Saturday, June 17, 2017

Sathya Sai: Tolerance (Sahanamu) is the great treasure/noble quality of Bharatiyas (Indians)

I recall hearing one discourse of my beloved and revered Gurudev, Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, live sitting in Sai Kulwanth Hall, where Bhagavan sang of Sahanamu - Tolerance. He sang about how great a quality it is that Bharatiyas (Indians) have (referring to tolerance). Prior to listening to that discourse, I was of the view that tolerance of Indians of injustice of various kinds, in general, was too much and so was a flaw.

Bhagavan praising the quality of tolerance so much on that day in a public discourse changed my view. I felt that I needed to make an effort to not only become more tolerant of others but also revere, I repeat, revere, tolerance as a sacred spiritual virtue.

I tried looking up discourses of Bhagavan on tolerance. Here's one of them:

http://www.sssbpt.info/ssspeaks/volume38/sss38-04.pdf, 8th Mar. 2005 (Sivaratri evening discourse).

Given below is a short extract from it which is the English translation of the verse with which Bhagavan started the discourse:

In this supremely holy land of Bharat
Tolerance is the towering quality of our character;
Of all the religious vows, the foremost is Adherence
 to Truth, which is difficult to practise;
The sweetest and most respectable feeling in this land
 of Bharat is the feeling towards mother;
Consigning to flames the moral fabric of our country,
 which ordains self-respect as greater than one’s own life,
The dagger of unrestrained freedom has been given
 to people imitating the Western way of life; Alas!
 What can I say about the rulers of this land of Bharat?
Just as an elephant cannot realise its own strength
 So are the Bharatiyas today.

--- end extract ---

I listened to the beginning of the discourse by downloading the audio of the discourse from Radio Sai. Bhagavan sings the line related to tolerance as: "Sahanamannadi manaku chakka dhanamu". My barely-OK-Telugu translates that to 'Tolerance is our great treasure/wealth'. [I am not sure of the exact meaning of the Telugu word, 'Chakka'.]

I am quite sure but not entirely sure that it was this discourse and it were these two lines that Bhagavan sang at the beginning of the discourse, "In this supremely holy land of Bharat tolerance is our great treasure/wealth", that made a big impact on me.

Bhagavan had praised tolerance before truth! That was the value he gave to tolerance! I think I had noted this too then. All of this made me take a decision to try to cultivate more and more tolerance, viewing it as a sacred virtue and NOT AS A WEAKNESS. I think I have become more tolerant ('Jane do' in Hindi meaning 'let it go' attitude) than earlier in many aspects of life. Of course, there are things for which I have zero tolerance and even for other things, my tolerance has its limits.

Here is another 2000s discourse of Bhagavan, http://www.sssbpt.info/ssspeaks/volume41/sss41-18.pdf, given on 23rd Nov. 2008 (birthday discourse), where the text part of the discourse (after the initial verse sung by Bhagavan) starts with the sentences, "The country of Bharat (India) is most sacred. In this sacred land of Bharat, tolerance is the noble quality that we should cultivate."

So even in the 2000s, Bhagavan laid a lot of stress on cultivating tolerance as a noble/sacred quality, in his public discourses.

Overall, I think I have benefited significantly in terms of love, peace and joy in my life by increasing my tolerance levels and viewing it as a SACRED VIRTUE praised by Bhagavan and NOT as a weakness.

[I thank sssbpt.info and have presumed that they will not have any objections to me sharing the above extracts from their website on this post which is freely viewable by all, and does not have any financial profit motive whatsoever.]

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