Every individual in this world exerts. They may work for an organization, run a business, steal, lie or speak the truth. However, whatever they do is always for themselves and their dear ones. Your world is only limited to you and your family. You will not exert for the sake of strangers. The human race is inherently selfish, but the rest of the creation is selfless. Trees produce fruits for others, rivers give water to others, the cow feeds you with its milk all its life and even after it dies, its skin is made use of. The human being is unable to do this. This must change.
Whoever comes to Rikhia must come with the intention of helping others. They can provide help physically, and if they are physically incapable, they can help in other ways.
If you work for others it will influence your karmas as well as your health in a positive way. Once I wanted to leave the Rishikesh ashram, give up the idea of sannyasa, go home and work. Swami Sivananda then told me that there are two kinds of work: one is the work whose fruits are accrued by you, the other is that whose fruits do not go to you, whether positive or negative. When you work in the ashram, your guru receives the fruits. Whatever the work, it is not done for oneself.
This principle can also be applied at home. Parents do not work for themselves, they work for their children. However, they are attached to the fruit of their work because they are attached to the children. If they could put their attachment aside, then they would not get affected in the process. A mother may serve her child selflessly, but there is attachment in it. She goes through pain and pleasure in the process. If she could apply the principle of anasakti, non-attachment, then there will not be a greater sannyasin than the mother.
You wonder why God does not hear you when you perform rituals and worship, asana and pranayama, study Vedanta, make pilgrimages to Vaishno Devi and Kashi. God is sitting right in your heart, but He is not ready to listen to you because you do not recognize the pain of others. Until you are able to do this, your sadhana will not be successful. God only listens to you when you are able to feel the pain of others the way you feel the pain of your own child. If your child is in pain or meets with an accident, what kind of a state are you in? Do you think of others like that? Is there one person who has spent a sleepless night thinking of the millions of poor who will go to bed hungry tonight? We are all selfish; we are only concerned with us and ours. We are not concerned about anyone else. Why then should God who is all-pervading listen to you? Isnt the one who is in pain Gods child as well?
A big change should come about in India, the way it did in England after the two World Wars. The English society completely changed and the first thing they made sure of was that every person had food and clothing. Until we are able to provide the basic needs to those who do not have it, there is no meaning to our religion, politics, national laws or our spirituality. Therefore, even if you dont perform the rituals of worship or go on pilgrimages, it is fine. But it is necessary that you have compassion and sympathy in your heart. These are very important qualities for every aspirant.
In todays age, it is not possible that your whole family lives in one place. You can either live together and face poverty or spread around like grains of rice and earn riches. Indians will have to rethink their social norms to excel in this century. It has been the norm here that you die where you were born. This is not practical any longer.
In the next few decades, all notions of my country, my nation, my mother tongue, my religion will end. It will not take very long for this to come about. Nations, religions and races are created by man, but we have all descended from one God to this earth. We are all citizens of the same country. We are not just citizens of the country where the Ganga flows; we are also citizens of the countries where flow the Euphrates and the Thames. This is the reality of this age. The future generations will agree with me because they also think like this. Castes and races have been created by man for political purposes and now people are beginning to understanding this fact. Therefore, they will not hesitate to go anywhere and live anywhere.
To live at one place for long amounts to attachment and bondage. A snake does not have a home; the wind, the sun, the moon and a sadhu do not have homes. Then how can you lay claims to a home? No one in this world owns a home. People have forced themselves to believe that they possess homes. So let the world be your home and wherever you live, earn well, live a good life and be happy.