“Trinidad is a blessed land but we need to focus on the positives to ensure the rich legacy of our forebears lives on,” advises SWAHA’s Spiritual Head, His Holiness Paramacharya Pt. Hardeo Persad, whenever the topic of Indian Arrival is discussed. Having arrived in Trinidad and Tobago some 172 years ago, our ancestors settled here and their allegiance, love and loyalty for this our Maatri Bhoomi must be sustained for meaningful progress.
Paramacharya encourages all citizens to look upon this land as their Mother. He says, “Rise from your slumber and seriously consider the impact of your choices on the level of blessedness and beauty of this our beloved nation. All of us need to make a collective effort to ensure that principles, values and moral behaviour are firmly upheld. I wish to present the recipe for sustained blessedness for us and our nation. This recipe is taken from Uttar Kand of Shri Raamcharitramaanas and holds the key ingredients for success at all levels:
- Practice of intense devotion by the citizenry
- Material wealth to be dispensed in charity
- The intellect should be engaged in the work of enlightened activity
- Sincere regard and respect must be accorded the holy ones
- The administration of justice must be initiated by the leader
- Honour and dignity must be bestowed upon all mothers, sisters and daughters.
Every religion speaks of devotion, and in our country of religious diversity, the flow of sincere and intense devotion from all sides will certainly redound to the benefit of the entire nation. Cessation of this flow in its pure form, however, stagnates our quest towards civility and respect for each other.
Truth and straightforwardness must be the watchwords of all leaders. Religious leaders are the watch-dogs of society, yet many have fallen because of unprincipled behaviour. Some wear the garb but do not live up to their roles genuinely. Principles must never be compromised if we are to attract sustained blessings in our lives.
Even our wealth acquires increased value when it is used for constructive purposes and for the benefit of others. However, with the mad rush to build material resources, everything today is measured in dollars and cents. In the rat race of life, greed appears to far outweigh man’s need. This greed can never be satiated.
Enlightened activity is conducive to prosperity, hope and wellbeing. However, when egoistic attitudes, false pride, arrogance and other materialistic cravings take precedence over principles, the result is degradation, disgrace, exposure and loss. Indeed, the intellect that has a skewed focus is unable to be directed towards enlightened efforts and consequently, blessedness becomes merely a wish.
Each of us must exercise the right options and do our part in adding to the blessedness of this land that was nurtured by the sweat, toil and rich heritage of all ancestors whose wealth needs to be managed efficiently by us in order to bring glory to our nation.
Hope lies in our firm resolve to maintain this beatitude, optimism and wellbeing with every breath and in every spot of earth of our nation.