Friday, 27 March 2009

Ramana Maharshi About Social Service

If one tries to see everything as God before realizing the true nature of self by surrendering the mind to him, all one’s efforts will be a mere act of imagination by the mind.Without knowing God as he really is, how to see everything as his form? If you want to see this pen as a tiger, by an act of imagination you may do so: this end is its head, this end is its tail, here is its mouth, there are its eyes, and so on. Because you have seen a tiger, you can imagine like this. But if you have never seen a tiger and if you have no idea what a tiger is,you cannot even imagine this pen as a tiger. If you say, “I see this pen as a tiger: here are its wings, there are its wheels”, and so on, is it not clear that you have never seen a tiger? Equally meaningless and laughable are the claims of those people who have not realized self but who say, “I see everything as God; I see this stone as God; I see that table as God; I see God in every object and in every person; I see God in the beggars and poor people; I love all people as myself”.

The ideal of the karma yogi is to see, to love and to worship everything as the form of God.But so long as he tries to achieve this ideal while still retaining the mind, his seeing, loving and worshipping everything as God is a mere imagination and cannot be real. Therefore in this verse Sri Bhagavan teaches that if the karma yogi is truly to see, to love and to worship everything as God, he must first surrender his mind to God. Only after surrendering his mind can he know God as he really is, and then only can he see and love everything as God. That is why Sri Bhagavan used to say, “An atma-jnani alone is a true karma yogi”.

Nowadays there are so many people who claim, “We are karma yogis. We have surrendered ourselves to God. We are able to see God in everything, and hence we love all people.Since we see all people as God, who is the form of bliss, we are doing social service to remove their sufferings! For us work is worship, and therefore we are busy building schools and establishing hospitals. If any areas are affected by floods or by drought, we have to do relief work by taking food packets to the afflicted people. Doing such activities is truly loving all people as God. Doing such social service is the best means to attain moksha (liberation)”. People who talk in this manner are not only cheating others but also cheating themselves.Not knowing what God is, they imagine that they are able to see God in everything. When they cheat themselves wantonly in this manner, a subtle egoism begins to grow in their mind making them feel that they are right in all their actions and even that they are spiritually more advanced than other people. Only when death comes will they receive the proper whiplash –then they will be made to feel, “We have been cheating ourselves all along. What will become of us now? Where are we going now?” Without being able to understand anything clearly, they will end their life in a state of mental confusion. If a state of clarity is to come at the time of death, now itself they should give up cheating themselves.


Q: But how can I help another with his problem, his troubles?

A: What is this talk of another - there is only the one. Try to realize that there is no I, no you, no he, only the one Self which is all. If you believe in the problem of another, you are believing in something outside the Self. You will best help him by realising the oneness of everything rather than by outward activity.

Source: I Am That Book

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