Swami Vivekananda, the Eastern mystic, describes the motto for his mission as atmano mokshartham jagat hitaya cha – ‘For spiritual liberation as well as bringing good to humanity’. He implies that without taking up responsibility for the good of the world, you cannot talk of spiritual liberation.
A beautiful story:
In a place called Pandaripur in India, there was a boy who served his parents very lovingly and with great care. Bhagawan Sri Krishna took the form of Pandarinathar and came to see him. It was raining that day while the boy was attending to his parents. Krishna stood at the door of the boy’s house and asked to be allowed inside.
The boy asked Him to wait until he had finished attending to his parents. Krishna said that it was raining and slushy where He stood. So the boy actually threw a block of brick and asked Bhagawan Krishna to stand on it!
Even today in that region, Pandarinathar is worshipped standing on a brick-block! God Himself came down to see the consciousness and sense of responsibility of the boy.
That is why I tell people, when you stand up with responsibility, energy will automatically flood you! Feeling that you are responsible is the greatest quality. When you stand up feeling responsible, your problems will dissolve. A new intelligence will awaken in you. Don’t think you are being egoistic. Ego is different from responsibility. When you feel responsible, you will take the initiative, you will not feel egoistic. Only when you think that you would have done better than the other person will ego come into play. When ego comes into play, you will not take up responsibility.
Being responsible does not mean becoming serious. Sincerity is different from seriousness. When you become serious, you are only feeding your ego. When you are sincere, you understand about life and do not attach undue importance to any one thing at the cost of something else. You are able to approach life with a youthful enthusiasm, with spontaneity and innocence.
A child’s world is full of, ‘He took away my pencil!’, ‘He hit me!’… ‘She is not giving me my chocolate!’ We all lived in this stage of our life before we grew up. How does it feel when you think back about this? It appears comical now, doesn’t it? We laugh at how much we bothered for these little things!
Now, let’s rewind to when we were five or six years old. At this age we may have fought for a geometry kit. When we were a few years younger, we fought for a pencil, and now we are fighting for the geometry kit. You grow up further. Now, if your best friend becomes very close to somebody else, you can’t bear that! If we think back about this, we feel like laughing. If I ask the elderly people about the problems of youth, about relationships, the problem will now not appear to be of a serious nature. This is because they have passed that age.
Just like this, there is a state that is beyond all these states. It is the state to experience bliss. It is an experience that goes beyond all the states of life.
Take another example: Say you get a shocking piece of news. Someone whom you loved has been murdered. Even when you learn this, how much grief and trouble you feel! You can’t believe he is gone. You are crying uncontrollably. Suddenly your mother gives you a nudge and says, ‘Wake up’ and you wake up and realize, ‘Oh god! That was only a dream!’ Suddenly you are so relieved and relaxed! From this, we can understand a small technique for living life: ‘When the dream disappears, peace is born.’ Shiva says, ‘This whole world is merely a dream.’ How many people can accept this? You look at this world as reality because you have experienced it so. We can accept things only when we experience them. The things that we have not experienced, we are not able to accept. The only solution is to go within ourselves and experience that bliss. In our youth, the problems of early childhood appear comical. In our old age, the problems of youth appear comical. When we realize the Ultimate, everything appears to be playful. You can play the game of life beautifully, completely neck deep in it, yet be completely unaffected by it.
source: Living Enlightenment