Hands in Society and Head in the Forest

‘Hands in society’ means I am in society. I am born in society and I am a part of it.  I grow in society and end in the society. So, no one can say that I don’t have anything to do with society. If anyone says so, it only means there is a lack of understanding. We cannot exist without society. Society is a must for everybody. We are products of society. We are the beneficiaries of society. Therefore, my friends, ‘hands in society’ means or refers to our very base, our very existence, our sustenance, and our maintenance.

The other extreme is ‘head in the forest’. What does this mean? It doesn’t mean that your head is going to be suspended from a tree in the forest, certainly not! The head represents thought and contemplation. The head represents the goal or aim. The head stands for the objective of life. Therefore, while the hands represent action, the head symbolizes the aim, goal and objective of the life.  So, ‘head in the forest’ means the aim or objective of life is not society. The purpose of life is not society.

In the statement ‘head in the forest’, the forest symbolises renunciation. The forest stands for detachment and represents penance. The forest means a life in solitude, aloneness. Therefore, ‘head in the forest’ means that your constant thought should be towards solitude. You have to repeatedly ruminate and travel towards detachment. The purpose is renunciation.

– Sathya Sai Baba

We must not create a wall between our worldly and spiritual lives.

People disorganized in their worldly life search for spiritual wisdom in seclusion; whereas, if organized properly, they can have all the means and resources that are of utmost importance for spiritual enlightenment. The purpose of human life is to make the best use of the resources that nature or God has given us.enlightenmentBut there’s more to it.

There are typically two kinds of people. Some are involved in the world and are busy in their self-centered activities. Others renounce their families and do not participate in worldly life at all. There are very few people who use discrimination, work hard for their self-fulfillment, and at the same time, contribute to the welfare of society. People belonging to these two categories have an incomplete world view, and therefore, strive for their limited goals.

In our modern age, where the standard of living has been facilitated by science and technology, we must learn to make the best use of our ample resources. A lifestyle that is suitable for both worldly fulfillment and spiritual enlightenment is the best.

Those who strive to attain personal enlightenment and help others light their lamps are the true leaders of the human race. ….

Today’s society is waiting for selfless, spiritually enlightened, well-balanced leaders to guide them in how to live happily here and hereafter. Such leaders or reformers will not come from outside our society. They have to be born, raised, and trained right in our own society. We are the ones to become our own guides, our own leaders, and we are the ones to enlighten our own lives…..


—Swami Rama from A Call to Humanity









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