The good serve their families, the saintly serve the world
In a companion blog, I described the story of a friend from college – Alok Sagar – who after a great education, a doctorate in Engineering from Rice University in USA and a faculty job suddenly dropped it all, to take to the forests as a hermit and began service to forest Tribals, wild life and forests of Central India. He is now known as Maharishi Alok a title of great respect for the spiritual and the educated. In the comments to that post a family friend expressed disappointment and said the family had tried to convince him not to take that road.
Good men and women of the world strive to succeed in their worldly careers and serve their families through that success while reserving a portion of their time, effort and money to serve the world, others in need, quietly, anonymously whenever possible for a deed of compassion does not emerge from a desire for worldly rewards.
However, the saintly serve the world instead. Buddha and Jesus abandoned their families (although after ensuring that they are provided for) as do many other lesser humans, still encumbered with human weaknesses, but who take to the spiritual path seeking purification. In a few cases, the wives of some spiritual persons such as Gandhi and Kabir became their companions on the spiritual path, giving up the worldly and material wealth along with them. The world needs them, for they serve many families of the world not just their own. The world needs the likes of Alok Maharishi who has helped restore some of the forests of Central India.There are a variety of other situations, where good humans may find themselves trapped in where, despite their best intentions, they are unable to be of much service to their families. Such persons, rather than viewing this as an adversity, must view it as an opportunity to serve the world at large, for while selfish persons are born to feather their own nest and fatten their behinds before they may be pushed into the bottomless pit by circumstance and Universe, good humans are born to sing the song of a joyous universe in which all life is parts of a single whole. Through this they shall attain unto sainthood even if they did not start of as that.
The demonic on the other hand seek profit from the world without caring for the harm they may bring to others in their pursuits. The foulest of them wear the garb of hypocrisy, that they are performing a public service. They do carry out some charitable acts but they announce it to the world, shout about it from roof tops and ask the world to place them on a throne of honor, a throne broad enough to fit their generous behinds, for while compassion dwells in the upper cavities of a human, greed dwells in its lower ones. They may share the profit with their families, they often do, but in reality they only harm themselves, their families and the world. These demonic persons are born for the destruction of the world.