Some of us think our way of life can remain essentially unchanged after initiation. Basically, we think we can keep the vows, but go right on with all the same priorities and commitments as before. We seem to think that, given the greatness of our Master, our lives will be spiritually fruitful without making any sacrifices or major adjustments.
It is like someone who makes a decision to go on a diet and lose ten kilos. Suppose they make a formal, public resolution to do so. Then they go on eating exactly the same amount of food they have always eaten, doing no more exercise than they have always been doing, and they think some magical force will cause the kilos to drop off.
It is this type of thinking that trips us up. Some of us even take the third vow very loosely. To live a clean, moral life, we think, is only a very broad, general guideline. Or it only refers to earning an honest living and remaining sexually faithful to your spouse. Does it matter if we cheat in business? Tell a lie? Take something that isn’t ours?
But what if everyone we know cheats on their taxes and it is considered normal? Do we think there will be no consequences if we don’t pay what is due? What if everyone in our community thinks it is normal for men to abuse or harass their wives? Can we hurt any living being without consequences to our own spiritual development? Can we simply follow customs without inviting their karmic repercussions? The present Master has often repeated: Everything matters; everything we do counts. As he is fond of saying: Every penny makes a pound.
Every action of ours can either take us toward the Lord or away from the Lord. There can be no spirituality where there is no morality. The present Master continually reminds us that initiation is not a ‘rubber stamp’. At initiation, the Master does not ‘stamp’ us with the label ‘satsangi’. As Sardar Bahadur Ji said: “One does not become a satsangi simply by being initiated. One must mould his life in accordance with the principles of satsang. Every thought, speech and action must conform to them. Actions speak louder than words.
A Wake Up Call