Saturday, 1 April 2017

Nation -an extension of Man

Another point I will tell you. Everybody tells you must have good character. Nobody – even a thief –will say you must have a bad character. The question of personal character is emphasized. That is our life you must be truthful, honest, loving. You must have Bhakti. You must go to the temple. You must pray. All these are told. But personal character alone is not enough. If you identify with this whole Nation, if you become one with the Nation, then you must have, what is called. National character also. What is National character?  Personal character we know. You can prepare a list of qualities you must have in your life. But what is National character? By National character I mean you should be able to place the interest of the Nation above every other interest. That is called National character. If you can place the interest, the greatness, the glory, the prosperity, the security, the integrity of the Nation above everything else, that means you can sacrifice everything else for the greatness of the Nation. When you are able to submit, surrender and sacrifice everything else then you can say you are a man of National character.

Generally what happens? We are very much concerned with our personal greatness, personal growth, personal prosperity – a good job, a good house. Nobody is bothered about the country. Normally it is alright. If everything is alright, there is no problem. But when there is a conflict between the National interest and your personal interest, what will you do? If there is a conflict between the family interest and your personal interest, what will you do? If there is a conflict between the family interest and your personal interest, what will you do? Many times we find there is an elder brother. His younger sister has completed her education. She is of a marriageable age but somehow her marriage has not taken place. The elder brother is 30, handsome. Marriage alliance is coming up for him. Normally what happens is the elder brother says, "yes, alright I can marry any time. What about my grown up sister? She has to be married first. I will wait till her marriage takes place. Because that is more important." So, here you find the personal interest sacrificed for the family interest. Sometimes the family is not well off. There are two or three daughters to be married. There is only one brother. He goes to Bahrain, Muscat or somewhere. Earns money. He works there three or four years, brings money, then celebrates the marriages of his sisters and then only he settles down. This is a normal thing. Everybody takes care of the family. It should be there. But then that is not the end of it. Family cannot live without the Nation. If the Nation suffers, the families also will suffer. It is like, when a ship sinks all the passengers will sink along with the ship. So the Nation is like a ship. You will find Swamiji comparing this Nation with a ship. He says "Look here. The ship is sinking. I am shouting. Nobody is hearing me". So in this ship of our Nation, there is some leak. Water is entering slowly. And in that condition, what are the people supposed to do? Oh, let the ship sink. I will be safe. Will you be safe? Nobody will be safe.