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Successful Living - An Inspiring Lecture

Ranjani Saigal
07/02/2003

Sri Swami Viditatmananda, a disciple of Sri Swami Dayananda Saraswati, expounds Vedanta with simplicity and directness that make it easy to assimilate. Having lived and worked in the United States prior to becoming a renunciate, Swami Viditatmananda is familiar with the lifestyles in India and the west. With his insight into both cultures, he reaches out to everyone with equal ease.

"Human beings constantly seek approval" said Swami Viditatmananda, "We often evaluate ourselves with something that is outside of ourselves. This causes great deal of stress for we have very little control of things that are outside of ourselves. It is better to evaluate ourselves from within." He emphasized the truth that is propounded in the Vendanta that says - "I am Brahman. I am whole. I am complete. I am beautiful." We do not need approval from the world. "Unfortunately most of us do not believe this. We have a low opinion of ourselves and hence we look to others to grant us respect." He used interesting examples to illustrate his point. "A lady who has been declared Ms. Universe, often spends more time on makeup after getting the title than before for deep inside she does not belive the fact that she is the most beautiful woman in the world. A President of the United States considers himself a failure if he cannot win the re-election even though he has held the most powerful post in the world."

Swamiji encouraged everyone to live a simple life. He cautioned against seeking material goods with the belief that it will bring happiness. "Science and technology have brought a lot of good to the world. It has empowered us to make contributions for the greater good. Unfortunately people have begun to believe that progress is acquiring luxuries that modern technology provides. People believe that progress is converting luxuries into necessities. But converting necessities into luxuries is the secret of successful living," said Swamiji.

"The goal of life is to use the skills you have and use it for the greater good of the world. Nature gives us plenty of examples of this. Paropa Karaya Vahanti Nadyah, Paropa Karaya Phalanthi Vrukshaha - The rivers flow to not help itself but for helping other. The trees give fruits to help not it but others. Doing something good is an excellent way of feeling good. The dynamics of the world is such that the more we give the more we get back."

The talk created a great impact on the audience. Many members of the audience had visited Arsha Vidya Gurukulum and attended the family and other camps that focus not just on spirituality but include classes on other aspect of Indian culture like classical music and dance. The founder Swami Dayananda Saraswathi is not only a great spiritual master but a composer as well whose compositions like "Bho Shambho" and others have become a part and parcel of Carnatic and Bharatanatyam repertoires.

For more information on Arsha Vidya Gurukulum please check out their website at http://www.arshvidya.org.



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