Feel the Vission -
ADDRESS BY SWAMI VIVEKANANDA AT THE RAMESWARAM TEMPLE ON REAL WORSHIP
A visit was subsequently paid to the Rameshwarm Temple, where the Swami was asked to address a few words to the people who had assembled there. This he did in the following terms:
It is in love that religion exists and not in ceremony, in the pure and sincere love in the heart. Unless a man is pure in body and mind, his coming into a temple and worshipping Shiva is useless. The prayers of those that are pure in mind and body will be answered by Shiva, and those that are impure and yet try to teach religion to other will fail in the end. External worship is only a symbol of internal worship; but internal worship and purity are the real things. Without them, external worship would be of no avail. Therefore you must all try to remember this.
People have become so degraded in this Kali Yuga that they think they can do anything, and then they can go to a holy place, and their sins will be forgiven. If a man goes with an impure mind into a temple, he adds to the sins that he had already, and goes home a worse man than when he left it. Tirtha (place of pilgrimage) is a place which is full of holy things and holy men. But if holy people live in a certain place, and if there is no temple there, even that is a Tirtha. If unholy people live in a place where there may be a hundred temples, the Tirtha has vanished from that place. And it is most difficult to live in a Tirtha; for if sin is committed in any ordinary place it can easily be removed, but sin committed in a Tirtha cannot be removed. This is gist of all worship – to be pure and to do good to others. He who sees Shiva in the poor, in the weak, and in the diseased, really worships Shiva; and if he sees Shiva only in the image, his worship is but preliminary. He who has served and helped one poor man seeing Shiva in him, without thinking of his caste, or creed, or race, or anything, with him Shiva is more pleased than with the man who sees Him only in temples.
Let me tell you again that you must be pure and help any one who comes to you, as much as lies in your power. And this is good Karma. By the power of this, the heart becomes pure (Chitta-shuddhi), and then Shiva who is residing in every one will become manifest. He is always in the heart of everyone. If there is dirt and dust on a mirror, we cannot see our image. So ignorance and wickedness are the dirt and dust that are on the mirror of our hearts. Selfishness is the chief sin, thinking of ourselves first. He who thinks, ‘I will eat first, I will have more money than others, and I will possess everything’, he who thinks, ‘I will get to heaven before others, I will get Mukti before others’ is the selfish man. The unselfish man says, ‘I will be the last, I do not care to go to heaven, I will even go to hell if by doing so I can help my brothers.’ This unselfishness is the test of religion. He who has more of this unselfishness is more spiritual and nearer to Shiva. Whether he is learned or ignorant, he is nearer to Shiva than anybody else, whether he knows it or not. And if a man is selfish, even though he has visited all the temples, seen all the places of pilgrimage, and painted himself like a leopard, he is still further off from Shiva. (Lecturers from Colombo to Almora 3/11/2011)
Comment by Swami Supradiptananda – Service to the mankind does not mean to help by donating some money or like that. Whatever our profession we have, through that profession we can serve the humanity by maintaining the quality of the product. Thus helping the masses. Unselfishness is more paying even in our professional life. When we are unselfish we mare more focussed on our job. Thus our work done is 100% perfect. Perfection brings money, name fame and other perks. Thus, in this Kali Yuga unselfishness pays in our mundane day to day life. Pure person can only be unselfish. So let us not be miser in exerting ourselves in our work place. Let the others take your credit. We see around us selfish people how they try to grab opportunities but fails to do so. Rather unselfish person gets it easily. World is ready to learn this. Only we have to spread it. People are unaware about it hence so much dissatisfaction, instability is the world. Specially in the life of younger generation. Thus, Be Good and Do Good. Rest will follow on its own. This is the significance of Swamiji’s this address.