Children, people with awareness of dharma help a country to progress. If we think about the basic reason for the problems India is facing—corruption, poverty, unemployment, terrorism and suicides—we will see that they are due to a lack of awareness of dharma.
Adhering to dharma is each individual’s responsibility. Responsibility and rights are like the two wings of a bird. Real progress happens only when they are united. But one thing is very important matter: In a society, if each person carries out his responsibilities accordingly, the rights of each person will naturally be protected. If, on the contrary, each person only thinks about himself and focuses on his own rights, society will lose its harmony; there will be anarchy. Hence, just as each person works for his own benefit, he must also be prepared to work for the benefit of the nation as a whole.
Farmers save a part of each harvest for future planting. They do not see this as a loss. They know it will come back to them in a hundred fold in their future harvests. If they were to consume that portion also, they would have to suffer. Such a sacrifice must happen from our side as well. Instead of spending all of our time and energy on ourselves, we must be ready to spend some time and energy for the benefit of society and the nation as well.
The Great Wall of China is indeed one of the wonders of the world. When the construction of the wall was complete, the countrymen thought, “Now none of our enemies can defeat us.” But soon they were attacked. To their shock, the enemy came through the wall itself and defeated them. What happened? Those soldiers guarding the wall accepted bribes and let the enemies through.
The pleasure we get through selfishness and adharma is not permanent. It will soon turn into sorrow. On the other hand, though the path of dharma feels difficult at first, it always paves the way to long-lasting benefit. We must never forget that the pleasure we derive from adharma is the seed of sorrow.
In the olden days, the first lessons taught in school were about dharma. Dharma is the principle behind mutual understanding and healthy relationships between man and man, and man and nature. It is a healthy vision of life and the world. No individual can progress by himself. We can progress only through the progress of others. An individual can enjoy lasting goodness only when his society is established in goodness.
Amma, Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi