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Concentration and Youth

Today Gurudeva gives meaning to attention, concentration, meditation, contemplation, samadi. Gurudeva then discusses why parents should not force children into activities for which they do not have aptitudes. Gurudeva gives the meaning of Darshan.

Unedited Transcript:

'Today at Kauai Aadheenam', daily diary. October 15, in our electronic Ashram in cyberspace.

We had a 'Publisher's Desk' meeting today. This means, all the writers and editors of 'Hinduism Today' gather together in our Cedar Room, around a big table and review the major articles for 1999. This happens about every 5 or 6 days and during the time we are together, we telephone one of our journalists in London or New Delhi, one or another part of the world.

Well, two cows left yesterday. So, we have more room in our pasture for some young ones. We keep our cows, our old cows, until they make their transition. They have given us milk for many, many years. If we give a cow to someone else, we make sure that it is not to be eaten. It is a great sin in Hindu religion, in Sanatana Dharma, to eat a cow. The penance for that will come up in the next life. Many people who eat cows, who are Hindus, don't believe that the penance will come in the next life. Cows are like people. They are mammals. We should not eat dolphins or whales or any that are like us, that give birth to young. Think about it. Now, we have thought about it. So, we will go on.

We had a lot of visitors yesterday. We didn't even have time to take their pictures to show them to you. About 10-15 people came from various parts of the world. They enjoyed Kauai Aadheenam and were taken around by our wonderful, mathavasi guides who explained to them, our beautiful philosophy that there is 'One God, One World'. They tell the visitors, "God is within everyone. There is something God cannot do. He cannot take Himself out of you. That is one thing, for sure. The all-powerful God cannot take Himself out of you." That is really heartening for visitors to hear. The energy in the body comes from God, the Light that lights up our thoughts comes from God. That gives a lot of security.

I get many letters and now, on email and letters too, about "Help me with my examination." From Malaysia, from Singapore, from all over the world, "Help me with my examination. My memory is so poor. I cannot concentrate." Well, many children these days, are forced into educational procedures, to awaken abilities that they have no aptitude for. If you do not have concentration, well ... Let us talk about it.

Concentration is preceded by attention. Attention, concentration, meditation, contemplation, samadhi or the oneness with the All; the All is God. Attention, concentration, meditation, contemplation, becoming one with the All and then, samadhi, becoming the All.

So, what is attention? What holds our attention? What we are interested in, holds our attention.Therefore, concentration comes naturally. Unfortunately, families want a doctor in their family. They want an engineer in their family. And, now it is a computer engineer. I knew a young man who was becoming an engineer. I said, "What are you learning?" It turns out that he was becoming an automobile mechanic, to work in a garage.

We have to look at education as buying a product. Once the product is purchased, then we learn to use that product. Think about it. You buy a product for a young person who is born to be a great artist, born to be a great dancer or musician. The product is something that he is not interested in. Then, he is forced to learn through humiliation, through beatings. Many families do this, even in Hinduism that believes in ahimsa, not harming or hurting mentally, physically and emotionally. Those who do, knowing ahimsa, the bad karma comes back on them so quickly. That karma comes back so fast.

Back to the subject. The subject is attention, concentration, meditation. According to the astrology of a young person, his mental aptitudes may not be for cutting up frogs and later, cutting up humans. It maybe for something very, very different. We have to understand the nature. We have to understand the aptitude. We have to understand what holds the attention of the individual. Maybe he is not born to be wealthy, off the hurts and sores of others. Maybe he was born to be poor, but a great artist that can inspire and uplift others. Maybe he is born to be a sannyasin, a spiritual leader, a minister, a missionary of the Divine.

It is the parent's duty, for they are the first guru, to go to the second guru, someone such as me. This often happens with parents. Almost once or twice a week, we hear from parents who ask us, "What should our children be, when they grow up?" We analyze their character, their astrology, their aptitude and give good advice. Through the last 50 years, much of this advice has worked out beautifully. Fine, productive people.

There are still others, who think they know it all. They ignore the ability of the soul of their offspring, expressing itself in the physical world. They force them into marriages, force them into education, force them to make money and force them to be unhappy.

Concentration is an outgrowth of attention. If you cannot concentrate and if you are having problems with concentration, you do not have to take pills and all the wonderful things that improve your memory. You just have to find something that you are interested in, that holds your attention. Concentration, therefore, is the by-product that develops what holds your attention and then, you can meditate. Finally, you get closer to your inner self.

Well, I don't know how I got on to this subject. But, it has really impressed me, with a number of letters, and email communication that we get on, "I cannot concentrate." Basically saying, "I don't like what my family is forcing me into." Let us have compassion on the youth and develop the qualities within them that they were born on planet Earth to develop. Well, that is a deep subject.

I will be seeing you tomorrow, in our familiar place. All the races and all the many faces that are tuning in from Ireland, Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden, Germany and Spain. We have a list, too long to read to you. From India, Sri Lanka, Mauritius, Madagascar, tuning in to our cyberspace Ashram, for just a little bit of peace, of knowledge.

Some people are wondering what 'darshan' means. Darshan simply means to see and to feel, at the same time. It is a Sanskrit word. When I use the word darshan, it means to see and feel. I have your darshan. That means, I see you and I feel you. You have my darshan. You see me and you feel as I feel.

Aum Namasivaya.

Photo of  Gurudeva
Life is meant to be lived joyously. There is in much of the world the belief that life is a burden, a feeling of penitence, that it is good to suffer, good for the soul. In fact, spiritual life is not that way at all.