Discontentment is real poverty; contentment real prosperity. This is one of the important teachings of mahatmas to humankind. In today’s world, we see selfishness everywhere we look. The willingness to give is declining. We live in a society where people only think of themselves. This businesslike attitude is even creeping into our prayers.

Generally people can be divided in to three categories: prakriti, vikriti and samskriti. The actions and behaviour of the prakriti type of people are completely based on instinct. They are selfish, self-centred and just enjoy whatever they have by themselves, without being concerned about other members of society. The second category of people, vikriti, not only enjoys what they have; they also grab and steal what others have. The third, samskriti, are people who share everything they have with others. So, we should evolve from the state of prakriti to samskriti.

In spiritual life, we are advised to limit our expenditures to our basic needs and to give the rest in charity. But what do we see today? People trying to pad their bank accounts with wealth snatched from others. Our entire life is dedicated to earning money. Because of this, even if we become financially successful, we live in abject poverty. This is because even though we have money, we have no mental peace. The man who shares whatever few morsels of food he has with everyone in his family falls asleep, full of peace and contentment, as soon as his head hits the pillow. Another man’s table is covered with enough food to feed an army, yet he tosses and turns in his air-conditioned bedroom, tormented by his selfish thoughts and memories of his evil deeds. Of these two, who is rich and who is poor? Despite all his wealth, the selfish man cannot sleep. He has no mental peace. In fact, he eats more medicine than food. Looking from this angle, India is a rich country. If we see to it that this is not destroyed, it will be enough.

At one point in time, India was also a materially rich country. However egoism began to rise in the people here. “I must have everything of his for myself!” Such thinking is madness. People who fight over social status are insane. In their mutual jealousy and ego, they began to forget God. The more they abandoned dharma, the more enmity and animosity rose up between them. Consequently, India’s strength as a nation was lost. As a result foreign powers invaded and ruled us. For centuries these powers were able to dominate us.

Real material prosperity can only be acquired through spiritual education. If we were to make proper use of our wealth, there would be no scope for poverty in our country. We have enough money for all the people here to survive. However we should never steal others’ wealth.

What is happening in other places? Arid desert regions are being reclaimed for agricultural use through judicious use of water. We, on the other hand, are converting farmland and playgrounds into industrial centres and housing complexes. We are trying to reap a harvest of money. But even if we have the money to buy food, what good is it if there is no food to buy?

Each nation has its own heritage. Its progress can only be attained by remaining firmly rooted in that unique culture. Groups of culturally conscious youth should go into the villages and create awareness regarding this.

We must learn to view our country as our home. We must try to persuade our people to only utilize farmland for producing food. We must put roofs over the heads of the homeless. We must try to put food into the mouths of the starving. Along with all this, we must also share our culture with them. If we keep heading in our current direction—discarding our cherished values—our lives are going to be full of sorrow and suffering. India’s glory is her spiritual wealth. If we lose it completely, it will be our end. We cannot continue to strive for the very conditions that will lead to such a tragedy. My children should engage themselves in activities that will revive our spiritual culture. Amma’s blessings are always with you for ensuring that we do not lose sight of our rich spiritual culture.