December 19, 2005
(Source: Hindu Youth Shakti Group, Kerala)
18 December 2005, Amritapuri, Amma is happy to take part in this function of handing over the houses to the children who lost everything in the tsunami tragedy. Amma doesn't feel that she is the one giving these houses. By the grace of the Paramatman, Amma and her children were able to render at least some service to the suffering.
We are not isolated islands. We are all links of the same chain. All of our actions�whether done intentionally or unintentionally�have an effect on others. If we hold back from changing until others change first, no change will ever take place. But if we are ready to change first, it will effect a change in others as well.
What has taken place in this village is a perfect demonstration of this truth. Since the tsunami struck, through the current day, the Ashram children have been fully engaged in the construction of houses. Seeing their hard work, initially about 10 villagers joined in, soon it became 20, then 100 and, as of late, more than 1000 children from the surrounding villages have been taking part in the construction seva.
Women, men and youngsters�followers of all political ideologies and religions�have been happily working hand-in-hand, united in heart. When Amma sees this, her eyes and heart overflow. In this world where selfishness prevails, to see such selfless children is a delight for the eye. It is proof that the world has not totally forgotten the language of compassion and selflessness. It is through the mirror of selfless service that human beings are able to behold their own true beauty.
We might not be able to stop natural disasters like the tsunami from taking place. Though they bring the darkness of sorrow, we should try to light the lamp of optimistic faith. Situations in life might not always turn out in our favour. But we should try to live our life like a river that always flows on regardless of the obstacles before it. Our vision of life should inspire us to live this way. The awareness that God's power is always there supporting us will help us to move forward.
There are certain situations in life that we simply cannot change. But regardless of the situation, we always have the freedom to choose how to respond. If we have the correct attitude, we will be able to progress without breaking down, no matter how difficult a situation may be. If we have the attitude of surrender, we will understand that there is nothing in life to reject. We will have the attitude of acceptance alone. If plants are able to grow from manure and give fragrant flowers in return, if the civet cat and the musk deer can spread sweet fragrances, why can't we transform our lives into flowers that are eternally full and fragrant? Why can't we become like a never-fading rainbow, eternally bring joy to one and all?
Our Rishis taught us to love and serve the world, seeing everything as God. Real service is the power that sustains this world. When human beings serve nature, nature serves human beings. When human beings serve the flora and fauna, they serve humankind in return. In life, we should have the attitude of trying to understand and respect each other's feelings. Through selfless service, we should be able to construct a bridge of love that will bring all of us together.
Real prayer is wiping the tears of the distressed. If there is no shoulder for the sorrowful to lay their heads upon, it would be the greatest darkness.
Once the different parts of the body were arguing over which one was the most important. The hand said, �If I weren't here to do all the hard work, then how would all of you be able to eat?� The eyes said, �If it weren't for me, even the greatest man would fall into every hole or ditch.� The tongue said, �After the body dies, all of you will be no more. Only the words that I have uttered will remain.� The argument continued on like this till it became a huge fight. Finally, they had to take the argument to God.
God said, �All of you are definitely very important. However, the most important part is the shoulder.�
All the body parts were stunned. �The shoulder? He didn't even mention any of his abilities while we were arguing! So, how did you suddenly feel that he is the greatest?�
God said, �When a person cries, the only place he can rest his head is on someone's shoulder. The shoulder is the greatest because he gives comfort to the sorrowful.�
Today we are shouldering the burden of our prarabdha, of our past actions. Let us offer them to the Paramatman. And let us take up the spirit of self-sacrifice.
May the rest of the lives of the children who suffered so much due to the tsunami be filled with peace and happiness.
Let us pray together for the peace of all the beings in creation.
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