Moments Winging By...|Oct 17, 2006 1:14 PM| by:

Going from Useless to Useful

Walking the Path is a serious issue which can take many pages to delve into and expound upon. One believes ardently in the ‘thousand ways’ to reach the Divine and thus, to each his own. In one of the ancient scriptures, it is said:

“…a person who has not understood the universal consciousness of the atman and not understood the importance of serving the poor, or has not given thought to the improvement of society, or who is not patriotic, it is better for him not to exist. Such a life is useless.”

From a purely superficial point of view this could mean giving of alms to the poor, not littering outside one’s home, singing the national anthem, feeling that one belongs to the world.

But if one was to dive deeper into its significance, it could also mean amongst other things, serving those who are not just below the poverty line but anyone who is less privileged than ourselves, in any way, materially or spiritually – giving of alms is not simply giving money or clothes but one can also give wisdom, education, encouragement, dignity, respect; improvement of society goes beyond mere acquiescence to social laws – it also means being less dependent on society and more responsible for it, making a concerted effort towards positive change and very consciously lifting the standards from step to higher step, beginning at the level of the individual and thereby effecting a shift on a collective scale; to be patriotic is not enough when one participates in the obligatory injunctions laid out by the law or by cheering for one’s national team in an international arena – it also means inculcating in oneself a feeling of constant devotion and dedication towards the Motherland, and being ever vigilant to ensure that no evil, in thought or deed, from within or without, can infiltrate and destroy the millennium old fabric worn by Her. Finally, embracing the world through a process of globalization is not the only way but by broadening one’s narrow confines of identity from the personal self to the universal self, realizing the truth behind such lofty ideas as Unity and Oneness, and aspiring incessantly to attain and act under the inspiration of a Universal Consciousness could be more the need of the hour.

It is possible that if one is able to follow this age old advice, this too may be just one step by which one can come closer to the Divine. In any case, it is certainly a step towards the making of a better world and being more ‘useful’ rather than ‘useless’.