Today people want to live happily but not lead ideal lives. Parents, for instance, do not set a good example to the children. In the modern age, the father does not instruct the child properly and the child does not pay heed to the words of the mother. Where there are some good children, leading a pious life, the fathers rebuke them saying, “Have you gone crazy? Don’t take part in Bhajans or social service.” Parents who behave in this manner are like Hiranyakashipu, who could not tolerate his son worshipping Hari. Today we have many parents like Dhritarashtra and Hiranyakashipu, but few who encourage their children to adhere to righteousness. Children today do not relish edifying works like the Ramayana, Mahabharata and the Bhagavatham. They waste their time on reading trash. Parents should see that children do not read bad books. If the nation has to prosper, improvement must start with the parents.
Study the lives of our great women who were role-models of patience, fortitude, compassion and sacrifice. Since ancient times, the feminine aspect of the Divine is worshipped. Vedas declare: Where women are honoured and esteemed, there Divinity is present in full potency. Unfortunately, today men consider it demeaning to honour women. This is wrong and is a sign of ignorance. Men should give a honourable place to women. The woman is the Goddess of Prosperity for her home (Grihalakshmi), virtuous spouse (Dharmapatni), mistress of the house (Illalu) and the better half (Ardhangi). People gloat over petty titles conferred on them, but these highest titles conferred on women are valid for all times. A home without a woman is a jungle. Men should not make women weep and shed tears. A home where a woman sheds tears will be ruined. Women too, should endeavor to develop qualities of empathy, compassion, love and sacrifice. They should change themselves and help transform men and children.
மெய் மறந்த உறக்கம் இறக்கி வைக்கும்
இறுக்கம் எதுவாயினும் மனதில் இருந்து
மெய் மறந்து உறங்குபவன் விழித்துக்
கொள்வான் அவனை எழுப்பினால் !
ஆனால் பொய் தூக்கம் போடுபவனை
எழுப்ப முடியுமா தட்டி ?
மெய்யுடன் பொய் சரிக்கு சரி நின்று
சண்டை இடும் இந்த காலத்தில்
வாய்மையே வெல்லும் என்று வசனம்
பேசி நீ மெய் உறக்கத்தில் ஆழ்ந்து விட்டால்
வாய் மெய்யை வெல்லும் நிலைமை
வந்து விடும் தம்பி ! மெய் உறக்கத்திலும்
விழிப்புடன் இருக்க வேண்டும் நீ தம்பி !
மெய் மறந்த உன் உறக்கத்தில் உண்மையை
உறங்க விட்டு விடாதே நீ தம்பி !
Without having the right attitude, service done with a spirit of self-conceit is a travesty of service. Eliminate selfishness, which is the cause of dualism and its brood of opposites, joy and sorrow, likes and dislikes, and so on. You must rid yourself of the sense of ‘mine’ and ‘thine’. If your minds are filled with hatred, envy, prejudices and biases, you are not qualified to embark on service activities. “Active workers” (in the Sai movement) should have no feeling of arrogance or ostentation while carrying out the activities. They are indeed the spinal cord of the Sai organisation. As an active worker, you must understand the importance of human values and practice them in your life. You must constantly train yourself to become good men and women, fit to undertake noble tasks. All active workers must be broad-minded, completely free from selfish concerns, and must develop love towards all. Your recipe to experience Divinity must be, ‘Offer services and receive love’
Preoccupation with one’s own welfare and happiness is the bane of the dualistic mentality. It breeds discontent and sorrow. Feelings of attachment and aversion sully the mind. The mind can be purified through service. External observances like bathing several times a day, smearing Vibhuti all over and chanting mantras mechanically will not serve to cleanse the mind of impurities. These are only outward show, with nothing spiritual about them. Transcendental knowledge, which will help to raise man from the animal level, can be got through diligent enquiry and steadfast faith. This is being ignored today. Perceiving untruth as truth and treating truth as untruth, people are immersed in accumulating ephemeral objects, considering them as permanent. You must get out of this narrow groove, outgrow your selfish tendencies and learn to regard the whole of mankind as one family. That is true service. Few have such a large-hearted approach today.
Do not get elated at the riches, status, authority, intelligence, etc., which you may have. Consider that they have been given to you on trust, so that you may benefit others. They are all signs of His Grace, opportunities of service, and symbols of responsibility. Deal sympathetically with the mistakes of others. Seek the good in others, hear only good tidings about them, and do not give ear to scandal. There is this Kaliya episode during the Krishna Avatar. The inner meaning of that is: The serpent Kaliya and its minions are the desires that lurk in the depths of the heart; into that depth the Lord jumps, or rather showers His Grace and the poison is expelled, and the place made safe and pure. When Krishna dances on the hoods, the serpents are tamed and rendered harmless. Without the extinction of desire, one cannot become Divine. Of what avail is it to repeat Shivoham, Shivoham (I am Shiva) when you have not endeavoured to equip yourself with the qualities of Shiva?