Our Actions Tell the Story
What do we tell a child who constantly repeats the same mistakes after saying he is sorry? How would we respond to a devoted spouse who claims that he or she loves us dearly but does not make any time for us? What would we say to disciples who declare they want God-realization but cannot get themselves to sit for meditation?
The answer would probably be unanimous: “you don’t mean what you say.” If we care about someone or something enough, we will always be moved to show it through our actions, no matter how difficult the task may be. So if we are slack in our meditation, could it be because we do not really care about realizing God?
When we take stock of our actions, we realize that this is not necessarily the case. For if it was, why would we have sought initiation? Why do we still try to get up every morning and put in an effort to sit for meditation? Why do we constantly seek inspiration through satsangs and Sant Mat literature if we really do not care?
The reason why we do not translate our words into action on this path is not because we do not care; it is because we do not fully understand the severity of our situation.
We simply cannot comprehend how powerful the mind is and how difficult it is to tame, nor do we realize what a limited amount of time we have.
You who talk of tomorrow, should realize that with every day that passes the evil tree grows more vigorous, while he whose duty it is to dig it up by the roots is getting old and feeble.
Maharaj Charan Singh, Spiritual Discourses, Vol. I
With every day that passes our habits are becoming more rigid, we are less flexible in our outlook, less capable of change, and our bodies are not as cooperative as they used to be. How then can we expect to do better meditation later on in our lives if we cannot do it today?
Saints have often explained to us that our spiritual endeavour carries a great sense of urgency; it is not something we can afford to take lightly, for we have already invested many millions of lifetimes to have come this far. What is at stake here is nothing less than our very own divine legacy – the attainment of self-and God-realization.
We are too poor to dilly-dally and too needy to procrastinate. If we have the right intention, then it has to be translated into the right action now, for anything well-said or well-intended will unfortunately always fade away into oblivion unless it is well-done.
There is a painting by Jean-Francois Millet, entitled The Angelus, where he depicts two peasants, a man and a woman, with their heads bowed in silence as they attend to their evening prayer. At their feet there is a large basket of potatoes, a pitchfork and a wheelbarrow with bags containing the fruit of their labour – all set aside as they observe their evening ritual. A church sits on the horizon and a light falls from the sky. This light does not fall on the man and the woman however, and neither does it fall on the church. That light illumines the pitchfork and the wheelbarrow at the couple’s feet, reiterating the fact that God’s divine glance will always fall over the work of our hands – our efforts and our actions.