Swami Sarvapdiyananda of the Ramakrishna Math opened the meet. Wedded to his long experience in the teaching institutes of the Ramakrishna Math is a degree in Management from XIMB, Bhubaneswar. So the Swami’s talk was a mix of philosophy, modern science and an understanding of human nature.
A story he recounted caught everyone’s attention and was referred to again and again in the course of the two days .
Once, in a Theology School, an experimented was conducted. Students were asked to prepare a short sermon on helping strangers. One by One, at intervals, the students were sent to another building where an audience waited. The students had to cross a quadrangle to get there. In the open space, on a bench, lay a man, obviously in some distress. Only very few of the students stopped to find out what was wrong with him and to help him! The students of Theology were so intent on delivering the sermon of the Good Samaritan, that they did not observe their immediate surroundings or the stranger in need.
People are programmed to be sociable , we have empathy, we mirror our social situations and people around us. We want to help but do not take the time to understand how we can help.
A busy life prevents you from observing. And then you cannot know what other people really need.
There is a layer of dust over our attentiveness which can be blown away to let the fragrance of our personality come out . And then we can see where and how we can help other people; we can make caring and nurturing part of our lives.
Swami Sarvapdiyananda said ‘ feeling comes first, then the idea . If you have a feeling, act on it. Later, you can justify it with thought.’ The words found resonance within because it describes how Siragugal was born.
‘When you feel bitter about someone, pray for their welfare’, concluded the Swami.