2Practical Spirituality Ceiling on Desires"Who is the poorest man?“He who has many desires is the poorest man in the world.”“Who is the richest man?He who has much satisfaction is the richest man in the world".This is what Baba says, and exhorts all devotees to have a ceiling on their desires to evolve spiritually.
3What is the meaning of Ceiling on Desires? “Man is deluded by his unlimited desires. He is living in a dream world. He is forgetting the Supreme Consciousness (Para-tattwa). That is why it is important to keep our desires under control, to place a ceiling on them. We are spending too much money. Instead of inordinately spending for our own pleasure, we should be spending for the relief of the poor and needy. This is the real meaning of ‘Ceiling on Desires’. However, do not make the mistake of thinking that giving money is all that is needed while allowing your own desires to continue to multiply. Curtail your desires, as materialistic desires lead to a restless and disastrous life. Desires are a prison. Man can be freed only by limiting his wants. You should have desire only for life's bare necessities,” Baba says.
4How can you reduce desires? ‘Ceiling on Desires’ – in relation to…TimeMoneyEnergyFoodKnowledge
5Food – ‘Annam Brahma’“Firstly, consider the food we consume. Eat only what you need to eat. Do not be gluttonous. Do not take more than you can eat and waste the rest, because wasting food is a great sin. The surplus food can feed another mouth. Eat only what you need, and be sure that what you eat is Sathwic. Do not waste food, because food is God, life is God, and man is born from food.”
6Food – Annamaya Kosha“Food is the main source of man's life, body, mind and character. The gross part of the food, which is the major portion of the food consumed by the body, is thrown out as waste matter. A minute amount of the food, which is the subtle part, is assimilated by the body and flows as blood. And a minuscule amount, which is the subtlest part of the food, makes up the mind. Therefore, the mind is the reflection of the food consumed. The reason for the present beastly and demonic tendencies in our minds is the food we consume. Only by controlling the quality of our food and water we ingest can we attain Divinity.”
7Misuse of money is Evil“Secondly, consider the ways in which money is spent. Indians consider money or wealth as Goddess Lakshmi. Do not misuse money; misuse of money is evil. By doing so, you will only become a slave to bad qualities, bad ideas and bad habits. Use your money wisely for good deeds.”‘Dana’ (Wealth) and ‘Dhana’ (Charity)
8Money - Wealth“A man should own only as much wealth as is essential. It is like the size of his shoes. If the shoes are too loose, he cannot walk; if they are too tight, he cannot wear them. Money is like manure. Piled up in one place, it fouls the air. Spread it wide, scatter it over fields, it rewards you with a bumper harvest. So too, when money is spent for promoting good works, it yields contentment and happiness in plenty. Like blood, money too should circulate to ensure health”, said Baba.
9Time – ‘Kala’“Thirdly, examine the usage of time. One should not waste time. Time should be spent in a useful manner. Time should be sanctified because everything in this creation is dependent on time. Even our scriptures extol God as ‘Kaalaya namaha. Kaalaatheethaya namaha (Salutations to the One who is the embodiment of Time and who transcends Time).’”
10Time – ‘Kala’“Time is an essential part of our life. Do not defile time by gossiping and unnecessary talk. The truth behind the saying "Don't waste time" is that no time should be wasted in evil thoughts and acts. Instead, make use of time in an efficient way.”
11Energy – How it relates to the Koshas “Fourthly, conservation of energy is very important. Our physical, mental and spiritual energies should never be wasted. You might ask me: “How are we wasting our energies?"
12Pancha Koshas & EnergySeeing bad things, hearing bad things, speaking evil, thinking evil thoughts, and doing evil deeds all waste your energy.Conserve your energy in all these five areas, and make your life more meaningful.”
13Concluding ThoughtsSustainable Living - as derived from of the philosophy of Sathya Sai Babas teachings on Ceiling on Desires :- 1. Energy - Avoid Excessive Talk / Talking ill of others / gossip /Speak softly & lovingly / Thoughts are the spark of energy – so watch your thoughts all the time. 2. Food – Control consumption of air, water, food, Rate of death cause by eating excessive food in western countries exceeds the rate of people who die of starvation in the third world countries. We must eat to live NOT live to eat. 3. Time – Avoid excessive use of Face book / mobile phones / internet / e-games etc 4. Money – Use money wisely and help the poor & needy. 5. Knowledge – Balance of secular and spiritual education. Use practical knowledge for the good of the society.
14Exercise on Money1) Do you save money and at the same time, conserve energy by limiting use of electricity, water, gas, and other natural resources? Do you remember to turn off the lights, water and gas when not in use and check for leaks and over usage?2) Do you watch your telephone calls, especially long distance ones/3) Have you considered taking a packed lunch to work, at least some days, in preference to eating in a restaurant where you spend more time and money, but receive less in value in nourishment?4) Do you buy more food at the market than you can eat before it spoils?5) Do you save leftovers or do you throw them out or keep them until they spoil?6) Do you use more petrol than you need, due to lack of planning, whether you drive to a market or on a vacation?
15Exercise on Money7) Do you have a habit, or may be even an addiction, which is not only extravagant, but is not healthy, especially if indulged in excess?8) Are you teaching your children the proper use of money?9) Do you buy things you do not really need, or that are too expensive, such as clothes, jewellery, cars, accessories, and gadgets in order to impress people, compete with others, or make you feel more important or worthy of approval?10) Do you buy expensive gifts to try to impress or ingratiate yourself with others, or buy their love or approval?11) Instead, could you make something, do a favour, or run an errand for someone which would express more love and concern than costly gifts from a store?12) Do you buy books instead of borrowing them from the library?13) Finally, what would you find hardest to give up, or what do you feel you cannot live without?
16Exercise on Food1) Do you plan ahead what and how much you need to buy before you go to the market, to avoid buying things you do not need, or indulge in impulsive buying?2) Do you check the produce in the market for freshness and decide on the amount before you buy it to avoid having to discard food that has spoiled?3) Do you buy only those foods which adequately nourish you and your family, or do you include junk foods?4) Do you purchase only whole grains and flours, instead of those which are bleached and in packaged mixes?
17Exercise on Food5) Do you read labels to determine if packaged or canned goods contain fat, salt, M.S.G, sugar, caffeine, or other undesirable additives?6) Do you try to avoid white sugar, which Baba has warned can cause cancer due to the lye used to bleach it?7) Do you buy snack foods to tempt you to eat between meals?8) If you have a garden, do you grow your own fresh vegetables and salad greens to augment your food supply?9) Do you plan dinner parties to impress your guests with too much food and extravagant dishes?10) Do you eat out at restaurants which serve such a large quantity of food that much of it is eventually thrown away?
18Exercise on Time1) Do you monitor the amount of time you and your children watch television?2) Do you eliminate unsuitable programmes?3) Do you select your reading material with care and avoid over stimulating and questionable subjects?4) Do you indulge in idle talk, either on the telephone or with a visitor?
19Exercise on Time5) Do you waste time by worrying, daydreaming, complaining, or bemoaning your fate in self-pity, or in regret, guilt, fear, anger, or gossip?6) Do you use sleep as an escape from boredom, or to avoid a particular job or situation you fear or dislike?7) Do you waste a long time in front of the mirror, or with endless shopping?8) Do you plan ahead when driving somewhere to be sure you choose the quickest and most economical route, and combine several errands at one time?
20Exercise on Energy1) Do you organize your work and set priorities, so that you do the most demanding jobs when your energy level is at optimum?2) Are you a perfectionist who tries too hard to make everything perfect?3) Are you a fanatic about your house, spending too much energy and time wiping away every speck of dust, or tidying it?4) If you have children, do you allot them simple tasks befitting their age to free you to do other things?5) Do you plan your use of a car and include several errands in one trip?6) Do you spend unnecessary energy in an effort to please or impress people, in order to feel loved, rewarded and to gain attention?
21Exercise on Energy7) Do you indulge in fits of anger when something or someone does not please you or agree with you?8) Do you resist or procrastinate, which wastes both energy and time?9) Are you so impatient that you try to control the timing of situations in your life, instead of waiting for the right time when doors will open naturally for you to go ahead?10) Do you worry over non – essential or old grievances for fear of dire future happenings which may never come to pass?11) Do you force yourself to do something which builds up tension, instead of relaxing and asking Baba to flow through you?12) Do you wish to control people and situations, instead of respecting the free will of others?