Gurudeva Jayanthi

Gurudeva talks about his birthday parties worldwide, and his campaign to stop corporal punishment of children. He explains how the orphanage he sponsors in Batticaloa, Sri Lanka, is supported only on the basis of the staff never hitting the children. Six wonderful children from Malaysia have joined the priest training school of Sri Sri Tiruchimahaswamigal of Kailash Ashram, Bangalore. Their training begins today.

Unedited Transcript:

Today at Kauai Aadheenam, January 5th. Happy Birthday to me! Seventy-three birthday parties. That's a lot!

The most embarrassing one was when I was born. That was embarrassing. Getting slapped on the behind. That started an ongoing campaign that we have against child abuse. What a way to enter a physical consciousness, with a pat on the butt that didn't feel very good. Can almost remember it to this day. Hanging upside down there, somebody holding my feet, and whap! That's unfair, to beat a little kid. But it is being done to little kids all over the world and laws are being passed and laws are being enforced.

Another memorable birthday was 21 years of age, arriving and walking through the Gateway to India. Stepping off a freighter boat, the first one to leave for India after the war. Stepping off on India's soil. What a fantastic 'Happy Birthday' present that was for a twenty-one year old looking for his Guru.

Quite a few birthday parties. I wish I could have attended them all; are going on right now- Denmark, Sri Lanka in Batticoloa at our Tirunavakarasu Gurukulam. It is an orphanage that we support through Hindu Heritage Endowment.

Myself, also being an orphan at a very early age, about 9 or 10 years of age, know exactly how those young men feel. This orphanage was told that a sizable endowment was set up for them and they are going to get megabucks of rupees, every year to add on buildings, to buy books and they are celebrating Gurudeva's Jayanthi, which is the Sanskrit word for birthday, in appreciation.

They were told that unless they stop corporal punishment to keep the kids in line, the endowment would not get even one rupee. This had a magical effect, believe it or not. All the teachers, all the instructors sent us letters pledging that they would not pinch a kid, twist his ear, hit him with a ruler on his hands or whip him on his legs if he were a naughty boy. They printed pamphlets in English and the Tamil language and distributed them throughout the city. They are still doing that, telling people that there are better ways of raising children than to throw them into the state of mind of fear, the state of mind of resentment, the state of mind of locking themselves in and shuting off their intelligence simply because they are afraid of their teacher. They are afraid of their elders. They are afraid of their parents. These young people and their instructors hope to make a difference in Batticoloa, Sri Lanka. To me, that is a wonderful birthday gift.

Another wonderful birthday gift was, and is, six young men from the age eight years old to twelve, who have been enrolled in the Vedic-Agamic Gurukulam under the aegis of Sri Sri Sri Tiruchi Swamigal of the Kailasa Ashram in Bangalore, close to where we are building the Iraivan Temple. These young men are going to be the priests of Iraivan Temple. They are going through a five-year training, in learning all of the necessary Sanskrit slokas, the ways of performing puja. A thorough training to turn them out as authentic priests, well educated in the Agamas, the Vedas. We are very proud of them, all given to me by their parents with love and devotion. Today is the day when their parents are there, and the head of our temple site, Jiva Rajasankara, Sri Sri Sri Balagangadaranathaswami, Sri Sri Sri Tiruchiswami, Sri Jayendrapuriswami and all the other Swamis, devotees and disciples of this great state of India. Tiruchiswami, Sivaratnapuriswamigal, heads a very very large ashram called Kailasa Ashram, with a fantastically beautiful temple, a Rajarajeshwari temple.

What a wonderful gift to be given, these six young men! We accept them with love in our hearts and believe you me, we will take care of them extremely well.

Well, that is my birthday testimony. It is nice to hear myself saying these things but, another thing is that we are very happy that you have tuned into our Cyber Ashram and that you are living in cyberspace with us. It is like the Akashic world. We can look out through the computer and see you through cyberspace, and you are looking good today, many of you.

I see one sad face. Realize all that you have gone through in this life has brought you to the point where you can say, "I want to change. I want to be happy." Be happy by making someone else smile. The reaction to that will make you smile. Life is too unsure, and life is too short to experience unhappiness for too long a time. So cheer up, out there.

I'll see you tomorrow through cyberspace at 'Today at Kauai Aadheenam', tomorrow.