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Acharya Sachidananda

Swami Sachidananda Bharathi is an Indian Air Force officer turned spiritual guide and an apostle of peace and love. He is the patron of 'Indian Thoughts'. He represented India in the 'Millennium World Peace Summit of Religious and Spiritual Leaders' held under UNO, in 2000. He has founded Dharma Bharathi Mission.

The Leadership

‘Now let me share with you, my son, the 16 principles of Enlightened Governance’ the Baba began their next Guruvar Satsangh.‘First of all let us understand the term ‘Enlightened Governance’. Enlightened Governance in simple terms is effective governance which will ensure justice, liberty, equality and fraternity for all citizens of the country. These are the Constitutional values enshrined in the Preamble of the Indian Constitution. This is only possible through a value-based approach without any fear or favour. This will also demand that the nation should have enlightened leaders with strength of character and courage of conviction. That is why we also need to improve the quality and caliber of our MPs and MLAs…….‘Enlightened Governance within ENP, according to me, will have to be based on the following principles. I will only enumerate them. You have to study them carefully later on. Use the library. There are many books on Good Governance, Effective Governance etc.’ the Baba said.
He then enumerated the following 16 principles of Enlightened Governance:
1.‘Let the heavens fall, justice must be done’
2.‘Surety of punishment is a greater deterrent of crimes than the severity of punishment’.
3.‘Justice delayed is justice denied’.
4.‘Corruption and rape are crimes against God and humanity and should carry severe punishments’.
5.‘Smaller the state, better it can be administered, and more citizen-friendly it can become’. 6. ‘Good governance cannot be a substitute for self-governance’.
7.‘Providing quality education to all youth and developing technically qualified human resources constitute the two most important tasks in a nation-building mission’.
8.‘Ministers and Government officials are meant to serve the citizens, not to rule over them’. 9. ‘Duties, not rights, will make a nation great’.
10.‘Farmers and school teachers are to be respected and rewarded as the most important nation-builders’.
11.‘Government is not an employment agency, but a law enforcing authority’.
12.‘In a democracy public servants and political parties are subject to the law and accountable to the public’.
13.‘Mother India’s future is in the hands of mothers in India’.
14.‘Youth are the hope and the most precious wealth of the nation’.
15.‘Democracy does not imply collective responsibility, but individual responsibility based on collective decision-making by consensus or consent’.
16.‘The character and caliber of the leader will influence the character and caliber of the cadre’.After enumerating the 16 principles, the Baba said: ‘These 16 principles of Enlightened Governance are also only indicative. One can add more or delete some. Effective and corruption-free governance whereby the Constitutional values of justice, liberty, equality and fraternity are upheld at all times and at all places should be our goal. This is also the most important function of the Government within ENP’.The Baba looked at Atma Prakash questioningly.‘Yes guruji. I will study them carefully.’ Atma Prakash replied.‘Now let us come to the fourth pillar of ENP: the minimum parameters for our MPs and MLAs’, the Baba continued.“Yatha Guru, Thatha Shisya; Yatha Raja, Tatha Praja; Yatha Neta, Thatha Chela” says an old Indian dictum . It means ‘the disciples will be like the guru; the subjects will be like the king; the followers will be like the leader’….‘The leadership is the most important element in any nation-building mission. Enlightened leaders are required to build a great new India. The first thing for us to do if India is to have enlightened leadership is to improve the quality and caliber of our MPs and MLAs…..

By Acharya Sachidananda on 16-11-2017

Pain and Suffering

The day was very tiring for the Ashram community. There was a great deal of work that had to be done for the forthcoming annual Satsangh. ‘Why does God allow suffering?’ asked Dayanand to their guru.

“Creation is God’s Self-expression bound with time and space. God expresses Himself through His creation. God is Love Infinite. Love by its very nature is also creative energy. Hence creativity is an attribute of God. He cannot but be creative at all times. “Pain and suffering are essential parts of creativity that leads to greater joy. The greatest creativity is giving birth to a child. The mother goes through very many difficulties from the time of conception. She also has to go through a great pain and suffering to give birth to the child and to nurture it, and to bring it up. ‘No pain, no gain’ and ‘No resurrection without crucifixion’ are adages with great divine wisdom in them.

“God does not give us pain and suffering. Some of them are part of the reality of life, like the pain associated with child birth. It leads to greater joy. Some are caused by our own ignorance, lust, anger, jealousy, sloth, pride, selfishness, greed etc.  Some are reactions to our evil thoughts, words and deeds. Some of them are caused by natural calamities. Once we understand this truth, we can also use our pain and suffering creatively for our individual and collective growth and development. That is what Gandhiji, Martin Luther King, Mother Teresa, Nelson Mandela and such other great men and women all over the world demonstrated to us. They suffered willingly and consciously for the good of others. This is what every good mother does. Love motivates us to suffer for the beloved. True love, divine love, is forgiving, enduring and self-sacrificing”, explained the master to his beloved disciple.

By Acharya Sachidananda on 13-11-2017

Partners of a Nation

‘All of us will become old and will need the help of others to take care of us. Those of us who are fortunate will have our near and dear ones to take care of us. Those who are rich can afford to employ people to take care of them. But the poor often have none of these blessings. We as responsible and grateful citizens of India need to take loving care of the old and helpless citizens of India, especially our farmers who worked hard to feed us and the nation. We need to take care of them with love and gratitude during their old age…‘Government servants in India earn monthly salaries many times more than the monthly income of our farmers who feed the nation with their own sweat and hard work. The government servants are also paid pensions till their death. They and their families enjoy many perks and privileges. The farmers’ families enjoy none of these…‘My son, this agenda is only indicative.
If you sincerely work to implement this agenda, you will be able to build a great new India of peace, prosperity and power. Begin with self, begin today and begin small. But, begin. Motivate others also to begin…….‘The common minimum agenda may change according to the needs and conditions of the people and places. What is important is to have a common minimum agenda based on the needs of the last and the least. True development of a nation is to be measured not based on the GDP as we do today, but it should be measured by the living conditions of the last and least in the country….‘Making Laws and Rules in Parliament and Assemblies by themselves cannot solve the national problems. Governments and political parties alone cannot build a great new India. Every citizen has a responsibility to work to implement those laws and rules, and to collaborate with the Government and other agencies involved in the nation-building mission….’
‘Study well this socio-economic development agenda. Give focus on Gandhiji’s vision of ‘Gram Swaraj’ and also study his constructive programmes for nation-building. He was able to involve all patriotic Indians in the mission of nation-building through his constructive programmes….‘Nation-building means national involvement. All citizens of the nation should be able to become partners in a great nation-building mission..’The Baba concluded.

By Acharya Sachidananda on 10-11-2017

God Presence Everywhere

Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa began, “Let me tell you a story. In a forest there lived a holy man who had many disciples.  One day he taught them to see God in all beings and knowing this, to bow low before
them all. A few of his disciples went to the forest to gather wood for the sacrificial fire. Suddenly they heard an outcry: Get out of the way! A mad elephant is coming! All but one disciple of the holy man took to their heels. He reasoned that the elephant is also God in another form. Then why should he run away from it? He stood still, bowed before the animal, and began to sing its’ praises. The mahout of the elephant was shouting: Run away! Run away! But this disciple didn’t move. The animal seized him with its’ trunk, cast him to one side and went on its way.  Hurt and bruised, the disciple lay unconscious on the ground.
Hearing what had happened, his teacher and his brother disciples came to him and carried him to the hermitage. With the help of some medicine he soon regained consciousness. Someone asked him, You knew the elephant was coming – why didn’t you leave the place? he said; our teacher has told us that God Himself has taken all these forms of animals as well as men. Therefore, thinking it was only the elephant God that was coming, I didn’t run away. At this the teacher said: Yes, my child, it is true that the elephant God was coming; but the mahout God forbade you to stay there. Since all are manifestations of God, why didn’t you trust the mahout’s words? You should have heeded the words of the mahout God.’ It is said in the scriptures that water is a form of God. But some water is fit to be used for worship, some water for washing the face, and some only for washing plates or dirty linen. This last sort cannot be used for drinking or for a holy purpose. In like manner, God undoubtedly dwells in the hearts of all – holy and unholy, righteous and unrighteous; but a man should not have dealings with the unholy, the wicked, the impure.  He must not be intimate with them. With some of them he may exchange words, but with others he shouldn’t go even that far. He should keep aloof from such people.”

By Acharya Sachidananda on 06-11-2017

Insensitivity

Two little boys and their father got into the train. The two children were weeping but the father did nothing to stop them weeping louder and louder. The gentleman sitting next felt disturbed and asked the father to tell his sons stop crying. But the father did not say a word. The gentleman was visibly angry. He asked the father why he did not stop his sons being such a nuisance to the fellow passengers.
‘Let them cry. It is good for them’ said the father.
‘How could you be so insensitive to the comfort of the fellow passengers?’ Asked the gentleman.
‘We are returning from their mother’s funeral’ said the father. The gentleman felt ashamed of himself for being so insensitive to the pain and agony of the children who lost their mother.

Note: It is very rarely that our assumptions match the spirit of any situation. Always leave a space for a different possibility.

By Acharya Sachidananda on 30-10-2017

Copper Nickels

Mahatma Gandhi went from city to city, village to village collecting funds for the Charkha Sangh. During one of his tours, he addressed a meeting in Orissa. After his speech a poor old woman got up. She was bent with age, her hair was grey and her clothes were in tatters. The volunteers tried to stop her but she fought her way to the place where Gandhiji was sitting. “I must see him,” she insisted and going up to Gandhiji touched his feet. Then from the folds of her sari she brought out a copper coin and placed it at his feet. Gandhiji picked up the copper coin and put it away carefully.

The Charkha Sangh funds were under the charge of Jamnalal Bajaj. He asked Gandhiji for the coin but Gandhiji refused. “I keep cheques worth thousands of rupees for the Charkha Sangh,” Jamnalal Bajaj said laughingly “yet you won’t trust me with a copper coin.” “This copper coin is worth much more than those thousands” Gandhiji said. “If a man has several lakhs and he gives away a thousand or two, it doesn’t mean much.” But this coin was perhaps all that the poor woman possessed. She gave me all she had. That was very generous of her. What a great sacrifice she made. That is why I value this copper coin more than a crore of rupees.

By Acharya Sachidananda on 18-10-2017

Husk Fry

All the Pundits in and around Cossipur heard that Swami Vivekananda is at his friend’s house at Cossipore. They gathered around him there to hear his philosophy. All these Pundits were well versed in Sanskrit and began conversing with him in Sanskrit. Swamiji but was away from India for long and had not used the language anywhere there. As the discussion went on, Swamiji used Asti instead of Svasti, at which all the pundits laughed out. Swamiji quickly admitted the mistake and continued the discussion.

After all the Pundits left the place, quite happy, Swamiji told his disciples that in the West no one would make a big point of the small grammatical mistake which he made. Instead, they would give more importance to the point which he intended to assert. Pointing at similar silly mistakes deviate general attention from the real topic. He further said that in our country, all the fighting is going on over the husk; nobody searches for the
kernel within.

The disciples learned a great lesson. Even those among them, who thought that their Master was squeezed for the best of advices, could realize that the Pundits have taken out nothing, except a knowledge that philosophical discussions are possible in Sanskrit too.
“Sisters and brothers of America!” A crowd of seven thousand, listening to these words, responded with a standing ovation which lasted for two minutes. Swami Vivekananda’s talk in Chicago in 1893 brought to him world attention. Narendranath Dutta (Swami Vivekananda: 1863-1902) was born in an aristocratic Kayastha family of Calcutta
(West Bengal. He later became the best disciple of Ramakrishna Paramahansa and continued to live as his Master’s voice all the life. Swami Vivekananda is regarded as one of India’s foremost thinkers.

By Acharya Sachidananda on 06-10-2017

Tyagarchana

‘The term ‘Tyagarchana’ consists of two constituents: ‘Tyaga’ and ‘Archana’. ‘Tyaga’ here means to sacrifice something dear to one’s heart voluntarily. ‘Archana’ here implies offering something with loving devotion to God. Hence, the concept of ‘Tyagarchana’ implies sacrificing something dear to one’s heart voluntarily and offering the saving from such voluntary sacrifice to God with loving devotion. It is an inter-religious sadhana, spiritual exercise that integrates divine grace with human endeavor….

‘Loving devotion to God is best expressed through selfless service to our own needy fellow human beings. The Spirit of God dwells in all human hearts. Hence, in every human person we should strive to see and experience the living presence of God. This inherent divinity of every human person is the true basis of human dignity and equality. It demands of us to respect and love all human beings. ‘Madhav Seva, Manav Seva’, that is, ‘service to God is service to humanity’ is a dictum given to us by the saints and sages of our land. Loving service to fellow human beings, especially to the poor and needy, is the best form of devotion to God that we can offer. All religions and their saints and sages teach us this truth….

‘A 100 Rupee note has just the monetary value of 100 rupees. But when this amount comes from the loving sacrifices of one’s own poor mother, it has a much greater value than just the monetary value. This ‘spiritual value’ added to the monetary value by loving sacrifices has within itself the power to inspire and transform others, especially the beneficiaries of the service rendered by that amount. Money with only monetary value has no inspirational or transforming power…..

‘Similarly, when an amount of hundred rupees with just the monetary value of 100 rupees is used for selfless and loving service of the needy fellow beings, it also acquires great spiritual value. This is the basis of ‘Nishkama Karma’….

‘Thus, we can add spiritual value to the monetary value of any amount if the amount is saved from our loving sacrifices. We can also add spiritual value to the monetary value of an amount of money if it is used for rendering selfless service to our needy fellow human beings. This is a spiritual principle which also holds good in case of the services that one can render….

‘Any selfless service rendered with love has great spiritual value and has healing and transforming power added to it. Doing service without love, or with personal or political motive, has no spiritual content and will not heal or transform anyone…..

‘Saving money through voluntary sacrifices, and using that amount for rendering loving service to the poor and needy fellow human beings will double the spiritual value and transforming power of money and service. All your temples can promote this among their devotees……

‘Money with spiritual value, if used for helping undeserving people, will lose its healing and transforming power. ‘Do not cast pearls in front of swine’, taught Sadguru Jesus Christ. Money saved through voluntary sacrifices is like pearls. It is to be used only to help really deserving poor and needy fellow human beings with love, if it has to produce the desired results……

‘The ability to add spiritual values to money and service is perfectly within the power and reach of every human person. No one can take away from us this God-given ability to add spiritual power to money and service. This is the foundational principle of ‘Tyagarchana’ which can find innumerable practical expressions, maharaj……..

‘Skipping one meal and using it for feeding a poor and hungry fellow human being with love is a simple act of Tyagarchana. Giving up some luxury item or celebration, and using the saving to help a poor person is Tyagarchana. Surrendering all our pains and sufferings to God with love and devotion following the example of Sadguru Jesus Christ is the highest form of Tyagarchana….

‘One can simply send out positive thoughts to the world with love in one’s heart. This is also Tygarchana. Grand parents can take good and loving care of grandchildren as Tyagarchna. Family members can spend prime time with one another. Parents can give up their own comforts and restrict their ambitions for the sake of their children. Spouses can spend more prime time with one another…

‘Everything done voluntarily with love becomes Tyagarchana. The old, the sick and the poor can undertake Tyagarchana by simply surrendering their loneliness, sickness or poverty with love to God or by praying for others with love…..

‘Children can practice Tyagarchana by serving their parents with love and gratitude…

By Acharya Sachidananda on 21-08-2017

The Big Tool

The Baba told him in a firm and clear voice.

‘Your life-mission, my son, is to be an instrument of the Lord of light and love for a culture of peace and reconciliation in the world….

‘You must begin your divinely ordained life-mission from India, your own motherland. India is your ‘karma bhoomi’…

‘In order to accomplish your life-mission, you have to be rooted deep in the living Spirit of Christ which is the light and love of God. Remember, the living Spirit of Christ is also the Divine Spirit of forgiveness, reconciliation and peace within the omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent Supreme Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit of God….

‘The living Spirit of Christ is the light of God that shines on all humankind and enlightens every human soul. It is also the love of God that is the source of all creation, and that enlivens every human heart. He is thus the Lord of light and love…

‘You are chosen and called by the Lord of light and love to work tirelessly, fearlessly and prayerfully for a culture of peace and reconciliation in India with the wisdom and power of Spirit that are given to you as free gifts by an ever loving God through Sadguru Jesus Christ…

‘Take Jesus of Nazareth as your Sadguru and inspirational role model in your quest to root yourself firmly in the living Spirit of Christ because he is the divine standard of the living Spirit of Christ in human history….

‘A culture of peace and reconciliation in India will need a spiritual unity and regeneration of religions in India, my son. Hence, focus your energies on this mission. This is an inter-religious mission with economic and political implications that will take care of themselves once the spiritual foundation is laid strong and deep. This is your life-mission. This must be your focus always, everywhere and in everything you speak, teach or do….

‘Religions in India must be invited, motivated and guided to work together for this spiritual unity and regeneration of India based on an inclusive vision, a holistic philosophy, a shared mission and concrete action programmes…

‘The inclusive vision will be that of the ‘Dharma Rajya’, the Kingdom of God of love, unity, peace and joy on earth. The holistic philosophy will be ‘Dharmodaya’ based on the seven spiritual laws of peace, ‘Sapta Rishi’. The shared mission will be spiritual unity and regeneration of India…

‘Tyagarchana’ and ‘Pancha Sutra’ can help religions in India to bring about a spiritual unity and regeneration of themselves and the nation…..

‘Remember my son, morality and spirituality are not for people with empty stomachs… So, you must begin your mission with an all out effort to liberate India from poverty and hunger.

‘Poverty and hunger in India are perpetrated by the dehumanizing caste system and the all-pervasive corruption in the country..… Hence, you must first work for a ‘hunger-free, caste-free and corruption-free India’…

‘This calls for an Integral Revolution of an unprecedented order to make economics and politics in India value-based… You need to spiritualize and divinize them… It can be achieved only through great sacrifices….

‘Mahatma Gandhi was a chosen instrument of God. Remember Gandhiji’s words in his letter written from Delhi on 27th January 1948, just three days before his martyrdom calling for a Second Freedom Struggle, much more difficult than the first, to win the remaining economic, social and moral freedoms for India….

‘Purna Swaraj’ built on the pillars of political freedom, economic freedom, social freedom and moral freedom will be the final goal of the Integral Revolution which should have Enlightened National Politics as its liberative action plan.….

‘The tremendous youth power of this ancient land of religions must be awakened and channelized for the Integral Revolution which is the mission of the third millennium ahead of all sovereign spiritual persons in India…

‘Teachers in India are called to provide enlightened leadership for the Integral Revolution. Hence, the teachers must be enlightened, empowered and enriched for this divine mission of the millennium.’ The Baba said

His guru kissed Atma Prakash Bharat on his forehead… and disappeared.

Atma Prakash Bharat was now absolutely clear in his mind of his life-mission,…….. and how to accomplish it.

‘Dharma Rajya,…Dharmodaya,…. living Spirit of Christ,… culture of peace and reconciliation,..inter-religious cooperation,… Tyagarchana, … Pancha Sutra,….Enlightened National Poltics, …. Second Freedom Struggle,… hunger-free, caste-free and corruption-free India,… awakening the youth power,… Integral Revolution,…. teachers as enlightened leaders….’

Atma Prakash Bharat repeated these key concepts in his mind…. as if storing them in his memory.

Excerpts from ‘Integral Revolution’

By Acharya Sachidananda on 12-08-2017

Anointed for the Mission

After few minutes the Baba opened his eyes. He looked into the eyes of his beloved disciple and said:

‘You were a man of violence. The Lord of light and love has called you to a great mission with the wisdom and power of His Spirit. I was appointed by Him to be your guru, friend and companion. ….

‘The good Lord in His infinite grace has blessed me abundantly, even with a ‘second life’ on earth. A good portion of those divine blessings that I have received from Him are also being passed on to you as your divine legacy…

‘Now the time has come for you to put into practice what you have learnt from me so far. Knowledge with experience makes wisdom. Wisdom is a great treasure to be acquired and cherished with utmost care. I pray for God’s special blessings upon you. May His wisdom and power rest upon you….

‘Never be enslaved by religion, power, wealth and pleasure, my son. They are for you, but you are not for them. They are essential, but do not allow them to enslave you….

‘Respect all religions. Remember, religion and scriptures are good and necessary, but they are only pointers to the Ultimate Truth, the one true God. So are prophets and saints. They are only means, not ends in themselves…..

‘The one true God is the omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient Supreme Spirit. He is the source of our being and ground of our existence. We live, move and have our being in Him. We are created in His image and likeness. That means we are a spiritual being with the power to exercise our ‘free will’. The one true God is also the ultimate goal of our life. We should worship this one true God as divine spirit, divine light and divine love. The one true God is incarnated in and embodied by all great saints and sages of humankind…..

‘Accept, acknowledge and follow Sadguru Jesus Christ as the best teacher and perfect example, and as the divine standard of the living Spirit of Christ incarnated in human history…

‘Remember, the God we worship will determine our value system, our character, our relationships and our worldview. Hence, do not ever worship the ‘false gods’ created by human imagination. Walk in the path of light and love….

‘From today you will be known not merely as ‘Atma Prakash’ but as ‘Atma Prakash Bharat’. It implies that you are dedicated to ‘Bharat Mata’, Mother India. You are called to be an instrument of God for spiritual unity and regeneration of India. You have to be a dedicated instrument of the living Spirit of Christ for building a great new India of peace, prosperity and power….

‘Remember the things that I have taught you, my son. Write them down in your heart. They will enrich your life and the lives of those who come in touch with you. They will help to make you an effective divine instrument of light and love in this world….

‘But you have to reinterpret and reformulate all that you have been taught by me in the context of your life-mission using your own imagination and creativity. That will be your creative fidelity….

‘I have given you enough seeds of light and love during these three years. You have been a bright student. I can see the light in your eyes. I can feel the peace in your mind, and the love in your heart….

‘It is time for you to venture out further, to enter into the next stage in your life-mission, the stage of creative fidelity…

‘The next one year will be a stage of practical field work and training for you… I have made arrangements for you with my friends in Tamil Nadu, the land of temples…

‘Go to the Vivekananda Rock Memorial at Kanyakumari… Meditate in the temple…. Begin your life-mission from there…’

The Baba closed his eyes and was silent…

Excerpts from ‘Integral Revolution’

By Acharya Sachidananda on 05-08-2017