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 A human being does not come to earth to live for hundreds of years. He may live for possibly 80, 90 or 100 years. What wealth does he have? His true wealth is his body. The body is the most precious wealth you possess, not the wealth of money, land or property and so on. You need to ask yourself - did you become selfish because of love for your body? How did you become selfish? Why should you be a selfish person? Why should selfish thoughts arise in the mind? The reason is because of the attachment you have for worldly things. Most people are interested in running after worldly things and getting entangled in mundane matters.


There is a great power and intelligence beyond us that activates all. First, you have to accept this. This power is what I refer to as Divinity. Divinity lives within all beings. Genuine service that you do for Divinity should be selfless service. If you are to do selfless service you have to forget your individuality and not act on the basis of "I" or the ego. What belongs to you in this world? What is "I"? What is mine? Is your wife or husband yours? Are the children yours? Is your house yours? What is there, that can truly be called "yours." Even your body is not yours. Selfishness comes because you attach your mind to the house, to your wife, your husband, to your children and many other things in the world. Because there is a strong attachment and liking to all these things, the feeling of selfishness creeps into you. That selfish attitude develops in you and becomes stronger as you cling to the material world.


The time will come when you realize that nothing really belongs to you. Everything is the creation of the Divine. When this time comes, you can do true selfless service. How can you reach this state of mind? You need to change yourself. Instead of thinking that things are yours, change your way of thinking. Regard everything as belonging to the Divine. Many people say, "Oh, it is His will, let His will be done" but, in fact, they do not understand what they are talking about.


In order to discover what really is His will and to realize that everything belongs to Divinity you need to commence the practice of self-enquiry. I have often told you what questions you need to ask yourself in this practice. To remind you, they are "Who am I? Why was I born? What is the true purpose of my life? How long shall I live in this world? What shall I do in this world? What did I come to do in this world?" To this list, you may now add, "What is selfishness?"


Really, what have you come to do in this world? If you ask your parents, they might reply that they were blessed with children, they brought up the children, they educated them and they got married and now their responsibility is over. Do you think that only this is the sole joy of life? That is selfish joy. It is tradition. It is what has been done by human beings since time immemorial. That is not a spiritual practice. The worldly life is an attached life but the spiritual life is a detached life.


Think, how are you going to do spiritual service? Are you only going to give service to your own children? Yes, of course, by all means do it. You can make them into what you want - lawyers, doctors, engineers. That is service, but selfish service. There are many other children too. There are hundreds of children in this Ashram. They are also being educated and they will be put into some profession and they will have a good life in the future. However, even though I am taking care of their lives, I cannot say that they are my children. They are not my children. I was not there when these children were born but still I do my duty to them. I do not expect anything from them in return. There is nothing that I expect they should do in return to me. I can live alone by myself, but at the same time I can organize the care of hundreds of children. You find it difficult to bring up 2 or 3 children but I will not consider it hard to bring up hundreds of them. Why is this? It is because there is attachment in your heart but there is none in mine. You think that you must bring up your children in luxury and provide them with so many facilities. You and they must have a certain status and way of life. You think of your family background, your pride and your honour. I think of our Ashram children as God's children and I would like to give them a good life. Yet, I do not think of all that you think of concerning bringing up your children.


Do good service to others in any way you can but do not expect any rewards or personal satisfaction. If you perform your service without wanting anything for yourself that is selfless service. Do your service joyfully. Do as much as you can with effort and sincerity. Do your duty and keep your mind free and happy.


I had Sri Premananda Ashram built and then suddenly I had to leave it. I did not feel sorry that I had to leave it and all its contents and go away. I made all the buildings and organized the Ashram for the sake of others. I have done my duty that is all. This is my selfless service to this country and I am happy that I did it.


All is Divine Mother's work. She gives and she takes. It all belongs to Her. Let us do selfless service in Her name and be happy!

Om Shanthi


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