Discipline means the training of people to obey rules or a code of behaviour. We should not fret against the rules and regulations. They are laid down for our own benefit. There can be no fame without discipline (Na sreyo niyamam vinaa). Discipline is essential to promote one’s character and virtue. Discipline helps to get rid of bad habits and inculcate good habits.

5 Elements

Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba explains the technique of acquiring the character.

Thoughts give rise to actions. Actions, in turn, produce habits. Habits, then, form man’s character. Character decides our destiny. – (Sri Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol.8A,p.227.) A life without character is as barren as a temple without a lamp.

We should learn Discipline from nature

5 ElementsAll things in Nature obey their respective rules of conduct. Sun, moon, stars, planets and living things are all subject to certain laws. (Gurus can show pictures of the Solar system, Sunrise, perfectly regulated traffic on road etc, discuss what would happen if there is no discipline)

5 Elements“You may have Devotion, you may discharge the Duty entrusted to you. But unless you are saturated in Discipline, the other two are useless. Discipline must regulate and control every activity of your life.” – Bhagawan Baba

Bhagawan Baba has given the following injunctions to man to lead a disciplined life: 5 Elements

  1. Follow the divine dictum:
    • See no evil, See what is good.
    • Hear no evil, Hear what is good.
    • Talk no evil, Talk what is good.
    • Think no evil, Think what is good.
    • Do no evil, Do what is good.
  2. Practice Ceiling on desires (COD):
    • Do not waste time.
    • Do not waste energy.
    • Do not waste money.
    • Do not waste food.
  3. The first step in spiritual discipline is the cleansing of speech. Talk sweetly without anger. Do not boast of your scholarship or attainments. Be humble, eager to serve; conserve your speech. Practise silence. That will save you from squabbles, idle thoughts, and factions. [Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume II,Chapter 6]
  4. You must make it a practice to observe silence for at least one hour daily. It saves your cosmic energy and ensures peace of mind. You should develop also the discipline of simple living and high thinking. [Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume XXX, Chapter 17]

Suggested Class Activities

Rule or No-Rule Game Gurus can ask the students to play carom board or chess or any other board game – the only pre-condition being that there are no rules to be followed for the game. Initially the students will find the idea very captivating, but once they start playing they will find that there is really no charm in playing a game without any rules; eventually they will find it quite boring since anyone can play in any manner as there are no governing rules. The Guru can now lead the students into a discussion on how rules are framed for our own good and that without rules and regulations there is no real challenge in any activity, and so too is it in life. Right question – Wrong answer game Gurus are required to prepare a set of questions for the class. Gurus should instruct the kids that the answer to her first question should be “Sairam” only. When the second question is asked, children should answer the first question, and when third question is asked, they should answer the second and so on. The answers will appear very funny, and children will enjoy the exercise. Following are some sample questions and answers:
1. When do you brush your teeth? Sai Ram
2. At what time do you watch TV? Early in the morning
3. When do you chant Karagrey? In the evening when I return from school
4. When do you say Brahmarpanam When I get up from sleep, before starting the day
5. Do you allot time to clean up your cupboard – if so, when? Every day before I eat my food
6. Do you attend Nagarsankirtan sessions and if so, when? Every Sunday, between 3 to 4 pm
The learning Gurus should discuss in detail as to why children found the answers funny, what happens when they really do these things in their daily lives etc. In life, if there is no discipline then we too will become a laughing stock. This analysis is important so that gurus are able to drive home the point that life without discipline is similar to a kite without a string.
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