The Greatest Privilege


Look upon every man, woman, and everyone

as God.

You cannot help anyone,

you can only serve.

Serve the children of the Lord,

serve the Lord Himself,

if you have the privilege.

If the Lord grants that you can help

anyone of His children,

blessed you are.

Do not think too much of yourselves.

Blessed you are that that privilege

was given to you when others had it not.

Do it only as worship.

I should see God in the poor,

and it is for my salvation

that I go and worship them.

The poor and the miserable

are for our salvation,

so that we may serve the Lord,

coming in the form of the diseased,

coming in the shape of the lunatic,

the leper, and the sinner!

Bold are my words;

And let me repeat

that it is the greatest privilege in our life

that we are allowed to serve the Lord

in all these shapes.

Give up the idea that by ruling over others

you can do any good to them.

 But you can do just as much as you can

as in the case of a plant:

You can supply the growing seed with the materials

for the making up of its body,

bringing to it the earth, the water, the air

that it wants.

It will take all that it wants

by its own nature,

it will assimilate and grow by its own nature.

Bring all light into the world.

Light, bring light!

Let light come unto everyone.

The task will not be finished

till everyone has reached the Lord.

Bring light to the poor,

and bring more light to the rich,

for they require it more than the poor.

Bring light to the ignorant,

and more light to the educated,

for the vanities of the education of our time

are tremendous!

Thus bring light to all

and leave the rest unto the Lord,

for in the words of the same Lord:

‘To work you have the right

and not to the fruits thereof.’

‘Let not your work produce results for you,

and at the same time

may you never be without work.’

May He who taught such grand ideas

to our forefathers ages ago

help us to get strength

to carry into practice His commands!


Swami Vivekananda