Children, look around you. Analyse what you see. Understand the state of affairs in the world. This is an occasion for doing so. People in the world are suffering in so many ways. We must empathise with their lot.
Amma remembers an incident that took place a year ago. Amma learnt about it from her children in Mumbai. There was a man in Mumbai who was diabetic. A wound on his leg became infected and began oozing pus.
A doctor he consulted said, “The leg must be amputated. If not, the infection will spread upwards and create more serious problem.” The man was very upset, not just by the prospect of losing his leg but also because the operation would cost tens of thousands of rupees. He did not have a steady income. Whatever he earned was insufficient for the needs of his own family. What’s more, after his leg became infected, he was not able to work as before. He did not even have enough money to buy the medicine the doctor prescribed. How was he to find money for the surgery? He became utterly despondent.
One day, that poor man went to the railway tracks. When the train was passing, he stuck his infected leg out. The train ran over his leg, amputating it. However, the man almost bled to death. People rushed him to the hospital. When asked about the accident, he said, “I did not have money for surgery. Without amputating the leg, I cannot survive for much longer. As I did not have any money for the surgery, I saw no other way. That is why I took this drastic step.”
Children, think about that man’s life. Today, we have a hospital. Even though we cannot give everyone free treatment, we do perform free surgeries for many poor people. However, after they are discharged from the hospital, they need to take medicine. Many of them do not have money to buy medicine. As they must spend at least a few days recuperating from the operation, they cannot work. As a consequence, their family members must go without food for days.
If we look around us, we can see many such families who lack the means for even one meal a day. Now, think about the money we spend on luxuries and other things that are not necessary. With the money, a poor man can buy medicine; a family can have one meal a day; a poor student can have a bright future. In spiritual life, we must be able to awaken this attitude of loving and serving each other.
Today, we live in a world that gives too much importance to material happiness. As a result, we are losing sight of the divine consciousness and beauty of life. Let us consider a few of the many scenes we can see in the world today.
One, in order to study the deep sea and outer space, we spend huge amounts of money on exploratory expeditions. However, we do not take even one step to learn more about our inner world, which is closest to us.
Two, many people want to have large television screens. However, even as the size of the TV screens increase, the minds of people seem to be shrinking. It is the mind that ought to be made more expansive. What shrink the mind are selfishness and egoism.
Now, the demons have moved even closer: they are within us. We must destroy this inner enemy. Who is the enemy? Ego, ill-will and selfishness. In order to defeat these foes, we must strengthen the four divisions of our inner army: discernment, humility, selfless service and devotion for God. If we fight the battle of life with the help of this army, we can definitely attain eternal peace and contentment.The writer is a world-renowned spiritual leader