Altruism

A sacrificial attitude is as great as progress towards self-realization. An act of kindness towards a fellow human being is as commendable as an act done without expectation. People who have chosen the path of self-sacrifice come to be regarded as saints and are attributed Divinity. We treat parents and teachers as Gods because they they sacrifice their wealth and knowledge to their wards and pupils.

‘देवो दानाद्व दीपानाद्व द्योतनाद्व …’

God is one who gives in plenty, one who shines and makes others shine.

In the Vedic tradition, while performing Yagna, ghee and other fatty substances are offered to the Divine Fire. The Yagna reminds us to give, and give and give. Mantras are recited one after the other and with each mantra, we place an offering into the flames. This denotes that our hands should never be empty of offerings and continually give and give, with every breath. Each mantra and shloka ends with “Idam Namamah, Idam Namamah.” This means, “Not for me, but for You – the Divine Fire that illuminates the whole Universe.” It reminds us that everything we do in life must be for others, rather than for our own selfish motives.

ॐ इशावास्यमिद्ँ सर्वं यत्किञ्च जगत्यां जगत
तेन त्यक्तेन भुञ्जीथा मा ग्ऋधः कस्य स्विद्धनम्

All this – whatsoever moves in this universe (and those that move not) is enveloped by the Lord. Lord has created it out of Love and Sacrifice. We should also enjoy His wealth with a similar mindset. We should never covet anything that is not ours.

शत हस्त समाहार: सहस्र हस्त संकिर:
ऋतस्य कार्यस्सचे: स्फातिम् समावः

A man, with his two hands should work hard with hundred hands and donate with thousand hands to the underprivileged. The above stresses the importance of hard-work and the virtues of donation. Society cannot progress unless each of us make our contribution and perform our duties. We ought to become prosperous by working hard and then donate generously.

Who then qualify to receive what we seek to donate. Obviously, those who need help the most – the poor, the orphaned, the abandoned and the uncared for. The rise of indigence in the world is the result of the decline in our willingness help fellow human beings.

उता देवा अवहितम् देवा उन्नयथा पुनः
उतागस्चक्ऋसाम् देवा जीवा यथा पुनः

[Ye gods, raise up once more the man whom ye have humbled and brought low
O gods, restore to life again the man who hath lost it]

So my friends, most of you want to help and many of you can! If you show some initiative, we can bring cheer to a lot of people’s lives. Bestow on them the pleasures of life that you have had and most often take for granted. Usher our brethren into a world where everybody leads a worthy and dignified life.

We are all human beings, mere mortals destined to die one day – sooner or later. But is there a way that we can be granted IMMORTALITY ?

त्यागेनैके अम्ऋतात्वमानशुः

IMMORTALITY is possible through SACRIFICE.

Srivyal Vuyyuri (www.sphoorti.org)

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