One eminent economist wrote a book entitled 1975. He has announced in that book that between 1975 and 1980 there will be a great famine in this country, when ten to twenty crores of people may die. He has forecast a great famine in India the like of which has not been recorded in the history of the world. But we will read this and continue to live as before. We shall see when the year 1978 comes. We will pray to God, make big religious sacrifices. God is always on our side! If God is not on our side, at least the sadhus and saints, the agents of God, are on our side. We will again pray to them. We are always praying to them, and they are always misguiding us. They will again go on telling us the same things as they have done thousands of times before, without any results. But we are not ready to think! Whenever calamity comes, the same teachers come and we go on only asking them! We have never thought of applying our own minds to the situation.
Now we will have to think; otherwise, in the near future we will not only be poor and hungry but our soul will also become poor and hungry. It can also happen that compared to those who have gone before, our soul and consciousness can fall backwards. If we continue to live like this it is very possible that there will be no difference between us and the primitives living in the jungle. During the next fifty years we may reach the condition where the present difference between us and the primitives will be the difference between America, Russia, Europe and ourselves.
Even now the whole world is afraid of us, because they see that the vastness of our begging country is so much that it is very difficult to satisfy the needs. Now they are also not ready to do anything. Twenty years ago they had thought that if they helped us, everything would be alright. But with their help we only continued to increase our population. We are aggravating our problems. Now for them the situation will become very unhappy, if the poor Eastern countries, especially countries like India, go on increasing their population, and if they go on living without adequate food and clothing, because it is difficult to tolerate such great misery and poverty in one part of the earth, when the other part is rolling in riches.
…But what are we doing?
If we look at the problems of our life all around, if we take a newspaper and read, I do not think we are even thinking about any of the big problems of our country. What are we thinking? We are arguing about the water of the river Narmada: does it belong to Madhya Pradesh or Gujarat? It is very difficult to find as foolish people as us. Our newspapers are full of controversies regarding a district remaining in Mysore or Maharashtra! Bullets will rain on innocent people! Our problems are not problems but diseases. We are not trying to solve the problems of life that are being faced by us. When these problems catch hold of us, we cry and weep; then there is only one remedy and that is to pray to God! When we could do something, when we had time to solve the problems, we wasted our time in controversies, and when we become helpless later we have no alternative except to pray to God.
Remember that even God does not listen to those who only pray. He listens to those who work so hard that even God feels that something should be done. If there is a God anywhere, he helps those who help themselves.