Take Care of the House You Live In

Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati

Indian culture has gone through many difficult phases, yet it is still alive. Civilizations of the world have vanished and live only in the pages of history. Various tribes of the world are slowly vanishing, and the culture of the world is coming to an end. The impact can also be seen on India. However, as oil separates from water, similarly the impact of western civilization will remain separate from Indian culture. The essence of Indian culture will always remain pure, for the definition of culture in India is: samyak kriti iti sanskriti.

Sanskriti is translated as culture. Dancing, singing, music, and so on, are projected as cultural presentations and programs, yet they are not cultural. They are the programs of a community. Every community has its own music and art. People call the programs of the community cultural programs, and they think of culture as dancing, singing, music, as in the western world. People go to nightclubs as a part of western culture. The culture of the western world is accepted.

Idiotic phase

If a person is unable to take decisions, and lacking faith in himself, instead adopts the beliefs, character and behaviour of others in his life, thinking that the others are better and more advanced, then there is no bigger fool than him in this world.

Today India is passing through this foolish and idiotic phase, yet it is similar to the oil which floats on water. After the oil floats and flows away, the water can be seen once again.

Samyak kriti iti sanskriti means that when the karmas of one's life can be discharged in the most harmonious and balanced way, then that expression of karmas is called sanskriti. As long as sadhus and sannyasins are in society to disseminate their teachings, sanskriti of India will never be a thing of the past and only found in the pages of history books.

The day there will be no sadhus and no sannyasins, Indian civilization will definitely come to an end. One hundred people can be materialistic, yet one spiritually awakened soul can manage these hundred materialistic beings. Even if only one sadhu is present in India, sanskriti will not die.

Role of sadhus and sannyasins

Sadhus and sannyasins are the great souls who walk on this path, know this path, understand this path and are continuously striving to re-ignite this tradition. Sadhus and sannyasins have no family so when they die no one is there to cry for them. Nobody will know where they died. In a family when someone comes and leaves, it is a matter of joy and sorrow respectively. Sadhus and sannyasins keep themselves away from these social vrittis. They study society and at the right time propagate the right teaching.

At different periods in history are great souls become the motivators for society, who are the guides and bring the directionless, lost society back onto the right path. India belongs to avatars, siddhas and sadhus, it is a country where the spiritual tradition is still alive and active.

To earn money people go to America and other countries. To attain spiritual knowledge people from the whole world come to India. For spiritual knowledge nobody goes to Africa. There is only one place where people say that their sanskriti is deteriorating. The necessity of the hour is to express this feeling and concern. If people want shining and good days to come and prevail in India, they must give a place to sanskriti in their lives. They must keep striving. Those who say that sanskriti is coming to an end, yet do not do anything about it, express their personal weakness.

Be responsible and wise

If you see your own home falling apart, and you do not try to stop it, who is at fault? The person who built the house or the person who lives there? The people living in the house are at fault, for taking care of the home is their responsibility, not the responsibility of the architect or the contractor.

You live in this country so the responsibility lies on your shoulders. If there is deterioration and disintegration of your sanskriti in your country then you are responsible for it. If you want to develop your country then make an effort. Making an effort is also your responsibility.

Everybody has the habit of blaming and abusing others, and people do not look at themselves. Only a person who can look at himself is capable of maintaining sanskriti.

As for a person who sees faults only in himself and righteousness in others, and who wants to follow others, it is better to forget himself. He is already forgetting himself; he has no faith in himself, in his line of thought and his ideology. He is simply copying others, he is a copycat.

If you have buddhi, intellect, there is no need to copy others. The water decides its own flow of direction, and in the same way you need to use your intellect and wisdom.

—20 September 2014, Tyagaraj Sports Stadium, Delhi, India