Excerpts from: Swami's Discourses

[From: The Divine Discource  Date: 1 Jan 2000 Occasion: New Year ]
Give up selfishness and work for the unity of your contry. Pray for the welfare of all and lead an ideal life. Human life is not gifted to you to hanker after workdly objects. You have to set an ideal to the world. What is the ideal that you have to set? You must help all to your utmost capacity. The best way to love God is to love all and serve all. Adopting service and love as your ideals, you must start a new life from this moment - this is My belssing and benediction to you.

[From: The Divine Discourse  Date: 14 Jan 2000(AM) Occasion: Annual Sports Meet]
The youth of today are the future leaders of the nation and the architects of an ideal society. The future of the nation depends on the youth. It is only patriotism that confers strength on the youth. The primary duty of youth is to render service to society. The physical and mental strength of youth is the foundation on which a nation is built.

Young Men and Women!

This is not the time to relax. Do not waste time. Wake up from the slumber of selfishness and narrow-mindedness and resolve to serve the nation. Perform your activities keeping the esteem and honor of the nation uppermost in your heart. Understand the reason behind God creating man. Every individual has a goal. It is unbecoming of youth to forget divinity, the goal of life, and to waste time in physical and materialistic pursuits. Youth should express human qualities by rendering service to the society, discharging their duties with sincerity and cultivating noble character. Youth should re-establish the ancient culture of Bharat by practicing and propagating its pristine values. But modern students are neglecting their duty to the nation. They are not giving priority to the progress and prosperity of the nation. First of all students should understand that the well being of the individual lies in the safety and security of the nation.

[From: The Divine Discourse  Date: 5 April 2000 Occasion: Ugadi]
Modern youth are highly egoistic. They get carried away by their senses and are enamoured of physical beauty. Consequently, they forget humanness, misuse the body wasting a lot of energy. Is it for this purpose that God has given the human body? No. Serve the society, help the poor and the needy. When you involve yourself in such sacred activities, your body will remain young for any length of time.

[From: The Divine Discourse  Date: 12 April 2000 Occasion: Rama Navami]
God is present in each and every cell of human body in the form of 'Angeerasa' and it is He who protects and sustains human life. Man is therefore deeply indebted to God who vibrates in every limb of his body in the form of Divine energy. The only way man can clear his debt to God is by undertaking sacred actions and by working for the welfare of fellow human beings. That is why the path of service has been prescribed for man to clear his debt to God.

[From: The Divine Discourse  Date:5 March 2000 Occasion: Sivarathri]
Social service should expand from the individual to the society and from the society to the entire nation.
You should not crave for pleasures. They breed diseases. You should dedicate everthing to the Divine through sacrifice. Bend your body and work hard. Your hands should be busy in work and your mind should be filled with good feelings. If you do so, there will be no greater man than you. Such a human being is true human being. God is in search of such a true human being.

Find Fulfillment in Serving Your Country

You are young and possess great energy. You have all the powers of the mother earth. Despite possessing all the powers of the earth if you feel that you are powerless, it is a sign of your weakness. Whenever any calamity occurs at any place in the country, you should rush there and help the people. You should not treat them as different from you. Do not harbor the feelings of separateness. You should cultivate the feeling of oneness and participate in social service.

The society is the principal limb of Nature. Just as hands, nose, eyes, stomach and feet are the limbs of the body, the body is the limb of the society. The society is the limb of humanity. Humanity is the limb of Nature. Nature is the limb of the Divine. So, you should recognize this truth and participate in social service with love. Only then does human life attain fulfillment. Limbs like hands and nose belong to the body. But the body belongs to the society. So, it should serve the society. You should work with the active participation of all your limbs. You should identify the different needs of different people and act accordingly so that they will be benefited. That is true social service.

These days many people go to villages, sweep the roads, whitewash the temple walls and feel satisfied that they have done social service. No, no. That cannot be treated as service as it is your duty. What is true service? Find out the main problems being faced by the people in the villages. What are the unfavorable circumstances? What are their immediate needs? You should do your best to fulfil their needs. Summer is the next season. Drinking water is not available in some villages. Water is the very life of man. You should help them out either by digging borewells or by channellising water through some other source. When you take up such acts, which have utility value, you can claim that you have done some social service. In fact, you should not treat this good work as service. If you feel that you are doing service to someone else that may promote egoism in you. You should feel that you are serving your own people. All are human beings. All belong to one caste - the caste of humanity. All belong to one religion - the religion of love. There is only one language - the language of the heart. You should cultivate such broad feelings. Only then the service you render becomes true service. In this way, you should serve people and make your education and skills useful and meaningful.

The purpose of education is not to go abroad and amass wealth. This is the weakness of the Bharatiyas. The moment a student gets a degree in engineering or medicine, he applies for a passport. Serve the people in your own country, in your own village instead of going abroad. People are going abroad to earn money but not to earn good qualities. You should foster your culture. Lord Rama said, Janani Janma Bhoomishcha Swargadapi Gareeyasi (the mother and the motherland are greater than even heaven). You chant the name of Rama repeatedly. But are you emulating Rama while performing your duties? He followed the command of his father, sacrificed his kingdom and spent fourteen long years in the forest. Your body, intellect and mind are the gifts of your parents. Your head, your blood, your food and the money you spend are all the gifts of your parents. So, you should show your gratitude to them. That is the true service of God. It will give you the true feeling of peace. Today man is shouting 'peace,' 'peace' while holding atom bomb in hand. Although he has conquered space and reached the moon, he has no peace in his heart. How can it be attained? Fill your heart with divine feelings. Throw the bomb away. Then you can experience peace. Peace is the reflection of your inner being. Everything comes from within.

Embodiments of Love!

You are good, highly educated and intelligent. But selfishness is destroying your every other good quality. One drop of poison can infect the whole pot of milk. So, you should eschew anger and hatred and serve the society with love. You may be able to do service in a small way. Do not get disheartened if you cannot do service in a grand way. Enter every tiny hamlet and identify the needs of the people there. In case you do not have the required money or capacity, do not worry about it. You students come together, join your hands and work together. There is nothing in this world which cannot be accomplished with unity.

Embodiments of Love!

You are studying many branches of knowledge and are attaining degrees. When you finish your studies and leave Prasanthi Nilayam, serve the villages with the permission and help of your parents. Do not crave for government jobs. You should yearn to serve the public. If you serve them, they will look after your welfare. You do possess divine powers, but you behave as if you were powerless and weak. Today you are trying to have friendship, wealth and strength. But you are not fostering good character. What is friendship? It is just hello, hello. If you eat well, you get physical strength. You can also earn a lot of money by working hard. But are you living just for the sake of these things? These are all passing clouds. Money comes and goes morality comes and grows. You should cultivate virtues. You should respect elders and officials and love your parents. You should have faith in your teachers. You should nurture such sacred feelings. Humanness and human values will unfold within you, which should be nurtured and developed. Without these human values all your learning becomes useless. Contentment is the hallmark of true education.

If you help others, you will be able to set an ideal to the world. The ideal never dies. It does not get dissolved. It grows day after day. You should foster such ideals and for that youth is the right age. It is the golden age. This sacred age should not be put to misuse. You should utilize it in the right way. Only then will all your learning become fruitful and valuable.

[From: The Divine Discourse  Date:17 May 2000 Occasion: Summer Course]
God has not given this body to man to lead a life of selfishness. Paropakarartham Idam Sareeram (human body has been given for serving others). You should resolve firmly to serve not only yourself but also your fellow human beings. When you work selflessly for others, your needs will be automatically taken care of. Unfortunately, man does not know the very meaning of the words 'help' and 'service'. The essence of all the eighteen Puranas is condensed in just two sentences: Help ever. Hurt never.

God has given the human body for the purpose of serving others. Devoid of the spirit of service, man is sunk in selfishness. All his thoughts, feelings and deeds are prompted by selfishness. Man has become a puppet in the hands of selfishness. How can one who is enslaved by selfishness ever be free? So, you must reject selfishness and accept selflessness. Then alone can the human life find fulfillment.

[From: The Divine Discourse  Date:22 August 2000 Occasion: Janmashtami]
But the path of service is the greatest of all. Neither by penance nor by pilgrimages nor by going through the sacred texts can one cross the ocean of worldly life, one can redeem one's life only through service. (Sanskrit Verse). Abu Ben Adhem became the recipient of God's love because he spent all his time in the service of his fellowmen. God loves all, for He is the embodiment of love. But He will give Himself to those who offer the flower of compassion to all beings.
People worship God with devotion and sincerity, but God is not satisfied with external worship. You should serve the society. Only service can confer bliss on you. By rendering service to the society, not only can you alleviate the sufferings of the people, but you can also bring about transformation in their lives. Yad Bhavam Tad Bhavati (as is the feeling, so is the result). If you serve with sacred feelings, it is bound to yield sacred results. Serve the society to your utmost capacity. You are doing Bhajans morning and evening. The satisfaction that you get by participating in Bhajans is temporary, whereas service confers permanent satisfaction.

[From: The Divine Discourse Date 1 Sep 2000 Occasion Ganesh Chaturdhi]
Service to your fellow beings is equivalent to worship of God. If you find someone in distress, try to help him before attending to your work in the office or elsewhere.
A small example: A boy from Delhi had been listening to Swami's teachinhs carefully. One day, he was going to the college to appear in an examination, whish was to begin at 8 a.m. On his way, he saw a beggar, who stumbled as he was very sick and could not walk. He helped him to get up, took him to hospital and had him admitted there. By that time it was 10 a.m. When he noticed the time, he found that it was too late for the examination. He thought, "Well this was a test of my conduct by Swami Himself". He had no regrets that he missed the examination. He was actually happy. When he came to Me, he told Me, "Swami, one paper is gone, I will not pass this year. But next year is always there. I have no regrets for I have passed in Your test." I told him, "Don't worry, you have passed in your test also". Next month, the result was out. He secured first class.
The boy didnot bother about his examination because he had done a noble act of service to a poor man. He thought that he had passed in the test of God. There are many students like this who would put service before self. When you have this attitude in your life, you will never fail. Whatever you do, do it wholeheartedly. In this way, you can experience Divinity.