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The aim of selective reading!
There is no dearth to spiritual texts and philosophical books. Thanks to the invention of internet. Scores of books are available online for free browsing. The abundance of books on the above topics tends to confuse one in the matter of choice. First they are all stored in different servers’ around the globe. Whoever reads its contents store it in their brains memory? In a way, the library racks, our brain and the computer servers all perform the same function. They simply store those valuable teachings. What one has gained by storing these invaluable teachings? The only satisfaction is that we can retrieve the contents at the click of the mouse or going to the public library to search for the topic or to recollect them from the memory of the brain.
Now, we can turn to a new question, “Why books are written or published”. Any simpleton will assert that books are meant for reading. Yes, no doubt in that. But, what purpose is achieved by reading those books? For instance, students pour over the books in order to pass their exam. Many read books for simple ‘time passing’. A minute percentage of people read the books for enlightenment and those few will definitely put those teachings into practice. Otherwise we can construe that many people convert their brains into warehouses where they dump all and sundry without any practical use. We might have read in bank statements one term “Non-performing assets”. In a way our memory has become a non performing asset with regard to our reading habits.
First of all, we must cultivate a habit of “selective reading’. We should not read trash materials like novels which are meant only for time passing. Educative, innovative articles give boost to our knowledge. Once we read those articles, choose any practical lesson for adoption in day to day life. First we must read those articles and absorb the theme. Secondly, we shall recollect those themes and reflect on the same. This is the state of contemplation. Finally we shall adopt them in life. Today we see that the selective reading habit is dispensed with and people pour over all the things their hands can lay on. Children are fonder of comic books which leads them to read comic horror books. Their brain develops a liking for such books. Those children are likely to develop a rude behavior when they grow up. Hence, what we read has an important bearing on our character development. Hence the importance of selective reading is emphasized above.
Why children are barred from browsing certain sites? Since they contain harmful literature and content which will spoil the child. Hence in most of the gadgets and TVs, ‘child lock’ is provided as an extra precaution. Character plays an important role in our life. Men of characters have earned lasting fame in this world even after they pass away. The world today remembers people like Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King, Abraham Lincoln, Mahatma Gandhi, Swami Vivekananda and many such eminent people only due to their flawless character and adherence to virtues like Truth and honesty. They cared for the society above all their personal concerns.
Considering the importance of developing character and conduct from childhood days, Sri Sathya Saibaba has founded a unique program called “Bala Vikas” (development of ideal children) in India. Each week end, children who are enrolled in the program are gathered in a common place where a teacher (Bala Vikas Guru) who is also called preceptor guides the young mind in spiritual and moral lessons. There are several grades according to each age group! Children in the initial grade are taught to chant the names of God, sing congregational prayers which are simple and soothing. The chants contain God’s name sung in every religion. No religion is excluded. Again they are told simple stories about great men, sages, prophets and immortal figures from great epics. They are taught to adhere to Truth, to obey their parents and teachers and serve their parents in little cores of the house. Thus they develop self-confidence and brotherhood. The aim is to inculcate human values from childhood days! When they grow up, they are taught the important teachings contained in major religious texts like Bible, Quran and other religious texts. They are also taught that all religions lead to one God who is called in different names in different religions. They are also taught the value of ‘selfless service’, meditation, first aid, disaster management and community works like feeding the poor, attending to hospitals to assist the patients, visiting jails to teach the inmates simple lessons and other skills needed for earning their livelihood.
Hence read selectively and advise the children to study only elevating books. This will go a long way in character building!