Depression is a major affliction for senior citizens. To help them overcome it, try offering them a mental tonic in the form of yoga, meditation and other relaxation techniques.
The evening of the 23rd of February 2013 saw the Sadhu Vaswani Mission campus packed to its capacity with people of all ages eagerly awaiting the performance of the first mega play of the year by the Bridge Builders, Pune in connection with Thanksgiving Week .
The evening commenced with a session of spiritual melodies which saw the congregation chanting as one. The arrival of Beloved Dada amidst the collective singing added to the divine atmosphere.
Neha Milani, chairperson of the Bridge Builders welcomed the chief guest, Rohit Motwani, Captain of Maharashtra Ranji Team , before the screening of the Bridge Builders promotional video and anthem showcasing the varied activities of the youth wing.
Young Rohit then spoke a few words to the audience in which he shared that after his visit to “DARSHAN ” ( A technological wonder based on life & teachings of Sadhu T.L. Vaswani ) , he agreed that it was indeed the 8th wonder of the world. He also expressed, with tears in his eyes, that while meeting Revered Dada J.P.Vaswani he felt that he had met God!!
Beloved Dada reminisced the the title ‘Right Here! Right now!’ brought to his mind an incident from the Master Sadhu Vaswani’s life where while addressing a gathering of collegians, a student expressed that he believed that God was nowhere. But Gurudev convinced the student that God was in deed “now here” (the same letters spelt differently). One just needs to be aware of His omnipresence.
Revered Dada then urged the audience to accept whatever happens in their lives as a Prasad from God who is the merciful one and will never harm his children. He adviced the congregation to stop identifying with the human body since each individual is an immortal spirit. He concluded by saying that a person whose life draws close to God enters the kingdom of happiness and blessings and receives a joy that no one else knows.
As the curtain lifted in preparation for the play, the viewers prepared to open their eyes and learn the lessons that the it had to offer.
They theatre-style performance told the story of 6 female protagonists who come together unexpectedly one night for the first time. Each one leads a life distinctly different from the other. But each one faces her share of trials and tribulations.
During the course of the night they end up sharing their life’s problems with Tammana who is a follower of Beloved Dada. And it is through her interactions and experiences with Him that she provides them with simple, practical yet life-altering solutions to their predicaments.
The following were Revered Dadaji’s teachings on various subjects as revealed by the plot:
On work and professional stress: Our work often comes in the way of our relationships. Revered Dada believes one must never overwork because work is not an end. It is only a means. If we work in the right spirit our inner-self is purified.
On bringing up children: We often find that our siblings or children are treading the wrong path and are beyond our control. Dadaji citied the example of St. Augustine who started living with a prostitute but whose mother prayed for him for 18 years so that he may change his ways. He is regarded today as the chief of saints. Beloved Dada pointed out that if we argue, children become more obstinate. We must instead be willing to pray for a lifetime to see the change we desire.
On failure: Each one of us goes through a phase where we seem to fail at everything we try. Dadaji advices us to accept even failure as the will of God. He assures us that we will always find something in it that we really need. God is always generous. In all conditions there is a meaning of mercy. We must accept this and move forward.
On acceptance: At times we are not able to live up to the expectations of others, making us feel unaccepted. In such a situation dear Dada suggests that we pray so that the situation may change. That whatever we do may please our near and dear ones. He explains that suicide is not a solution , but a dissolution . He teaches us that life is a gift of God which only He can take away.
On rebellion: On certain occasions we may be compelled to choose between our parents’ wishes and our own. Dadaji firmly believes that the human birth is a gift given to us by our parents for which we must be eternally grateful to them. He stresses that we must not do anything that displeases our parents.
‘Right here! Right now!’ written by Siddharth Kulkarni and directed by award winning director – Mr. Digpal Lanjekar , beautifully showcased only a few of the numerous life-changing teachings of Revered Dada J.P.Vaswani. It demonstrated that His teachings can be interpreted by each one to suit their situation.
The performance concluded with the thanksgiving song through which the audience thanked God and dear Dada for what they already have and vowed to stop grumbling about what they didn’t!
As the atmosphere and people of Gujarat were gearing up for celebrations of the season, on 30th of September, Bridge Builders Ahmedabad conducted a unique and delightful sewa for harijan and adivasi girls of ”Shri Jamnadas Bhagwandas Sant Krupa Kanya Gruh” and whose poor parents stay in the villages.
As the girls, who are from the age group of 10-16, live away from their near and dear ones, they experience boredom, tension and even at times depression. This sewa was a great way to enlighten and heal them. There were total of 56 girls residing in the hostel out of which 36 girls participated in the fashion show and garba competition.
The group of volunteers reached their hostel at 2 pm and after finishing all the preliminary preparations, the activites began with prayers and the sacred Aarti.
Prizes were distributed and the winners were announced. All the winners were crowned with beautiful tiaras. They looked like little fairies. The winner was given a wrist watch and the runners up were given a hair straightener and hair dryer.
Then began the garba competition where all the girls danced to the tunes of garba. It was such a joyful sight to watch the girls enjoy themselves. The winner of garba competition was given a kurti and the runners up were given a hand bag and a perfume bottle. After the prize distribution, they were served sumptuous meal which included paav, chole, samosa, pastry and mohanthal. The hostel was flooded with cheers and laughter.
The sewa ended with a feeling of solace and contentment. It was indeed a memorable experience for the girls as well as the Bridge Builders. It was a lovely experience to make them feel special. The volunteers left the hostel with a heavy heart as they hoped that the girls would always cherish the experience.
The month of November brings with it a special joy in the heart of every devotee of Gurudev Sadhu Vaswani for it is the month of the Master’s sacred birthday on the 25th of November. The Bridge Builders, Pune were blessed with the opportunity of commemorating this momentous occasion with an event titled “University of Life”.
The evening of the 22nd of November saw students of all ages step foot in the Sadhu Vaswani Mission campus with an aspiration to learn some life-changing secrets! They were greeted with hugs from the welcoming party of the Bridge Builders. A host of Smiley faces that dotted the campus and adorned the stage of the assembly hall along with a blackboard and little school benches. The cheerful ambiance made one feel like one was entering nursery school for the very first time!
The soulful music by Renu Gidoomal which kick-started the program was reminiscent of sanctuary or assembly before starting a day at school. The students sang along the peppy and upbeat hymns. The first period saw Bridge Builder Vijay Talreja greet the congregation and hand over the proceedings to Bridge Builder Neha Milani , who took the pupils through the rest of the evening.
An interesting audio-visual presentation revealed that most people around the globe are in search of happiness. But sadly, many think that happiness can be achieved through education and riches. Whereas the fact of the matter is that the easiest way to happiness is to make others happy. This revelation was one of the most important teachings of the Master, Sadhu Vaswani, and a sweet little song also titles “To be happy, make others happy” was sung to drive home the message.
Another audio-visual representation depicting inspirational anecdotes from the life of the Master was then played. The short video beautifully exhibited the greatness of Sadhu Vaswani, which lies in the simplicity of his lessons and their execution. This was followed by a solemn oath where each one promised to make their life useful and contribute to others. The presentation concluded by stating that the things that actually make us happy, such as kindness, compassion etc. come at no cost.
Beloved Dada, in his opening address, reiterated the importance of one of the great teachings of the Master, “To be happy, make others happy”. This is one of the most important lessons to be learnt. He expounded that each one of us is here on this Earth plane to learn a set of lessons, since none of us is perfect. And lessons are learnt through experience.
Dearest Dada, ever so generously shared with his pupils some of the many experiences he had learnt in his lifetime concluding with his belief that this life is a university and experience is the teacher! The precious teachings are as follows:
1. If you would reform the world, you must first reform yourself.
2. Your children need your presence more than your presents.
3. When you shoot an arrow of truth, dip its tip in honey.
4. If you would be happy, learn from the mistakes you have made in the past and then forget the mistakes.
5. Love cannot be bought, except with love.
6. Immature love says, “I love you because I need you”; Mature love says, “I need you, because I love you.”
7. Silence is sometimes the best answer.
8. If you have knowledge, let others light their candle in it.
9. Only a life lived in the service of others is worth living.
10. Everybody can be great because anybody can serve.
11. Ask not what your friends can do for you but ask what you can do for your friends.
12. It is not for us to set the world right, but to set ourselves right, and through our example, let God influence those around us.
13. Let the day be full of little prayers to the Lord.
14. Life is an echo, what you send out, will come back to you.
15. Hatred paralyses life, Love releases it; Hatred confuses life, Love harmonises it it; Hatred darkens life, Love illuminates it.
16. Never assume.
17. May I be the last in everything and first in love.
After receiving these truly inspiring lessons, the class was now ready to pose questions to their Teacher, during the course of the much awaited Q ’n’ A session.
Q. Dear Dada , how can we pass in the University of life ?
A. I have already given you the tips to help you pass. (referring to the aforementioned teachings)
Q. Dear Dada, everyone in this world is striving for success, then why do only some people become successful while others don’t ?
A. Hundreds of people appear for examinations. Do they all pass? Some do, while some don’t. That is the law of life. Those that are prepared, ready and going on the right path succeed. Not the others. If you have not succeeded, you have to look into yourself and find out where you’ve failed. If you correct yourself, you will also succeed.
Q. Dear Dada, what is the role that education should play in today’s modern and secular society?
A. True education should teach us the art of living. For instance, it should teach us to speak the truth. It should help us develop a will power to consecrate to the service of suffering humanity. There are so many lessons that education should teach us. But education does not do so. Our modern education is only education in words. But we should be taught lessons which would help us to live in the right way. We should be taught how, with the help of God we can control our anger, we can control our appetite.
Q. Dear Dada, is it important for a couple to share similar spiritual values and beliefs?
A. It becomes easier if both have the same Guru. But everyone should have the freedom to choose their Guru.
Q. Dear Dada, why is our happiness temporary, why can’t we be happy forever?
A. The great saints of India talk about ‘Ananda’ which means happiness, bliss, joy that has no ending. But that happiness will only come to you when you have attained self-realisation which leads to God-realisation. But our happiness depends on pleasures, which give you temporary happiness.
Q. Dear Dada, how can we increase our faith in GOD?
A. Firstly by moving in the company of those that have faith in God. Secondly through prayer. Thirdly through selfless service. Fourthly through reading about the lives of those great ones who have had tremendous faith in God.
Q. Dear Dada, I am young and aspire to earn A LOT and A LOT of money and material success. But at the same time I aspire to be on the spiritual path shown by my Guru. Please bless and guide if my aspirations are right.
A. You cannot hold two balls in one hand, can you? You have to make the choice, either the Master or money. But I may also tell you that Jesus said that if you seek God, then everything that belongs to God will also come to you.
Q. Dear Dada, is vegetarianism important to achieve spirituality? Will being vegetarian awaken me to GOD?
A. I can only say the vegetarianism is a help to us when we move on the path. I cannot say that it is very important to achieve spirituality because there have been many saints in the past who have attained God even before this awakening has come to humanity. But it is definitely a help because in Sindhi it is said that the state of your mind depends upon the food that you take. There fore you must be very careful to avoid not only non-vegetarian food but also junk food if you want to be on the spiritual path.
Q. Dear Dada, It is said that the Guru loves all His disciples equally. But the Guru’s physical presence is close to some of the fellow aspirants. This makes me feel little insecure, jealous, uncomfortable, as if The Guru is only mine, I love Him most and He loves me most! How may I improve?
A. You will improve if when you’re sitting in silence you tell yourself that it is not your will but the Guru’s will that must be done. If you explain this to yourself, this difficulty will automatically disappear.
Q. Dear Dada, you said experience is our teacher. What if the experiences are too painful and difficult to bear?
A. They are difficult for the body and the mind but not for the soul. Ultimately it is the soul that counts. The soul has to be polished. The soul has to march on to perfection.
Q. Dear Dada, how important is money, as in today’s world love, respect and affection is given only to those who are material rich?
A. That is true. That is why society has gone astray. When we were in school and college we would respect our teachers and not the wealthy. But there will come a time when society will start moving on the right path and graduate out of this — and know that it is not the money that is number one but wisdom.
Q. Dear Dada, at times when we are in difficulty, and we are unable to reach out to our Guru physically. In that case: if we get advice or suggestion or a word from a fellow Guru bhai, is it equal to the Guru’s word ? Does a Guru give such an authority to His disciples, if yes how do we recognise THAT fellow Guru-bhai?
A. You cannot say that what the Gurubhai tells you is just what the Guru would have told you. It depends upon the spiritual wisdom that the Gurubhai has.
Q. Dear Dada, what is behind the explosion of youth suicide?
A. They don’t realise the value of human birth. Often I have told you that on this earth there are millions, billions, trillions, uncountable number of species. Each species has billions of its kind of individuals. The number of jeevas living on this earth is countless. It maybe greater than the number of stars that shine at night. If we understood that this human birth has been given to us for a general purpose and a specific purpose. But we know neither the general purpose nor the specific purpose. We regard ourselves as animals. That is the reason why so may commit suicde very easily.
Q. Dear Dada , in today’s culture a lot of children are sending their parents to the old age home for convenience and better care for their parents. Is that morally right?
A. it depends upon the individual case. But in general it is not right. But there are cases in which it becomes very necessary to do so. For example there are people who go to foreign countries to earn and their parents here become lonely. So it all depends upon the individual case. But genuinely it is not right because in the measure you serve your elders, in that measure you will be blessed. In that measure prosperity will smile on you.
Q. Dear Dada, a spiritual aspirant encounters many distractions while trying to follow the prescribed path. How does one learn to overcome these distractions?
A. By directing one’s will power. Will power is very necessary for a spiritual aspirant. And will power you will get if you pray to God constantly for will power. And once you have will power nobody can distract you.
Q. Dear Dada, is there a relationship between science and spirituality? Can science and spirituality ever talk the same language and collaborate meaningfully with each other?
A. Science is the study of the laws of the external world. Spirituality is also a science, but it studies the inner world. Now the time has come where both of them are drawing close to each other. Physics for instance studied the atom, but after quantum physics the atom is asking about who is the one who studied me? So they are coming closer. But one is concerned with the outer sphere while the other is concerned with the inner sphere.
Q. Dear Dada, I haven’t been able to settle down with the person I loved, due to families creating problems since we are of different religions , in spite of many tries I have suffered huge disappointments. How do I accept things the way they are and move on in life?
A. Whatever happens, happens according to the will of the Lord. If you have been drawn to someone who is not compatible, perhaps you have to learn a lesson. This experience has come to you because you need to learn a particular lesson to get closer to perfection. If you can look at it that way, I think it will be easier for you.
Q. Dear Dada, even though we understand what is right and wrong , the temptations are so strong that we go astray . Kindly guide how can we move on the righteous path?
A.You should come to the satsang, it will help you to move on the righteous path. And secondly, you must develop will power. All these difficulties come because of lack of will power. Our education has done nothing to help us develop it.
Q. Dear Dada, how can a married person strike a balance between their worldly life and spirituality?
A. I think you can always make a beginning by coming to the satsang. You can always make a beginning by not reading novels or watching the TV but by studying the lives of saints and holy men. Once you make a beginning the door will open to you. The way will be shown to you.
Q. Dear Dada, is it possible to assess our progress on the spiritual path?
A. There is no yardstick by which you can measure it. But as you move on the spiritual path, you will grow tender, you will grow softer, your behaviour will change, you will regard the difficulties of others as your own difficulties, you will no longer live for yourself alone. And from these you can judge that you are making progress along the spiritual path. But there is no yardstick by which you can judge it.
Q. Dear Dada, if you only had one teaching to share with those present here today, what would it be?
A. Turn back to GOD!
Q. Dear Dada, when I pray at the sacred Samadhi for answers from Bade Dada, sometimes I feel I do recieve the answer. But since I am a very fickle minded person, I do not know if it is my mind playing games, or it is Gurudev answering my questions.
A. As you sit in silence and delve deeper and deeper within yourself, you will be able to make out if it is the Master or it is your mind. This is known as inner guidance, which comes to you as you sink deeper and deeper within yourself. There are levels after levels which are to be crossed. Then you get that certainty within you. You feel sure that this is the advice of the Master and not the working of the mind.
Q. Dear Dada, how do i differentiate between tears of devotion and tears due to ego and hurt?
A. The tears of devotion will start from the heart. But tears which you shed for worldly things will start from the eyes.
Q. Dear Dada, someone in my group of college friends had hurt another member of the group. He did realise his mistake and he did apologize, but the other person was not ready to forgive even though the wrongdoer kept asking for forgiveness. So what should he do now?
A. Then he should go to God or to somebody who to him is a symbol of God. He should then ask for forgiveness and then forget about it. If the other person is not going to forget, let him forget.
Q. Dear Dada, while discussing with my parents about vegetarianism, it came to my notice that Jesus and Rama were not vegetarians. Is this in deed true?
A. I have neither met Jesus, nor have I met Rama. But I’d love to think of the both of them as vegetarians.
Q. Dear Dada, further to the above question, it also came for that vegetables also have a life. Then what about the paradox that is being created?
A. Vegetables also do have life but they do not have a nervous system. Animals have developed a nervous system. Also animals like humans have the five senses which signal pain while they are being slaughtered. So if you slaughter an animal, it is equal to slaughtering a human being since the pain that is caused is the same. Our ideal should be to cause the least pain. Vegetables do not feel that pain. The pain that the vegetable feels when plucked is say one upon a billion of the pain that a human or animal will feel if he is slaughtered.
Q. Dear Dada, what is the goal of life? To achieve God or to serve others?
A. Others and God, they are not different. If you achieve God, you see God in others. Then to you not merely everyone, but everything is a manifestation of God.
Q. Dear Dada, how do we remove the fear of rejection from our minds?
A. Through meditaion. If you in hours of silence explain to the mind then you can overcome it.
Q. Dear Dada, shouldn’t we first be happy ourselves, before making others happy?
A. In process of making others happy we ourselves become happy. It’s like spraying perfume on somebody, part of the perfume will be thrown on you in the process.
Q. Dear Dada, does Santa Clause really come? If he comes why cant we see him?
A. You feel happy that Santa Clause has left you something, don’t you? So why do you want to probe into the matter? That will just make you unhappy.
Q. Dear Dada, many saints say not to do murti puja (idol worship). What are your views?
A. Do puja, any kind of puja, murti puja or non murti puja. There are two ways of doing puja, the saguna way and the nirguna way. To the devotee it is not an idol, it is God himself. That is why there are cases where out of those idols some forces or forms come out. And that’s what the devotee wants the Lord to do.
Q. Dear Dada, the Master and you preach that the way to achieve self-realisation and God is to do service for others. Whereas the other paths say that one must meditate to achieve self-realization and God. I think these two are the opposites. Can you please clarify.
A. The Master taught both these things. He said on the outer plane go and do service, on the inner plane go and meditate. In his teachings there have been emphasis on both the things,smaran (going within) and seva (doing service). I feel that young people are more interested in doing seva. So just to draw them to colours of meditation, service is a step that leads to the second step. If you tell the young people to come to the satsang they will not come. And when you grow in meditation then seva becomes your natural attitude.
Q. Dear Dada, there are so many aspects to meditation. There’s seva, simran, satsang. I lead a very busy life. I’m doing satsang, but where do I fit in the meditation and the seva? How do I manage all these aspects?
A. There is within each one of us a soul. So long as the soul is asleep it will get the thoughts that you are experiencing now. But when the soul wakes up, then life becomes different with the grace of God.
The wonderful evening at the University of life came to a close with each pupil having taken home with them some very important lessons to be cherished for a lifetime!
It was on the 6th of October 2012 at 6 pm that young and old Bridge Builders from the Sadhu Vaswani Mission, Pune climbed on board the ‘Joy Express’ to enjoy a fun-filled ride!
The first stop on the itinerary was a rocking, interactive yet spiritual singing session with renowned artiste Renu Gidoomal from London. The passengers were treated to various genres of music such as pop and rap. Beloved Dada’s arrival amidst the powerful and enthusiastic singing brought the musical merry-making to a crescendo. A remixed, old Bollywood number was sung to pay reverence to Dear Dada.
The pilgrims were then transported to a peaceful place wherein they were blessed to listen to a recorded message of the Master, Sadhu T.L.Vaswani in which he explained the importance of speaking softly.
En route to the next station, the travellers sang the Bridge Builders’ Anthem in unison. On arriving at the next stop the voyagers were treated to a variety of humorous jokes told by none other than the Captain of their hearts, Revered Dada J.P.Vaswani. His lively joke-telling had the listeners in splits. Dadaji believes that laughter is a way to Mukti. He said that laughter had numerous other benefits and also explained that God intended each one of us to be a joy-giver!
After being thoroughly amused by Beloved Dada’s wisecracks the tourists were ready to disembark at their final destination: an always eagerly-awaited question and answer session with their Captain!
Question & Answer Session :-
1. Dear Dada, we are always joyful in your presence, how can we spread this joy to others and keep it alive in our hearts for forever?
A. If you keep your inner self pure and clean and if you keep on smiling from within, you will be carrier of joy in this world of tragedy and tears. There is a smile that others can see but there is a smile that is only visible to you. If you keep on smiling from within, you will be happy and a carrier of joy. For that you need to sit in silence everyday; preferably at the same place and practice smiling from within.
2. Dada, even after praying after a lot of years I am unable to get rid of my negative behavior, what can I do to bring the ultimate change in me?
A. Mere prayer is not enough; you need to develop your will power in order to transform your mind. One way of developing will power is to punish yourself when you find yourself negative on a certain occasion.
3. Beloved Dada, it is very difficult to be good in this bad world. How can one persevere to retain ethics?
A. Do your duty in the presence of God; don’t worry about what is happening around you. You must bear witness to the ideals you have chosen. If you keep on looking at others you won’t be able to do anything. Each one has to kindle his/ her small candle then there will be a change. The tiny flames will come together and there will be the splendor of the bright morning sun.
4. Dear Dada, when a Guru puts his disciple to test, does he help him or is it up to the disciple’s karma to pass the test?
A. In your dealings with the Guru, karma has no part. If you pass the test it is due to your Guru’s grace. If you fail the test that means you are not yet a receptacle for Guru’s grace. Therefore always pray for God’s grace to be showered upon you.
5. I am a 45 years old mother of three children. I get confused over small day to day decisions of life. My children don’t like this habit of mine and get irritated. Dada, please help!
A. Children will always get irritated but you should do your duty. You should consider your children to be sent by God so that you may bring them up in the right way. Therefore, whatever you do it should be done in the presence of God. Children above 8-9 years of age will not listen so it is best if you train your children before that age.
6. Dear Dada, since a few months a junior officer has joined our office. I am overburdened with work while she is less burdened with work, and is favored by my boss. In spite of putting in my best efforts my boss keeps scolding me at the slightest pretext. I try my best to accept everything as God’s will and try to forgive both of them. But at times I feel suffocated in this sick atmosphere. Please advise what I should do to get peace of mind.
A. Once you understand the working of the law of karma , you won’t have any difficulty. The law of karma says whatever is happening to you now is the result of something you have done in your earlier births. The law of karma is very simple, as you sow, so shall you reap. Whatever is happening in your office is balancing out the karma from your previous birth. It is reducing the burden of your karma so you should be happy. Change your attitude and change your life!
7. One of my friends just got engaged but she recently found out that her fiancé is suffering from kidney failure. Should she continue with the relationship?
A. If she doesn’t want to continue with the relationship she can break it now. Once the marriage takes place it will be very difficult for her. When the engagement took place the boy’s family should have told her about the situation and since they hid this from her she wouldn’t be blamed for breaking the engagement.
8. How does one make the right decision at the right time?
A. As you practice silence more and more you will not find it difficult to make the right decisions. But until you have learnt to dig deep within yourself, you should refer to some spiritual elder who can guide you to make the right decisions.
9. Dearest Dada, we are told to recognize the value of human birth. What then is the greatest quality that humans possess?
A. The greatest quality that humans possess is twofold- self-control on one hand and compassion on the other. If you possess these two qualities then you are the right human being otherwise you are no better than an animal.
10. Dear Dada, my son in law is always taunting, complaining, shouting, and fighting with my daughter. When I ask her to ignore, she tells me that I don’t understand her and feels sad about it. Dada, I want her to become bindaas and face the situation boldly. What should I do?
A. Advise her accordingly and stand by her when she needs your help. Marriages are not made here; they are made in the astral world. You know the deficiencies in your temperament and character in the astral world.There you know you are easily giving to anger. Therefore, you will find a partner who will excite you to anger so that you will learn to overcome it.
11. Dear Dada, there is a dispute in my family over financial matters. As a child should I fall into the dispute or stay from with it?
A. Stay away from it. The family should be kept intact, don’t break the family. As far as money/possessions of the world are concerned you will get as much you have brought with yourself. If you get more than you have brought you will lose it somehow. That amount will come to you whether you enter the dispute or keep away. You cannot get more as far as the wealth of the world is concerned but if you want to grow rich in the wealth of the spirit, the sky is the limit. Our difficulty is that we want to earn wealth of world but we do not pay attention to earning wealth of the spirit.
12. Dada, my father has a very negative attitude towards everything in life. What should I do to change him?
A. Pray for him. If you tell him that his attitude is a negative one, he will not be happy and in fact be more negative. If you are positive, let your example teach him. Pray for him and for you, “Lord if I am negativemake me also positive.”
13. Dadaji, how to digest the failure in life? Is it due to law of karma?
A. It may be due to law of karma but karma has two aspects- there is karma that we have brought with ourselves from the previous birth and the karma which we are creating now. So it could be either.
14. Is suicide also destined?
A. No, it is not destined. It is like taking the law in your hand which you must not do. Life is a gift of God; it is only he who can take it back. You do not have the right to take it.Man has been given the freedom to do right or wrong things. Many people do wrong things but they are not destined to do wrong things , they chose to do wrong things.
15. Dada, is there anything called as luck ?
A. Yes, there is such a thing called luck and it works; but luck is made by you. The karma of today becomes luck of tomorrow and the karma of yesterday is the luck of today. Karma and luck both go together.
16. Dear Dada, whenever I am with my friends and a topic on spirituality comes out my friends laugh at me. What do you think about this?
A. It only shows you are not moving in the right company. Take care of your company in which you move. Be in the company of believers; be in the company of positive people.
17. What is the difference between love and attachment?
A. In love there is no attachment and in attachment there is only attachment. In attachment, if you love a person, you want that person to love you and that’s all. In love, it is true love, it is a liberator, it is an emancipator, and it gives the freedom to do what you like Love is there to sacrifice itself.
The memorable adventure came to an end with each adventurer having received much joy and Revered Dada’s abundant blessings during this journey of a lifetime!
The evening of September 16, 2012 saw scores of Bridge Builders come together at the Sadhu Vaswani Mission Campus in Pune to relive their most valuable experiences with their Guru, Dada J.P.Vaswani. The evening kicked off to a musical start with a session of spiritual jamming followed by the collective singing of the Bridge Builders’ Anthem.
Beloved Dada who was not physically present in Pune, blessed the congregation by watching the live webcast of the event. In the recorded upadesh of the Master, Sadhu T.L.Vaswani, He stressed on the importance of following a Guru in order to follow the correct path of life.
The main feature of the evening was a beautifully designed and carefully arranged audio-visual presentation titled “A Treasured Diary”. The presentation demonstrated few of the innumerable, memorable, precious and priceless moments that dear Dada has bestowed upon His young disciples. It also contained a few practical suggestions and some valuable advice by Revered Dada on a wide array of topics including anger management, motivation during failures and strengthening relationships.
As if reading the thoughts of every member of the audience, this truly inspirational presentation concluded by proclaiming that Dada J.P.Vaswani was indeed an “All in One and One in All” for His disciples. He essays the role of a best friend and a Guru all at once! Dada’s closing thoughts on the mark of a true Guru were met with a round of thunderous applause with each one agreeing that they were truly fortunate to have found the most treasured Guru in the form of beloved Dada!
On the very sacred day of Christmas 2011, the Bridge Builders, Chennai decided to perform a service activity in order to spread the message of the Master Sadhu Vaswani who always encouraged people to spread joy and smiles to as many as they could.
At about 1 pm , the volunteer group assembled at S.R.S.Sarvodaya Trust, an orphanage run exclusively for girls at Chetpet.
In keeping with the FOOTPRINTS theme, ‘Give to Live’, the Bridge Builders distributed stationary items (pens, pencils, rulers, erasers and sharpeners) to each one of the girls for the upcoming exams. The girls were 40 in number and aged between 12-14 years. Most of them were tenth standard students who were appearing for their board exams soon.
A small prayer session was held for all the girls so that the Masters grace be showered upon them.The youngest Bridge Builder was 7 years! The volunteers joyously distributed chocolates to the children on the occasion to spread the joy of Christmas.
The group of volunteers as well as the girls thoroughly enjoyed themselves. It was indeed a truly enriching experience for one and all present. The seva was possible only because of beloved Dada’s blessings and by His grace, the Bridge Builders, Chennai look forward to many more occasions of selfless service in the future.
On May 21, 2012, the Bridge Builders took up a one year long project ‘ GURUKUL’ at the Eklavya Institute for street kids to inculcate good values in them & encourage them to be socially and emotionally strong.
The Eklavya Institute is an organization that provides street kids with the basic requirements like food, clothing, shelter and most importantly education free of cost. Currently this institute houses about 65 kids in the range of 4 to 14 years. Those who are not able to provide a livelihood for their children and are homeless, from different places, seek admission at this institute. The children are educated at a school run by the government and are provided with wholesome meals.
The Bridge Builders decided t o contribute to this institute’s cause by conducting some unique sessions for the kids that aimed at providing value based moral education, personality development, vocational training and cultivating good habits so that the kids could grow in strength socially, emotionally, and spiritually. These sessions also aimed at giving the kids a glimpse of Dada’s life and teachings.
A group of Bridge Builders under leadership of Project In-charge Mrs. Shradha Tejwani, conducted a session on every Saturday from 3.00 pm to 4.30 pm. These sessions covered wide range of topics like cultivating love, faith, compassion, forgiveness , cultivating personal hygiene, cleanliness, information of Indian Dieties and festivals, singing and dancing classes, and so on.
Every session commenced with a prayer in Hindi given by Dada, followed by meditation or singing of bhajans and kirtans that lasted for a few minutes. This was followed by training and imparting knowledge related to the theme decided for that session. These training sessions involved showing videos, story narration in Hindi or Marathi, playing games, art and craft sessions, and dramatization of the related theme. Each session was concluded with the thanksgiving prayer, Shukrana aye khuda and distribution of prasad.
In the personal hygiene and cleanliness sessions, various audio visual charts, pictures, and videos were shown . Also, simple things related to personal hygiene such as washing of hands, brushing teeth everyday were demonstrated. The importance of cleanliness of our surroundings was communicated. The volunteers demostrated by cleaning the place where these kids lived, with brooms, rough rags and mops to emphasize the value of cleanliness. The entire process gave the kids a feeling of responsibility and belonging.
Besides this, various festivals were celebrated with the children in a unique and fun way. For Raksha Bhandhan kids made rakhis. They were taught the significance of a brother and sister relationship. Beloved Dada’s birthday was celebrated with great gusto with the kids by narrating to them stories on forgiveness, showing Beloved Dada’s video and distributing sweets and cakes. The kids also made a lovely card for Gurudev. For Janmashtmi, a dahi handi activity was arranged for the kids. The kids had great fun breaking the handi filled with chocolates. For Ganesh Chaturthi an animated film on Lord Ganesha was shown to the kids and various aartis were performed . Also, a professional was invited to conduct dance sessions for the kids and to train them on the song Deva Shree Ganesh. For Teachers’ Day, the children created beautiful cards expressing their love and gratitude for their teachers. For Dusshera, videos were shown to impress the life of Lord Rama, his fight against the evil Ravana, and the victory of Lord Rama. Diwali was celebrated with Lord Rama’s kirtans and stories. Children also enjoyed bursting of crackers with the volunteers. Some sessions also included cultivating reverence for some great ones. For instance some animated childhood videos were shown of Shri Hanuman, there was story telling on the life of Sai Baba and his love for his devotees.
On the occasion of Sadhu Vaswani’s birthday on November 25, the volunteers took the children to experience the marvel of the Darshan museum which is based on Sadhu Vaswani’s life and teachings. They also took the children to the Sacred Samadhi and around the Sadhu Vaswani Mission premises. The children were thrilled with the whole experience and enjoyed this fun cum inspirational trip.
There were also some training sessions for spoken English for the kids. The children were taught the English alphabets, speaking simple sentences, recognizing English numbers from 0 to 100, and so on.
This was a one year project came to an end on the April 5,2013. The end of the session was marked by a thanksgiving celebration party with games and variety of food for the kids. The project was a challenging task undertaken by a group of volunteers. For the volunteers it was a delight to see kids grow and learn in the name of God, good values, and qualities of sharing, caring, giving, loving, and patience. Also, conducting these sessions helped them learn and grow themselves and cultivate qualities of patience, love, and empathy. At the end of the sessions, the volunteers came to share a beautiful bond with the kids which they will always cherish.
The Sunday of June 16 was vibrant with strong positive energies at the Sadhu Vaswani Mission. The event titled ” Prayer – Have you tried me?” was organised by the Bridge Builders to emphasize on the most under used , yet the strongest power in the world – the power of prayer! The incessant heavy rains did not the curb the enthusiasm and determination to reach the venue , of the 600 odd participants at the event.
The evening began with soulful and prayerful melodies performed by the extremely talented Bridge Builder trio comprising of Amit , Rekha & Neha.
Interspersed with the melodies was an impactful audiovisual presentation and commentary on the unimaginable power prayer holds. The presentation was a comprehensive journey through the various aspects of prayer. It was both intriguing and inspiring.
This was followed by a recorded Question & Answer Session by Rev. Dada J.P. Vaswani. Owing to Dada’s health reasons, He was unable to make it personally for the event, but His presence could be felt all through the programme. The event concluded by offering a silent prayer for Beloved Dada’s speedy recovery.
Bridge Builders, the Youth Wing of the Sadhu Vaswani Mission, dedicated the evening of the July 31, to celebrate Dada J.P. Vaswani’s 95th birthday, through a mega play in Hindi, titled, ‘The White Rainbow-Celebrating Colors of Love’.
The foot-tapping, soul stirring kirtans by the 18 year old singing star Vinay Vaswani from New York, pepped up the youth for the evening.
A short video portraying the activities of service done by the group, such as saving 100 cows from slaughter, little acts of kindness, attending to the poor, sick, blind and much more was showcased. ‘Beyond Self’ a year long project which was initiated globally in July 2012 as a birthday gift to beloved Dada by the Bridge Builders, was presented to Dada.
‘Friends Forever’, a book by Dada J.P. Vaswani was launched, as well as his ‘Kill Fear Before Fear Kills You’, translated in Oriya by Mr. Satpati was released.
Mr. Shashi Tharoor, who was to inaugurate the Sadhu Vaswani Institute of Management Studies, was unable to come due to ill health, but he was kind enough to send a message of encouragement and appreciation, along with warm, loving good wishes for Dada on his 95th birthday.
The play enacted that evening, by the Bridge Builders, was titled, ‘The White Rainbow’, which reminded Rev. Dada of Sadhu Vaswani’s words:
‘Love is the light of life, my child,
O, brightly let it burn each day.’
Dada further added that the sun’s light appears white, but has the seven colors of the rainbow. Similarly, the light of love, its ray passing through the prism of the heart, will show the following seven colors:
Dada asked the sea of faces before him, ‘How many colors of the light of love do you have?’ He said, ‘Today there is a famine of love. Bring love back into your lives. Not mushy, wimpy, conditional love, but universal, unconditional, sharing and caring love’. Dada reiterated the fact that his hope lies in the young Bridge Builders to bring back this kind of love in the world today.
It was this kind of love portrayed in the play that was so ably enacted, lighting within each one a flame of hope to experience such love in their lives. The play was directed by the award winning director Mr. Digpal Lanjekar and choreographed by Ms. Akshita of the ‘Dance India Dance’ fame. The play was a form of experiential theatre portrayed by the seven colors of the rainbow, each color representing a human emotion. These colors brought forth the major emotional issues faced by the people today including conflict in marriages over petty reasons, apathy towards parents and division in families due to lack of love. The climax which highlighted how Dada’s practical life changing tips were simple solutions to each of the problems, left the audience spell bound.
Everyone departed from the venue with the feel good factor brought in by the finale song on ‘Simply Love’.