Management of Thought, Breath and Time
Scientists have taken photographs of the brain which shows that 80% of what is called character and personality, attitudes are formed between the age group 6-14. 80% of man’s brain is formed between 6-14 and Bhagwan has been telling us right through that Balvikas relates to the age group 6-15.
Science has taken a photograph of the brain and the synoptic link which proves that there is a link between the points where the nervous centre gives a message and we act out of habit or attitude. Supposing you hit me, how do I react? I can either hit back or keep quiet. Why do I do one thing and why do I not do the other thing, that decision making reaction to the specific situation is the structure of the brain which is settled. If you press a switch in one place the light comes on in another – why this happens is because a particular type of network has been established. A circuit is established. This establishment of a circuit takes places between the age of 6-15. We have to establish the circuit of goodness, circuit of excellence and circuit of the fragrance of divinity.
We owe it to ourselves. We owe it to mankind and most of all we owe it to the fair name and grace of Bhagwan. This age group that we deal with is subjected to the right inputs, is exposed to right kind of habits, the right attitude of life as a result of which we have before us the right kind of man that the world needs today. It may also be equal in depressing the study conducted on terrorism in Punjab-the violence that has taken place the hard core terrorists are in the age group of 15-25. Why are they? Because it is our failure as parents, as teachers, as Gurus in spiritual organisations, have not provided those children with the inputs which can help them to retain their balance of mind. It is in this age the blood is boiling when, the aspirations are there in the right direction and self realization is not provided – no one else but the present generation has to be blamed for the disaster that follows. It is therefore ever more significant that when science is advancing itself past space, when technology is taking in a new turn everyday, our Balvikas students must be living examples. In what way? Not only in excellence but also in academic excellence. If they have not excelled in their academic excellence then we have failed them completely. It is a fiercely competitive world today whether our children are in Balvikas, Sai Colleges or Sai University, they must outshine everybody else, if that is not achieved then spirituality is perhaps not worth following. Why has this subject crept into the Trainers training Camp? Who are meant for it? Children, trainers, Parents or Gurus? Let us first understand the background of this. This subject is for following categories of people.
1. For all Sai devotees of Bhagwan. For a better and clear understanding of the message of Baba. The first application of this subject to all of us is , in our role and responsibility as a devotee of Bhagwan.
2. It is an ideal subject to introduce Bhagawan’s message on Sai organisations to a lay audience, to an audience which is new, which is not exposed of Swami and this most primarily includes the parents of Balvikas children. Because our Balvikas centres do receiving a large number of children whose parents have not had the privilege of being exposed to Baba. To give them in a nutshell what the message of Baba’s life is, what Baba’s philosophy of good living is-this subject is ideally suited.
3. Baba has again repeatedly told in His discourses that we must speak in the language that is understood. We must use the words that are understood. We must use the expressions which should be appreciated. Supposing I give a talk in Sanskrit, some of you will understand and some of you will not. But, if you and I speak in the language which is understood by both, using expressions which are current and illustrations drawn from science – I am sure we have a better chance of putting the message across. If you compare the discourses given by Bhagwan in 1950, 1960, 1975 and in 1986 – the message is the same – one absolute clear difference is there – the illustrations Swami uses are drawn increasingly from the world of management – Because that is the language we understand, that is the vocabulary we are exposed to. The appreciation of the message goes up correspondingly.
So having given this brief background of the subject, we understand why we, being trainers of the Balvikas Gurus need to be conversant with it – in three different capacities –
-In our role as a Sai devotee
-In our role as a trainer.
-In our role as responsible members of the Sai Organisations, practising the Sai ideals and by practice presenting them in a lighter form to society.
Bhagwan’s key would be Excellence – if someone asks me how I would explain Baba and how would I explain Satya Sai – my answer will be and most of you will agree that Baba stands for personalities EXCELLENCE.
What is the meaning of excellence from Swami’s point of view – is whatever He does, talking, walking. If He says My life is My Message – whatever He does, it is in a manner which is appropriate, is the best, and cannot be done better. That is the definition of Excellence.
For us excellence means – in fact we normally conduct a very pertinent mistake – I consider my excellence in relation to the excellence of my competitors, my class fellows, my neighbours. Baba says excellence is not competition with other, rather by competing with your ownself. Excellence is competition with my ownself today – afternoon, morning and night – if I am not better, then I have wasted my time and time waste is life waste. Competition with oneself that is the first definition of Excellence.
Excellence we all believe lies in doing extraordinary things – giving a beautiful speech, singing a beautiful song as the situation demands. Now that is not excellence.
If we read Baba’s discourse we find that Excellence is not doing extraordinary things – but Excellence is doing ordinary things EXTRAORDINARILY WELL.
Vivekananda made the same statement differently. He said “In the glare of the foot lights wherever you put a fool on stage he may rise up to the occasion but it is only in the small insignificant things of life, that greatness is exhibited.
It is said – trifles lead to perfection (trifles – how we talk, how we work, what we are). But perfection itself is no trifle. But unless we care about small things we cannot do big things. If we care about small things, big things will take care by themselves.
What we are trying to embody in the minds of Balvikas is this spirit of excellence in oneself – competition with oneself – the spirit, of continuous excellence and if we have not been able to achieve this, then we have not succeeded in Balvikas and to my mind it is for this reason that we have failed in tapping the enormous talent of Pre sevadal – Despite 15 years of Balvikas and pre sevadal we do not have a sizable number of good citizens or those who have joined the main stream of the Sai Organisation. Why? We have not fired in them the spark of Excellence, the quest for improvement equally in not only spiritual living but material life also- then, they will realize that it is only by following Bhagawan’s message that they will be in the pathway to Excellence.
The other thing to remember is that excellence is not doing one thing 100% better – you may be a good artist or a good scientist a good dress maker etc., Excellence is doing 1000 things 100% better.
Across the world there is a movement, – qualitative improvement in doing whatever we are doing. That is the beginning. Every individual in this world consciously or unconsciously is struggling on this pathway of Excellence and he is trying to achieve success. Everyone wants success – everyone wants happiness. What then is the secret of success – the secret of happiness ?
Well the secret of success and of happiness lies in achieving something that others thought we could not do and that we ourselves thought that we perhaps couldn’t. Because we are able by the grace of the Divine – by means of the catalyst.
Baba gives a beautiful example. The air distance between – say Madras and Bangalore – as the crow flies is 150 minutes. It is 150 miles for you, for me and for all of us. Still on certain days the plane reaches in 40 minutes – on certain days 30 minutes and on still others 1 hr. Why is this for the same distance? Because it is aided by a favourable wind and on other days the wind opposes it, turbulence is there, or the environment is unfavourable. Divine grace says Baba is like the favourable wind – it is His grace – the distance is the same but we reach in a shorter time.
Now let us see what Swami says about the human body – “There are 3 things without which we cannot live”. I can live without a shirt, or a watch. I can live without car or wealth or a million other things.
But the 3 things without which I cannot live are Thought, Breath and Time.
1. I cannot live without breath. Science tells us that if breathing stops even for a while – the flow of oxygen stops in the system and it will be the end of our life.
2. So long as I am breathing my brain and thoughts are continuously working. I have my thoughts all the time. No human being can live without thoughts. In fact the process of breathing is involuntary control of the brain. We all know that if a medulla oblongata – the system of the brain is injured our lungs stop functioning. It is the brain that gets hurt – not the lung. Commands to the heart to beat, to the lung to breathe comes from the brain.
3. Third thing which we need to live – which is the very framework of our existence is TIME.
These 3 are primary inputs of life available to every human being. I may have money – or I may not, I may have wealth –or I may not, I may have intelligence, a skill or I may not – but three things I always have. I have my Thoughts, I have my breath, I have my time. Baba says very simply – each of these can be used in different ways and can be used differently by each different individual. I can use thought one way and you can use it in another – so also breath and time. That much flexibility is there. Therefore if we want the output of excellence in our life – we want to aim at success, happiness, satisfaction in life that is an output. Our inputs are Thought, Breath and Time. The process involved is Management: Management of Thought, Management of Breath and Management of Time.
A simple definition of Management is that – Management is the art and science of optimisation. Optimising means that when you have different possibilities – you use them in a certain manner in which your best interests are served. Optimisation of these resources, all these, which are scarce – your Time,Breath and Thoughts are scarce. Optimising of these scarce resources in a manner that you reach the best result which in our case is pre-defined as Excellence.
Therefore we have the need to manage our Time, Breath and Thought – and Bhagwan tells us that when we are able to manage these three, Excellence is ours.
[Source: The Path Divine, Sri Sathya Sai Balvikas, Dharmakshetra, Mumbai]