On the night of St. Nicholas's Vespers Celebrations, Swamiji gave a beautiful talk and so here are some excerpts from that talk with some pictorial impressions to go with it.
"Saint Nicholas is one of the most famous Saint in the Christian world. Why is he famous? Because he symbolizes charity. The importance of charity. You see, in life different people are called for different things and they are put accordingly where they have to be. God guides each step of each person. Each thought you have, it is He who put it there. Each step that one takes, He is the One guiding the person. What is important is that one has to learn to be patient and see. One has to be in tune and wait for that.
Often, people see mostly the negative in other people. They don´t see the positivity. So behind all that, the soul is God. That´s what Christ said “The least you do to my brothers, you do it onto me! “ Even Krishna said it in the Gita “The one, the true yogi, sees Me everywhere and knows that I am the only present God which is in every action which is working through everything“....so it´s God manifesting through His creation. Why then is it difficult for spiritual people to perceive this? He is the One doing everything. You can just surrender. You can just say “Hold my hand and bring me.” All the Saints which are around here, they didn´t become Saints just like this, by sitting not doing anything or by criticising everybody else. They had faith. They had trust. In whom? More than in themselves, they had trust in God. And through that trust they learned to accept every moment.
The life of Saint Nicholas was a hardship but a hardship with love for God. Hardship doesn´t mean that you sit in a corner and pity yourself. It´s not about that. It´s about loving every moment, even if it is difficult. So, this charity that he gave, is not just giving charity like that. He gave charity with love. Love, not thinking behind the mind “I am doing it for Christ!” No! Love that...wherever, whatever he is doing it is for God. Whether God knows it or not, it doesn´t matter.
Take what is good from people around you. Why do you have to hang on the negativity of people? Each person carries their own negative and positive qualities. This is the dual nature of man. This is how God has created man. But He has given you the choice, whether to hang on to the negative or to take the positive. Understand that negativity is more spicy, misery is more spicy, self-pity is more spicy. But where will that lead you? Think about, where would that lead you? Nowhere. You will fall in your own hole which you are digging for yourself.
You can create a fantasy of loving, you can create a fantasy of surrendering but if you're fake towards yourself you will not advance anywhere. Even if you pretend to advance, you know, you will fall.
The message in the lives of all these great Saints, all these great ones, is to surrender. I've been saying this word “surrender” for so many years, but only a few people know what it really is. I've been talking about love and I realized that even with one hand I can count down the people who really know about that. A few people’s way of thinking of love is different. “Why is Swami not looking at me, he doesn´t love me, huhuhuhu!” Things like that. If you know how much I love you all. There is no use talking. If you knew how much God loves you, how much He cares for you. There is no question of being miserable because one doesn´t know about it that´s why one finds it difficult.
Of course you don't need to become like him. You can just try your best, you know. This happens through the prayer of all the Saints. Through the prayers of Holy Nicholas, who is my favourite Saint, you know. He's one Saint that whenever I needed him, he was there, he is there, he's here. That's why we're celebrating him today.