Healthy Values of Living

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Item Code: NAC817
Author: Swami Tathagatananda
Edition: 2010
ISBN: 9788175053380
Pages: 152
Cover: Paperback
Other Details 8.5 Inch X 5.5 Inch
Weight 170 gm
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Book Description
Publisher’s Note to the Indian Edition

We are happy to place before the readers the first Indian edition of this book which was hitherto published by the Vedanta Society of New York. We thank the Society for permitting us to bring this edition.

We have removed sections 5 and 6, and a chapter from section 3 originally present in the American edition.

We hope that this book will inspire many to instill healthy values in their lives.

Preface to the American Edition

Life as the source of all things is divine through and through, and therefore, the fundamental problems of life can only be solved when we are able to discover our hidden divinity, the center of life. In the topics dealt with in this book, the image of divinity of life has been projected and the unity of thought, in spite of the diversity of subject-matter, cannot escape the notice of the perceptive reader. There are many topics that are of import to the spiritual seeker, whatever be his or her path. Broadly, they all point to a scheme of holistic living, as opposed to modern living which is bereft of spiritual insight. The erosion of positive, life-building values is a major problem facing the modern society. The typical modern person is usually supposed to be irreverent and casual about the deeper questions of life, and consequently is not exposed to “sane values” of life. The holistic attitude of life can be cultivated; stability and integrity of life can be actualized under different situations, if the main objective of a “healthy scheme” of life style is sincerely pursued. There is an urgent need for all of us to develop a holistic view of life and it is earnestly hoped that this humble work may evoke interest in that direction.

Most of the articles contained in this Miscellany were originally published in different periodicals of the East and the West, during the period of 1966 through 1987. 1 am grateful to the authorities of the periodicals concerned for their kind permission to include the articles from their publications in this book.

In this second edition, I have incorporated three articles: “Divine Law”, “Mind and Its Two Faces,” and “Theory of Creation Hindu View”, which were previously published else where. The fourth article, “Worship”, is new.

In the present edition, all the articles of a kindred nature have been grouped under six broad heads. The First Section shows how modern man is at the crossroads and depicts his plight, bogged down as he is by the “secular life-style”. The Second Section stresses the dire need for moral and spiritual values in life. How the “New Gospel” of Vedanta as propounded by Swami Vivekananda comes to the rescue of modern man is elucidated in Section Three. How Sri Ramakrishna and his disciples are today a beacon to man, can be seen from Section Four. Section Five shows how Mahatma Gandhi in our own times, exemplified the higher values in his life. And the Last Section is a bouquet of adventures in spiritual life. Almost all the articles carry side-headings to indicate the evolution of thoughts in them. And the main points of every article have been highlighted briefly (in italics) before the commencement of the article.

I am extremely grateful to Swami Jyotirmayananda for his labour of love in the cause of dissemination of Vedantic thoughts. As in the case of the previous book, Meditation on Swami Vivekananda, our centenary publication, he acceded to my request to bring forth the second edition of this book with a cheerful heart. I am grateful to Prof P. A. Hariharan of the Ramakrishna Math Library, Chennai; Prof. C. S. Ramakrishnan, the former Jt. Editor of the Vedanta Kesari; Sri K. P. Shivakumar, Asst. Editor, Yuva Bharati and Vivekananda Kendra Patrika, Chennai, and Dr. Sajeev Rose, Reader-in-English, Anandashram, Kanhangad, Kerala, for their singular and active cooperation at various stages of the publication. I am also thankful to Uma (who stayed with us from 1977 to 1985), Prof J. N. Sarkar, Dora, Helen, and Sri Manohar Kamath, Director, Sharada Press, Mangalore (South India). If any reader is really benefited by this book, and tries to change his or her lifestyle, I shall consider my labour of love to be fruitful.


Spiritual Knowledge Encourages Values
Our age has been called the Age of Progress and the Age of Science, but it has also been characterized as the Age of Tension, Anxiety, Depression, Violence, Crime and Fear. As we reflect on it, we find our evils stem essentially from ignorance about the spiritual dimensions of life. Secular knowledge does not give us Self-knowledge; it has given us miraculous control over Nature, but has added practically nothing to control our emotional life and social behavior. As a result, our life has been oriented to things. We have every sort of possession except self-possession and every sort of security except emotional and spiritual security. Spiritual knowledge encourages values that motivate improvement in human worth. Spiritual insight enriches our subjective life, brings harmony, and helps us to acquire some positive and enduring values in life.

Human Progress Based on Spiritual Growth
To most of us value is associated with “pay, promotion and pleasure”; man and his integrity of character are not taken into account. In this atomic age, everything has changed except our values of life. But time has come for a more practical use of our moral and spiritual insight, and more enthusiasm to pursue “right conduct.” We are now forced by circumstances to give up our old attitude of life and incorporate a new vision of human progress based on spiritual growth. Albert-Szent-Gyorgyi, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1937 for his discovery of Vitamin C says, Snakes can grow only by bursting their skins. Moulting has to be a painful process and should it fail, the snake would die. Mankind grows by bursting the outgrown skin of antiquated ideas, thinking, and institutions.” Our habit of superficial thinking that is tied down to old conventions, is what we have to slough off to survive.

Generate Ethical and Moral Culture
Our inner mind is shrinking due to lack of spiritual nourishment, while the outer life is being overfed and over pampered. The meaninglessness of our secular lifestyle—its single-minded pursuit of materialism—comes from our ignorance about the spiritual dimensions of life. Progress does not mean only speed and comfort but also a sense of direction, a sense of purpose which culminates in finding fulfillment in life. Human progress, plainly, cannot be meaningful unless values enter into our every activity and thought. Life is significant because it has the capacity for striving towards the ideal; ideals are vital and valuable because they can make our life better, mind stronger and outlook nobler. Life begins with values that derive not from pleasure and immediate experience, but from wisdom transmitted to us from a long human heritage and honored tradition. Information is not knowledge and knowledge is not wisdom. Knowledge must rise to the level of wisdom to bring forth transformation of the personality. “Unless men increase in wisdom as much as in knowledge, increase in knowledge will be increase of sorrow” (Bertrand Russell, Impact of Science On Society, pp. 120-21). Values emerge in actual life at all levels. The fundamental values of a true community are those which keep the society together, bring harmony between the practical and the spiritual, help cultivate the virtues of renunciation and service and make people humane, cultured, and unselfish. The chief object of the society then, is to foster a spiritual outlook and generate ethical and moral culture.

Civilization is material, and Culture spiritual; the former may be compared to the body and the latter to the Soul. One gives happiness and the other peace. True culture is the human izin factor in human life. Without spiritual outlook, there can be no high and enduring culture. Culture and self-control are synonymous terms. The realm of culture is the realm of values. A multitude of such cultured people in a society paves the way to human happiness.

The Price of Wrong Conception of Life
It is our idea of life that determines our attitude in life, and again it is our conception of life that sets the whole tone of our way of living. Conflicts between different life patterns, different world-pictures, as well as different temperaments can be traced to the mental constitutions and cultural background of people. We pay a heavy price for our wrong conception of life. MI our troubles are due to this ignorance. The merits and weaknesses of each civilization are rooted in that ignorance. Arnold Toynbee, a great historian of our age, remarks, “The same Greek idea of man, which accounts for the Greek civilization’s rise and culmination, is also the explanation for its strange and tragic fate. Hellenism was betrayed by what was false within it ... this weakness of the Greek idea of man, which was the ultimate cause of the breakdown of the Greek way of life in the fifth century BC., was shown up when, later on, the Greek view encountered the Jewish view in Southwest Asia and the ancient Asian view in India” (Toynbee, The Ancient Mediterranean View of Man, pp. 3-4). A human being is the focus of all values; deep study of man by the mystics of India has revealed an infinite vista of human possibilities. Man is the epitome of the cosmos. “Man is the most representative being in the universe, the microcosm, a small universe in himself,’ says Swami Vivekananda (Complete Works Vol. 4, p. 47).

Self-knowledge, the Crowning Glory of Life
The central theme of Vedanta is monism—non-difference of the individual and the Supreme Self in their essential nature. Man is divine. The Self of Vedanta is “Self-luminous,” eternally pure and blissful. As the Self is not a created entity, it is immutable, eternal, immortal and infinite. This Soul is the only source of all virtue, happiness, peace, wisdom, power and knowledge. The crowning glory of life is Self-knowledge, as all our bondage and suffering are due to ignorance, primarily of one’s Self.

Spiritual Values Keep Us Stable
“In man, things which are not measurable are more important than those which are measurable” (Alexis Carrel, Man the Unknown). Value-oriented culture must attach maximum importance to unfolding the Soul-force through the spiritual disciplines of self-control and morality. Hence right understanding is necessary for right living. Any living—spiritual or secular—can never neglect the moral virtues. The Gita (16:1) enumerates them. Truth, self-control, purity, renunciation, honesty, patience and unselfishness are generally known as the fruits of the soul. These values will equip us to experience peace, harmony and fulfillment. In times of trial and tribulation in life, these spiritual values keep us stable, inspire us to wage the battle of life, and give us fearlessness and self-confidence. Mere intellectual growth, unaccompanied by these spiritual values, makes us egoistic, aggressive and victims of many human weaknesses. “Unless above himself he erects himself how poor a thing is man.

Pragmatic Necessity of Having Spiritual Enlightenment
About the pragmatic necessity of having that spiritual enlightenment Toynbee remarks, “In these circumstances, it might be forecast that, in the next chapter of the world’s history, mankind would seek compensation for the loss of much of its political, economic and perhaps even domestic freedom by putting more of its treasure into spiritual freedom” (A Historian’s Approach to Religion, p. 244). He further states, “In a regimented world, the realm of the spirit maybe freedom’s citadel’ (Ibid., p. 249). Toynbee exhorts us to have a spiritual reorientation of our atomic civilization: “The time has come for us, in our turn, to wrench ourselves out of the seventeenth-century mathematic physical line of approach which we are still following, and to make a fresh start from the spiritual side. This is now, once again, the more promising approach of the two if we are right in expecting that, in the atomic age which opened in AD 1945, the spiritual field of activity, not the physical one, is going to be the domain of freedom” (Ibid., pp. 286-7).

Healthy Values of Life Alone can transform Character
The world desperately wants value-oriented education, work numerate culture and lifestyle. Awareness of the importance of the study of consciousness has been steadily growing among the scholars of the modern world in view of its fundamental importance in he solution of world problems. Without the transformation of human character, no enduring peace is possible in spite of the tremendous growth of technology and sciences. “Political action, social work, this-inn, that ology, are all incomplete, futile actions unless accompanied by a new and elevated mode of awareness. In other words, the true revolution is revelation” (John White, ed., The Highest State of Consciousness, p. ix). Hence enduring happiness and peace will come to those who will be able to harness the dormant potentiality of the divinity embedded in each human life. Healthy values of life are those fruits of the Soul which alone can bring transformation of our character. A really transmuted character is capable of enjoying the fruits of secular life.


Publishers Note5
Preface to the American Edition 6
Introduction 15
Section One
Present – Day Crisis
1Malady of Modern Culture 23-30
The Essential Feature of Culture – Culture and Civilization – Culture and spiritual quest – Values of Higher life – Need for a True Philosophy of life – Culture vs Achievement – Need for a spiritual outlook on life – Modern Culture and the Degeneration of human personality – Psychological Price of Mechanization – Our Present repulsive secular image and the Need for a large conception of life – the supreme importance of acquiring culture in our life
2Culture Disease and its Remedy 31-35
The Bane of Secular Culture – Spiritual Development at Stake – The Real Pathology of our age – Developing our spiritual Resources- Need for a spiritual outlook of life
3Worry and Its cure 36-41
Anxiety and tension are the cause of nervous breakdown – Hate Blocks energy – Epidemic of fear and worry – spirituality brings harmony and integration – wrong understanding of life is the cause of mental tension – spiritual unfoldment alone will eliminate anxiety and worry
4The Face of Violence 42-47
Mounting Violence and restlessness of our age – Cause of Violence – Aimless pursuit of science will destroy us – Our generation has become death dealers – we are passing through a crisis – Materialistic analysis does not go to the root of the problem – remedy lies in spirituality 31-35
5The Dangers of Victory 48-52
A Predicament Present and the Past – Dangers of the Nuclear power – A Recent Nuclear Tragedy – Hazards of Radioactive Pollution – Radioactive waste the biggest cause of worry – Creating social awareness about nuclear pollution and health hazards
Section Two
Need of the Hour
1Healthy Values of life55-59
Moral Lapses lead to degeneration – Culture shapes our destiny – Need for faith in God and Adherence to Truth – Pitfalls of Secular lifestyle – inculcation of moral and spiritual values in life – integrated personality is the savior of the word – India’s spiritual gift to mankind
2Life Saving Values of life 60-64
Need of the Hour an integrated life – Secular lifestyle detrimental to spiritual motivation – A lamentable state of developed countries – Basic Values of Indian Culture – Faith in the Innate Spiritual essence of Man – Religious feeling can never be suppressed – A Desperate need for spiritual values of life – allegiance to principles not to persons – uphold the glory of spirit over matter – distribution of spiritual Manna for humanity – The only way of salvation for mankind
3Way To Happiness 65-68
The Predominant Urge of Mankind – The Present Unhappy and disconnected age – Spiritual experience alone can give us permanent Happiness – Happiness not in the enjoyment of the senses – Need for moral and ethical life – Desires can be sublimated – Chasing the chimera of Happiness
4Pain and its Relief 69-79
Mental poverty amidst material opulence – The virus of secularism and the aggravation of the suffering – The Mind can make or mar one’s life – Ignorance of our real nature is the Cause of our misery – The Path to Freedom – Purification and Detachment – Free will and oral responsibility – Inner Purification to strengthen the mind – Remembrance of Holy Men Helps us avoid suffering – The Impact of emotion on mind – Strong religious faith helps overcome pain – intimate Psychological relationship between attitude and suffering – suffering can be avoided by adjusting our attitude to the occasion – a spiritual outlook on life can help prevent neurosis – Sufferings cease to be painful with love of god – The sovereign cure for mental anxieties – Real Wisdom is a weapon against suffering – Suffering Ultimately leads us to god – Eternal Happiness is the result of surrender to god
Section Three
New Gospel
1Vedanta and the western world 83-89
Unity of Mankind Foundation of the New world – Vedanta believes that truth must be universal – The Fundamental Principles of Vedanta – A New Gospel for suffering Humanity – Harmony of Religious – The Divinity and sacredness of human life – the Unity of Existence – The Concept of Godhead and spiritual Practice – Meditation and Contemplation – Karma and reincarnation – As a living thought and mode of conduct – Broadness of spirit – A Great hope to suffering humanity – The life giving message of Vedanta
2Vedanta Movement in U.S.A 90-92
A General Interest in Vedanta Amidst realism and pragmatism – Vedanta Societies and Vedantic influence on the minds of Americans – The Seed of Spirituality was planted by the towering prophet of this age
3Theory of Creation Hindu View 98-108
Theory of Evolution vs. the biblical account of creation – The Tragedy of confrontation between the faithful and the rationalists – evolution as opposed to creation – Evolution is essentially a change from within – Evolution in the light of western thought and biology – Hindu view projection and not creation – The cause of evolution according to Hinduism – spiritual interpretation of creation – The Ulitmate oneness of God man and universe – The Universal Philosophy of Vedanta can help us
5Divine Law 109-115
God the Univeral Intelligence – God the Reservoir of all excellences – God is the Indweller of everything – God rules the whole gamut of the cosmic process – God is the custodian of the cosmic and moral order – Spiritual truths are beyond the purview of physical science – Wisdom of God is noticed in the Uniformity of Nature – Physics enters into the realm of Mysticism
6Worship 116-119
Art of Using Symbols for spiritual communion – Significance of image worship – Dual aspects of God – Worship and the saving power of god’s grace – worship of the different aspects of god – Maximum Benefit with least effort
7Mind And its two faces 120-126
Atman the core of Man – Consciousness is primary – mind body and consciousness – A wrong conception of the self – Self is a permanent Conscious Entity – Mind is the finest matter – Mind Borrows the light of consciousness – Introspection to study the mind – Pure and Impure Mind – The Role of discriminative faculty – Need for inner purification – Mind must be freed from the senses – Surest way for purification of mind
Section Four
In Their Footprints
1The Need of a worldview and Swami Vivekananda 129-131
A Wave of Apathy and Cynicism – Usefulness of true education in the regeneration of the society – The Key to Social restoration Building the Inner life of man – Life wedded to the philosophy of Swamiji
2Swami Vivekananda An Avatara of Shakti 132-136
A Personification of Dynamism fearlessness and strength – His spiritual break through – As an Itinerant Monk – At the Chicago parliament – A Cyclonic monk – His message – Success of his mission
3The Baranagore math: A Laboratory for discovering divine life 137-142
Sri Ramakrishna realized the truth – his teachings – His Chief Disciple – The Baranagore Monastery – The Genesis of the Brotherhood – Rigorous Spiritual disciplines – They Created history
4Sashi Maharaj: The Main Pillar of the Math 143-150
A Wonderful spiritual teacher – Guru Bhakti par excellence – The Main Pillar of the Math – He Brought life to worship – Incidents revealing his sterling character – Some Precepts of Sashi Maharaj
**Contents and Sample Pages**

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