December 2010

The man who is not proud of his motherland and who is not true to his customary duties must be regarded as a base ungrateful fellow.
– Chinmaya

There is a saying in Sanskrit which says, “ Janani Janmabhoomishcha swargaadapi gareeyasi”, which means our mother and our motherland should be considered greater than even heaven.

A little boy, while sitting on his mother’s lap said to her, “O mother, you have the prettiest face in this world.” As he uttered these words, his eyes fell upon her hands, which were burnt and badly deformed. He exclaimed with a shock, “But mother, your hands are the ugliest one!”

His father, hearing this, took the boy on his lap, and narrated to him the story of a mother and a child. Touchingly he described how the newborn child sleeping in the burning cradle was saved by its daring mother and in the process got her hands burnt. “What a brave mother!” the little boy exclaimed. The father added, “That child was none other than you, and these disfigured hands were the ones which saved your life.”

The little boy turned towards his mother with tear-filled eyes and said, “O mother, these are the prettiest hands in the world.”

My mother may be illiterate, ugly, unhealthy, or even uncultured. But for me, despite all her shortcomings, she is very special because I am here only because of her. So also is the case with our motherland.

A true patriot is ever ready to sacrifice everything for the sake of his country without a second thought.

Once, a massive earthquake hit Japan because of which millions were rendered homeless. Famine broke out and disease followed. The Emperor was clueless regarding the efficient administration and handling of the relief measures- distribution of food, medical help, provision of shelter for the homeless etc. There was only one who could shoulder that tremendous task – Kagawa.

Ironically, this great leader was in jail. He was released by special order. The government offered him a large salary, a huge residence and other comforts – if only he would undertake the task of organizing relief. Kagawa gladly accepted the responsibility but with the condition that he would not accept anything in return. Rightly, he is called the Gandhi of Japan.

For a sincere lover of one’s country, duties towards motherland are more important than one’s rights over her.

After the successful Russian revolution over the Tsar’s empire, Lenin, the inspiring leader and the father of USSR, was offered the vast public buildings and beautiful palaces. But Lenin chose to live in a very humble cottage, far removed from the worldly glamour and pomp.

Love and sacrifice are always found to go together.

In the Indian Army, the officers are ever reminded of their motto, “The safety, honour and welfare of your country, come first, always and every time. The honour, welfare and comfort of the men you command come next. Your own ease, comfort and safety come last, always and every time.”

Each one of us is responsible for determining the fate of our nation. The culture of a nation is decided by the culture of each individual living there. To the extent the thoughts and actions of the citizens are noble, to that extent a country becomes glorious, prosperous and cultured. Hence national revival is possible only through individual transformation, and not by any amount of economic development or scientific progress.

Patriotism in no way means harbouring ill feelings against others, as is generally misunderstood. In fact, a true patriot appreciates the love and the noble feelings which all men everywhere have towards their motherland.

Speaking about a true patriot, Abraham Lincoln once said, “I like to see a man proud of the place in which he lives. I like to see a man live, so that his place will be proud of him”!

The national leaders have a great role to play in instilling patriotic feelings in the hearts of their people. The noble and pure life led by them alone can inspire the upcoming young generation to follow their footsteps.

While Lal Bahadur Shastri was holding office as Prime Minister, his son, though unqualified, got a prestigious job in a famous company. But Shastri did not allow him to accept the job, as he refused to compromise with his principles.

Mahatma Gandhiji has said, “My life itself is my message.”

May we have that daring and courage to set such high standards of morality and ethics in our life for our younger generations to emulate in the years to come.

As has been rightly said, “He loves his country the best who strives to make it the best.”

O   M         T   A   T         S   A   T

Posted in: Chintana

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