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MAY 2006YUVA BHARATI
YUVA BHARATIVOICE OF YOUTH
Vol. 33 No.10A Vivekananda Kendra Publication
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Keep the motto before you Elevation of themasses without injuring their religion.
INVOCATIONawRnaDifferent are the paths laid down in theVedas, Sankhya, Yoga, and Saiva andVaisnava scriptures. Of these, somepeople take to one and some to another asthe best. Devotees follow these diversepaths, straight or crooked, according totheir different tendencies. Yet, O Lord,Thou alone art the ultimate goal of allmen, as is the ocean of all rivers.
- Sivamahimnah Stotra
Address to the Nation
Whose Dream Was It?
The Scare of Epidemics
We Want Men With Capital M
Shiva As Ecologist
Religion in Indias Army
Gita for the Youth
The Ignited Team
The Nature of Inspiration
Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
Interview Part II
Ch. Satyanarayana Murthy
MAY 2006YUVA BHARATI
Every culture is characterized by certainfundamental concepts which distinguishthat culture from others and which lendit its identity and individuality. They can becompared to certain symbols that evoke acosmos of ideas. They have a living anddynamic reality about them. They grow andevolve with time, adapt themselves to thechanging situations and thereby keep thecultural flow vibrant and uninterrupted. Yajnais one such fundamental concept, basic to theHindu culture. Satya, Rita,Tapas, etc. are someother concepts of that kind unique to HinduDharma. These are terms with a profoundsignificance, which cannot be conveyed throughtranslation into any other language. Right fromthe beginning of our history this term has beencontinuously in vogue. In course of time, itassumed added significance and acquired newshades of meaning, adapting itself to thechanging situations and thus enriching ourculture. There has been a regular growth andenhancement in its significance; even today itarouses the noblest of sentiments in thecollective psyche of the people of this country.The word Yajna brings to our mind the idea ofa sacrificial fire around which people sit andoffer various oblations like ghee and othervaluable items while chanting Vedic Mantras.This is a symbolic aspect of Yajna, a symbolismthat conveys a profound Truth. The underlyingtruth is that everything in the world belongs toGod and must go back to Him. We are only
temporary custodians entitled to its limited use.With this understanding the Vedic Rishis taughtus to first make an offering to the Divine andthen enjoy whatever remains as Prasad. InVedic tradition, the Mantras used during theYajna expressly state that This belongs to theDeity, it is not mine, I offer it to the deity. Thepurpose of the symbolism is to make usunderstand that we are not the owners, God isthe only owner. So without laying any claim ofownership, we must utilize everything thatcomes in our way for the betterment of thesociety and not for our selfish ends. Yajna hasa still deeper mystic significance. The entirecreation is an act of Yajna by the Divine himself.Creation is the projection of the Divine in timeand space. The infinite divinity consents himselfto become finite through an enormous act ofsacrifice. The omniscient God puts on the cloakof ignorance in creation. Similarly God that isall bliss accepts the agonies of world existence,which is again a great sacrifice. Without theDivine voluntarily undergoing this colossalsacrifice there would have been no creation atall. And since we are a part of this creation, weowe a duty to offer Yajna to the Divine. Duringthe period of the Dharmashastras,Panchamahayajnas were prescribed for everyhouseholder. These are social obligations,which everyone was expected to discharge. Itis on the fulfilment of this that the harmonioussocial life could proceed without disturbanceor dislocation. The uninterrupted existence ofour society from time immemorial to this daywas largely dependent on the performance ofthese obligatory functions or Yajnas that oursociety adhered to. Of course, changingcircumstances demand changing responses.What might be relevant at one time becomeirrelevant at another point of time. But theattitude of Yajna is a value that never becomesirrelevant. It is an eternal value, in spite ofchanging social situations. The radicaltransformation that is overtaking humanityrequires a corresponding attitude of Yajna tobe adopted and implemented.
MAY 2006YUVA BHARATIAccording to Bhagavat Gita, Yajna is theprinciple of existence. As Lord Krishna puts it:The Prajapati created mankind along withYajna and told them You prosper by Yajnawhich is your Kaamadhenu. By Yajna youpropitiate the Gods, and being thus propitiated,they will nourish you in return. And bynourishing each other, you attain the highestprosperity. What is of immense significancein the Gita is the slight shift in emphasis it givesto the term by providing a new perspectiveabout Yajna. In the Gita Lord Krishna says thatthere are innumerable types of Yajna like,Evam Bahuvidhayajna. Here in the place ofpouring oblations in to the sacrificial fire, LordKrishna suggests that actions like Tapas,teaching, learning, etc. are also to be sublimatedinto Yajnas. They have to be done with the samespirit underlying the Vedic Yajna. If we glancethrough various slokas dealing with Yajna inthe Bhagavat Gita, we will come to understandthat Yajna has to be understood in terms of threemain criteria: 1.An act performed without anyselfish motive is Yajna 2.An act done as anoffering to the Divine is Yajna 3.An act donewith a collective consciousness and aspirationis Yajna. Yajna should in fact combine all thesedimensions. So, Yajna according to the Gitameans selfless action collectively undertakenoffering the fruit thereof as an offering to theDivine. Bhagavan says that he himself is therecipient and the master of all the Yajnas. Whatmakes the difference between an ordinary actand a Yajna is not the act itself, but the motiveand the attitude behind it. According to LordKrishna even fighting the battle of Kurukshetra,however fierce and inhuman it may appear, isto be transformed into a sacred Yajna. For that,all that Arjuna has to do, is to give up the claimof doership and the hankering after the result
and fight considering himself an instrument inthe hands of the Divine. The teaching of theGita is that the performance of onesSwadharma in this spirit makes it a Yajna.Swadharma may be anything from worship in ashrine to scavenging in the street. There is nohigh and low, no sacred and secular. Theattitude of Yajna makes everything sacredbecause it is an offering to the Divine. Theworkers of Vivekananda Kendra alwaysconsider Yajna as part of their daily life. It maybe more appropriate to say that for a Kendraworker life itself becomes Yajna. Whatever hedoes in any situation, anywhere as assigned bythe Kendra becomes his Swadharma.Performing it without any selfish elemententering into it, with total Shraddha anddedication irrespective of likes or dislikes,pleasure or pain, with full understanding that itis an offering to the Divine becomes an act ofYajna. There is another important considerationin this regard; it is the collective thinking, thecollective will and aspiration that makes the acttruly a Yajna. The individual ego has to be firstthrown into the sacrificial fire. The selfish egohas to be annihilated. For all the Kendraworkers, the object of their worship beforewhom the offering or the Yajna is done, is thesacred Motherland. As Swami Vivekananda hadput it, Let this alone be the object of yourworship. Let all other vain Gods disappear.With this sublime sentiment and with the mantra Rashtraya Swaha Idam Na Mama,let everyKendra worker offer himself and all his actionsas Yajna at the altar of service to our BharatMata. When all the workers are fully imbuedwith this spirit, the entire organization willbecome a mightyYajna for national regenerationand world upliftment through pure spiritualpower.
MAY 2006YUVA BHARATI
At Peda Amiram near Bhimavaram, Ihave visited an International CancerCentre with all modern facilities fortreatment of cancer patients. At Parumala inKerala, the International Centre for CardioThoracic and Vascular Diseases is providingspecialized treatment to heart patients in ruralareas. I also met 1000 physically challengedchildren wearing the light weight calipers atNalgonda in Andhra Pradesh and mostimportantly the first and the 10,000th childbenefited from the Defence Technology spin off.All these results indicate that the developmenthas started reaching certain parts of our ruralareas. What does it all symbolize? The 5000years old civilization is awakening to newtechnology and towards development. I can seethat developed India is on the rise.In order to strengthen this process, scientists,technologists and healthcare specialists have aspecial role to play.Mission for Scientists and Technologists: Forthe scientists and technologists of the nation, I
have five immediate national missions: (a).Increasing the Solar Photo Voltaic Cellefficiency fr