Divine duty and supreme reward1

God thinks of His Duty. God meditates on His Duty. Man loves his reward. Man cries for his reward. Duty performed unconditionally makes God happy and that is what He at every moment does. Reward gained effortlessly and constantly makes man happy and that is what he always expects and lives for. In our human duty, we think of man in man. In our human duty we see man in man. That is to say, we love bondage in ignorance. Divine duty is to meditate on God in Man. Divine duty is to see God in Man. That is to say, to love Divinity in Immortality.

Human duty begins with compulsion and very often ends in frustration and repulsion. Divine duty begins with inner necessity and ends in a flood of ecstasy.

Human reward and divine reward. Human reward is the fleeting joy from an insignificant man. Human reward is the dying love from a weak human being. Divine reward is the constant joy that flows from God, the everlasting Joy. Divine reward is the constant love from God, the all-fulfilling Love.

In our unaspiring life, we perform duties and we feel that duty is another name for labour. We also feel that duty is self-imposed and reward is most coveted pleasure. In our aspiring life, duty is voluntary. No, never is it obligatory. And reward is the energising joy of selfless service. In our life of realisation, duty is our divine pride and reward is our glorious, transcendental Height. In our unaspiring life and even in our aspiring life, we see that first duty, then reward. Duty comes first. Then it is followed by reward. In the life of realisation it is otherwise — reward first, then duty. How? When God offers His Transcendental Height, Highest Illumination to someone, it means that God has already granted him full realisation. God has accepted him as His chosen instrument. The very fact that God has accepted him as His chosen instrument indicates that he has already got the highest reward from God. Later God tells him about his duty: to love mankind, to help mankind, to serve divinity in humanity, to reveal God the Eternal Compassion, and to manifest God the Eternal Concern on earth, here and now.

Many years ago, an eminent Indian scientist, P. C. Ray, was then a student at Edinburgh. So he was here in Scotland. He completed his studies here and went back to Bengal, India and offered his knowledge to his Indian brothers and sisters. Now, it happened that one day somebody asked him how many children he had. He took out from his pocket a list of his children. Can you guess how many children he had? He had only 73 children, in spite of the fact that he was a bachelor in the purest sense of the term! Then he said to them, “Look, these are my children — 73 brilliant students. These are my true children and they have given me the opportunity to serve mankind and this is my duty. I am not married, but I consider them as my own children. I serve them and by serving these children of mine, I perform my highest duty.”

So, here I wish to say I am also in the same boat — unmarried. I have a few hundred spiritual children. Out of His Infinite Bounty, God has showered His choicest blessings upon my devoted head and my spiritual children give me abundant encouragement and opportunities. My spiritual children meet with all my needs when I move around the world. This is my service, dedicated service and this is my bounden duty. Today, at this august university, I am offering my selfless service. This will be my penultimate talk. Tomorrow, my last talk will be at Conway Hall in London. My tour is coming to its end. I have been away from New York for about a month. I have spoken at Cambridge, Oxford and other universities. I have just come back from Switzerland, Wales and other places. Yesterday I was in Ireland and today I am here in Scotland. What am I doing? I am trying with utmost sincerity to be of service to the sincere seekers. Each individual has the capacity to be of service to others. Only God can help us and He always does. What we can do is to serve everybody here; on earth. As a servant of God, each individual has the capacity to serve mankind. Service is our matchless duty.

Now, duty and reward from the spiritual point of view, go together. It is like the obverse and reverse of the same spiritual coin. Duty is man the aspiration and reward is God the realisation and God the liberation. Again, in reward is man’s eternal journey, ever-transcending journey and in duty is God the ever-transforming, ever-manifesting, ever-fulfilling Reality here on earth, there in heaven.

“Aum. O Lord Supreme, Thou art my Mother. Thou art my Father. Thou art my Friend. Thou art my Comrade. Thou art the Knowledge Light. Thou art the Inner Wealth. Thou art my All...”

When we realise this Truth, we fulfil all our duties. There can be no greater duty than to realise the Inner Pilot, Him to realise and Him to serve, Him to manifest on earth we saw the light of day.


  1. AUM 739. This talk was given by Sri Chinmoy at the University of Glasgow, Scotland, December 2, 1970.

Sri Chinmoy, AUM — Vol. 7, No. 1, Aug. 27, 1971.First published by AUM Centre Press in 1971.

This is the 9057th book that Sri Chinmoy has written since he came to the West, in 1964.

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by Sri Chinmoy
From the book AUM — Vol. 7, No. 1, Aug. 27, 1971, made available to share under a Creative Commons license

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