- Religion and Philosophy»
- Exploring Religious Options
God loves those who serve the poor and distressed!
Service is holier!
Service is holier than devotion!
Why philosophy? Why not material knowledge? For living in this mundane world, material knowledge is a must but along with it, we must possess spiritual knowledge also. As a man needs two feet to walk, for our ultimate aim, we should have both secular as well as spiritual knowledge! While secular knowledge will see us through in this world, our needs after death will be looked after by the spiritual quest. Hence god has granted us this body, mind and other limbs to live in this world and sustain ourselves. He has provided the necessary food and water in this earth itself. By using his mind and intelligence, man must strive for his spiritual uplift along with material progress.
Now let us turn to our first question. Why philosophy? Philosophy enables us to find our balance in this turbulent world. It enables us, not to become crestfallen when troubles and grief haunts us. A man who is immersed one hundred percent in material pursuits will become desolate when failures haunt him. But a philosophical person will treat gain and loss alike, pleasure and pain alike and accept all the circumstances as conducive to one’s uplift. Philosophy teaches man that life on earth is miserable and fleeting. We are illumined not to rely upon these impermanent instruments like the body, mind, intellect and senses. They may help us in this mortal world but it is helpless to guide man in spiritual path. Philosophy gives a helping hand to the man in spiritual path.
We all eat to live and not the other way around. We live on earth to find out our ultimate aim. Even the comforts and little joys educate us about the fleeting nature of things and human beings. Change is the only changeless thing in creation. A baby cannot remain a baby forever. It needs to grow up and become a boy. Later it will become a young man, middle aged one and finally becomes an old man. Ultimately one day, the old man also dies. This is common for the entire human race. We have to progress from one stage to the other stage. A KG student after twenty years or so may become a Ph.D. scholar. But he has to start from KG classes only. Straightaway he cannot become a Ph.D. scholar.
All our growth, all our education, all our wealth and other faculties is meant for reaching God. Everyone in this world has to tread Godward path one day or other. He may enjoy material life for many years until he becomes old. Then he will have the feeling that he has wasted his entire life on material pursuits and he had no time for God. Instead of worrying in this way, if we starts early in young age to pursue spiritual goals along with secular strivings, we won’t feel guilty. Hence the adage, start early, drive slowly and reach safely. This adage suits well for spirituality. In olden days, there were Sunday schools attached to the churches where the young children are trained in basic morals and religion. They were taught many verses from the Bible and these teachings inculcated faith in god in those young minds. I am not aware whether such classes are conducted even now! This is real education and not the other one which teaches us to earn a job by using the degrees as ‘begging bowls”.
For the present day, conflict ridden world, spirituality alone can guarantee peace by transforming the mindset distorted by materialistic pursuits. Everyone in the world needs to seek god within himself. Yes, the self within each is veritably the god we seek. Hence we must focus inside and not from outside world! For achieving this onerous aim, our forefathers have prescribed meditation, regular chanting of god’s name and yoga etc. If we are not able to pursue any of the above, we can serve the poor and distressed to the extent possible by us. Mother Teresa is a supreme example for service. She devoted most of her life in serving the poor, distressed leprosy patients in the pathways of Kolkata. She found solace in giving a helping hand to the poorest of poor and she has shown the path to God by the best way. In fact, “The hands that serve are superior to the lips hat pray”