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Love and Light

Region 5 - Young Adults Programme (YAP)

Our Duty as individuals and how this Duty impacts the different aspects of our young adult lives

Our sathsang took place in Greater Manchester with participation from around the region via Skype video link.

As young adults living in the Western world, our thoughts, words and deeds are often influenced by the commercial world around us. We thought it would be appropriate to spend some time looking at what our Duty should be, in this world filled with ‘work, materialism and envy’.

We often think that Duty is a direct translation of the Sanskrit word ‘Dharma’, however, in His discourses, I found that Swami has noted them as different. Swami states that our Dharma goes further than just our duty in this world. Dharma is Right Conduct, which is often much more than just the duty which has been allocated to us during our day to day living.

In the Bhagvad Gita, importance is placed on SWA-Dharma (our OWN-dharma). We must do our duty according to our age and stage in life (Varanas): from childhood to being a student, to starting a career and becoming a householder, then into later life (Vanvas and Sanyas).

We discussed our Swa-dharma as is relevant to us as young adults whilst being students, workers and householders.

The Dharma of a worker

As workers, Swami has given a beautiful message which touched our hearts:

"Work in the spirit of love; it will lead you to worship. That is to say, work without any regard to the proportion of benefit you derive from it. Work, since it is your duty; work since you love to work, since that is the way you can offer God the gratitude for the skills endowed upon you."
(Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume 11, Chapter One)

The Dharma of a householder

As householders, Swami has given some instructions specifically to men and women, however we discussed that we should consider the Dharma of both men and women in our day to day activities, as the role of the man and woman in a household often overlaps nowadays:

Dharma as a Woman - Stridharma

* Prepare Satvic food
* Teach SSE / 5 Human Values
* Respect God
* Develop the Intellect

Dharma as a Man - Purushadharma

* Bring the husband and children to God
* To provide for the home * To earn an honest living and to spend righteously
* Trustworthiness * To practise ‘work is worship’
* To honour his wife as the ‘head of the home’ and act in accordance with her wishes

The Dharma of a married couple

There are teachings and guidelines given to the married couple:

"The most important reason for a marriage commitment is having a Spiritual partner that can help you to evolve towards your Divine heritage." (Sathya Sai Parenting – Part 2, Rita Bruce).

“A wife must be virtuous and modest... she must plant the seedlings of the fear of sin and the fear of the Lord in her heart and cultivate the charms of humility.” (Know Thyself, Gerard Satvic).

As a married couple, their Dharma is to look after the house and home, the nurturing and upbringing of their children and to care for their parents in their old age.

When should we follow our Dharma?

Historically, spiritual development and service to society were not seen as important focus points of life until over the age of 50 years (Vanvas stage), but Swami has said that spiritual development and service to society should begin from childhood and continue throughout life. We can do this at every stage of life by following the teaching of “Love All, Serve All” and “Help Ever, Hurt Never”.

Swami says: “The highest dharma is for each one to follow his Swa-dharma boldly”.

How should we follow our Dharma?

We concluded with a reading which elaborated on how we can follow our Dharma. The message of HOW we can follow our Dharma is given in the meaning of the 3rd name of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba’s 108 names:

“Om Sri Sathya-Dharma-Paraayanaaya Namaha"

Sathya – Speak what you have seen or felt; Act as you have said.
Dharma – Follow the rules of conduct laid down for the profession that you follow, the status you demand, the right you claim
Paraayan – One who is Interested in, Absorbed in. Swami is the embodiment of Dharma, we therefore should take this example and also be absorbed in following our Dharma.

So to help us follow our own Dharma and as we perform our duty, we can simply practice:

1. Love All, Serve All and
2. Harmony in our thoughts, words and deeds.

Bhavesh Maisuria
Greater Manchester Sai Centre