In this book, are brought together, a few of the great ideals that have impressed and influenced Revered Dada J. P. Vaswani and the 'codes of conduct’ that he has derived from them. For the thirty-one days of the month, there are as many rules of life laid out simply, lucidly for our ready benefit by Rev. Dada. Each one is illustrated with a simple yet powerful story, and a practical exercise that can help us inscribe the lesson in our hearts, and help to put it into practice in our daily life.
Have a good day every day of the month!
Learn a valuable truth every day!
Open the pages of this book, and enrich your life and lives of everyone around you, by reading and reflecting on the thoughts and ideas specially selected for you by Rev. Dada. And most importantly.... don’t just read them: live them!
Manush Janam durlabh hai
Hot na baran baar...
This human life is a great and rare blessing that God has bestowed on us. Why is this so? Not because we, homo sapiens, are gifted with intelligence; not because we can laugh and cry and think; not because this world offers its greatest pleasures to humans who are endowed with the capacity to experience joy and sorrow - no, not for any of these reasons do our saints claim that human life is a precious gift to us. Life is rare and precious and valuable to the thinking human being, because it offers him the opportunity of Liberation, of attaining oneness with His Creator, returning to the true Homeland from whence he came!
However, that is not what everyone understands or accepts! On the contrary, people will tell you that life is meant to be savoured, enjoyed, relished to the fullest possible extent. "Carpe diem! Sieze the day!" calls out the ancient Roman writer, "Rejoice while you are alive; enjoy the day; live life to the fullest; make the most of what you have. It is later than you think."
Seize the day! Enjoy life! Make the most of it! Or, to put it in coarser terms - Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die! Is there no more to life than this?
I would rather go with the wise man who said, "The purpose of life is life with purpose". Life is what we make of it; and, I firmly believe that life is the greatest school for us human beings - a school of management, life sciences, well-being, service, art, creativity, philosophy and people skills - all rolled into one! We come out of this school with 'flying colours' (as students put it in the good old days) when we have fulfilled the purpose for which God sent us here. When I say 'school' I use the word advisedly; for school is not about textbooks and blackboards and vacations; a school is about learning; and at the end of every learning process, there are outcomes to be achieved and a "passing out" to be attained. What would you and I like to do in this school - this is a choice that each one of us must make. Shall we 'learn' all the valuable lessons that are taught to us here and master the essence of life? Or shall we spend a lifetime here, as people do at a coffee shop or at a bar, idling, waiting for time to pass us by? As I said, the choice is entirely ours.
I reiterate this: Life is God's greatest school, and our experiences are our best teachers. Therefore I tell my friends: the day on which I have not learnt something new, is a lost day indeed!
One important lesson that I have imbibed is that life is not a pleasure-hunting ground; each day that we spend here on this earth has come to us out of the spotless hands of God. If we do not make the most of this life, we will have to face our Maker as failures!
Sometimes we try to run away from unpleasant experiences, even as students run away from 'tests' and tough 'assignments'. But running away or 'escape' is not an option for life. We cannot avoid these experiences; even if we succeed in evading them temporarily, they will come back to us in a more formidable form, until we have learnt the lesson which they were meant to teach us in the first place. Therefore, let us not try to run away from experiences. So many experiences, which appear to be bitter, come to us to teach us lessons we need to learn. Suddenly, a dear one is snatched away from us by death. Suddenly, unexpectedly, we suffer losses in business. Without any warning symptoms, we fall ill. Out of the blue, a calamity comes to strike us, or a misfortune befalls us. Instead of trying to run away from these and other similar experiences, let us move forward to greet every incident and accident, illness and adversity, with the words: "Welcome friend, what lesson do you have to teach me?"
One of the earliest lessons I learnt was when I was a school student. I realised then, that time was the most precious of all possessions. Time is our capital. Every minute - every moment - is precious. There is an ancient proverb which says: ''A moment of time is like an ounce of gold, but you can't buy even a moment of time with any amount of gold." We realise the value of the moment only when the last moment arrives. Alexander, the world conqueror, was defeated by a tiny insect. It is said that he died of malarial fever from a mosquito bite. As he lay dying in his white tent, he asked: "Is there anyone who will give me a healthy breath of his life? In exchange I will give him my whole empire." There was no answer. Alexander exclaimed: "I wasted millions upon millions of my breaths in carving out an empire in exchange of which I cannot get a single breath!"
The river of time flows on. The hours quickly change into days, the days into months and the months into years. Suddenly, one day, the bell tolls for us and the call goes forth: "Vacate the house (of the body)!" The body drops down and man realises, too late, that he has lost the golden opportunity of the human birth, thrown away his precious life without ever really coming to terms with its true nature and purpose. "If life was meant to be a joke, I'm sorry, I haven't got it!" exclaimed a great comedian. He did not realise this - that life is not meant to be a joke! We must be as conscious, as sensitive, as particular about our time, as we are with our money. We must use time creatively and never forget that every moment is just the right time to do a right thing. If we wait for more opportune moments, we may have to wait till eternity. Take care of your moments, I say to my friends, and the years will take care of themselves.
"Life is half spent before we even know it," says the poet, George Herbert. Therefore, there is a sense of urgency in discovering the purpose for which God sent us here, and fulfilling that purpose in the best way we can. In other words, we must fix a goal. So many of us, alas, are just moving, ambling along life's highway, without even being aware of where we are going. Time is neutral. It could be used either constructively or destructively. Therefore, let us fix a goal - secular or spiritual- and each day strive to draw closer to the goal.
Let me tell you, I was privileged to be taught this lesson very early in my life. Fortunately for me, I felt drawn to my beloved Master and mentor at a comparatively early age. I was a college student when I felt the pull. I felt drawn to Sadhu Vaswani even as an iron filing feels drawn to a magnet. At his feet I learnt the supreme lesson that life and all the bounties of life are given to us as a loan to be passed on to those whose need is greater than ours. We are here to help each other. The day on which I have not helped someone in need - a brother here, a sister there, a bird here, an animal there - is a lost day, indeed.
Sadhu Vaswani was a prophet of the revolution that is coming - the revolution of love. He revealed to us our kinship with all who suffer, our partnership with those in pain. You and others are not apart from each other, he said; you and others are parts of the One Whole. He lived in this vision of unity.
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