- Religion and Philosophy»
- The Role of Religion in History & Society
We need man of impeccable character today in society!
If character is lost, every thing is lost!
There are three entities, the individual, the society and God. God pervades the individual, society and the cosmos. Wherefrom society came? It is the conglomeration of individuals. Hence the character of the individuals is reflected in the society. Today, we find obnoxious behavior everywhere. This shows that the character of individuals is flawed and not according to the code of conduct for human beings.
Everyone in this world complains about the horrific state of society. But none thinks that everyone has to change their behavior patterns. The society will reform, when the individual reform. Hence, there is no use in blaming the society. There is a song in India, “If the thief doesn’t alter his ways, none can abolish theft. Yes, it is solely in the hand of the thief. None can force transformation in the mindset of people. Everyone should transform themselves. Evil is like a drop of poison and the society could be compared to a pot of milk. Even if there is one evil man in the society, that particular society is spoiled forever.
In this connection, the role of parents and teachers are vital in guiding the children, boys and girls. There is ‘snake gourd’ cultivated in some parts of India. When the young snake gourd appears in the plants, people tie a small stone to the bottom of snake gourds. Otherwise, the snake gourd will develop in a curved pattern. After the snake gourd develops, a big stone is tied. Thus we get a full length of snake gourds without twist or turn in the markets.
Hence the reforms should start in the home at an early age of the child. Children copy the behavior of their parents very easily. They mimic the behavior of father or mother exactly. Children are tender in their mind. Hence they easily absorb impressions. This is the important period in the development of children. Parents should never quarrel in front of the child. They should not drink or smoke in front of them. When the parents acts badly in front of the children, how they can blame their children later, when they adopt their behavior pattern. No father wants his sons to smoke or drink. But no father has ever thought that they should stop their bad habits first. This is the paradox of life. It is difficult to correct the behavior of grown up people and elders.
Hence, Sri Sathya Saibaba has founded a system to train the young children in morals, spirituality and good behavior and leadership qualities. The children are gathered once a week in some common places. They are taught the fundamental lessons on morals and behavior. They are trained to obey their parents and teachers. They are trained to help their parents in small errands that will help the mother in the kitchen. They are taught to utter Truth always and love everyone. The virtue of serving and helping the poor in society is emphasized. In Hindu philosophy, Mother, Father, Preceptor and God are the people who must be revered and obeyed at all costs.
The children are taught the stories of great saints, eminent people in society and other noble persons. Thus the character of the child is channelized towards simple living and high thinking policies. Also, the students are taught to help one another and share their resources even if it is a small thing. The children are taught to live with minimum needs and the virtue of contentment. We honor Abraham Lincoln today as a great visionary and upright President. None would have taught that the poor boy Abraham would occupy the highest position in US. When he was of school going age, he used to wear tottered cloths due to poverty. His peers used to ridicule him for his appearance and dress. Lincoln used to narrate the agony to his mother who pacified him saying, “Never be concerned with others rude comments. Study well and you too will occupy a venerable position in society. Thus Abraham Lincoln never cared for the remarks of others and rose to the highest position envied by all. He drafted the Constitution which contains the immortal words, “The government is by the people, of the people and for the people”
All those who are famous have started their life from scratch. By virtue of their character and perseverance and faith in the Self, they rose to such lofty heights. Today, money occupies the throne and people have become slaves to money and wealth. Hence all immoral ways are invented to earn the money. No one understands the dignity of labor. People consider their degrees as begging bowls to get a job. This trend must change. Before one obtains a job, he should serve his own village with the skills gained due to education! If money is lost, we can earn it again, If health is lost, we may regain it with proper treatment. But, if character is lost, everything is lost! We need people of character today. We need honest leaders who work for the welfare of the society!