Happy New Year 2015


Monday, August 13, 2007

Small is Beautiful

When we light a small earthen lamp, without a question and with least hesitation it sheds its humble light. It does not look around to watch if any other lamp is shedding its lustre. It is not dismayed also if no other light is burning in the vicinity.

It is content to be given to shed its own little light. It is not worried how much more darkness need to be removed from over the world. Is it a small privilege to be given to remove even a jot of darkness?

The small is beautiful. Have you not seen a tiny grass flower? Natured needed to exercise all its talents to create that tiny flower, complete in its own size of glory. If little things had no meaning they would not be there. Scientists have by now told us how much power, mystery and glory are there in in the tiny atom.

Let us not be nervous about our smallness. For, without grains of sands, even the loftiest monuments could not be built. In fact, the ultimate brick of the greatest monuments is the sand particle.

There are people who think too highly of themselves. They have what is called a superiority complex. That abominable thing is too bad for themselves, and not good for others.

There are, again, those who think too lowly of themselves. They have an inferiority complex. This is worse than the superiority complex. They think that they are good for nothing. By continuously thinking that way, they really become so.

Such people can never become good citizens. When we discuss momentous issues concerning mankind, and the responsibility of doing our mite, they throw up their hands and dogmatically declare that small persons like them can do nothing about these great problems.

So they shy away even from discussing these problems. Taking shelter behind their so-called or supposed smallness they take an inverse pride in declaring that they have nothing to do with the ambitious scheme of solving world problems.

We should clearly understand that even a small lamp has the capacity and the privilege to give light. Often enough, these days, thanks to frequent power shortages, we are given the opportunity to appreciate the usefulness of the good old, humble candles. When proud powerhouses fail, humble candles give light. Even today the basic measure of all magnificent light is the candle power!

If thousand suns do not suddenly burst forth in our horizon, there is no reason to be disheartened. In fact that would be too tragic for our planet. Let us light thousand small lights.

Enlightened citizenship is every individual’s responsibility. That is the spirit of the times. That is the basic assumption of democracy. This is also the teaching of Vedanta. You are, whoever you may be, the centre of light, you are verily that! "Tat Tvamasi!" True enlightened citizenship cannot be worked for in lesser terms. We can gain nothing by letting go our grip on the highest truth, whereas by remaining anchored in the highest truth we can eventually enlighten ourselves and others.

Swami Vivekananda teaches: You are part of the Infinite. This is your nature. Hence you are your brother’s keeper. Not one can be happy until all are happy. When you hurt anyone, you hurt yourself, for you and your brother are one. …Each is responsible for the evil anywhere in the world. He is indeed a yogi who sees himself in the whole universe and the universe within himself.

Enlightened citizenship is very much a home-grown affair, in the sense that your home can become a light-house. The light that is within you, when that shines without also, that is enlightened citizenship.

The greatest legacy that Gandhiji has left to mankind is to have shown by his own example that each human being has a direct responsibility to world peace by the progressive day-to-day transformation of the individual soul. In fact, for all practical purposes, enlightened citizenship is a spiritual adventure.

Courtesy: “ENLIGHTENED CITIZENSHIP” - A Ramakrishna Math, Delhi, publication

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