The Supreme Need of the Hour: Love
Sri Swami Sivananda
New Year’s Message 1st January, 1950
Is there a man whose heart will shed tears of blood at the misery of even the meanest of God’s creation? It is in his heart–be sure–that the Lord dwells.
O Man! Years have come and gone! You are yet the same old brute, the same abode of the same old cruel heart which grabs and does not give. Renounce, serve, love! Become good this very minute!
What have you learnt from the terrible tragedy which shook the country from end to end? Would you still lean back in your cushioned lounge and ignore the misery of the poor, of the downtrodden, of the ignorant masses, merely philosophising: “It is their lot, it is their own Karma?” Have you not seen that in the twinkling of an eye the rich man becomes penniless and the pauper becomes a millionaire?
Come, plunge into selfless service. Serve all. Love all. See your God in all. Renounce every penny that you have in the service of the poor, in the regeneration of the fallen. Rush to the aid of the Lord that walks on the road with his begging bowl. Hasten to the aid of the hapless and the helpless sick and relieve their suffering. Greet the half-naked, poverty-stricken God-in-human-form with a smile, reverence and sympathy. Clothe the naked. Feed the poor. Educate the illiterate. Nurse the sick. Raise the downtrodden. Give of your best in their service.
Shame upon the perpetrators of violence, the Asuras in human garb who massacre innocent men and women! Gandhiji lived, loved and died for the sake of the establishment of Ahimsa in the human heart. His life’s toil should not go in vain. It is a crime to allow it to be neglected as mere ideology. The immortal glory that Gandhiji achieved can be achieved by every one, if only one is prepared to pay the price in the form of loss of personal gains.
God has sent His messengers again and again to teach humanity Divine love. To make this Message of Love more prominent, He sends wars, famines, riots and pestilences! Love shines sharply in contrast. Yet, how long does it take for man to understand the Message of Love!
It is not yet too late. O children of God! This beastly nature is only an outward covering. Your essential nature is Divine. Under the influence of this ignorance-Anaesthesia you commit all sorts of crimes. Your real nature is Purity, Wisdom and Godliness. Come, wake up! Wait not for calamities to put into your heart the wisdom which is available to you in the life and teachings of the Sages of India! Wake up at once, realise the folly of worshipping Mammon and the glory of serving God.
Worship God not only in the temples and shrines, not only in places of pilgrimage; but in every one you see around you, in the poorest of the poor, in the lowliest of the low, in the downtrodden, illiterate masses, in the sick and the suffering. See the lord in them and love them, express this love in the form of service. This alone will make each one of you a real MAN, nay, a Superman, or a Divine Personality!
It is the One Self or the One God alone that pervades every atom of creation. If but every morning this forms your first thought: “My own self it is that pervades the universe”, you will realise that it is you yourself that suffer through every suffering man! You will then become utterly unselfish and share with the needy what you have and thus bring about a new and glorious Age of Peace, Plenty and Prosperity.
All religious and spiritual organisations, social service leagues and humanitarian institutions, should convert themselves into Sevashrams for the amelioration of the conditions of the poor–the masses. Every one who can afford to, should contribute his mite to these institutions and see that the poor are raised to a normal standard of living. Individually, every one should sympathise with, and comfort, every man in distress, every man in need, and rest not till he has been provided for. This is the greatest service. It is only when the heart thus expands that the Lord will be enshrined in it.
It is when every Indian heart is brimming with this universal love that Mother India will assume the motherhood of all nations of the earth and guide her children in all parts of the world to limitless happiness.
Let us all hail the New Year with a heart of Love! Let us melt our differences and unite! Let our heart melt at human suffering! May all be united! May all attain God-consciousness in this very year! May there be peace, amity, plenty and prosperity everywhere! May His blessings be upon you all!