It is our duty to relieve distress

The distress includes physical needs, but in yoga these needs are simple. The typical examples are food and clothes. Some food is necessary, but to go on to over-eat, or to eat artificial foods to experience refined pleasures of taste, will create illness, and finally kill.

In the same way some simple clothes are needed, but to become obsessed with ornamentation or vagaries of fashion is what the teachers call grown-up childishness. The real distress is the pain of living without purpose, trapped in trivialities.

Dr. Shastri once said that the only purpose of feeding the starving or healing the sick is to make it easier for them to realize God: ‘there is no other purpose; living simply for the sake of living is no purpose.’ In the same way, education and secular knowledge have meaning only if they help towards God-realization; outside that, they are merely juggling with illusions.

God realization is beyond narrow copyrighting, ideas of exclusive possession of truth, the proprietary spirit which is in fact a tribal spirit.

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