By Meena Suresh
‘Each one of us has a moral duty to help those in need’ this is a basic lesson taught in any moral science class. There is a much deeper significance and wider perspective to this lesson.
Every individual inhabiting this planet wishes to be happy at all times. The question to be asked is why do most people find happiness in life to be elusive ?
While happiness is the birthright of every individual, often man draws boundaries around himself in his search for happiness. Happiness is perceived to be attained through the fulfillment of one’s desires and possibly the health and wellbeing of one’s own family and loved ones.
What is the reason for man confining himself and his happiness to these boundaries ?
The question finds an answer when man analyses his life from birth. By his very nature man is a free soul longing to exist without boundaries in the infinite space. However, with no choice that he can perceive, he finds himself trapped in an infant body. This infant is taught by his parents and older siblings to view them as his own. As he keeps growing, he is told that this is HIS house, those are HIS friends, these are HIS relatives, this and that is HIS…likewise these and those are THEIRS (others).
These concepts act as a double edged sword. They expand his boundaries and therefore his sense of responsibility, duties and belongingness to include perceived near and dear ones i.e. makes him grow beyond his immediate selfish / self centered notions, however they also prevent him from feeling a sense of belongingness with the rest of creation.
Some families, societies, communities and even governments foster a feeling of oneness in each growing child, instilling in him a belongingness to a wider group, community and even country. A man who feels his oneness with all his fellow countrymen and women develops a sense of patriotism for his country. Great heroic acts of patriotism and service to their countries are done by these men and women.
Going a step beyond identification with one’s country is the identification with the world and universe at large. True teachers are those who instill a sense of belongingness by removing all boundaries which prevent man from expanding his vision to consider all of creation as his own OR to put it differently recognizing his true nature of being a free soul with no boundaries.
Such a man, finds his very being overflowing with love and compassion for all creatures of the world as they are all his very own. He feels their pain as his own. Serving others just comes naturally to such a man. Thus arises in him the very passion to serve.