Obsessed with Helping Others

Posted: November 25, 2012 in Helping Others, Karma Yoga, Seva
If you are one of those who are obsessed with helping others, and who feel that you should bring succour to the sick and the poor, comfort the wretched and make the world a better place to live in, you might be interested in what Swami Sivananda has to say about your (what Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa dubbed) “egoistic delusion”:

What a fool you are! The precious human life has been given to you to meditate, to develop devotion, to do Japa and to do Sadhana for the Realisation of God, but you are wasting your life in this pursuit. Many Sankaracharyas have come, many Buddhas have come, and many Jesus Christs have come, many prophets have come, but no one has been able to change this world. The world is like a dog’s tail; it will always be crooked. If you try to straighten it, it won’t straighten. If you put a dog’s tail in a pipe and tie it up, as long as the pipe is there, it will remain straight. But when you take the pipe out, the tail will curl up again. The world is like a dog’s tail, it cannot be straightened up, and you are only a fool if you try to do so, and your life will be wasted, it will go away.” (pg. 197, Swami Sivananda: Saint, Sage and Godman)[A Divine Life Society Publication]). 

Adding to this, Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa has said, “Who are you to help others? Can God not help people who need help? Don’t think that He cannot do it, (that) He is not capable of helping the sick and the poor, and (therefore) you should do something. This sort of too much preoccupation of helping OTHERS is also a sort of DELUSION, and egoistic DELUSION.” (pgs. 200-201, Swami Sivananda: Saint, Sage and Godman by Swami Chidananda Maharaj [A Divine Life Society Publication]).

About this delusion, Swami Chidananda says, “…if you enter in the field of service and give all your time, energy and attention only to the service of the society and humanity, then, you are firmly caught by Maya. It becomes an obsession and a great delusion. You are not supposed to live all your life only serving the society and running around for that. Then, you will be committing a great mistake. You will miss the Goal for which you have come. You have not come here for merely doing social service…(Swami Sivananda) empahsised service only for those who (have) absolutely no spiritual idealism and who (are) continuously immersed in living a life of selfihness, of self-centered activity with no higher goal or ideal…” (pgs. 207, 208 Swami Sivananda: Saint, Sage and Godman by Swami Chidananda Maharaj [A Divine Life Society Publication]).

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