The Link between Love and Obedience
Although in some places, the restrictions to movement are being lifted following the strict lockdowns, yet we need to continue our vigilance and not become lazy or complacent. Probably, until there is a vaccine the virus will continue to affect us either individually or as a society. But we hope that sometime soon satsang and seva will start again.
Great Master gave us this helpful advice:
The soul that lives within the orders of the Master, and regularly engages in bhajan with love and faith, does a kind of service for him. The Master has taken upon himself the burden of carrying all the souls, to whom he has revealed the path, to the Father’s abode. So if a soul earnestly tries to tread the path, it lessens the burden of the Master.1
Even with the small gesture of being vigilant in preventing the spread of coronavirus we are lightening the load of the Master. Every time we do as he asks we are making his life easier. We can’t imagine what he does for us or even who he is. Even with our ignorance of the grandeur of the master, it will still give us contentment and satisfaction to know we are perhaps easing his burden.
And more important, if we are doing our bhajan with love and faith, we are doing a service for him. Great Master doesn’t say doing our bhajan with success and one-pointedness but with love and faith. By meditating as a way of showing him that we care for him and respect him, as a way of saying thank-you to him for the gift of Nam, we are then expressing our faith and our love. Meditation is the action of love and of gratitude. It isn’t only a way to gain focus and concentration but also a way to change the very atmosphere of our mind by simply doing something we might not be very good at, but something that pleases the Master. Even if it seems that there are no results from our efforts, let’s not be frustrated. By persisting we are helping him and showing him our love and care.
Doesn’t peace of mind and contentment come from doing the right thing? The moment we do something that we know is counter to our values we become anxious and agitated. When our mind is relaxed and contented then our bhajan is usually more satisfying. It is easier to concentrate when our mental atmosphere is tranquil. But let’s be very clear – the results of our effort are in his hands. By persisting in something that we find challenging, we strengthen our faith. With stronger faith our effort increases, with greater effort our faith is strengthened. This wonderful cycle leads us upward and inward and pleases him.
How lucky we are. No matter how concentrated our meditation, the Master accepts every small effort we make. What’s more, he accepts our small efforts with pleasure. He is more intent on fulfilling his seva of taking us to our Father’s abode than we are in fulfilling our vow. He loves us in spite of us. No matter how we stray or falter along the way his love is consistent and encouraging. He never leaves us stranded but is our greatest well-wisher. Let’s do everything we can to lessen the burdens of our beloved by strengthening our commitment to the path.
The secret to living in the Lord’s will is that we try to be obedient to the Master’s instructions. Normally these have to do with the spiritual practice, but sometimes he gives us the opportunity to obey in worldly situations that cultivate our ability to surrender and submit our ego to another. As Hazur Maharaj Ji wrote:
Obedience will come only when there is love within us, for without love obedience can never come. Love always helps us in merging our will with the other person’s will. We take our self out of ourselves and become the other person. Love helps in that. Without love there can be absolutely no obedience. So, when love comes, all these qualities rise in us like cream on the milk. We do not have to fight for these qualities in ourselves. When that love for the master, for the Lord, comes within us, all other qualities just come automatically within us. If these qualities have not come within us, we can presume that we have absolutely no love for the master and the Lord. When that love takes its place within us, all other things are driven out. Then there is obedience, there is submission, there is understanding. All good qualities automatically take shape.2
- Maharaj Sawan Singh, The Dawn of Light, letter 5
- Maharaj Charan Singh, Spiritual Perspectives, Vol. III, #280