Words of Wisdom by Swami Satchidananda
- Love Thy Neighbor
"Once you realize the Self in you, then you become
the master of your own body and mind. With that
realization of the Self, you can see the very same
Self in others. It's only then that you can have
universal love and that you can love everybody as
your own Self. Only then will it be possible for us
to follow this command: `Love thy neighbor as thy own Self.'
Otherwise, how are we going to see our own Self in our
neighbor? To see our own Self in the neighbor, we should
know what our Self is first. So first know thyself, then
see the same Self in your neighbor and then love the neighbor
as your own Self. Gradually the practice of Yoga leads us
to this Self-knowledge.
"God bless you. OM Shanti, Shanti, Shanti."
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The Right Thing
How do you know if what you decide to do is the right thing? It's very simple. The right thing will not affect your health and happiness. That's all. Anything that would affect your physical and mental peace, your health and happiness, is wrong. Anything. This might bring another question: "Suppose I want to help somebody who is troubled and that affects me. Should I do it or not?" If you are joyfully serving someone, even going through some pain doesn't affect you. You are still happy; you are simply using a little of your energy to help someone. You can't call that unhappiness.
Sometimes when you help somebody, you feel depressed. Why is that? It is because you had expectations. "I am helping that person. The person should accept my help and get the benefit." When you don't see that person getting the benefit you expected, you get upset. That means it's not a selfless act, it's a selfish act. "I did something and I want a result."
That doesn't mean there shouldn't be positive thoughts behind your actions. Certainly send your prayers, think about the welfare of the person. The difference is this: you want him to be happy of course, but you don't demand it. You are not attached to the outcome; you leave that up to God.
In simple words, I would say an action without any selfish expectation whatsoever is a right action. Such an act will never disturb your mind or body.
Om Shanti, Om Shanti, Om Shanti