by Ms Shephalie Williams
It is appropriate
and befitting that in this illumined age - the age of the progress of the world of humanity - we should be self-sacrificing
and should serve the human race. Every universal cause is divine and every particular one is temporal. The principles of the
divine Manifestations of God were, therefore, all-universal and all-inclusive.
soul is self-centred and thinketh only of his own good. But as his thoughts expand a little he will begin to think of the
welfare and comfort of his family. If his ideas still more widen, his concern will be the felicity of his fellow citizens;
and if still they widen, he will be thinking of the glory of his land and of his race. But when ideas and views reach the
utmost degree of expansion and attain the stage of perfection, then will he be interested in the exultation of humankind.
He will be the well-wisher of all men and a seeker of the wealth and prosperity of all lands. This is indicative of perfection.
Thus, the Divine
Manifestations of God had a universal and all-inclusive conception. They endeavoured for the sake of everyone’s life
and engaged in the service of universal education. The area of their aims was not limited - nay, rather, it was wide and all-inclusive.
ye must also be thinking of everyone, so that mankind may be educated, character moderated and this world may turn into a
Garden of Eden.
Love ye all religions
and all races with a love that is sincere and show that love through deeds and not through the tongue; for the latter hath
no importance, as the majority of men are, in speech, well-wishers, while action is best.
Raja Yoga Centre reading by Ms Panna Patel
As Brahma Kumaras
and Kumaris, we live our lives based on four pillars:-
Putting the knowledge
To the extent
that we study the spiritual knowledge, have yoga (union) with God, and imbibe that knowledge into our lives, to that extent,
the desire to be of service emerges naturally and easily.
The love of God
is at the heart of service. When we experience God’s love and divine virtues through yoga, we become the instruments
to pass on those experiences to others
In Raja Yoga,
the highest form of service is to reveal the love of God to everyone through our every thought, word and virtuous actions.
The highest donation is considered to be the donation of virtues and spiritual powers to humanity. Our service is to awaken
and strengthen the original virtues that are within each and everyone of us - divine virtues such as love, peace, humility,
benevolence, gratitude and gentleness.
We send vibrations
of peace, love and power to the world, particularly to affected areas and peoples. By linking with God in yoga, and by having
the pure desire to send positive vibrations with a true and honest heart, you feel as though you are actually present and
giving power. In fact once a month, all BK centres around the world, participate in a World Meditation Hour for peace.
has undertaken a number of projects to serve the world and continues to do so. During the UN Year of Peace (1986), the organization
launched The Million Minutes for Peace project world-wide with a purpose of emphasising that peace begins within each individual.
Currently we are promoting a global programme called ‘Just a minute’. This programme encourages people to take
time out, to reflect and to reach out to our families and communities. Practised regularly, just one minute of silence is
guaranteed to change your life for the better
world, BK centres play a significant role in the local community. Activities are designed to involve people in identifying
and implementing the positive spiritual values, ethics and understanding necessary to improve the quality of family, community
and professional life. Ultimately giving blessings and receiving blessings is our service. The opportunity to be of such service
is a blessing. The consciousness of God’s love is a blessing. Our service is to awaken this awareness in others through
sharing of the ancient practice of Raja Yoga - linking with the Raja - the king of souls – God.
by Dr Willie Senanayake
I focus my reading
on “loving kindness and compassion” the two very important human qualities that have been given great emphasis
in Buddhism. According to the teachings of the Buddha, it is important that we nurture and practise loving kindness and compassion
towards others. They are the great removers of tension, the great peace-makers in social conflict, and the great healers of
wounds suffered in the struggle of existence. They level social barriers, build harmonious communities, revive joy and promote
is a prominent feature of the Buddhist way of life promoting good will, care and consideration to all beings , without exception,
to your friends and relatives as well as those who would harm you. This aspect of Buddhism is very challenging as it is often
quite natural for us to dislike or feel anger towards those who do us harm.
Buddha said “All
good works whatever are not worth an iota of the love which sets free the heart. Love which sets the heart free comprises
good work. It shines, gives light and radiance”.
1: 3-5 “Hate is not overcome by hate. By love alone is hate appeased. This is the eternal law”.
From Metta Sutta
Buddha said “Just as a mother, even at the risk of her life, loves and protects her child - so let man cultivate this
Universal Love - towards the whole universe”.
From Metta Sutta
“Whatever living creatures there be, without exception, weak or strong, long, huge or middle sized, or short or bulky,
whether visible or invisible, and those living far or near, the born and those seeking birth, may all things be happy”.
One way of developing
the feeling of broader love towards others is through loving kindness meditation. This is simple and when applied consistently
is also very effective. This essentially involves you generating feelings of loving kindness:
to a close family member or friend,
to a neutral person - someone you know, but have no special feelings toward,
to a hostile person - someone with whom you are currently having difficulty.
this way feelings of hostility are washed away and the destructive energy that has been directed towards the person in mind
can be redirected down more positive channels. The pursuit of happiness is not difficult if we have the right mental attitude.
All human beings have the potential to give and receive love. The more love we give the more we shall receive in return.
The Buddha taught
the following to one of his disciples, Rahila:-
practise loving kindness to overcome anger. Loving kindness has the capacity to bring happiness to others without demanding
anything in return. Practise compassion to overcome cruelty. Compassion has the capacity to remove the suffering of others
without expecting anything in return. Practise sympathetic joy to overcome hatred. Sympathetic joy arises when one rejoices
in the happiness of others and wishes others well-being and success. Practise non-attachment to overcome prejudice. Non-attachment
is the way of looking at all things openly and equally. This is because self and others are not separate. Do not reject one
thing only to chase after another. I call these the four immeasurables. Practise them and you will become a refreshing source
of vitality and happiness for others”.
1 loving kindness
; 2 compassion; 3 sympathetic joy; 4 non-attachment.
of Christians; St Paul’s
letter to the Romans 12 v 1-21. Read by Ms Jill McKenzie
And so I plead
with you to give your bodies to God. Let them be a living sacrifice, holy - the kind He can accept. When you think what He
has done for you, is this too much to ask? Don’t copy the behaviour and customs of this world, but be a new and different
person with a fresh newness in all you do and think. Then you will learn from your own experience how His ways will really
messenger I give each of you God’s warning. Be honest in your estimate of yourselves, measuring your value by how much
faith God has given you. Just as there are many parts to our bodies, so it is with Christ’s body. We are all parts of
it, and it takes every one of us to make it complete, for we each have different work to do. So we belong to each other, and
each needs all the others.
God has given
each of us the ability to do certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, then prophesy whenever
you can - as often as your faith is strong enough to receive a message from God. If your gift is that of serving others, serve
them well. If you are a teacher, do a good job of teaching. If you are a preacher, see to it that your sermons are strong
and helpful. If God has given you money, be generous in helping others with it. If God has given you administrative ability
and put you in charge of the work of others, take the responsibility seriously. Those who offer comfort should do so with
pretend that you love others: really love them. Hate what is wrong. Stand on the side of the good. Love each other with brotherly
affection and take delight in honouring each other. Never be lazy in your work but serve the Lord enthusiastically. Be glad
for all God is planning for you. Be patient in trouble and prayerful always. When God’s children are in need, you be
the one to help them out. And get in the habit of inviting guests home for dinner or, if they need lodging, for the night.
If someone mistreats
you because you are a Christian, don’t curse him; pray that God will bless him. When others are happy, be happy with
them. If they are sad, share their sorrow. Work happily together. Don’t try to act big. Don’t try to get into
the good graces of important people, but enjoy the company of ordinary folk. And don’t think you know it all.
Never pay back
evil for evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honest clear through. Don’t quarrel with anyone.
Be at peace with everyone, just as much as possible.
never avenge yourselves. Leave that to God, for He has said that He will repay those who deserve it. (Don’t take the
law into your own hands) Instead, feed your enemy if he is hungry. If he is thirsty give him something to drink and you will
be “heaping coals of fire on his head”. In other words he will feel ashamed of himself for what he has done to
you. Don’t let evil get the upper hand but conquer evil by doing good.
by Mrs Veena Agarwall
We thank the
organisers of this gathering for having a prayer meeting on the theme ‘Heart of Service’, much needed at a time
when the year is ending and we are preparing for the new year ahead.
We humans are
social creatures. All things in the world are not intended for the exclusive enjoyment of any single person. They are to be
shared by all. Our survival depends on each other and is very important for our wellbeing. We cannot exist without one another
helping in some way.
We must convince
ourselves that life cannot continue for long without others serving one another. Master-servant, ruler-ruled, employer-employee,
parents-children, all these are bound by mutual service. Everyone is a sevak (servant). Our dependency and the need to serve
one another is a key form of spiritual practice for the Hindu. Particulary selfless service when one performs right action
and one achieves purity of heart it leads to the acquisition of the higher spiritual knowledge. When right action is coupled
with spiritual wisdom (Janaana) there is true service.To feel that one should be the sole enjoyer of the results of one’s
actions is a sign of selfishness.
by Dr Anita Shroot
"Be not like servants who serve the master for the sake
of receiving reward, but ratherbe like servants who serve the master for the sake of the awe of Heaven to be on you" Simon
the Righteous via Antigonas.
"Good for the sake of good - for the sake of Heaven".
by Mr Ahmed Youssef
from the Qur’an are first in Arabic. The English translation is below.
And know that
God’s Apostle is among you: were he to comply with your inclinations in each and every case, you would be bound to come
to harm (as a community). But as it is God has caused your faith to be dear to you, and has given it beauty in your hearts,
and has made hateful to you all denial of the truth and all iniquity and all rebellion against what is good. Such indeed are
they who follow the right course.
No calamity can
ever befall (man) unless it be by God’s leave: hence, whoever believes in God guides (his) own heart (towards this truth)
and God has full knowledge of everything.
Sathya Sai reading
by Mr Mark Durr.
To me Service
is a practical method of developing spirituality. Sathya Sai Baba says “The best way to Love God is to Love All and
Serve All” and “Hands that help are holier than the lips that pray”.
Human life is
one of compassion; time is sacred; the heart is pure and the mind is nectarous. Having been blessed with such a sacred human
birth, what is man supposed to do? What is the foundation on which the mansion of life is to be built? Every man aspires for
peace and happiness. How can one lead a peaceful life?
It is possible
only when he puts human values into practice. Human values do not need to be acquired from outside; they are latent in every
man. If such values are forgotten how can man progress in life? In the first instance, man should enquire into the purpose
of his birth.
Human life is
based on samata (equality) , samaikyata (unity), saubhratrutvam (fraternity) and saujanyam (nobility). They constitute the
very foundation of the mansion of life. Life will be meaningless even if one of them is absent. Everone must cultivate and
safeguard these four virtues. First of all, man should recognise the meaning of humanness.
neeti (morality); righteousness confers khyati (reputation); thyaga (sacrifice) is the Jyoti (light) of life; manava jathi
(human race) is a combination of these three - neeti, khyati and jyoti. But man today is neglecting the principles of truth,
righteousness and sacrifice. He has to adhere to these principles not for the sake of society but for his own redemption.
If you expect to be respected by all, you have to develop self-respect, which is the basis of human life. One who lacks self-respect
cannot command respect from others. First and foremost, man should respect others and share his love with others wholeheartedly.
This is the primary duty of man. Man is not merely a vyashti jivi ( individual), he is a samashti jivi ( part and parcel of
society). Viaashti relates to jivudu (individual), samashti relates to devudu (God). Man has to travel from level of individual
to level of society. What is the path prescribed for this?
Firstly man has
to recognise the common principle of jeevana jyoti (light of life) that is present in all. The principle of Samatvan (equality)
can be experienced and practised only when man understands the principle of ekatvam (unity). The service activities that we
undertake are meant to experience unity in society. It is a great mistake if you think you are serving others. In fact you
should not consider anybody as ‘other’, for all are embodiments of divinity. But man is not making efforts to
realise this truth. Hence he is subject to difficulties. Once man realises that God is all-pervasive, he will be free from
suffering. In order to get rid of suffering, man has to practise the principle of unity in society. Once he understands the
principle of unity, he can attain the Cosmic principle.
reading by Ms Jennifer Quinn.
By Kotama Okada,
founder of Sukyo Mahikari, from “Golden Teachings”.
the spirit of service and try to enable members to offer service by establishing various systems for this. The aim is to enable
everyone to grow spiritually and be of service in promoting the present stage of God’s plan. Unfortunately, some people
think that God exists only to grant them blessings and favours. There is nothing worse than faith that tries to take advantage
of God for one’s own ends. To grow steadily, centres need to enable members to understand the meaning of service and
help them to offer service on their own initiative.
God is trying
to establish a new civilisation in this age of ways contrary to divine principles. Strive to harmonise your innermost attitude
with the will of God so that you will be able to play a role in His great plan. It is important to abandon the desire to let
God do all the work and to cultivate the sincere desire quickly to become a soul who can be of service to Him.
In faith directed
toward God, your innermost attitude is what is important to God. This is why service offered with gratitude on your own initiative
will lead to the growth and prosperity of your centre.”