Doing Good to the Whole World (November 2022)
If I ask you whether you want to live an ordinary life with ordinary pursuits, or a meaningful life with meaningful pursuits, the answer undoubtedly will be the latter. But, do you know what makes a life meaningful and how to live it? The assignment of this month covers exactly that as a part of understanding the sixth principle of the Arya Samaj.
Principle in Hindi: संसार का उपकार करना इस समाज का मुख्य उद्देश्य है, अर्थात शारीरिक, आत्मिक और सामाजिक उन्नति करना।
Principle in English: Doing good to the whole world is the primary objective of the Arya Samaj, that is, to ensure its physical, spiritual, and social upliftment.
The principle says that doing good to others (the whole world) is the prime objective of our life. It emphasizes on संसार का उपकार (benevolence). Here संसार means everyone and उपकार means service. It means, we need to serve the world without any expectation. But, often everyone teaches us – and inspires us – to become successful in life. Isn’t becoming successful in life enough? Why should we not just focus on becoming successful rather than caring to help others in selfless mode?
If success simply means riches, fame and victories for self, even a highly successful life will still be an ordinary life. Say, you acquire large riches but those riches are not used for helping poor and needy; you acquire world-wide fame but that fame is not used for worthy causes; or, you acquire notable victories but those victories do not include others in enjoying the fruits of your victories, you are simply living an ordinary life. People may talk about you, but know that no one loves or respects you.
As such, everyone pursues goals for self, but it is only a few exalted ones who seek the true meaning and purpose in their life. These are the people who understand the role others play in every aspect of a person’s life. Despite all of their huge successes, they appreciate the fact that since the very first breath of their life, they could not have survived let alone thrive without the help and service of others. While alive, such people stay humble, pursue high goals, and help society, i.e. they live meaningful lives. And even after they depart, they continue to inspire generations. Swami Dayanand Saraswati, Mahatma Gandhi and Subhash Chandra Bose are just some examples of the extraordinary personalities that lived meaningful lives.
But, how do we achieve that state? There is a three-step path that Swami Dayanand Saraswati specified in the sixth principle. These steps are gaining physical strength (शारीरिक उन्नति), developing righteous intellect (आत्मिक उन्नति), and living a selfless life dedicated to others’ upliftment (सामाजिक उन्नति).
Before we help others, we have to help ourselves. We have to make ourselves strong enough that we are able to offer meaningful help to others. A sick and tired person cannot think of his near and dear ones, let alone thinking about society. To gain physical strength, we must incorporate regular physical exercises, have a structured lifestyle, and eat healthy food in our life. These steps are sure to give us strength and energy required to look beyond our own body.
Having a healthy body, one needs to then elevate to the development of their intellect. One must acquire both material and spiritual knowledge. What we study in schools prepares us to earn a livelihood. We must not compromise on excelling in material knowledge acquisition. At the same time, it is critical that we also take all the necessary steps to become a better human being, which is possible only with the correct understanding of values, morals and spirituality.
These two aspects (physical strength and righteous knowledge) fill our lives with confidence, give us clarity of thoughts, remove fears, and strengthen our souls. We are able to distinguish between the right and wrong, and gain courage to pick only the right option without any hesitation. We are able to see beyond our selfish boundaries. We start caring for others in a true manner. We start to imbibe the message of इद न मम (it is not mine) as an essential part of our lives. When riches come to us, we naturally put it to the benefit of others; when fame comes to us, we use it to elevate the consciousness of society; and, when victories come to us, we share its fruits with others. In other words, we become Arya (model citizens) and our lives become Yagya (a selfless act).
In this month’s article, kids will
Read the sixth principle in Hindi and English
Explain the meaning of the principle in simple words
Share the three-step path to achieving a meaningful life
Relate each step with the current stage of their life (for instance, what they are doing or plan to become an extraordinary person).
As always, I am looking forward to hearing the insightful descriptions and interpretations by our Hawan kids. Make us proud!
Harsh Mendiratta 🙏🏼