A common space for harmonic peacemakers
Seven Social Sins
In 1925, Mahatma Gandhi, a spiritual giant and the father of the free Indian Nation wrote about "Seven Social Evils"
1. Politics without Principles
2. Wealth without Work
3. Commerce without Morality
4. Education without Character
5. Pleasure without Conscienc
6. Science without Humanity
7. Worship without Sacrifice
In a visit to New Delhi when paying homage to Mahatmaji's Samadhi, Pope Paul was surprised at the depth of a man who spoke for the conscience of humanity. When he read these seven statements, he whispered into his associate's ears, "What a great Soul!"
Mahatma Gandhi considered the Gita his "Live Eternal Mother." We note that in the third chapter of the Gita, called Karma Yoga, man is born out of sacrifice and should live and die in sacrifice. There is no other way to be truly free and joyous. If a man does not first return what he has so graciously received from God for the good of all creatures, does not forget his own selfish needs, and does not live on bare necessities, he is considered a "thief." This fundamental spiritual principle puts everything we do to the test of whether we are truly living up to the spiritual expectations of us.
All great prophets and saints have loudly proclaimed this, even at the cost of their lives. All wealth, beauty, art, and knowledge must be considered a temporary gift from God and must immediately be used for the good of all humanity, lower creatures and nature. Unfortunately, we find lust, greed, pride and vanity as commanding goals everywhere, including in religions as taught today.
This was also the reason that Shri Krishna warns in the Gita that lust, anger and greed are the three gates to hell. A wise man should stay away from them. He also exhorts Arjuna, His beloved devotee, to abandon all self made religions and surrender to Him alone for the ultimate good. Such surrender, of course, requires a true understanding of the entire Gita's message.
Let us now examine the seven social sins or evils as they apply today. In the days of advanced western civilization, which is so blindly followed by the rest of the world, we find that scientific and technological progress has only looked at the outer world, neglecting the inner consciousness. We can travel at amazing speeds to distant planets and communicate worldwide through satellites, but we cannot communicate with our wife or our husband, with our children or neighbors, not to speak of society and nations. A blind hedonist rush for wealth, lust and greed has become the order of the day. A man or a nation is judged smart by how much wealth he can produce at any cost, by any means, for the pleasures of the flesh; flesh that will soon turn into ashes. Wealth, knowledge and knowhow in themselves are not harmful until they start ruling our hearts rather than our hearts or minds ruling over them.
-- Swami Radhanandaji
Politics without Principles
Politicians are elected leaders of the society or a country. We find hardly any politician today following the principles of Truth. If there is a stray politician who wishes to be truthful, the majority will soon reject him. Is there any one who is not a victim of lust, greed or name and fame? How can a man serve under any one of these gates to hell as referred to by the Gita and all other religions?
Most grow extremely rich during their tenure. Corruption, deception and lies are openly known, but little is done or can be done by the ignorant masses who support the system. They replace one bad system by another, and therefore, find no difference in the state of the country. Who is prepared to sacrifice his life for others? When Lincoln so nobly spoke of a government of the people, by the people and for the people, he truly prescribed the creed, but it remains only in philosophy today. How can a lustful, greedy man who cares for wealth, pleasures and name and fame sacrifice for others? Rather, he sacrifices others.
Politics without principles is truly a sin that is openly acceptable under the burden of the system. Instead of man ruling the system or society, they rule him. Yet, we find many justifications and excuses to continue with the same old system. Can our "progress" do something about solving this menace remains to be answered. Spirituality can certainly help us resolve this problem, but unfortunately, it is divorced from everyday dealings. Religions and rituals have taken over to propagate "not rocking the boat."
When Krishna, Buddha, Mahavir, Jesus and other prophets tried to rock the boat, they were openly despised in their times. Yet, they alone have pointed out a way to solve all our problems -- only if we listen to them and follow them, only if we can sacrifice ourselves for our own ultimate good and the good of all. Politics can be a clean, noble and respectable profession, and it should be. Politicians have great responsibilities, not only to their electorate, but to their own conscience. That Infinite Power, though tolerant, will demand justice sooner or later from each one of us. Let us hope that vanity may not rule our hearts, rather true love may shine through every creature as this is our real nature.
Love is God and god or love is ingrained in all of us Eternally. Without true love we are no different than other creatures. Man alone is endowed with this awareness that he can be Godlike and no branch of our life should be devoid of love of God, not withstanding politics, which provides the maximum opportunity for selfless service.
-- Swami Radhanandaji
Wealth without Work
Gitaji teaches us that all actions, unless performed as yagna, or selfless service, cause bondage. So we must not attach ourselves to actions or fruits of actions but must perform them out of love just as Nature performs for the good of all. A mango tree or a rose plant has nothing to gain from us, yet they performs perfectly for the benefit of all without distinguishing between men and women, without considering caste, creed, religion, nation, geography, or any other artificial man-made barriers.
No one can escape actions whether physical, mental, or intellectual. Just as a tree offers us whatever it receives from nature -- it being only an agent of Nature -- we are also advised by Shri Krishna to act as an agent of whatever we receive from Nature or God and offer or transfer everything received for the good of the world at large. We must not hoard or claim ownership either to wealth, property, children or knowledge.
If we hoard what is bestowed upon us for our own good only, we are considered thieves. In this respect, except for true and rare sages and saints, we are all thieves or thugs in whatever garbs we may hide. Thus, the fundamental law of work as expressed in Gitaji is that we must never wish to work for gaining wealth, although it may be the outcome of our efforts. There is, of course, no question of hoarding wealth, either inherited, obtained through our efforts or through some sort of lottery.
Wealth must be only an outcome of honest hard work. We should never play with wealth. We must use it for the good of humanity. So wealth is not a sin, but hoarding it, even if it is obtained through honest efforts, is an unpardonable sin according to Spiritual Law. Wealth is a conversion of labor, which should be, in turn, only used for sacrifice. This in turn uplifts us to a higher state of mind and ultimately frees our mind, intellect and ego.
We must consider an opportunity to work as a means to Self Realization and not to satisfy our lust, greed, or desire for name and fame whether you are a politician, businessman, a dharma guru, or a leader in general. Unfortunately, in some circles today obtaining wealth with minimum efforts or no effort is considered "smartness." Such is the height of our ignorance! To eat without work is stealing and unpardonable, although in exceptional cases of sickness or other deficiencies, one may be excused to a certain degree.
If a question arises: why should I work if I cannot accumulate wealth for my physical pleasures? The answer is that this human life is solely for Self Realization and not for the animal life of lust, greed, breeding, eating, sleeping, raising species and dying. Today, unfortunately, we find modern culture, education and even religions judged on the basis of the amount of wealth one is capable of accumulating or has accumulated. Success in life is measured by wealth, but to what end?
Greed, lust and anger are the three gates to hell as mentioned in the Gitaji. Therefore, in order to enjoy life, have peace, love and joy and to fulfill the purpose of human life -- Self Realization -- one must not be lured into lust and greed or fame. Let us work for the sake of working and not make it a full time business of human life. Work we must, but we must also sacrifice its fruits for our own good -- if we really and truly know what that good means. The body, mind and intellect are just instruments for service to the Lord who resides in everything, everywhere and all the time.
Service to the Lord, therefore, should be service to all unconditionally.
-- Swami Radhanandaji
Commerce without Morality
Here, we speak of commerce in its larger meaning - commerce as not only dealings in goods but all dealings or interactions among individuals. Interactions with individuals include interactions between a husband and wife, among family members, among neighbors and friends or among any members of society members and with all creatures -- small or large. Commerce also includes interactions with Nature and its five basic elements of space, air, fire, water and earth, with the universe and with everything that is included in the past, present and future times.
Honest dealings with such a vast conglomerate can only be executed on the basis of sacrifice for others. This human life is for sacrifice in exchange for true freedom and Eternal Love; this is the goal of every human being according to Sanatan (Hindu) Dharma. Morality is another word for self sacrifice. We should sacrifice just as a mother sacrifices for the delivery of a baby. All the pain a mother suffers is for the joy of a beautiful gift of God, a gift of Love.
Only when all religions clearly recognize such a fundamental definitions of commerce and morality will there be true brotherhood or life of joy. Morality should not be conveniently interpreted to suit local conditions or whims of religious, business or political persons in charge. One of the major problems in the world is that we have one set of rules for us to follow and another set of rules for others. This is hypocrisy as per Gitaji (3:6).
Without basic, general and specific morality (Yama and Niyama), no progress of any kind can be made in religious or spiritual life. This also applies in our daily dealings of the smallest order. Religion or spirituality that cannot be applied to daily life for the benefit of an individual and thus, of all people, is no religion. It is only a belief, superstition, gimmick or an adulterated business. This is usually the case in modern times.
Sanatan Dharma specifies for all the people of all times and places what minimum morality consists of: Fortitude, forgiveness, self control, abstention from unlawful gain, purity of body and mind, sense control, knowledge of pure scriptures, meditation on the Supreme Being (not on perishables), truthfulness, freedom from anger. These constitute the tenfold path of virtues that is the true foundation of morality.
Not observing or stressing the above to the fullest is ignorance, arrogance and nothing but vanity. Such a life or religion has no meaning. Our real good lies in heeding to this advice of sages of all times. In the absence of dependable human guidance we may well learn the message of Shreemad Bhagvad Gita and practice it to the best of our ability -- leaving its results up to the Lord.
-- Swami Radhanandaji
Education without Character
Proper education for our younger generation should be the single most important element in their lives. Education can be defined in several ways, but keeping in mind that the purpose of a human being is to realize God during this very life, it becomes extremely important that education is based on morality and building pure character in every single individual. Molding the life of a person for the ultimate good includes worldly good as well as spiritual good.
Worldly well-being does not necessarily include morality or spiritual well-being. But spiritual well-being necessarily includes morality and character building as a foundation and thus, is good for worldly objectives as well. Education of a child begins from the moment its parents conceive or desire it. Sanatana Dharma states that a baby begins to acquire many characteristics of its mother even while in the mother's womb. The first teacher of a child, therefore, is its mother since her samskars inevitably affect the child still unborn.
The early period of a baby is the most important from the point of view of education. It is said that in the first three-year period a baby acquires most of the education in the form of a seed which develops into a tree later. During this period, it is extremely important that it receives mother's love unconditionally. A child that has not received the love and care of its parents during the early period of its life may turn out to be a good student and a successful person, but will lack the joy of life. We must not expect children to become computerized robots with a preprogrammed life that will make them mechanical instruments. We should not expect our children to be born just to eat, sleep, procreate, sustain and die for we see all these phenomena even in trees, fish, birds and animals. Man must rise above mere survival instincts to a Spiritual level for we are in Reality Spirit and not merely a psycho-physical entity of body, senses, mind, intellect and ego.
Education depends upon values we assign to things, events, and life itself. Where money, lust and desire for name and fame are prime objectives, naturally the education system will lean towards these goals. Such an education system exists today, and it is a sad commentary on the modern education system.
Brahmacharyashram, in the Sanatana Dharma, stresses that the first quarter of a person's life, before entering a householder's life for the next quarter, should be spent in total dedication to education. Education means dedication on the part of the teacher and the student -- a system where love, care and concern for the overall life of the student are very important. Students need not have any anxieties of financial insecurity, competitive pressure, and superiority complex over others. Each student should be allowed to develop according to his individual samskars.
Today we see excessive competitiveness, social and parental pressure for getting better grades, even at the cost of the development of the student according to his or her wishes. They are more or less railroaded into tracks that society has arbitrarily set up; judging the success of a person on his income or social status or name and fame, not to speak of the underlying lust that governs the important years of the student's development.
Education doesn't mean merely preparing a student to earn lots of money at the cost of real happiness. Acquiring worldly riches doesn't make a man great. All religions worship their prophets, who were never rich in wealth, but were rich in morality, character, and led a life of dedication to Truth and awareness of the existence our Creator. It would be hypocritical for us to worship or idealize a spiritual leader and yet, have our goals of lust, greed, and fame which are the cause of most of the ills in our world today.
We must remember that becoming a doctor, an engineer, a businessman, a politician, an artist, a singer, a dancer, or musician or any other professional to make a living, is not the goal of life in itself, but merely, a means to the ultimate end of God-Realization. Whether we are a farmer, a banker, a carpenter, a tailor or any other artisan, we must respect every profession as long as it is dedicated to serve others and our Creator. Thus, in the eyes of Truth, every one, being equal, should be treated equally. That a person is superior because of greater income or fame is our own standard based on ignorance, arrogance and vanity. It is certainly not based on the Truth as taught by Gitaji or any other holy scripture.
If we keep the above views in mind, then we will remove deficiencies in our education systems and institutions to properly shape the lives of our children as they develop. Pressure for better grades has caused the younger generation to miss out on many of the innocent joys of youth. Even in the learning of any art or sport, the pressure to become superior than others eliminates the joy of the activity. "Showing off" has acquired a greater significance, whether this is obvious or not. Even top students are found cheating in examinations or using other immoral means to keep up with our arbitrary "high" standards. Such a student will later regret and pay heavily in life. If only we encouraged everyone to be his best rather than to always try to be number one. I onlyf we encouraged everyone to be his/her best rather than judge him/her by how much money she/he makes, whether in politics, sports, arts or any other profession! Materialism in itself is such a degrading standard!
Saints and prophets were of a different breed. Their lives were based on humility, service, dedication and sacrifice. We must honestly harmonize with our ideals so we can have more joy and fulfillment in life which has more to offer than just materialistic, computerized, prejudged beings.
As we have stated before, true education begins at birth and should end only at death. Schooling and learning ata young age only is a very limited view of education. The complete development of a person is a lifelong process. If a person feels that she or he has no further need to improve or learn, he/she is as good as dead. Learning is an infinite process, considering Creation, our Creator, and our real potential to know it all. We can enjoy this life only if we realize that this temporary life has a great potential for Self Realization.
True education never despises anyone at any time. It makes us more humble and makes us realize how insignificant we are, not from a materialistic point of view, but how infinitely significant we are from the spiritual point of view. Man does not live on bread alone. Man needs love, compassion, care, appreciation and dignity as well as respect. These can be ours only if we live and educate ourselves according to real education.
Gitaji is our true Guru, Mother, Father, and friend, only if we care to learn and obey Her teachings. She takes into Her bosom only those who have faith, humility, and love for life. May we reevaluate our entire idea of education, restraining ourselves and properly educating our young ones so that true joy may be ours forever.
-- Swami Radhanandaji
Pleasures without Conscience
Man is an image of God and as such possesses a real potential not only to represent the Creator but also become One. There lies the beauty of Creation as well. Pleasures or joys of life are natural since they are built into creation. However we find that lower pleasures do cause pain and agony. Some of our ancestors, sages and saints, having experienced these perishable pleasures, came to conclusions that there must be a better way to realize the unending joys of life.
As always, man has suffered due to his own misdeeds out of the ignorance of nature's laws. A human life, a crown jewel, is not achieved by accident but after many grueling phases of lower lives. Previous births are spent aimlessly for routine pleasures like eating, sleeping, and breeding, not to mention the grief associated with aging, sickness and death. A human birth provides a unique opportunity to seek the Real Self, which is beyond body, senses, energy, intellect and ego, as well as temporary joys experienced during deep sleep.
Consciousness has several layers. Even animals have a conscious, but our concern extends to the inner conscious identified by purity of mind and intellect. This itself calls for a life of high moral and ethical values. Even anti-social elements have some form of consciousness, but here the emphasis is on a conscious that is pure and would ultimately lead to the absolute Conscious (Chit), i.e. God or Self-Realization.
Living for lower physical, mental, intellectual and religious pleasures often means succumbing to a worthless bargain. "Human life should not be wasted as such," prophets and saints have repeatedly stated. If we just listen to them, watch our own experiences, or just observe nature, we will reach a universal conclusion that physical pleasures last only for a short while followed by inevitable bouts of miseries. This roller-coaster ride between joys and miseries never seems to end.
When confronted with sufferings like depression, disease and death, we crave for a remedy -- not a temporary one but an eternal remedy. The more we search, the more we realize that our own joy transcends from an order that is simple, basic, and natural. Our modern civilization and values (education, science, technology, social structures, politics, business, commerce, art, etc.) appear to harp only on one aim: How to get the best out of this physical, mental and intellectual life. It does not have any regard for our Real-Self (Atman), which alone can provide true pleasures or joy.
Naturally, the more we acquire, the more we desire and complicate our lives with more anxiety, insecurity and irritations. We lose our temper at small incidents, raise our false pride for national interests, become fanatic about our religious beliefs, and conflict with others on petty issues. We hardly learn from history and our surroundings. It has been a universal observation that most people, regardless of their culture, nation or religion, are interested only in one thing: safeguarding their own whims, beliefs and traditions. Their interest is served best by keeping the masses in ignorance, as noted by the sage, Katha. He compared this to "the blind leading the blind."
Spiritual experiences show that there is a definite way and out of misery to eternal joy. This has been stated by so many saints spanning from various periods of time and cultures. Some of these notables are Lord Buddha, Krishna, and Jesus. A society oriented toward rewards becomes selfish, greedy, and miserable regardless of new achievements on scientific or technological fronts. Unfortunately, today we find the same traits even in the fields of religion and spirituality. It, therefore, becomes very complicated for an ordinary man to distinguish between the right and the wrong.
In order to stay on the right course, we must rely upon pure consciousness based on morality and ethics and then study, listen, and practice the teachings of prophets and saints. We must do so with perfect discrimination and not blindly. It is perfectly all right to question their teachings and their applicability in today's environment. Truth will stand on its own and untruth will never survive. This is the Law as we see it.
There is a greater abundance of light than darkness, treasures of knowledge than ignorance, boundless love than hatred, and more of everything we really need. An Infinitely Loving Creator cannot be short of provisions for such an infinitely small community of men and women on this earth, and we still worry about our security.
To enjoy pleasures without pure consciousness is no better than living a dead life. A human life is not meant for mere breathing and breeding but for a far greater purpose. Spirit is but One, and we are all a part and parcel of that Great Spirit. We must learn to live in peace with others, but this will be possible only when our physical pleasures are transcended to super-natural forms. We all have that potential. Self-Realization is the Ultimate Pleasure ... Pleasure of all pleasures ... Beauty of all beauties.
-- Swami Radhanandaji
Science without Humanity
Civilization continues to unfold today through the advent of modern science and technology. These discoveries and achievements do have some positive aspects provided we do not disregard the most important aspect of all: humanity.
It's a known reality that the gap between the haves and the have-nots has not narrowed but widened with advances in science and technology. This is in direct contrast to the ultimate purpose of science and technology, which is to enrich the lives of the unfortunates with peace, joy and love.
Today, learning has become a big business where the original purpose of becoming humble, recuperating harmony with nature and promoting unity among mankind is overshadowed by a system that nurtures false pride, vanity and arrogance. Armed with modern education, a few enjoy a life full of unwarranted luxuries while the masses suffer through an unbearable poverty for lack of essentials.
Science and technology should be practiced selflessly for the benefit of one and all alike. To obtain true happiness, there is no place for laziness, carelessness or ignorance in our lives. There also must not be any room for lust, greed and name and fame either. It is inner peace we ought to be searching for through the miracles of science and technology, not the acquisition of a competitive edge for material comforts. Let science and technology be a means to end Maya, or ignorance, and to begin a journey towards Self-Realization. Truth, Love, God or the Creator, whatever be the term, is our real goal. Our real nature is not to succumb to Maya or ignorance.
We have only one God, one Universe, one Family and one Aim: Love. Conventional barriers often cause us to forget the Unity behind diversity. Today the world suffers and becomes a victim of anxieties in the process. Just as energy can be harvested for a constructive purpose or for mass destruction, religions have great potential to unite people and make them peaceful instead of creating and promoting hostility. Lessons learned from the past are quickly forgotten and history continues to chase its tail disguised by religion, education, or culture. Conventional skills, talents and assets nourish only our physical, mental and intellectual needs. They never reach out to our Real-Self, soul or Atman.
Buddha, Krishna, Jesus, Shankara, Mirabai, Shri Ramkrishna and Mahatma Gandhi, just to name a few, achieved greatness with love and sacrifice, not with science and technology. Ironically, man often pretends to worship and follow their teachings, but his real actions prove otherwise. Hypocrisy reaches new heights when the rest of the entities live in a perfect harmony with nature's "Law." We try to enjoy physical pleasures, but do we really? Or are we consumed by them?
Says sage Bhratrahari,"It is not an object which is being enjoyed, but we ourselves are being enjoyed by the objects. It appears that we perform religious austerities, but in reality we are being scorched. It is not time that is passing away, but we ourselves are vanishing. Desires never wear out, but it is us who get worn out in the process."
Satisfaction with worldly pleasures is temporary. They never fulfill our eternal desire, and we keep longing for more and more physical pleasures till we are consumed. Whether you go after physical pleasures blindly or try to escape from miseries and sufferings, true peace will always elude you. Therefore, a man should utilize his power of discrimination to differentiate the Real from the Unreal, and channel all his energies of various faculties towards one goal: Universal Love.
Let our education system, religions, science and technology, art and culture, keep this as a goal because whether we acknowledge it or not, we are the sparks of that Great Fire of Love. Until we realize this important fact, our life in vain and we will get engulfed in strife, anxiety and insecurity by the same science and technology that was supposed to make us happy. Only spirituality can guide us. The rest will turn out to be an illusion.
-- Swami Radhanandji
Worship without Sacrifice
Worship means reverence and respect paid to God, the Creator, the Master of the Universe, the one who controls, rules, loves, sustains, and rules this creation according to the law of Karma, also known as the law of Love.
Worship therefore means loving and serving all creatures according to the "Law," which is another name for God. We may not know, see or understand God, but we all understand some mysterious power or nature that is behind us all, whether we like to believe in it or not; whether we obey or disobey is immaterial. That Law simply exists. Period.
Worship includes sacrifice at its very core. Sacrifice does not mean offering a human head, an animal or money at the alter. The Lord says in the Gitaji that sacrifice, or yajna, means selfless services to mankind, to all creatures and even to all the elements (Sky, Air, Fire, Water and Earth) that exist in nature. Any action contradictory to this definition becomes a bondage, a self created and self sustained prison.
Nature as the sun, air, water, earth, etc. is to be properly respected, maintained, and used for the advantage of all. When we sacrifice our life as yajna, we receive happiness and everything else that is needed for true joy. But all gifts, except the bare minimum we need to maintain this body, must be returned immediately for the benefit of all. Mahatma Gandhi set an example of true yagya.
Those who keep rewards for the propagation of their own lust, greed, and name and fame are ignorant, arrogant, and vain. They are called "thieves" or "thugs" by the Lord in Gitaji (3:12). We must act mutually for the benefit of all and not limit our work for our own family, society, church, or country. We must consider all mankind as our family and society as all people and all nations. The whole world is one single church, and the whole earth one country with one God. This is the Law, and any deviation from this is "ignorance" no matter how much wealth and education we claim to have as an individual or as a society or as a nation.
Sacrifice is further defined as dedication to our duties and beyond. We are to sacrifice our lives and not others as we all seem to do now a days. Today robbing others has become a tradition in the name of religion, social and political duties or family duties. All our ills are created by and continue through our ignorance, which is shaped in our educational, religious, political, social, and commercial institutions. While all other institutions, except religious institutions, do not claim to serve others but openly serve their own interest against the "Law," religious institutions and teachers are often the greatest hypocrites for they claim to serve God and the creatures when they really are serving themselves, their own lust, greed, ego, pride, and vanity due to their total ignorance of God. Such religious institutions, ashrams, temples, denominations, sampradayas, societies, missions, foundations, etc., are in reality dangerous institutions misguiding the masses, like the blind leading the blind. They paralyze, hypnotize, create hysteria, carry out black magic, flatter, create a fantasy heaven and deceive the ignorant masses.
When a scandal comes to an end, another begins. It is like cutting off one head of Ravana creates ten more heads. We thus see and experience the inequality and mistreatment of women, children, the weak, and the poor. If only we had understood the meaning of God, creation, creatures, and their harmonious relationship we could all be really happy.
Whether we like to believe in God or not, it is important and mandatory that we believe in morality, in nature, in ourselves, and in peace, love, and joy. No one will deny this even in their ignorance, and yet we are hardly taught this in churches, families, educational institutions, or social or cultural institutions. Religious organizations have become empires replacing old kingdoms according to their wealth, power and followings. God is subordinated to their religious leaders, whose pictures, statues, or glory is sung in delusion. Humility, love, and faith hardly exists in religious orders though outward pomp is everywhere.
Subtle pride, personal glory, and glorifying their own gurus, or their guru's institutions and religion are flourishing (2:42-44, 9:12,20,21, 16:8-24) all around us, as it did in the time of Lord Krishna and Buddha and Lord Jesus. We must in our wisdom reconsider the goal of our life and human existence, which is to realize God and act according to the best of our abilities. Real saints of all times and places have repeatedly stated this and lived accordingly. Today we find only counterfeits like Ravanas coming in the form of Sadhus to abduct Sitas or innocent masses and yet we do not see or learn from the Ramayana or Mahabharata though we read and reread, listen again and again but grasp nothing that would benefit our lives. We go on like machines, living because we are not dying, a burden to ourselves and others.
We can change for the better any time we wish to listen and act according to the "Law." We have a choice. Whether we choose good or evil is ours to decide (18:63). There is infinite love, joy, and peace. There is sufficient material things, clothes, food, and shelter if we will stop misusing or overusing it out of our love for the body, flesh, wealth, and perishable objects. God has created everything sufficiently for all of us to meet our every need only if we learn to live, and thus worship, through sacrifice.
-- Swami Radhanandji