The Will to be with the Lord
Will is the best of the tools to Be, to be with the Lord. Where there is will, there is a way. Men of will achieve. Will is fire. It makes its way, even where there is no way. Will is described in the books as fiery aspiration. The fire should be on at all times. When the fire is on, the transformations are continuous. When the transformations are continuous the gross body yields two finer states of body, such as etheric and causal bodies. Fire sheds the dross and the gross and makes the body finer to be able to receive the energies of light and of love.
How do we make sure that the will is on, that the will is functioning, that the will is not weakening, that the will or fire is put on? The will initially exists in man in the mind, while its original place is in pure consciousness. The will in mind generates thoughts and desires. Mind is ever producing thoughts and desires. Thought is fire and the fire of thought is an aspect of will. When the thought is oriented to the divine, the fire of thought turns to the divine and becomes a flame. Flame moves vertical. The flame gets stable when the thought of the divine is well held.
Lord Sanat Kumara suggests, “Let the thought of the divine be continuous.” Continuous thought of the divine needs to be cultivated. It does not mean that the aspirant should move away from the world. It does not mean that the aspirant does not do his normal duties towards his body, his family and the society. It means, carry the divine thought into every aspect of your life. Hold on to it in every interaction that you have with the surrounding people. Today the Hierarchy expresses it as ‘adding spiritual value to every action that one conducts’. Spiritual value cannot be added to any activity, unless the thought of the spirit also exists amidst that activity. Therefore, to be continuous with the thought of divine one need to see that all life is divine. This is synthesis. In recent years Sri Aurobindo expressed, “All life is yoga. All life is divine.”
All life activity is essentially spiritual, if one can perceive. What is important is perception. People live in outer concepts. They live with borrowed concepts, imposed concepts, traditional concepts. Concepts are concretised forms of that which is conceived. Perception is a deeper functioning than conception. Behind all that one is surrounded with, there is the divine. But the divine is veiled by the concept. One’s concept of a spouse is a veil to the divine behind. One’s concept of a family is a veil to the hidden divinity. Likewise concepts of profession, social activity, service etc. are but veils. The divine is behind. The divine is the background consciousness of all projections of sound, colour, number and symbol.
Continuous thought of the divine is possible when one has inside the perception that all activity is afloat upon the background of the divine. Daily life should be seen as an opportunity to experience the divine in every interaction with a form or with a being. How much one remembers the divine when he sees his or her spouse? How much one remembers the divine when one sees children and grandchildren, friends, relatives, agreeable persons, disagreeable persons, agreeable situations, disagreeable situations and so on? In all that one encounters, there can be concurrent encountering of the divine besides the changing concepts of activity. This is perceivable if one is regular at practice.
When one holds on to the will to be with the divine, he holds on to the thought of the divine while in action. To him another world is opened within the world. The world and the subtle world are concurrently open and the continuous touch of the divine is felt throughout the day. Such ones are said to be in meditation throughout the day. Meditation is but a state of link-up with the divine. The link-up can be even while one is in daily action, when one is in different situations with different people. Thus the advanced students get into meditative state throughout the day and sleep in link-up, wake up in link-up, meditate in link-up and work in the world in link-up.
When the divine thought is held at the back of the mind while at action in the world, slowly the divine energy percolates into the personality. It penetrates into the personality and starts expressing now and then in actions and speeches. This should be understood as the kingdom of God manifesting on earth. The divine is entering from the super mundane to the mundane states. When such percolation and penetration takes place in the activity, slowly the personality is transformed. It is so fully transformed ultimately, that there would be no comparison between the original gross state and the final refined state. Could you ever imagine that a caterpillar transforms into a butterfly? When the caterpillar crawls on your skin or even falls on your skin from a tree, you would have effective pinpricks for a couple of hours. But when a butterfly lands on your skin, your face unfolds like a flower with a smile. It is the same caterpillar that becomes a butterfly. Similarly a caterpillar-like personality transforms to that of a butterfly. Butterfly is beautiful to experience. Even the sight of a butterfly gives you joy. Its colours, its flight – all is joyful. But a caterpillar is abhorred – it crawls, its very sight is a horror to the timid ones, its touch one would like to avoid.
Our personalities before they are infused by divinity have many varieties. We exhibit all varieties of animals through our personality. Some are timid like cats, some bark like dogs, some are clever like rats, some are bulls that are insensitive, some are scorpions who sting from time to time, some are aggressive like tigers, some are vengeful like snakes. What a variety! Very few are like the cows that are soft, like the doves that fly and like the swans that are extremely pure. The personality is the prison of the soul. When the divine thought is persistently held, the prison of personality transforms into a palace. A soul in a palace is like a king. Such transformations are possible when this ninth teaching is upheld by the aspirant. It is a fine process of magnetisation that happens when one holds on to divine thought as continuously as possible during the day’s activity.
To facilitate holding on to the divine thought, one may think of associating with such aspirants who are a bit advanced in its practice. Periodical association with them reinforces the goodwill. Goodwill association means meeting of persons who uphold the divine thought much better. Groupings are done for this purpose. But mostly the groups forget the purpose and gossip. Many groups are gossiping groups. Association with them would result in the aspirant also gaining the habit of gossip.
Satsang is the word. Satsang means a group of persons gathering to reinforce in them the divine. That should be the only purpose of spiritual groups. Satsang is seen as a facility. Satsang enables one to overcome one’s own limitations through reinforcement of the thought of the divine. The best of the Satsangs are the Brindavans of India and the Pythagorean groups of the Greeks. There could be many sublime groups on the planet which are not publicised, but which are on the task of associating with the Truth.
Associating with relinquished ones and saints from time to time is also helpful. Meeting saints, staying in their presence for a while is highly helpful. Aspirants would do better to be silent in the presence of a saint than to be talkative. Talkative aspirants, aspirants with too many questions, doubting aspirants do not receive much in the presence of a saint. The saint communicates in silence. He has a different value for speech. The saint bestows initially much silence and orientation later they speak when the student is receptive.
Similarly pilgrimage to sacred places is also of great importance. Remember that it is a pilgrimage but not a tour. The difference is in orientation. When the travel is conducted with the longing for the Divine it becomes a pilgrimage. If not, it is just a tour with a look out for comfort of travel, food and bed. Periodical pilgrimages are strongly recommended to aspirants. It can be once in a year or once in six months. It is helpful to fulfil this teaching.
Similarly taking bath in sacred rivers, sacred waterfalls and sacred water springs also reinforces the will to be with the divine. The annual leave can be utilised for visiting sacred places, sacred rivers and sacred falls. Remember that all this effort has to be in the spirit of pilgrimage, but not in the spirit of a tourist. The day has to be organised in such a fashion that the regular prayers and other worship is not missed.
To be alone in nature from time to time is also helpful. Tending to be nearer to nature normalises the energies of the civilised man who is otherwise tense. The blooming season and the spring season are most profitable for these pilgrimages, since during these times neither there is rain, nor there is hot sun, nor there is cold. Moving in nature in rain, in snow, or in hot sun has its own impediments, restrictions and inconveniences. One cannot interact with the nature intimately in these seasons, for these are the seasons where one needs protection from the extremities of nature. When nature is in its extremes like hot summer or freezing cold or heavy rains, one would do well to abstain from travel and conduct the practices in one’s own place. The seasons where the waters flow clean and are inherently warm are considered to be the best seasons.
… to be continued