How can we increase unity amongst each other whilst giving service on behalf of our Ashram?

SWAMIJI ANSWERS YOUR QUESTIONS

You are asking me about unity. Narayana! You see, normally, ladies do not believe what other ladies say. Yet ladies often believe what men say. Men also believe other men. Ladies must learn to trust in and believe each other. They must be clear and open with each other. They must open their hearts to other ladies. So my first point is that we should not make the distinction of who is male and who is female. That is the first barrier to unity in the world. We should trust and believe in each other. We must have faith in and love for each other. We must regard each other as human beings, not as men and women. We must love each other from the heart, not with the body. These are the first steps to unity.

Most people have a narrow mentality. They divide other people into many categories. Here in India, first they see the caste. That is your family lineage and the group to which you belong, something that here they think is most important. This is the start of narrow-mindedness. The people who belong to that particular caste or social group will stick together and they might feel that other castes should not have any part in the life of their community. Which religion you belong to is a worldwide problem. “He is a Christian. He is a Muslim.” From these barriers small differences start and develop into big rifts, political problems and civil wars.

In the same way, within our movement I can see small separations and differences that inhibit the growth of unity. When you first meet each other, you ask, “Where are you from?” The Sri Lankan man or woman will say, “I am a Sri Lankan, I am Sinhalese, I speak English and Sinhala.” This is identification with one’s culture and too much identification disturbs unity in a multi-cultural group. You always think, “We are Tamils and they are foreigners” or vice versa. We are all on the spiritual path together, serving one mission. Discrimination, even a little, disturbs the harmony within a group of people. We should think that we are all together. Don’t think, “Tamils and foreigners, Christians and Hindus.” I cannot accept this in my mission. (…)

So, let us accept, tolerate, and try to forget all these differences. Let us make our Centres in one way and one style. Let’s make our own style and be really individual! Then we will be able to say, “This is our style!” If you introduce one universal style, then it will be very easy to become united. What style? Swami Premananda style? I do not have any particular style. I do not expect anything personally from you. I do not want anything in this world.

Yet I do hope and pray that you will advance to a higher level. I do not want you to go down in any way. I do not want you to spoil your life in any way. I want you to develop more and more and reach the highest spiritual level. You have gained a nice opportunity to go up and up! Take hold of that chance with both hands and make the very best of it. (…)

Do not expect that you will mature in six months or one year. You have to be very patient. Earlier, you asked me an easy way to enlightenment. The answer is also easy – be very simple, be very humble, serve your fellow beings and learn the secret of pure, divine love.

Jai Prema Shanti

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