In essence we are one. We are all related to each other. All we have to do is to understand that and to experience it. We are related in spirit. If we see the spirit in ourselves, we will realize we are all one. Your true nature is that of a spiritual and divine being. We are essentially spiritual beings made in the image of God. We are all the expressions of God. God multiplied into various forms and names. So, we can say we are the family of God; we are all sisters and brothers. We are all different colors, sizes, and shapes on the outside, but inside the same light shines. We may look different but if we see the spirit we realize, “I am you, you are me, we are one.”
We should rise above all the differences and distinctions and see our spiritual oneness. We should learn to love each other. Learn to love everyone equally. We should open our minds and hearts. Even just focusing on this one thought: “I belong to the whole world and the entire world is my family” will make one so happy and peaceful.
Living and working together as one beautiful family with total love is God. Real spiritual experience means moving around with a smiling, loving face. To see the spirit in others and to love everyone; to rise above the differences of the lower nature and bring harmony wherever you are. Ultimately everyone should love you. Resolve that: “I will live the kind of life that will make everybody love me, and I will love them.” If that happens in your life, you will know that you are growing spiritually.
A real spiritual experience means to see the unity in diversity. See the same spirit in everything. Be gentle, be nice, be loving. See your own Self in all and treat everything properly. That is how to show the unity in diversity visibly and powerfully.
Let us know that we are all one in spirit; essentially, we are one appearing as many. The moment that kind of understanding comes, almost all other problems, both physical and material, will be solved. Anything that is done to bring this knowledge to people is the greatest deed. Any charity that’s used for this purpose is the best form of charity. If we work toward real universal love and understanding we are going to the very root of other problems. Do what you can for this cause. Learn to care and share, to love and give, and inspire others by your example.
We need to use the spiritual teachings of our chosen faith to help us have real love for one another. It is religion that should help us to understand the spiritual oneness, to make us feel more at home as one family. If there is anyone who separates another individual, saying to that person, “You are different from me,” using religion to make that claim, then he or she is not a religious person at all. Thinking about these kinds of situations has made me pray, “God, use me in any way you want. I would like to see that in Your name we become one family.” If we want to be happy, we should work for the happiness of all people everywhere. That is the only way to achieve real peace and contentment.
In order to have a better world we must learn to think of the globe as a whole. Your neighbor is God in a visible form. Let us have communion with our own neighbors—next door and around the globe. Let us feel that the whole world is our home; everyone is our brother and sister. It’s time to know each other and to live as one global family. To make the world right, each individual should find the ease and peace in their lives. Once you have that peace, others will find many things for you to do to serve the world. Think that you are a nice instrument, ready to be used for the good of all.
Serve one and all. Then you will have served God. Don’t even lose a single opportunity to serve others. Serve, serve, serve, and you will find that you also are served. Not everyone can go out and serve physically. Those who have that capacity should do so. Those without that capacity can project their positive thoughts. Those positive suggestions spread all over the globe. Those who have the capacity to do something physical as well should take that opportunity. Mental, physical, material—do something in whatever way you can. That is why all those faculties have been given to you. They are not given just for your own use. Your physical strength, your material wealth, everything is given to you to be used for others. Of course that doesn’t mean that you should not use it for yourself, too, but the major part of it is to be offered to others. That’s the way we should mold our lives. You should not think that you are living here for your own sake. We are here for the sake of everyone. On every plane we should be able to offer ourselves and our possessions for the benefit of humanity and the entire nature.
Prayerful thoughts always bring benefit to people. When ten thousand people feel for a person and pray, all that wishful thinking goes to help him or her. Good thoughts and feelings always reach the ones who are really starving for them. Those who deserve that good thinking will receive it. We simply spread the seeds. When people know that so many others are praying for them, that gives them strength. There is a benefit right away, “Oh, so many people are praying for me. All their good thinking is on my side.”
My prayer is always that universal love will light our paths. Every day when you pray, repeat: “May auspiciousness, peace, fullness, prosperity, happiness be unto all. May all see good in everyone, may all be free from suffering. May the whole world be filled with peace and joy, love and light.” When you say this, it’s not just words; you really have to feel it, visualize it. It should be heartfelt when you send your energy out to the world. All prayers will bring benefit so let us wholeheartedly pray for our world. Let us spend at least a few minutes each day in meditation. To me, those are the most important minutes. These peaceful vibrations will help millions of peaceless minds. Your peaceful vibrations, although you may not even realize their effect, will certainly help many people. You will be helping the whole world to find peace and joy. Let your actions help bring out that cosmic beauty and help to build a better world.
Sanskrit World Peace Prayers
OM Sarveshaam Swastir Bhavatu
Sarveshaam Saantir Bhavatu
Sarveshaam Poornam Bhavatu
Sarveshaam Mangalam Bhavatu
Auspiciousness be unto all,
Perfect peace be unto all,
Fullness be unto all,
Prosperity be unto all.
Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinaha
Sarve Santu Niraamayaah
Sarve Bhadraani Pasyantu
Maa Kaschid Dhuhka Bhaag Bhavet.
Happiness be unto all,
Perfect health be unto all,
May all see good in everything,
May all be free from suffering.
Asato Maa Sad Gamaya
Tamaso Maa Jyotir Gamaya
Mrityor Maamritam Gamaya
Lead us from unreal to Real,
Lead us from darkness to the Light,
Lead us from the fear of Death,
To knowledge of Immortality.
Excerpted from talks by Sri Swami Satchidananda by Rev. Sivani Alderman, MLIS, JD.
This article appeared in the Spring 2005 issue of Integral Yoga Magazine.
(Photo above: Spiritual luminaries from around the globe join hands in unity, after the World Faiths Symposium in Charlottesville, Virginia in 1986, marking the dedication of the Light Of Truth Universal Shrine (LOTUS).