The Lord’s Children
The Iron Age is a hard and brutal time; there is no denying this. However, for initiates, even now there is real cause for great joy every day for the rest of our lives – no matter in what physical and material conditions we may find ourselves.
The present living Master offers us daily challenges. He exhorts us to do our meditation faithfully, punctually and determinedly every day. However, he wants more from us; he challenges us to focus, to prioritize, not to worry and to be joyous and positive.
Obviously, if we are meditating properly, the challenges to our mindset will be dealt with more easily. Equally obviously, with a mind focused and joyous, meditation will come more easily. These are, in fact, two sides of the same coin.
In the midst of the world’s pain it is indeed a challenge to develop a mindset that is focused, positive and joyous. One might even ask: Is it appropriate to be joyous when so many of our fellow human beings are starving, living in misery and dying painful deaths? Do we have any right to be joyous?
In a beautiful poem in The Odes of Solomon we read:
Let all the Lord’s children praise Him,
and let us receive the truth of His faith.
His children will be acknowledged by Him:
therefore let us sing in His love.
We live in the Lord by His grace,
and eternal life we receive from His Messiah.
For a great day has shone upon us,
and marvellous is He who has given us His glory.
The poet has given us many reasons why we should legitimately feel this joy. Firstly, he calls us “the Lord’s children”; then he says the Lord will acknowledge his children; and we will receive eternal life from the Messiah. Surely there can be no more joyous thought than that we are the Lord’s children and that he acknowledges us as such. We may not always consider it to be a blessing or source of joy to be in this human body, yet it is an incredibly precious gift. Maharaj Charan Singh says:
The first and most important thing for an initiate, is to realize the great value of human life and the true purpose for which the Lord has conferred this rare gift on us. A soul comes into human life after sometimes passing millions of ages in the lower subhuman species in which God-realization is not possible. This privilege and capacity to return to our eternal home has been given to human beings alone.
Quest for Light
Happily for us, we have no memory of those millions of ages in the lower subhuman species. But what a terrible thought to have spent so long trapped in those plant, insect, bird and animal bodies. Surely then, one should now wake up every morning rejoicing.
One of the closest human relationships is that of a parent and child. If we were asked to describe the perfect parent, what words would we use? We would imagine our perfect mother or father to be always patient, kind, loving, forgiving, good-humoured, dependable, honest and available to us. All initiates have such a parent: who never lets us down, who always loves us, and who loves us enough to discipline us for our own good. We have the Master, who is the earthly embodiment or representative of the Lord – the Master who initiates his marked souls and brings us back to him. Saints try to explain who or what the Master really is, but words are very one-dimensional when trying to describe him. Saint Paltu tells us simply and clearly:
Know that the saint and the Lord are one.
There exists not the least difference between them …
Says Paltu, know this to be true,
That the Lord abides in the saint,
And the saint in the Lord.
Saint Paltu, His Life and Teachings
The Master, through initiation, puts an end to our comings and goings, and secures our eventual return to our original home of Sach Khand and reunion with our Father. This is a huge reason for joy – but probably too big for us to comprehend or actually come to grips with. Far more important is the Master’s impact on our lives. And because we can learn to feel the impact, eventually most disciples come to trust and love the Master, and out of this love and trust comes security. If we feel loved and secure, surely this allows for joy in our lives, even in the midst of the world’s sufferings and hardship!
The relationship that develops between disciple and Master is deeply personal and individual. We love him. We long to feel his love. We long to be with him. And he truly loves us. The presence of the Master in our lives and his gift of initiation should have us jumping for joy and bubbling over with gratitude every single day of our lives.