Hello and welcome to episode 55 of The Ask Sri Vishwanath Show. Today I want to talk about changing the world. What is the best strategy for changing the world?
Today’s question is from Shaam. Shaam says “There are many wealthy people in the world who give to charity and others who do social work. What’s the best way to change the world?”
That’s a great question. I think it’s so great that you want to change the world. I want to start with a story that Vivekananda often told.
The sage and the genie
The story is about a poor man who wanted to be wealthy. He heard that there was a sage in the forest. This sage could bring forth a genie who could do anything you wished. He went to the sage and explained to him that he needed money. He begged him to bring forth this genie that could help him. The sage tried to dissuade him but the man was adamant. He had to see this genie. The sage finally agreed to manifest the genie so the man could have what he needed. The sage warned the man that he must constantly give the genie orders and if he didn’t, it would kill him. Then man, unperturbed scoffed at the idea. This would never happen. He had plenty of work. His dreams and desires were endless.
So the sage manifested this great and powerful genie. The genie appeared and asked the man what it was that he wanted. The man asked the genie to build him a palace. The genie fulfilled his wish and in a matter of hours, the palace was built. The man was over joyed. He gave the genie order after order. He built schools, churches and temples. The genie worked unbelievably fast. The man would give him an order and then go to rest or get some food and by the time he was finished the genie would have completed his wish.
As fast as the genie could build the man kept the requests coming. Wealth, power, possessions. The genie was capable of giving him everything.
The weeks passed and eventually the man began to struggle with thinking of orders to give to the genie. He couldn’t keep up with him and remembering the sage’s words, he feared for his life.
The man decided he would return to sage in the hopes that he could help him. He told the sage that the genie had fulfilled all of his desires and that he was ready to give him back. The sage explained that he must keep giving him orders. The man told the sage that he couldn’t think of any more orders to give to the genie. He begged him to help save his life.
While this conversation was happening the genie appeared, demanding that the man give him more orders. The man trembled before the genie. He had no more orders for him. The sage noticed a dog nearby. He told the man to cut off the dog’s tail and ask the genie to try and straighten it. He did as he was told and gave the tail to the genie. The genie straightened the tail but it curled up again. He straightened it again but it curled again. The genie tried for hours and hours. He could build a palace in the blink of an eye but he could not straighten this dog’s tail. The genie became so frustrated that he went to the man and told him he could not do the task. The man had won. He could keep all his possessions and the genie would leave him in peace.
To change or evolve?
The moral of the story is that God does not want the world to change. He wants you to evolve. The world is like the dog’s tail. You can straighten it but it will always curl back eventually. You can rectify a part of the world but then another part will then fall victim. You cannot change this. This is the nature of the world. To help something you must first know its nature.
In this world there is sattvic, rajasic and tamasic gunas. Everyone come with baggage. You must get to know this baggage.
The work out
Vivekananda gave a beautiful example. He said the world is like a gymnasium. When we lift weights at the gym it’s our muscles that swell not the dumbbells. The world is like a gym in the way that we go there to work out our karma. By helping the world we are being helped. If you are giving money to charity because you think you are helping the world. You’re wrong. You are the one that’s being helped. Your karma is being flexed like those muscles at the gym.
Physical, intellectual and spiritual
There are 2 types of help. The first is physical help. An example of this would be giving to charity or helping a neighbour. The second is intellectual help. An example of this would be, helping a friend to find a job or any other sort of intellectual help. Third is spiritual health. Spiritual health is knowing the nature of the world.
Krishna says that the mind can either go in or out. People want to control the world but they don’t have the ability to control their own thoughts…and they say they want to change the world! People do what they feel they can but it doesn’t have a greater effect on the nature of the world.
Vivekananda says that the greatest way you can help another person is spiritually. Help them find their consciousness. If people can learn to draw their mind in they will get tremendous power and they will have all the resources within themselves to achieve their goals. They’ll have less anger and anger and they’ll have more joy and happiness. They’ll be stronger as a person.
There is so much pain and anger in the world. Physical and intellectual help with not solve this problem. It must be spiritual. So how do we use this to help people?
Krishna says that we don’t actually have to do anything. We just need to acknowledge it. All you need to do is make a promise to yourself that you will try to get in touch with your consciousness. If you do this you will change the world more than anyone with money or power.
Do this and you will be blissful. In turn you’ll send out positive energy and this will make other people happy.
We need to light up the energy of the world. This is the best help you can offer anyone. Everything else is secondary. Yes they are important but they are secondary.
So work on spiritual help first. Then you can worry about physical and intellectual help.
Doing this will eradicate pain, anger and revenge. Think about it. Most evil in this world stems from these 3 emotions. Can you imagine how much better the world would be if people were free from anger and revenge? We would all be so much happier.
And you can be happier, you just need to draw your mind inwards and work on your spirit and the spiritual health of those around you.
So go ahead and change the world!
I hope I answered your question. Remember you keep asking questions and I’ll keep answering them.