The Wings of His Love
As long as you are proud, you cannot know God. A proud man is always looking down on things and people: and, of course, as long as you are looking down, you cannot see something that is above you.
C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
There is an old fable about a tortoise that became very tired of his humble abode. Admiring the two ducks gliding across the sky, he too longed to soar to great heights and visit unknown lands. His great desire led the tortoise to call upon the two ducks for help. The two kind-hearted ducks explained to the tortoise that the best way for him to travel would be for the tortoise to grasp the middle of a stick with his mouth, while the two ducks would hold on to the two ends and lift him up. The tortoise followed their instructions, and held on tightly to the stick with his mouth. It was quite a sight to see, the two ducks flying the tortoise towards the clear blue sky. Everyone looked up in awe commenting at how fortunate the tortoise was. But the tortoise, unfortunately, became very conscious of all their praise. A crow flying just below them exclaimed: “This must surely be the king of tortoises.” Looking down at the crow, “Why certainly!” began the tortoise, but just as he opened his mouth to utter such vain and foolish words, he lost his grip and fell to his demise.
We too long to soar to greater heights on the wings of our Master’s love – and as we embark on our spiritual journey with this true yearning, the Master pays heed to our cries. Kind-hearted and merciful, living saints often grant us our soul’s deepest desire to know them – and they reveal to us just a tiny glimpse of their true nature. In their own subtle way, they allow us to discover that they are the guiding force that weaves the very fabric of our existence, and they open our eyes to the daily miracles that take place in front of us at all times. This awareness that they grant us is a gift. It is nothing that we could have possibly earned on our own merit, but we are told to digest it and persevere in silence and let the Lord do the rest. Like the tortoise, all we need to do is hold on tight and enjoy the ride.
However, the ride is so beautiful and the lessons learnt are so inspiring that we are awed by our own discoveries. Flying on the wings of his love is like nothing we have ever experienced before, and we often feel the need to share our newfound understanding and joy with others. Unfortunately though, pride creeps up on us in the most inconspicuous of ways. Maharaj Ji once cautioned a disciple against speaking about inner experiences. He lovingly explains in Spiritual Perspectives, Vol. II, “It is not in one’s own interest to share one’s inner experiences with anyone, because unconsciously there is always ego in it. We definitely become a victim of our ego, and the moment you become a victim of the ego, your progress stops and you lose what you have.” On another occasion he went on to explain, “Unnecessarily people start giving you importance, and the moment any importance is given to anybody, there’s always the danger of his falling.” Like the tortoise, we start to see ourselves as superior to others – and so long as we are busy looking down, we lose focus on what is above.
Falling from grace hurts, and losing consciousness of his divine presence in our life can be the most painful experience a disciple can ever go through. So how do we protect ourselves from the latent dangers presented by our ego? Like all valuable treasures, the Lord’s precious gifts to us must be kept secure and hidden. In the olden days, during times of war, when people had to flee their country overnight and leave all their belongings behind – and whatever little they could carry would be rummaged through for valuables – they would swallow their precious stones and diamonds to hide them somewhere where nobody could possibly find them, deep within themselves. Maharaj Ji has often told us that we too need to digest our love. And the secret, as he so beautifully explains, is that:
The more you digest, the more you get. The more you feel, the more it grows. Keep it to yourself. You see, love is only shared with the beloved, not with anyone else. It should remain between the two of you. It has to grow in secret.
Spiritual Perspectives, Vol. II
How extraordinary it is that the Lord is inviting us to be his secret lover. And what could be a better time and place to meet than in the stillness of the night, deep within, at the eye centre? Our relationship with our Master is indeed a very intimate one – and words can never adequately express how we truly feel. So why waste them? Maharaj Charan Singh explains in Spiritual Perspectives, Vol. III, “Words are a very poor expression for the lover. He doesn’t want to waste words unnecessarily or even express them. His expression is not by words. He has another way of expressing his love. It is his tears and eyes.”
We seal our lips and our eyes swell up with tears when we are truly humbled by his immense generosity. In reality, just like the tortoise, we did absolutely nothing to deserve this precious opportunity and we are simply being carried on the wings of the Lord’s grace. True lovers of the Lord never forget this – they know that but for the Lord’s mercy, they would not have even an ounce of love in their hearts.
The disciple will never love the Master unless the Master plants that seed of love in the heart of the disciple, unless he nourishes that seed in the disciple, strengthens that seed in the disciple, pulls the disciple towards him. His inner hand of strengthening that seed of love is always there at the back.
Maharaj Charan Singh, Spiritual Perspectives, Vol. III
How foolish then to forget for even a second that the only love we have is the love that he has bestowed upon us; the only importance we have is the importance that he has planted in our hearts and that ultimately, we are just fortunate souls who have been given the opportunity to soar alongside greatness. When all we seek is his love, we need to learn how to protect it – and as he has so clearly explained to us, the best way to do so is to digest it within.