Is it necessary to change the world?
by Swami Prasad Sharma
(Dona Paula, Goa, India)
Each one of us, from beggar to saint, feels the necessity to transform others according to our own attitudes and inclinations. Other than the saint, all are selfish and remain associated with their inherent grudge. While the common man is pursuing immediate needs, comforts and pleasure, through mind and body by hook or by crook, the saint pursues eternal comfort and pleasure of mind and soul through various austerities.
Saints are found in all circumstances, from roaming almost naked to flying by planes. They may be single or married. It is very difficult to identify them sometimes, judging by their outlook.
Most of these saints cater to the needs of awakening among desirous and eligible persons of various levels. A saint is the embodiment of various good qualities and strong character (See the last part of the article: Does suffering connect us with God?). Most of them give personal guidance to anyone having belief and devotion, and others may be followed by a large crowd or members of the affluent society. After all, they cater to the needs of all kinds of willing people towards eternal peace and pleasure of mind.
These saints have the same goal: to alleviate the suffering which is caused by illusion and materialistic attachment of mind, and connect the mind with unchanging reality, i.e. the eternal truth.
Here I narrate a small event that really happened in the life of a married preacher who wished to give discourses on Shrimad Bhagwad (a treatise to glorify Lord Shri Krishna revered most by Vaishnavas in Hinduism). Already a priest in a temple he could gather devotees easily and this made him embark upon making money and earning respect on a large scale. His heart was also full of lust and passion, but that could not be judged by the
listeners. Of course, he made money but soon he lost his voice, due to a cancer like throat problem, and in spite of treatment he could not regain his voice. Now, he organized and headed a small party to sing the Lord’s glories. Then, he happened to indulge in an illicit relationship with a singer lady in the party. Realizing what was happening, the lady saved herself, but this preacher got a severe paralysis in half his body later and died within the next two years.
The point here is that a preacher should first practice himself the ideals which he preaches. A perfect master doesn’t wish to change the world, rather he is willing to support the desirous ones who approach at their will. Of course, he glorifies the Lord at the first opportunity, and when the time comes eligible people gather, enjoy and attain the same spirit. He never thinks to change the world, maybe because he feels no need to interfere with the cause of creation, or perhaps it just is not possible. However, saints are considered to possess more kindness than God, while God has the power of creation, in which the saint is not interested.
In fact, all are not interested in following saints. They are rather easily trapped in sweet words or promises offered by the fake saints. Even the famous Indian Yoga system is being followed by people for lustful gains (health and vigour), not for being connected to God, Who symbolizes eternal peace and pleasure of mind.
It will be wise to get connected to God first and then help the real seekers. Let the others pursue their own courses in the world. Unless one happens to realize the reality of worldly pursuits and gets utter dissatisfaction he is not likely to seek God sincerely.