A Recall of



Delivered at BITS Pilani
26-2-74 to 28-2-74

Note: This recall is being done from the jottings that I had made
while listening to the lecture in person –V. Krishnamurthy

How best to develop the personality? Developing the personality is not the same as developing the faculties of the personality. While we live in this world in a worldly fashion, can we step up our efficiency? It is not mere intellectual stamina that is needed.The grit of personality cannot be borrowed or bought. It has to be discovered by each one of us.  Welding the large population of a country into the people of a Nation is the art and science of nation-building. The bricks have to be trained to be in place properly cemented. They are not to be shelled in utter selfishness. Instead the common goal that inspires us all has to be kept in mind.

After the country’s independence there has been a context of national degeneration.  Is this Ramraj or Goondaraj? It is in this context we have to retune our personality and coordinate  the national enthusiasm which binds.  The individual is the microcosm; the totality is the macro. If individuals are corrupt how can the nation be strong? It is the individuals’ improvement that constitutes the wealth of the nation. That alone can be the national revival.

Personality is not something that is  managed by a barber or a tailor. Each one will have to face his problem by individual effort. No fortress can be built around you. Incompetent persons will try to escape. Each individual character is important in the bulk of the nation. What is Life but the strategy of facing  problems? When the individual is broken down the nation crumbles under the weight of its own problems. Without individual redemption world redemption is only a dream. A handful of mighty men can improve the stature of the country. But true political thinkers are rare. There is a total mental destitution. You of the younger generation have sufficient intelligence to develop.  On you depends the nation. You are the Nation.

Our scriptures describe the perfect man. Personality is a function of our readiness to be efficent. Getting nervous and excited is not efficiency.  It is equanimity that gives a high competence and proficiency. Through education and study you increase your proficiency and competence. But efficiency comes only when you are able to express your knowledge through your personality. Proficiency must seep through to become efficiency. Even a little work given to such a person will be done effectively, intensely. Arjuna’s example should be remembered. Only when the understanding expresses through the mind, the efficiency will show up. When the mind is disturbed this will not happen – as you can always see in an argument between an angry son and his father. What is done on the impulse of the moment cannot be efficient. When the mind is agitated or when the mind is not properly tuned, efficiency is gone. To work on the instinct may be an animal privilege. In our case this has become a habit. Unless there is a control over the mind, one behaves only like an animal. That one who has got control over the mind is called ‘manushya’. To get control of the mind is what is called ‘civilising’ the mind or ‘building up’ or ‘developing’ the mind.

Knowledge by itself cannot train the mind. Recall Shankara’s analogy of the donkey and the golden bricks it carries. Human vitality or Dynamism of the youth has to have a direction. Dynamism is not only to be generated ; it should also be conserved. It is like building a dam in a river. Each one of us is a river of dynamism.  You may call it ‘mind’. Generating, conserving and directing that dynamism is like the dam building activity on a flowing river.  This dynamism of life is not to be dissipated. Great men conserved their  vitality and did not allow themselves to be dissipated. Failures of ordinary men are only due to either the non-use or mis-use of dynamism. The generation of dynamism is maximum when you can give yourself a goal. Do not keep that ideal very low. Sustain your dynamism. You need not reach the goal but keep it tantalisingly high. Vibrant living to reach that goal is worth its own fulfillment. How one lives one’s life is what matters and not what one achieved. Strive to reach your goal. All inspiration and sustenance arise from that goal. Mother Ganges is the analogy. She strives at any cost to reach the ocean and Hers is a Purposeful Life while She is on that path to the goal. So also live a purposeful life when you are on your march. When problems come to you, they certainly will,  understand that you are being moulded by the Wheels of Time. Modern materialistic secular western education does not give such a tantalizing ideal from which you can draw inspiration. There is a Sanskrit shloka of Bhartrhari which says, the best type of people never leave off their striving just because of obstacles in their path, whereas mediocre people sign off in the middlewhen obstacles arise,  while the lowest type don’t even start because of the fear of possible obstacles.