Issue 164 - February 16, 2020
Inspirational Note...
In 2017 a  Satsang  held in the divine presence in Singapore when a devotee seeks guidance on speaking only what is required and when it is required.

Here is what Swami said:

God has given you two ears, but only one tongue, for the very purpose of speaking less. The question is how you speak whenever you open your mouth.

In the scriptures, it says, “ Sathyam vada priyam vada” - speak the truth but speak it in a sweet way. “Na bruyat sathyam apriyam” – do not speak in a way that is not sweet. That means you must speak the truth in a sweet way, not speaking unpleasantly. Not speaking in an unpleasant way is very important. All this requires practice and contemplation.

Understand that there are two ways of saying the same thing. One way is to say it in an unpleasant way; the other way is to say it in a pleasant way. Even if the truth is bitter, but you say it in a pleasant way, it will be accepted by the people around you. Discriminate between the two.

There’s an old story about a king who had a baby and called for astrologers to predict his son’s future. The first astrologer walked in and said, “Your son will have a very short life.”

The king got very angry and said, “On this auspicious day, you are telling me terrible things!” He had his guards put him in jail.

He then called the next astrologer, who said, “Your son is not going to live very long.” Again, the King got very upset and told the guards to behead the second astrologer.

The third astrologer saw what happened to the previous two, but felt he must tell the truth. He thought to himself, ‘I can’t tell a lie as this is my profession, but I must tell it in a way that does not upset the King.’

So the third astrologer said, “Your son will bring great fortune to you! He has brought you long years of life. You will live even longer than him.” The king was very happy and rewarded him. It was the same truth, but it was said in a way that was pleasant to the king.

I am not saying you should speak untruth for the sake of pleasing others – that is a sin. You must speak the truth, but speak it in a way that is pleasant to others. That is where discrimination comes into the picture. Discriminate and think before you say anything.
Service Updates
Growing to be God
Since the autumn of 2019, a group of five teachers implemented the ‘Growing to be God’ Programme in Croatia. Workshops are held in Zagreb every fortnight. Children and youth are divided in three groups. A fourth group is for parents who share stories about Swami and exchange parenting advice.
The first group is made up of preschool children from age three to six. Teaching this group requires patience and creativity.

In the second group, the nine-year-old children are more attentive. They also love stories and enjoy sharing their own experiences.

A group consisting of teenagers understand and learn by watching. They look for role models to follow. This is why teachers have to provide good examples for them.
Seva in Kazakhstan
The youth in Kazakhstan engage in giving assistance to single parent families, primarily single mothers and widowed mothers who are raising many children. There is also one two-parent family who has four children, living in very poor conditions. Basic necessities such as food and hygiene products are distributed every month.

As usual, the month has passed by very quickly. The youth felt that it was time to go and meet their friends.
Selfless Engagement – Vitalization of
What are the inner experiences of the young team in Munich when interacting with the seniors? Slowly there comes movement in the circle with singing, guessing game, seat- gymnastics and puzzles. It happens so easily and playfully.
In the sometimes, so neutral and apparently resigned facial expression, an unexpected smile flashes when the air-balloon flies between the senior and his/her game-partner. The partner's smile is returned automatically. Two lamps on a power line make it the temporary experience of unity in the heart, regardless of external circumstances.
Seva in Spain
On January 11, 2020, the youth team had another meeting. This time, the reason was a cleaning Seva in Barcelona, where the slogan was: ‘stop trash from reaching the sea’.
The team met at 10:15 am to collect plastic, glass and paper from the banks of a riverbed. Dogs were welcome too, so a few members of the group brought theirs along. It was cold, but very sunny; a very pleasant morning. After collecting the trash, a small snack was offered to everybody.
Helping Those In Need
Selfless Seva Trust Of Istanbul February -2020
Selfless Seva Trust of Istanbul, Turkey, has continued to do Seva activities between December 30, 2019 and February 2, 2020; many people were visited and provided with the following services:
  • On Mondays and Wednesdays, food was cooked regularly at the following kitchens of the Trust and was delivered to several homes in need, throughout the month.
  • 1,000 meals in Sisli Region
  • 275 meals in Pendik Region
  • 657 meals in Ömerli Region
How Seva activities change us
Zhanar Mukazhanova, Kazakhstan
Seva activities that we are engaged in transform us so much. I personally feel that it helps me to be closer to God and let go of the world's distractions. I became more compassionate and selfless. Seeing the smile on the children’s faces whom we help makes me happy and inspires me more. 

I started to realise what bright and peaceful people are; those whom we think we are helping! Maybe they are helping us more!