Service means giving of oneself without expecting anything in return. In our present society, we think that the more we gain for ourselves, the happier we’ll be. But in fact – as we are all realizing – inner happiness lies in giving more, not taking more. Giving is indeed receiving. When we give, we increase our sense of connection and feeling of oneness with all people and all things. Indeed, with the essence of all. The transformation of selfishness to selflessness is the transformation from limitedness to limitlessness – from our ego to the Supreme Consciousness. In this process, our radius of love gradually increases to encompass the whole universe.
People get depressed when they feel disconnected, cut off from the joys and sorrows of the rest of the world, imprisoned in their concerns. But the more we expand our sense of self and connection with others, the more we feel that we’re all in this cosmic drama together. That feeling of connection comes from daily introspection and service. The more you feel connected internally, the more you feel like sharing your love. And the more you share it, the more you feel it internally. The two aspects – self-realization and service – are complimentary, feeding into each other as a river feeds into the sea, the seawater in turn evaporating and feeding back into the river in a beautiful cycle of integrated oneness.
It is action that makes a person great. Be great by your sadhana (spiritual practice), by your service, and by your sacrifice.
The spiritual philosophy of Ananda Marga recognizes that God is one and that the universe is the creation of His mental thought-waves. Thus it is said: “Brahma is the absolute truth, and the universe is also truth, but relative.” The diversities of this universe are the transitory transformations of part of His infinite cosmic “body” in a never-ending flow. This implies that life and the universe will never end, but that parts of it are continuously being created from Him and concurrently merging back into Him.
The universe exists as an ever-changing, constantly moving phenomenon. He has transformed a part of Himself into the drama of the world. But He is also beyond all relativity and transitory existence – beyond time, space, and mind. He is the Causal Entity. One cannot even begin to imagine Him, let alone speak about Him.
He is infinite.
He has no beginning and no end.
He is the unbroken flow of pure and serene bliss
stretching from beginninglessness to endlessness.
— Shrii Shrii Anandamurti
Introduction to the Spiritual Philosophy of Ananda Marga
To establish harmony between the spiritual and material worlds, Ananda Marga advocates a balance between the internal and external aspects of life. Self-realization is the foremost duty of human beings. But at the same time, we cannot neglect our social responsibilities, as this world is also a part of the Supreme Being. The universe, having been created of and by Him, exists within Him – is a part of Him. As such, all created beings are His children, part of the one cosmic family. Love for His creation is the same as love for Him. To neglect society would only hamper personal progress because one would be ignoring the very thing one is trying to attain. Ours is a subjective approach with objective adjustment. That is, it is a balance between personal development by the expansion of mind through meditation and the fulfillment of social responsibilities by selfless service.
The social philosophy of Ananda Marga is one of universalism: fraternity for all creatures of the universe, not just human beings, but animals and plants too. “It is the cosmic ideal alone which will unify humanity,” because only when one realizes the unity in all diversity can the feeling of love for every created being be developed, transcending all apparent differences. Love for God implies love for all as a part of Him; as members of the same universal family.
The social philosophy of Ananda Marga advocates the development of the integrated personality of the individual. All should have equal opportunities for their development. Ananda Marga promotes a world of unity, security, and peace for all.
Introduction to the Social Philosophy of Ananda Marga