The world, as we know it today, has its share of flaws. Many a time one is left to wonder what kind of legacy we might be leaving behind for our children. Everywhere we look, every news channel we switch on, we experience a sense of restlessness, a lack of peace.
Religions, which were created to help humankind find some sort of spiritual anchor, are now being torn apart and have become convenient excuses for the many atrocities the world is experiencing. People proudly fight one another in the name of religion, not for a minute realizing that at the crux of it all, we all share one religion – the religion of humanity. Each one of us, irrespective of our race, creed or caste, has one common identity – we are all children of that one Lord.
All spiritual teachers have come, bringing one and the same message that God is within each one of us. How then can we see differences between people? The question to ask ourselves is what can we do to change things? Surely, we cannot go about changing the ideas of every other person we know. It was Mahatma Gandhi who once said, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”
For all of us on this path, our aim is to achieve God-realization. We want to become one with Him. Is it possible to achieve God-realization without loving His creation? The Masters have explained that it is through our devotion to the Lord that all good qualities come within us – the more we love the Lord, the more we find ourselves loving His creation, loving one another – it makes us truly human.
There is a story told by Tolstoy about a shoemaker who in a dream heard Christ telling him, “Today I will come to you.” The next morning, the man woke up and went to work. During the day, he saw a hungry woman and gave her food. An old man passed by feeling cold, so the shoemaker let him in to keep him warm. Later on, he took care of a child who was having trouble with his mother. At the end of the day, the man went home, and just before sleeping remembered that his dream had not come true. It is then that he heard the same voice again, “My dear friend, did you not recognize me? I was that woman, I was that old man, I was the child and his mother. You met me and you helped me. I was with you the whole day.”
The man was carrying out spontaneous acts of kindness towards complete strangers, and in that way, was reaching out to God. Our tendency as humans is to mostly see the bad in others. We are quick to judge, and quicker to pull others down on their way up to success. It is this very attitude that will eventually prevent us from achieving our goal in life. It is this attitude that creates disharmony in the world we live in today. We cannot change the way the world thinks, but every act of kindness that we perform, every good deed that we do selflessly, multiplies in ways that we are unable to imagine.
I have often said that it is a pity that people hate and cut each other’s throat in the name of religion, which should rather fill them with love and devotion for the Lord. It is through love, forgiveness, and the serving of humanity that one’s life becomes a single vision of the sublime beauty of God. Unfortunately, we forget the real teachings of the mystics and unnecessarily arrest them in some rigid organization, thereby giving them the shape of a religion or cult. Religion should make us at least human, if not divine.
Maharaj Charan Singh, Legacy of Love
As human beings, it is very important to be conscious of our humanity. It is the one religion that we can all practise, one that will carry forward and help people treat each other with love and respect. It is the greatest legacy that we can leave behind.