) which happened in the past. What we will be tomorrow is the effect of what we do (cause) today.” An effect is the same thing as the cause but in a different form. The seed of an apple in the cause and apple tree is the effect. The effect is inherent in the cause itself.
These four points should always be remembered. Many people often carry the attitude – I’m OK. You are not OK. For them, they are always right and it is always the other person’s fault. They actually forget the second point that people are different, and it ought to be so. God must have had a purpose behind it. Different colours make a painting beautiful. Different flavours make a feast good. Different sounds create beautiful music. Different people make the world beautiful.
Elders often forget that younger people can think and take decisions. Younger members of the family are often considered immature and incapable to take responsibility or decisions. The fact that “Everyone has worth” was proved by Sri Ramchandraji when he took the army of monkeys to fight with Ravana. He could have taken Bharata’s army and easily won the war, but he wanted to show that even mokeys can achieve a great task. Today, in the subject of management, there is a topic called ‘Managerial Effectiveness’ where it is said that the efficiency of a manager is tested in the way he distributes the work amongst his subordinates and gets the right work done from the right person. An efficient manager will always look at his subordinate’s strengths and make optimum use of the same.
It is said in point # 3 that People can think. It is not said that people always think they actually don’t. And the reason for not thinking is, they never got an opportunity to think. It was always others who thought for them and they just acted like robots by following the orders.
Teachers can facilitate children to experience. From experience comes thinking. Even though all may not be teachers by profession, all can, in some way or the other, make an opportunity for others to experience and think.
Respect others. In order to do so, one must learn to respect oneself. But how can one respect oneself, a question may arise. When a student fails in an exam, usually it is seen that the student and everyone around him makes a conclusion that “The student is a failure” instead of saying that “He just failed in that exam”. If the student avoids this way of thinking about himself, it can be said that he is respecting himself.
Even while in an argument, one should never say, “You are wrong”. It is his feeling that the other person is wrong. He should always say, “I feel that you are wrong. But that does not spoil our relation. It is just that we have a difference of opinion on this topic.” One should be ready to accept the other person unconditionally. It is when the false conception and expectation that the other person will, or rather should, change, that starts a fight. Accept unconditionally. Accept them as they are. Say to yourself – People are OK. People are different.
One might say his views or opinions but should always avoid Advice. Advice is like painting an ice cube. It is the thing that people love to give but the same people hate to take. Instead of giving advises, one can give questions to think upon. In fact, education is meant for this only. I read it somewhere, “Education can give intelligence but not intellect.” The knowledge that we get from various sources is the intelligence, but how to make use of it depends on our intellect. Intelligence makes a man successful. That’s why we can see only a few surgeons, few sportsmen, few teachers, few lawyers, who are exceptionally beyond comparison even though all of the got the same training.
If we keep these Four Mahavakyas in mind, we can always be happy and lead a worthy and noble life.