” Mission of Dada J.P.Vaswani “
“ J.P. Vaswani ”
Universally acclaimed as a humanitarian, philosopher, educator, acclaimed writer, powerful orator, messiah of ahimsa, and nonsectarian spiritual leader, Dada J.P. Vaswani has captivated the hearts of millions worldwide.
In the eyes of many, Dada J.P. Vaswani is a man who symbolizes the true Spirit of the India of the Rishis as a harbinger of love, peace and hope.
Thousands upon thousands of avid readers who have read his best-selling books regard him as a great inspirational writer. Distinguished audiences who have heard him address eminent forums like “ The World Parliament of Religions .. The Global Forum of Spiritual Leaders .. and The United Nations Millenium World Peace Summit hail him as a brilliant and captivating orator. ”
Animal lovers revere and admire him as an apostle of non-violence who strives tirelessly for the cause of reverence for all life. And, to the thousands spread all over the globe, Dada J.P. Vaswani is an unquestioned spiritual leader.
Born on 2nd August, 1918 in Hyderabad-Sindh, “ Dada J.P. Vaswani ” was a brilliant student who obtained his B.S. degree at the young age of seventeen. He won a prestigious Fellowship to complete his M.S. in Physics from Bombay University. An honorary doctorate was conferred upon him by an American university.
However, he gave up his bright academic career to follow the footsteps of his uncle and mentor, Sadhu T.L. Vaswani who himself was a mystic, a poet, a humanitarian, a philosopher and an educator, and who is known as one of the great saints of modern India.
“ Sadhu Vaswani Mission”
Today, Dada J.P. Vaswani is not only the spiritual head of “ The Sadhu Vaswani Mission ”, but also the moving, inspiring, lifegiving and life-sustaining force behind its multifarious activities. Holding aloft in his hands, the torch bequeathed to him by his Master, “ Dada ” carries across the globe the message of India’s deathless culture. Through him, the joy of faith and peace flows out to many. In him, thousands of faithful devotees behold the image of their Beloved.
The inspired author of over 50 books in English and many more in the Sindhi language, Dada’s writing reveals practical tips on happy, successful, spiritual and nonviolent living. Many of his books have run into several editions and several have been translated into the Marathi, Hindi, Gujarati, Kannada, Papio Mento, Arabic, Mandarin, Spanish, French, German, and Indonesian languages.
If the Sadhu Vaswani Mission is renowned the world over as a great humanitarian service organization, respected for its integrity and commitment and its widespread service activities, it is entirely due to the spiritual stature of Dada J.P. Vaswani. In translating the ideals of his beloved Master into the actuality of The Mission, “ Dada” has indeed been the perfect disciple.
“ The Sadhu Vaswani Mission ” is a nonsectarian institution which believes in the unity of all religions and reveres the Great Ones of all faiths. Days sacred to Krishna and Christ, Buddha and Muhammed, Moses and Guru Nanak, Kabir and St. Francis, Zoroaster and Bahaullah are observed by the mission with special prayer meetings and service programmes.
Indeed, the mission serves all sections of society with no attention to caste, creed or community. Its service activities today embrace several spheres that influence people’s lives .. social, educational, medical, environmental and spiritual.
“ service is worship of God ”
“ Service of the poor is worship of God ”, taught Sadhu Vaswani. Nobody who comes to the Mission in hunger is turned away without food. It is Dada J.P. Vaswani’s firm conviction that the teaching of profound spiritual truths can wait until the poor and the hungry are provided with life’s most basic necessity .. food .. to keep their body and soul together. At the Mission’s ever-hospitable “ Bhandara ”, the poor are fed daily.
Food, snacks, fruits, biscuits and other eatables are distributed regularly to the inmates of various institutions in Pune, including Orphanages, Homes for the Aged, Schools for the Blinds, Institutions for the Disabled, Mental Hospitals and Leprosy Asylums as well as day-care centers and creches for the children of labourers.
In addition, every month, hundreds of needy families receive food rations and household utensils, as well as help in cash and kind. Electricity and gas connections are provided to these needy families who cannot afford them and in the homes of the indigent, the Mission undertakes the construction of toilet blocks, proper drainage facilities, and the repair of leaky roofs.
The Mission organises melas ( fun-fairs ) for the underprivileged. On these occasions, the Mission’s special guests are warmly welcomed and offered a delicious spread of eats. They also receive special gift articles and are entertained by cultural variety and magic shows. To enable the needy to earn their livelihood with dignity and self-respect, the Mission offers them free or concessional Computer Education at a not-for-profit training center. Apart from this, tailoring, embroidery, cooking and other skills education is provided. At the end of courses, free sewing machines, hand carts, type writers and other equipment are gifted to them to enable them to stand on their own two feet.
The Mission has undertaken village upliftment programmes in the backward areas of Kutch and Saurashtra in Gujarat, as well as Bhor and Lonavala in Maharashtra, to improve the quality of the life of villagers living below the poverty line. The programme includes village adoption schemes, provision of drinking water, digging of irrigation wells, tree plantation, soil conservation, cattle camps, as well as education of children, free medical and pathological camps and training of villagers to learn skills that will help them to earn their living with dignity and self-respect.
“ Mira Movement ”
“ The Mira Movement ” in Education was launched by Sadhu Vaswani over 65 years ago. Its aim : not just to make students pass examinations; but to impart a humane, character-building education, with an emphasis on the integration of hand, head and heart. “ The noblest work is to cultivate the soul ”, Sadhu Vaswani taught. This is the ideal towards which all the Mira Educational Institutions strive.
Today, the “ Mira Movement ” in education has grown and expanded to run several strong sense of disciplines and persevered to achieve its insistence on cultural, spiritual and moral values. Over 6000 students receive their education from these institutions, starting from the pre-primary level and going right up to post-graduation. Schools have also been established at Delhi, Baroda, Ahmedabad, Rajkot, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Bengaluru. It has also crossed the Indian shores and started its first school abroad in London.
“ health care ”
The Sadhu Vaswani Medical Complex, located in the green and leafy environs of Pune’s Koregaon Park, has been a dream project of The Sadhu Vaswani Mission. The vision behind this prestigious temple of healing has been Dada J.P. Vaswani’s – to build a hospital where no sick person would be turned away because he was poor; where even the lowliest of the lowly would receive the medical treatment that his condition required; where a patient would not be reduced to a mere case number, but would be treated with love, respect and sympathy.
The mission runs two dispensaries, a diagnostic center and a free homeopathic dispensary, a 150 bed Inlaks and Budhrani Hospital with modern facillities and equipment costing over 113 million rupees free and concessional diagnostics and treatment are offered to the poor and needy patients. The multi-hospital Sadhu Vaswani Medical Complex functions in tune with the inspirational ideal set by Dada J. P. Vaswani : Every patient is a picture of God ; to serve him well is to serve God. Similar institutions are also run by different Sadhu Vaswani Mission centers.
“ animal rights and welfare ”
Sadhu Vaswani believed that all life is sacred and that birds and animals are man’s younger brothers and sisters in the one family of creation. In this spirit, the mission has launched an international campaign called “ The Meatless day ” and “ Animal Rights day ” urging all to abstain from eating food of violence on
November 25, Sadhu Vaswani’s Birthday and thus express their shared commitment to the great ideal of non-violence which leads to world peace.
Millions of people sign pledges and send them to S.V.M. Four states in India .. Maharashtra, Gujrat, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh have declared November 25 as Meatless Day and slaughter houses remain closed on that day.
Launched in the year 1986, the Meatless Day campaign has grown from strength to strength. Dada J.P. Vaswani’s tireless efforts to spread the message of his Master have borne fruit. Wherever Dada has travelled, individuals, institutions and oftentimes, even local governments and civic bodies have responded to his passionate appeal to respect the fundamental right of every creature .. the right to live. “ Is not life God’s greatest gift to each and every one of his creatures ? How can we take away that which we cannot give ? ” asks Dada J.P. Vaswani.
“ The 19th Century gave black people their rights; the 20th Century freed women from their shackles and was acclaimed a century of women’s rights; the dawn of the new millennium will witness the triumph of Animal Rights ”, believes Dada J.P. Vaswani. Truly, a glorious vision of peace, love and compassion!
“ spiritual teachings ”
Dada’s teachings are so simple that even a child can understand them. Dada teaches us to love and laugh and to accept every situation that befalls us. He teaches us to bring God into our daily life. Turn back to God and ask him to guide you, he says, and sure enough you will hearken and be impressed by God’s wisdom and guidance from the inside.
Dada has said that the makers of the New Age .. which is knocking the doors of humanity, will be the woman-soul. In this spirit, he works for the re-emergence of feminine independence and self esteem and gives importance to educating girls, as it means that a whole family, community and eventually the society and nation would achieve benefit from them. Dada believes men should develop virtues of love, self-sacrifice and patience and that women should be more bold and courageous. A sweet mixture of the heart and intellect, sentiment and rational thought is regarded as ideal.
“ the soul of India is alive ”
Dada has a message of hope and faith to share with the world about the role that India can play in achieving peace in the new century. “ Though India is now passing through a period of crisis, the soul of India is still alive ”, he has said. “ The day will come when India will move the world. India will shine once again in the splendor of the new morning Sun and will be regarded as a leader of the nations, as a builder of civilizations. ” Awards and honours have been heaped on Dada ; cities and towns in the five continents have opened their gates and hearts to welcome this Man of God and his message of Love. But Dada J. P. Vaswani has remained what he always was the very picture of simplicity, humility, love and compassion.
To the troubled, disturbed humanity haunted by the stress and strain of modern life, Dada gives the message of hope and optimism that can help us face the new millennium with strength and courage :
“ All is well, all was well and all will be well, both tomorrow and a hundred years hence. ”
“ SATSANG ”
“ Satsang is a place of hope and serenity ; it is a place of positive vibrations”
“ We live in an uncertain world. The only certainty in this world of uncertainty is that every passing day, every fleeting moment draws us closer to the day when death will come and knock on the door and exclaim, ‘ Vacate the house. ’
“ The body will then drop down but we shall continue to live in the life that is undying. Are we prepared to face death with courage and equanimity ? Have we made the necessary preparations to face our Creator ? Have we made ourselves ready for the life after death ? ”
“ sojourn on this Earth ”
“ May I tell you, dear friends, that our life .. a little interlude in this world .. is part of a Great Design ? It is a training ground for self-growth Very few of us are aware of this purpose. But it is definite that our sojourn on this Earth is predestined .. perhaps by our own choice .. for this life has been given to us for our own spiritual progress and evolution.
“ However, we spend our life in the pursuit of pleasure, thinking that it is the be-all and end-all of our existence. We are so enamored by the superficial glamour and glitter around us, that we forget the very purpose for which we have come. Daily attendance at the satsang will ensure that we do not throw our precious life away in such frivolous pursuits. ”
“ satsang ”
“ ‘ Satsang ’ is a place of hope and serenity ; it is a place of positive vibrations, which protects us from the negativity of the world. The temptations of the world are many and the allurement of the world is powerful. Anytime it can drag us into the whirlwind of pleasure, pelf, worry.
“ Let me tell you, when we go to the satsang we are sure to earn our own reward. We can imbibe the teachings of the holy ones, ponder over the sacred words of the scriptures, internalize the spiritual values and bear witness to the teachings of the great ones. Then for sure, our life will be filled with the peace and joy we so earnestly seek. ”
“ service to others ”
“ ‘ Satsang ’ has a positive effect on man. Satsang creates pure and positive vibrations which neutralise the negative emotions of man.
“ Attending a ‘ satsang ’ is not enough. You have to learn the essence of its spirit. You have to imbibe its truth. When you do so, satsang brings about a transformation in you. This transformation is seen in many ways. A man of satsang is kind and humble. He is a man who readily offers his service to others. He tries his best to mitigate the suffering of the others. He lends a helping hand, whenever and wherever needed.
“ Man’s life is so crowded with mundane activities, that he rarely has time for self-study and introspection. He seldom finds himself in that expansive, tranquil mood of silence and reflection, where he can listen to God, and chant the Name Divine in the heart within. It is said that the worldly desires are like the salty waters of the sea. Such waters can never quench man’s thirst. On the contrary, his thirst increases and his craving for fresh water grows even more acute. ”
“ go within ”
“The message of every satsang is ‘go within’. Go within ! Explore your interior world and you will find that Divine Light which dispels every darkness. When a man falls ill he goes to the hospital to be treated. Even so, when man realises that he is falling a prey to evil, he should go to satsang.
“‘Satsang’ creates pure and beautiful vibrations, wherein you can experience immense peace and harmony within.”
“ You are Not the Body the Mind and the Senses… ”
Alas, the world judges people by outward appearances. Go anywhere .. and you are judged by the clothes you wear, the car you drive, even your hairstyle. Your exterior is what counts.
“ we are not the bodies ”
He eventually attained a transformed and divinized golden physical body, deathless and ever indestructible, shadowless and sleepless, and full of Light, Amrita and blissful energies and with a potential power to resurrect the dead into the bodily life.
“ come, follow me ”
The Bible tells us of the young man who approached Jesus and asked to be his follower. When Jesus spoke to him of the Ten Commandments, he assured the Master that he had been observing them for several years. Then Jesus said to him:
If you wish to enter the kingdom of Heaven, then sell everything you have, and come and follow me. ”
“ The young man was not prepared to do this. He backed away, not without regret.
“ Selling everything one has is not to be interpreted literally. It too means moving away from the ego, from identification with the body. ”
“ who am I ? ”
“ So, ask yourself again and again : ‘ Who am I ? ’
“ According to Vedanta philosophy, as human beings, all of us wear the garment of the physical body, our outer form of matter. This is the ‘ annamaya kosha ’. Within this outer sheath is the ‘ prana ’ or vital breath, which constitutes the ‘ pranamaya kosha ’ ; our mind, or the Instrument of cognition, along with the senses or the ‘ indriyas ’, constitutes the ‘ manonmaya kosha ’ ; the ego and the intellect, together, constitute our ‘ vignanamaya kosha ’ ; the consciousness of pure bliss is the innermost sheath, the ‘ anandamaya kosha ’ : folded in the centre of the five sheaths resides the ‘ true self ’ .. that which is.Caught up as we are in the mire of worldly existence, most of us rarely experience this bliss or indeed become aware of the ‘ true self ’ within us.
“The sad truth is we live most of the time in the consciousness of the body alone. We are obsessed with appearances.” “ the body is but a garment ”
“ Have you ever asked yourself the question : What am I ?
“ Many of us identify ourselves with our bodies. Let me recall for you, the words of Lord Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita :
“ Arjuna ! ” says the Lord to his dear, devoted disciple :
“ Remember, you are not the body you have worn ! ”
“ The body is but a garment you have worn. You are something else. You are the wearer of the garment. But you identify yourself with your body, your physical form- and this is the root of all sin. ”
“ body, mind and soul”
“ ‘ Man ’ .. as our ancient scriptures have taught us .. is a composite of body, mind and soul. This, in essence, is the eastern concept of being. Man is essentially a soul, who has worn a body, and brought with himself the instrument of the mind, to be able to do his work on this Earth plane.
“ However, the western view is different. In the west they believe that man is a body .. with a mind and soul in it. The emphasis here is on the body, while the eastern view emphasises the soul. I only wish to remind you of this great truth .. each one of you is essentially an immortal soul. ”
“ you are essentially souls ”
“ You are not the bodies with which you have identified yourselves, you are essentially souls. Each one of you is that atman, the spirit that can never die. But alas, we identify ourselves with the bodies we wear .. and therefore we do not live happy, healthy, harmonious and purposeful lives.
“ May I say to you, ‘ living life at the physical, material level is not true living, it is just existing. ’
“ Human life is a bridge, we must cross to reach the otherside .. can anyone be so foolish as to build his house upon abridge ?
“ We will not linger on the bridge forever .. indeed, we must not ! ”
“ rare is this human birth ”
“ As Kabir tells us in one of his immortal songs :
“ Rare is this human birth, One does not get it everytime Even as the fruit that ripens And falls to the ground Cannot be put back On the branch again. ”
“ This rare and precious gift has been bestowed upon us so that we may attain our true destination, return to our ‘ True Home ’. Therefore, let us not fritter away this precious gift.
“ The human form is the sole means of salvation for us ; the human life is the bridge we must cross to reach deathlessness; it is the ocean .. sansar sagar .. which we must swim across to get to our ‘ Home ’ on the other shore.
“ Let us thank the Lord that we have taken birth as human beings ; let us seek the greatest good, the greatest gift that is available to us as human beings .. not to be born again !
“ Let us live, truly and fully. ‘ LIVE ’ .. not just exist. ”
“ Conquer The Enemies Within ”
Our puranas narrate the story of a poor peasant who was walking through a thick forest. All of a sudden, he heard the most plaintive moans coming from a dark thicket. On approaching the location, he saw a tiger locked up in an iron cage.
The animal actually had tears flowing from its eyes, and in a pathetic vein, called out to the peasant, “ O, dear brother ! Have pity on me and let me out. I am wounded and in great pain ; I am famished and also very, very thirsty. ”
The peasant was awestruck at the sight of the ferocious animal pleading with him so pathetically. But he said, with great fear, “ If I let you out of the cage, you will eat me. ” The tiger replied, “ How could you think so badly of me ? I would never ever be so ungrateful.
Please let me out ; I will bless you and go my way and leave you alone. How could I ever dream of harming a benefactor ? ”
The peasant was moved to pity and opened the cage door to let him out. No sooner was the animal out of the cage, he sprang against the unsuspecting
peasant and roared, “ Prepare to die, you foolish man ! Now I will eat you ! ” The peasant was appalled. “ How could you go back on your word ? ” he cried, running around in circles, desperately trying to save himself. “ How could you be so ungrateful ? I was the one who gave you freedom, and you will eat me ? ” The tiger said, “ You knew I was a wounded tiger. What did you expect ? You surely deserve to die for your folly ! ”
At that moment, a holy man who happened to be passing by, heard the commotion and came to investigate the matter. The peasant fell at his feet and implored the sage to save his life. As for the tiger, it said to the holy man, “ O, wise one ! You know that I must live according to my nature. Will you deny me my legitimate prey ? ” The holy man said to them, “ First let me hear what you both are arguing about. ”
The peasant narrated the incident to him and asked him whether it was fair on the tiger’s part to attack him thus.
The Sage listened carefully and answered, “ Look, I cannot really decide on the rights and wrongs of this matter unless I know exactly what happened right from the beginning. Where were you? Where was the tiger ? ”
The peasant said, “ I was passing by when I heard his pathetic moans. I found him locked in the cage and he begged me to release him. ” “ Is that so ? ” said the holy man. “ And where were you ? ” he said, turning to the tiger. “ Inside the cage ”, said the tiger. “ Was the cage locked and bolted ? ” asked the sage. “ Yes ”, replied the tiger.
The Sage looked at the cage for a moment and said, “ You are lying! How is it possible for a tiger your size to fit in such a small cage ? ” The tiger was in a hurry to get a decision from the sage, so he jumped back in the cage and said, “ See for yourself. ”
Thereupon, the holy man promptly locked the cage and said, “ You are a wicked and ungrateful animal, and this is where you belong. You can stay there for the
rest of your days. ” The peasant thanked the holy man from the bottom of his heart for saving his life and they both went their way, happily.
“ the six foes ”
This simple fable teaches us a valuable lesson: the tiger represents the six foes of a man- shad ripu : “ Kama ” ( lust ), “ Krodha ” ( anger ), “ Lobha ” ( greed ), “ Moha ” ( delusion ), “ Mada ” ( egoistic tendencies ) and “ Matsarya ” ( jealousy ). If they are not kept under control they can destroy a man.
Human beings are a combination of both positive and negative energy.
Negative energy is generated by negative emotions, which drag us down and cause unhappiness .. to us and others. Constant pressure from negative emotions can actually distort our personality and our life and deprive us of our birthright .. true happiness. Conquering these negative tendencies then is the secret of inner joy and peace.
How can we conquer these negative tendencies ? How may we arrest the negative energies that rob us of true joy and contentment and restore our own positive self-image ? How can we live our precious life as well-balanced and mature individuals ?
Our scriptures use a special term to refer to these impediments : the “shad ripus” or six enemies within each one of us : Kama, Krodha, Lobha, Moha, Mada and Matsarya.
In Christian parlance, there is mention of “seven deadly sins” that are similar to the shad ripus : wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy and gluttony. Buddhism too, talks of the three main roots of evil, called “moola priyaya” in Pali, which are anger, greed and delusion or ignorance : lobha, dosha, moha. In Pali, these terms are closely interlinked .. lobha is greed, desire, attachment .. dosha is anger, hatred, hostility, aversion .. moha is delusion, ignorance, lack of true knowledge. Enlightenment must replace delusion : the enemies within must be conquered.
Early in my life, I learnt the truth that we are not punished for our sins, but by our sins ; that is, we suffer because of our failings, our weaknesses which are largely inner failures.
What some people regard as sins, are essentially inner weaknesses which we can actually conquer, if we are willing to ‘ kill ’ the animals within. I think it is only because people were unwilling to take on this task of selfconquest that the barbaric practice of animal sacrifice came into vogue. Can I burn the anger within me ? Difficult ! How much easier to slaughter an innocent creature instead ? Can I swallow my ego and arrogance ?
Conquering the enemies within is not a one-time battle in which you or I can emerge an all-time winner. It is a way of life, a mode of conduct, a discipline which we impose on ourselves to achieve the happiness that is our birthright as children of God.
Whenever I hear people say that happiness is impossible to achieve I think to myself that it is the enemies within that have become difficult to conquer in the present generation.
“ conquer the enemies within ”
But help is at hand for us if we wish to conquer these enemies within :
1. Pray to God for His special grace : He is all kindness, all compassion, He is the origin and source of all that is good and positive and wholesome. When you acknowledge that He is your Father and Mother, you live in the awareness that you are God’s child and He will do only what is best for you.
2. Seek the guidance of a Guru, a spiritual mentor. Spending time in the presence of an evolved soul is the most powerful source of strength and inner wisdom. A Guru inspires us by his living example. He sees the potential in us that we ourselves are not aware of. Above all he encourages us to believe that we are also capable of achieving what he has! He provides tremendous powers of incentive and inspiration.
In this human birth, we cannot see God in person ; but it is our good fortune that we can see the Guru, hear his upadesh, associate ourselves with daily satsang, accept his gracious prasad .. indeed, grasp his holy feet firmly .. and through him, all God’s blessings and all God’s grace will come to us !
3. Cultivate self-discipline. The Gita teaches us that tamas is overcome by rajas .. the principle of action, energy and dynamism. When we cultivate discipline of the mind, it will automatically lead us to sattva .. light and harmony. With this enlightenment, our spiritual progress can be really speedy. Offer all that you are, all that you have, all that you do, to the Lord, in a spirit of surrender .. a spirit of arpanam.
4. Sri Krishna tells us in the Gita :
“ Whatever you eat, whatever you give in charity, whatever austerity you practise, whatever you do, O Arjuna, make it as an offering unto Me. ”
This is the best antidote to conquering the ego, negating pride and arrogance, and conquering those enemies within. Whatever you do, offer it to God. Whatever you achieve, it is His grace, His doing. Therefore say to Him : “ I am not the doer. I am but a broken instrument. If there are any shortcomings, any mistakes that I make, they are mine. But all glory belongs to Thee ! ”
“ tat twam asi ” God is your loving father .. He wants you to be happy .. He wants to draw you closer to Him .. and therefore, He bestowed on you this gift of the human birth. God has made us in His image. He is perfect bliss.
As His image, are we not also happiness personified ? “ Tat twam asi ! ” .. That art Thou ! You are supreme joy and you are eternal bliss. It is only when you forget this that you lose your happiness. Yes .. ananda, bliss, the peace that passeth, nay, surpasseth understanding is your birthright ! You are a child of God .. and He is the source of eternal bliss, unending bliss. The moment you realize that you are a child of God, you will not let externals affect you negatively.
The realization that you are God’s child, a spark of the Supreme Self, will allow you to transcend all sense of frustration and limitation that you might feel as a
limited, powerless human being trapped in a situation that he cannot control. All you need to do is forget your lower self .. and realize your true self as a child of God.
“ we are responsible for our lives ”
When we forget this outer self, transcend the phenomenal, material world, we draw closer to the real, inner self, which is peace.
We are ever ready to blame other people, external factors, circumstances, fate, fortune, at times even the Good Lord Himself for our unhappiness, problems and failures. But the truth is that we are responsible for our own lives, and it is time we became accountable to ourselves: thus the need to conquer the enemies within.
Conquering the enemies within is not a one-time battle in which you or I can emerge an all-time winner. It is a way of life, a mode of conduct, a discipline which we impose on ourselves to achieve the happiness that is our birthright as children of God.