When Amma looks at the world today, she feels a lot of sorrow. Everywhere, there are images of tears and bloodshed. People are unable to show compassion even to children. So many innocent lives are being sacrificed in wars and terrorist attacks everyday. It’s true that wars were fought in olden days as well, but back then one would never fight against someone who was unarmed. Fighting after sunset was also not allowed. Back then, such codes of conduct were followed.
Today, however, every method of destruction is acceptable—no matter how cruel or against dharma. When we look around, we see a world ruled by the selfish and the egomaniacal.The root cause of all destruction is ego. Two types of ego are the most destructive. One is the ego of power and wealth. The other is the ego of “Only my view is right! I will not tolerate anything else.” As long as such egoism persists, peace and contentment will be impossible, both in our personal lives as well as in the society as a whole.
All viewpoints have their value. We must put in effort to recognise and accept them. We must consciously try to imbibe everyone’s ideas. If we do so, we can put an end to the pointless war and bloodshed we are seeing around us.If we are to truly understand and respect the views of others, we must first cultivate love within us. Many people put in a lot of effort to learn another language. They have a lot of interest and enthusiasm to do so. However, learning the language of another is not enough to understand them. For that, we require the language of love—a language we have completely forgotten.
Once, in order to try to raise money for a humanitarian organisation, a group of volunteers went to speak with the owner of a big business. They described at length the pathetic conditions of the suffering people they were trying to help. Their stories of pain and sadness were enough to make anyone’s heart melt, but that particular businessman was totally unaffected and not at all interested. Full of disappointment, the volunteers prepared to leave. Just then the businessman said, “Stop. I will ask you a question. If you answer correctly, I will help you. One of my eyes is artificial. Can you tell which one?”
The volunteers looked into his eyes carefully. Then, one of them said, “It’s the left eye.”
The businessman said, “Amazing! No one has ever been able to tell the difference before. It was very expensive. How were you able to tell?”
The volunteer said, “I looked carefully into both your eyes. The right one showed a tiny bit of compassion. The left one was like a stone. So, I immediately knew that your right eye was the real one.” This businessman is the perfect symbol of today’s age. Today, our heads are hot and hearts are cold. What is needed is the opposite: Our heads should be cool and our hearts should be warm. The cold selfishness in our hearts needs to transform into the warmth of love and compassion, and the hotheadedness of ego must transform into the cool, expansiveness of self-knowledge.
The writer is a world-renowned spiritual leader