IMAGINARY CONVERSATIONS WITH GOD
(These conversations were written during the early part of 2000. In my interactions with teenage students I noticed that they were a little confused about the concept of spiritualising life. It is easier to love Swami, for it is difficult to resist it. But what is spirituality in love? Love, Swami always said, is guided by discipline, and this discipline keeps upgrading the devotee’s consciousness which goes on purifying our love for Him. Therefore, in Swami’s language, devotion and discipline go together. Swami wanted to first generate this love for Him in the devotee’s heart, and then teach them the value of disciplining life. But when we connect with Him on the human level, we are so much overwhelmed by His loving presence that we sometimes fail to redirect this love to spiritualising life, and at the emotional stage of a young person it is all the more true. In these conversations, which took place in my imagination, therefore, I have tried to explore what He, as our Guide and Guru, might have to say to help us understand His Way through our love for Him.)
Devote - Swami, we are extremely pained to see your indifference towards us.
Swami - But I am still blessing you on your birthdays, you still come and sit here in Kulwant hall, participate in bhajans. This is no indifference.
D - But Swami, we miss Your sweet smiles, sweet words; You no more talk to us. Many of us cannot even have a proper darshan if we cannot rush back from college and school in time.
S - I have given you more time to study, do well in exams, please your parents, fulfil your and their dreams about your future.
D - We always look forward to our daily pilgrimage to Your Lotus Feet, and spend an hour or two listening to Your loving and wise words. This hour sustains us through the day, and propels us to go forward.
S - I have given you an institution famous all over the world, a hostel with undisturbed environment, teachers to guide your free education, and some privileges as my students. The whole world adores you. What more do you want?
D - Swami, though we and our parents are immensely grateful to You for all these rare gifts, without Your love and affection all this is tasteless to us.
S - If you want love, you must give love, isn’t it? And if you ask for God’s love and affection, you must give him your highest love.
D - We always love You most.
S - No, you don’t. I am only one of your many loves, and most often far down the list.
D - Swami, we are Your little erring children, forever falling down, and forever looking up for Your merciful hand to pick us up.
S - I am here to precisely do that, but I really cannot help one who does not realise that he has fallen, and needs to look up for me.
D - Swami, shouldn’t a kind mother feed a child who is crying, and cannot feed
S - What if the child isn’t crying, and is happy rolling in his own slime?
D - Mother should pick him up all the same, give him a gentle slap, wash him, give him fresh dress, and feed him.
S - What else do you think I am doing?
D - But Swami, we are crying for Your love.
S - Do you know what loving someone means?
D - Please tell us swami.
S - You like what he likes, dislike what he dislikes; you seek to bring happiness to him, not seek happiness from him. You have a single chair for him in your heart. You don’t ask him to play the game of musical chair.
D - Swami, it is not quite clear what You mean. Please explain clearly.
S - You love so many things, and God has to compete with those things to remain in the game. When God appears interesting, you tell yourself, okay, it will be interesting to be with God, isn’t it?
D - Not exactly that Swami, we need You.
S - You need me for all the gifts I can give, or you just love me because you feel love for me?
D - Hmm…. we love Swami because He is God, and love whatever He gives as well.
S - Will you still love me even if I give you no gifts?
D - Swami’s loving nature would inspire love in anyone.
S - That’s it! Then what have you got to give me? I will give you my love; I will give you gifts because that is the way of love; I will overlook all your indifference to my words; I will not notice your misdeeds and continue to protect you from all your miseries and misfortunes you yourselves have created…….and what for?
D - Now that you have put it this way…..I begin to understand Swami.
S - And after your living a full and comfortable life, without improving yourself or the world a bit, I must ensure, you enjoy a more comfortable after life, whatever that may be ! In fact you expect me to stand as insurance for your foolish and wilful living! What do you take me to be ?
D - The most loving mother.
S - Then have you ever thought of helping your mother in her house keeping? Though she may not be in any particular need of your help, don’t you think you can add to her joy if you keep your own room tidy, keep your things in order, and still find time to ask her what you can do for her?
D - Which means, You want us to reflect Your concern, your work, Your love in our lives?
S - Exactly. Can you really show love to someone who cannot reciprocate it at least in his heart? You must remember, boy, love is not a passing feeling, a momentary drop of tear in your eye, an evanescent emotion; it is far deeper than that. It is embedded in the soul, it is establishing oneness with the loved One.
D - Swami, this is very deep philosophy, very difficult to understand.
S - It is much more than what you fight shy of – philosophy. It is the eternal truth, which glorifies and fulfills life. If you want to fulfill life’s purpose, which is an unavoidable duty towards yourself, you can do it only one way, understanding your own truth. If you are not willing to carry out this obligation to yourself, you have no rights to ask anything of me.
D - Swami, please forgive us. We will surely do everything to be worthy of You. Please tell us how to achieve this.
S - Allow me to ceaselessly flow into your heart.
D - How shall we do this, Swami ?
S - Digest whatever I have already said, rest of it, next time.
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