LORD RAMA AND AYODHYA [Tale to Understand the Importance of Having a sense of Patriotism for One's Own Country at all times!] In Ramayana, after the death of Ravana, Vibhisbana fell at the feet of Rama and said, "Swami, I never aspired to be the King of Lanka. I only wanted my brother to give up his bad qualities. I pray to you to take over the Kingdom of Lanka." All the rakshasas also came and prayed to Rama that he should become King of Lanka. Lakshmana also supported them saying, "O brother, Bharatha is already ruling over Ayodhya. Even if you return to Ayodhya, you may not be crowned as the King. So, I request you to take over this kingdom and transform all the rakshasas.Lanka is full of golden mansions. Where else can you find such a beautiful place? I will be very happy if you rule over this Kingdom." Rama lovingly took Lakshmana close to him and said, "Lakshmana, how could you get such a silly desire? Just because one's mother is ugly, can he call any other beautiful woman as his mother? Even though my country is poor compared to Lanka, I still consider it as my mother. Lanka may be full of gold, but I don't want it"!! ********* SPIRITUAL COMMENTARY What a tremendous patriotism Lord Rama had for his own kingdom Ayodhya! He respected and adored his kingdom like his own "mother" as, any country we belong to becomes our "motherland" since we have been nurtured and brought up in that country, like how a mother nurtures her child. We should develop this kind of love and faith towards our country. Parents and teachers should inculcate such spirit of patriotism in their children and students. We should declare wholeheartedly with a sense of pride that this is my country, this is my mother tongue. A man's country is not a certain area of land, of mountains, rivers, and woods, but it is a principle and patriotism is loyalty to that principle.Unless our conception of patriotism is progressive, it cannot hope to embody the real affection and the real interest of the nation. We should love and serve our homeland; at the same time not hate or hurt the homeland of others. We should not indulge in criticizing other countries or people belonging to other nations. Having trust and faith in our own country, we won't try to put down any other country. We should never bring grief or sorrow to our country. To have pride in our own motherland is important. There are millions of educated men and women all over the world, but how many really benefit or contribute to the society's progress? We are utilising our education for our own selfishness and self-interest alone.We have to eschew selfishness and self-interest and make our education useful by resolving to serve the society and our country,for its progress and development.That way we should make the best use of our education we have recieved. Let us respect and revere our elders and our country and set an ideal to humanity.Let our conduct befit the degrees we have acquired.Education is meant to broaden the mind.Education and discrimination should go hand in hand. The prosperity of the nation depends on the progress we make in the field of education.The future of the nation rests on the students and the dynamic youths a nation produces and nurtures. Every Nation has stocked plenty of wealth for us. What is this wealth? It is the spirit of sacrifice, which can be acquired through service to society. "Karmanu bandheeni Manushyaloke", human society is bound by action. "Sareeramadhyam Khalu Dharma Sadhanam", the body is gifted in order to undertake righteous actions, not to eat, drink and make merry. We must render service to others till our last breath. The essence of 18 Puranas can be summed up in one phrase: "Paropakarah Punyaya Papaya Parapeedanam." HELP EVER; HURT NEVER. Set an ideal, which is helpful and delightful to one and all!! "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country." - John.F.Kennedy.