Fire of Devotion
In Spiritual Heritage, a story is told by Maharaj Charan Singh that illustrates several beautiful aspects of the path. One of these aspects is the fact that Masters create the kindling for fires of devotion in their disciples and then light those fires.
This point is beautifully illustrated in a chapter titled “Devotee by Maharaj Ji’s Choice,” where we read that during an evening meeting at Dera, someone asked Hazur, “Who was Shadi?” In response, Hazur related the tale of a dacoit, who broke into people’s homes to steal and also sometimes stole cattle. He used to sit on the road leading to Beas and harass people going to see the Great Master, sometimes even stealing their belongings. Many satsangis complained to the Great Master, but he “would just smile and keep quiet.”
Finally, one of the respected men in Shadi’s village stopped and asked Shadi why he was always trying to frighten people. He also spoke to him of Maharaj Sawan Singh. As Hazur related, Shadi slowly began to listen and then one day decided to go to the Dera himself. Great Master was giving satsang when he got there, and Shadi heard him say to the sangat, “You will have to pay for what you are doing.” In telling this story, Hazur explained that Shadi was a Muslim and didn’t believe in karma. Hazur then said, “But the words of the Great Master had taken root in his heart and would not leave him.”
Shadi couldn’t forget those words and eventually begged the village elder to take him to the Master; there he asked for initiation, which he was granted after promising to repay everyone he had stolen from. He gave away his house and everything he owned and moved to the Dera.
Shadi then became a very devoted disciple, living for years as the Dera blacksmith and Great Master’s personal attendant. In fact, he never again left the colony.
Great Master lit a fire inside Shadi, just as the Master is lighting a fire in each one of us. We fuel his fire with meditation, with simran, and with our efforts to become better human beings. Isn’t it lovely to feel the warmth of his flame? Isn’t it deeply satisfying to see that, yes, we are actually becoming, ever so slowly, through his grace, satsangis rather than simply initiates?
Maharaj Charan Singh continuously told us that our meditation is nothing but a way to make us receptive to his love. As we become receptive, we begin to experience life differently. We shake our heads and laugh a little more; we endure pain and sorrow differently, remembering the Giver. We copy him as we try to cultivate a tiny portion of the compassion and patience for others that he shows us.
Even though the changes may be slow and may feel small, they are no small thing. These are signs of our growing relationship with the Master. The Master says that this is not a path of sound and light; it is a path of love, and we are blowing on the flames of that love every day in our meditation, blowing those little flames into a roaring fire of devotion.
I made a close and careful search
And found that worry for the future is useless.
Kabir the Great Mystic