IMAGINARY CONVERSATIONS WITH GOD
Devotee - I have been eagerly waiting to hear You Swami. Last time You promised You would tell me how to become Your soldier.
Swami - Why do you want to be my soldier?
D - Then I can work for Your mission.
S - What is my mission?
D - To establish dharma on earth, and help people live according to it.
S - How would you do that? Do you need a strong army to establish dharma?
D - No swami. I understand you are using the power of love to achieve that. Any other power is violence, and violence never wins.
S - Why should people live according to dharma? Do you know what it is?
D - Well, Swami, please you tell me what it is.
S - All that takes people closer to God, and closer to each other, is dharma.
D - Ah! What a wonderful definition of dharma!
S - And dharma is that eternal truth which promotes at all times a wholesome humanity. It is however not a cake walk to follow it. Why should people follow the difficult path?
D - Swami, I think the best path is always difficult, and the easy one is not always the best. I would rather do the best thing, which is difficult, than the easy one which may be wrong. And besides…..
S - Besides..?
D - I want to follow you, for I love you. You have also asked me to follow the Master, and you are my Master.
S - Look my son, all this is mere words. Following me does not mean joining my school, or college, staying in the hostel, wearing white in school and college, not eating non-veg food, sitting in a privileged place in the Kulwant Hall, participating in bhajans and the like.
D - Yes Swami, there ought to be more to this.
S - What is the first quality of a soldier?
D - Obedience.
S - Second?
D - Loyalty.
S - Third?
D - Courage.
S - Then?
D – Maybe expert in wielding weapons.
S - Is that all?
D – Hmm…. I am not sure swami.
S - You haven’t yet mentioned the most important quality of a soldier. To go to battle just because you want to prove your superiority does not make one a soldier. He must have a good cause to fight for, and it is strong faith in the cause that makes you a soldier.
D - How is that necessary Swami?
S - If you don’t have very strong faith in the cause, you cannot give your best, obedience, loyalty, courage, weapons notwithstanding. The power that comes from soul alone is invincible, and faith draws that power from the soul. Therefore just before the first arrow was released in the Kurukshetra war Yudhistir declared that anyone from his side who did not believe in the justness of their cause, may go the other side, and anyone from the other side who believes that their cause was just, was welcome to their side. This brought one of the kaurava brothers to the Pandava camp.
D - Ah! I am blessed to hear these words. That is so Swami, without faith a person cannot give his best. May I interrupt Swami?
S - By all means, my boy.
D - Swami, when my father put me in your school here for +2 in order to ‘discipline’ me, I was not at all happy. I came from a city school, so I did not like the strict life here. I called it overdose of discipline, sorry Swami, but I really felt like that, and I cannot hide anything from you. I did not like you also, for I thought you were the cause of all my suffering. However, I did not neglect my studies. But I did not fare well in my first unit Test. I didn’t care either. But gradually I got used to life here, and began to see how you want to mould us into great human beings. Then my faith in you and myself improved, and in the 3rd unit test I got the first rank!
S - That is why even after staying with me for decades people run away from me, and even speak against me.
D - This happens because they have no faith in the cause, Swami? But how does that happen even after staying with you so long?
S - It is not the length that matters, it is the strength that matters. If you do not have faith in someone, can you obey him? Can you be loyal to him? Can you show courage in fulfilling your commitments to him? Can you follow him? Can you make sacrifices when the need arises?
D - Yes swami, without faith in the person, it is not possible. But cause?
S - You should remember my son, a soldier cannot say, “I have love and respect for my commander, but I cannot always obey him”. Likewise, you cannot say you love me, respect me, and want to be my soldier, but find it very difficult to have faith in what I stand for. Faith and living the faith are same. No cause can stand alone, and no one can live well without living for a cause. You must understand this very well. Just living life is vegetable life.
D - You, and what you stand for! I don’t understand the subtleties Swami.
S - There are no subtleties my boy. I have not come to play silly little games with teenagers. I have come to clarify, and empower the paths to God. Therefore me and my mission are same, for I am the path. I am at the beginning, and at the end I am. If you claim you love me, then you must love the path too and walk it. If you do that, you obtain my love. If you are unwilling to follow the path, you cannot love me, and be my soldier. The natural charms I have, the powers I have may attract you for some time, but the moment you realize that to be with me is to pay premiums, you will quit. But I tell you my boy it would be the most unfortunate thing in your life if that happens. When later you feel sorry for it, you would have lost the opportunity of many lifetimes.
D - Swami, I am scared even to think what it means. Please explain it further.
S - Me, and my cause are the same. You cannot be two persons at the same time, one to yourself, another to me. I am in your heart. I see what you don’t, or pretend you don’t. How long do you think I would close my eyes to your double-dealing? Therefore I always tell you I don’t want your
devotion, I want your transformation. This is spirituality.
S - Swami, I am not sure I quite understand this spirituality. What exactly is this?
S - Oh, I see you have fundamental problems. I will explain that next time.