How to Change the World
In Just Love: A Journey into the Heart of God, Paramahamsa Vishwananda writes, ‘Many people talk about peace in the world, but if someone talks about peace and they are not at peace, where are they running for peace? You have to become peaceful first! When you become peaceful, you can bring peace into the world. But if you are not peaceful, forget it, because then you bring the same confusion that you have.
So, start with yourself and see what do you want, what is your aim, what you are searching for. Try to be sincere with yourself, because if you are sincere with yourself, you will see that everything will be wonderful. But if you are not sincere with yourself, even the most beautiful thing will appear not beautiful to you. Like it’s said, somebody who is suffering from jaundice sees everything yellow, no? It doesn’t mean that everything is yellow. So, if your mind is suffering from a certain illness of delusion, of the pride and ego, of course, that will reflect and you will see that also everywhere else.
When you learn to accept yourself, and learn to be at peace with yourself the way you are, you will see that there is nothing wrong with the world. Things can change, and it simply depends on each person. But you can’t say, ‘You change and I won’t change.’ No, instead you have to say, ‘I have changed and now the rest will change.’
In the life of Sri Ramakrishna there was a doctor in a certain village. Whenever Ramakrishna would see the doctor, the doctor was always sad. Ramakrishna said to him, ‘Why are you sad, doctor?’ He said, ‘I don’t know. Give me a solution to be happy. Give me a way that I can feel the Love of God and be happy’. Ramakrishna said, ‘Look, doctor, I know every day you treat hundreds of people, you charge them lots of money, but even that doesn’t make you happy. So, do one thing, give your service for free, one day a week.’
After some time, the doctor came to Dakshineshwar again and Ramakrishna saw him, he was radiating so much joy and happiness. Ramakrishna said, ‘Doctor, you look different today. What is the secret of this?’
Then he said to him, ‘Well, I took your advice, and I started to give consultations free of charge one day a week. The more I do it, the more I feel I want to do it more and more, because this brings me great joy inside, and this great joy doesn’t end.’ Like this, there are many examples that can be given about how service brings the union of the mind, the heart and the spirit, and makes you whole. Don’t be scared to serve, in whatever way you can, however you can, whenever you can, because you don’t know when God can come to you, and in what form He can come to you.’
Use The Tools You Have To Transform Yourself
You make up a part of the world so when you better yourself, you better the world. When you change yourself, you change the world. And how do you change yourself exactly? You begin to serve for the sake of others, just like the doctor in the story. If you’re not certain how to do that, a little self-analysis practice and japa can go a long way to getting you there.
- Use the tools you have to transform yourself. You have japa and meditation, you have the Bhagavad Gita, you have self-analysis. These are tools you can use to transform. The question is, are you using them?
- Do seva. Selfless service is one of the most powerful ways to bring about self-transformation. It requires us to think less about ourselves and focus on doing something for someone else. In its truest sense, seva is done in the service of the Divine including the Divine in all beings.
- Every day ask yourself what you can do to be more loving than you were yesterday. It’s not about being a saint today. It’s about learning from your mistakes and growing from them each day.
You do not have to run away to a cave or an ashram to become a yogi. Learning to live spiritually, no matter where you are, is a key part of spiritual advancement and transformation. Learn how with our free guide on living spiritually in the material world.