by Sri Daya Mata (Excerpts from SRF Magazine 1999 winter)
When I was meditating recently, such a powerful inspiration came into my consciousness. You see, I don't like to make things complicated; I like to keep them simple, because I think God is that way. So as I was meditating, pouring my heart out to Divine Mother, suddenly—I don't know how to describe it to you—such a sweet, soothing Intelligence descended on my consciousness. The message that was conveyed to me was so simple, two words:
"Love, serve. Love, serve. And the rest, do not be troubled about." I cannot tell you what comfort, what strength, filled my soul.
Love and Serve. That is the message for all of us. That is what life is all about.
Love means first of all:
"Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind." Then we are to expand our love—"to love our neighbors as ourselves."
The logical place to begin is with our family.
You are never going to find perfect love in any human being. If you are looking for fulfilment from another person, you will be looking until the end of your life! Perfect love is found only in God. Marriages and families should be centered in God. In taking the marriage vow, the intent should be, "I choose this person as my dearest friend, to whom I can talk and open up my heart—and eventually to share that friendship and love with our children as a united family." Commitment is what is needed today.
Practice the art of harmonious communication. It nurtures a relationship in which God loves to enter and reign.
The second powerful inspiration that came was "Serve." We should serve one another joyously—not thinking, "I'll serve this person if he does something for me" or "She doesn't do anything for me, so why should I help her?" We should give of ourselves selflessly, finding ways to be of help to others. So many of you have that spirit of service and are helping others, as are you who support the work of the Voluntary League started by Guruji.
Service in whatever form is the way to live our lives in the new millennium. Whether we are householders or monastics, our ideal should be to love God and to serve mankind. In serving humanity, you are serving God; and in renouncing the world as monastics to serve God, we are serving humanity.
We need to think goodness and cling to goodness, and ask ourselves, "What good can I contribute to this world?" This means, first and foremost, to become good people ourselves—to get away from the disloyalty, mean-spiritedness, lying, stealing, cheating, and above all the sexual immorality, that are destroying society. And we need to better educate the youth in these ideals.
Practising the Presence of God
I want to share with you some words from the Spiritual Diary. This book has not been far from my side ever since it was printed. After my meditation each morning, I pick it up and say, "What is the message for me today?" Then I read the thought for that day. Here is the one for July 29:
"Whether you are washing dishes or digging a ditch or working in an office or a garden—whatever you may be doing—inwardly say,
'Lord, manifest to me!
You are right here.
You are in the sun.
You are in the grass.
You are in the water.
You are in this room.
You are in my heart.'"
I have lived by that, practising the presence of God. If you choose to see God, you can see Him everywhere. Even with the many responsibilities that have been laid upon my shoulders these forty-odd years, that relationship with God is my life. I try to see Him in everything. Whether I'm meeting with people, writing, or thinking about the vast concerns of Guruji's worldwide work, this is what I live by. I find that my God is always with me, no matter what I am doing.
To devotees who say it is hard to find God, I say, "It is hard only because you make it so." Realize how simple the spiritual life can be. Go outside sometimes and just look up at the stars
—there He is!
Or look at a tiny flower growing out of the ground
—there He is!
I talk to Him all the time. That is what creates devotion. You don't speak of it to others; but it is there, secreted in your heart. That, along with meditation, is the way you begin to feel God in your life and in your consciousness.
Do Everything with the Thought of God
The next thought from the Spiritual Diary—the thought for today's date—is also very beautiful:
No matter which way you turn a compass, its needle points to the north. So it is with the true yogi. Immersed he may be in many activities, but his mind is always on the Lord.
His heart constantly sings:
'My God, my God,
most lovable of all!'
These are two of my favorite thoughts from the Spiritual Diary. Do everything with the thought of God, in the joy of His presence. Wherever you look, you will find Him. Whenever you think of Him, you will find Him.
"He walks with me,
He talks with me,
He tells me I am His own."
(From the hymn, "In the Garden")
He loves every one of you. He loves you. Believe it! Turn to Him! Each of us has a silent temple within where we can go, unknown to anyone around us, and talk to Him: "O my Lord, You are with me. O my Lord, I love You! I may not always understand You, but You are mine. You gave me life. I am Yours. Bless me that I can look after my family and fulfill my responsibilities. Give me the strength, wisdom, and joy with which to serve. I know, my Lord, that it is You who came with me into this world, and it is You alone who will be with me when I go; so above all, my greatest responsibility is to love You, but without forsaking the responsibilities and loved ones You have given to me." Include Him in whatever you do. That is what is important.
Let us meditate a few moments. Just forget the world. Enter that sacred temple within where only God and you exist. Pray to Him to reveal Himself, as Guruji taught us:
"O Lord, reveal Thyself, reveal Thyself. Thou art mine; I am Thine. Thou art my Love; I am Thy love. Thou art my joy; I am Thy joy. Bless me. I love You. I love You, God."
Meditate on these two; give thought to the ways in which you can genuinely love. I am not referring to selfish love, but to the love that comes when we feel God. Do your part, each one of you. In that spirit, we shall enter this new age with great strength, faith, and joy—and with a determination to know God in the years that lie ahead. His love must be your love.
I wish I could impart to you the great joy that one finds in meditation—I wish I could! But you have to earn it. You can get a taste of it. Hold on to it. "He walks with me. He talks with me. He tells me I am His own." This is what God is trying to tell you at every moment, through His silent voice within.
God bless you all. I love all of you.