In times of need...
The devastating tsunami in Japan is yet another reminder of the unpredictable might of Mother Nature. Immediate estimates report nearly 2000 deaths and 300,000 homeless. Thousands of troops are also being mobilized in the area to minimize further chaos. We all react differently to such stories of suffering. Some try to shut it out and avoid thinking about it too much – out of sight, out of mind. Some will see it, but remain unmoved. After years of devastating news headlines, they become desensitized to such disasters. Some may watch the scenes and begin counting their lucky stars. Their personal issues are put into perspective and such news helps them develop the attitude of gratitude. Some will see the acute suffering of others and compare that to their own comfortable and cosy life. The subsequent feelings of guilt and shame impel them to offer help in some way, shape or form.
Vedic scriptures, however, describe the true spiritualist as para-dukha-dukhi – one who feels others’ sufferings to be his own. Think about how naturally we act to mitigate our own pains and problems. Its an instinctive reaction that doesn’t require a second thought. The spiritualist acts just as naturally solve the problems of everyone around him. Natural disasters like the tsunami in Japan remind the spiritualist of the dire need for spiritual wisdom in the world. We often react to the immediate situations, but all maladies in the world can be traced back to a severe lack of genuine spirituality. If one thinks deeply, the connection is quite clear.
Thus, to share wisdom with others is the very cornerstone of our spiritual movement. Our hope is that as many people as possible can understand and integrate these teachings into their daily life. It is not that we have a master-plan to expand our influence, usurp the upper echelons of society, and then manipulate and exploit economic and political positions for the purpose of world domination. We are simply interested in offering spiritual solutions to material problems - solutions which will actually make a difference. Thus, to work selflessly for the upliftment of others is the very hallmark of a spiritualist. We find ourselves by forgetting about ourselves.