How does character unite humanity?
The sapling has to be tended very carefully, so that it could grow into a mighty tree in the right manner and serve the people well. To whatever country you may belong, cultivation of character is essential at any point of time. There is no such thing as American character, Russian character and so on. Character is common to the entire humanity. There is only one caste, the caste of Humanity; one language, the language of Heart; one Religion, the Religion of Love. Whatever country you may hail from, whatever language you speak and whichever faith you follow, you should maintain sterling human character.
Divine Discourse 19 July 1997
What is the hall mark of character?
If you say that the world is not a bed of roses but is a place of misery, the fault lies in you, the inhabitants. It is Character that marks the life of a good individual. If you go through history you will find that in the ancient days people were noted for their control of senses. Take the example of Janaka, the great ruler and father of Seetha, offering his daughter in marriage to Rama immediately after the latter broke the Shiva Dhanush (the formidable bow of Shiva), in terms of the proclamation made by him. When Janaka repeatedly asked Rama to look at Seetha and take her hand, Rama looked in a different direction because he should not look at a woman till he tied the wedding knot around her neck. This is the ideal propagated by the great Avatar Rama.
Divine Discourse 19 July 1997
How should youth protect character?
Later on, when Lakshmana followed Rama and Seetha to the forest and stayed with them for fourteen long years he never once looked at the face of Seetha who was just an eighteen year old damsel. Abundant testimony to this exemplary behavior of Lakshmana is borne by the episode when Rama and Lakshmana acquired the friendship of the monkey-king Sugreeva. Sugreeva bade the monkeys to bring the bundle of jewels dropped by Seetha when she was being abducted by Ravana. When Rama saw this he was overwhelmed and asked Lakshmana to identify whether they belonged to Seetha. But Lakshmana respectfully said, “I can only identify the anklets worn by mother Seetha as I used to worship her feet every day. I cannot identify the bangles or necklace worn by her as I have never looked up at her face.” Because of such worthy and laudable behaviour, they are remembered even today, though thousands of years have passed. Youth should protect Character in that way. Both men and women should consider character as their very life breath.
Divine Discourse 19 July 1997