Duty supremeThe poet sang:
I woke and found that life was Duty."
What is beauty? Beauty is the oneness of the finite and the Infinite. Beauty is the expression of the Infinite through man the finite. Beauty is man’s embodiment of God, the Infinite. In the material world, in the physical world, it is through beauty that God reveals Himself.
The beauty of the soul is beauty unparalleled in the physical world. This beauty inspires the outer world and fulfils the inner world. This beauty makes us one with God’s Soul, the Light infinite. This beauty makes us one with God’s Body, the universe. When we live in the world of aspiration, we come to realise that the transcendental Duty and the universal Beauty are the perfect expressions of one and the same reality.
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 does at every moment.
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.
Our divine duty is to meditate on God in man. Our 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.
In our day-to-day life, duty is something unpleasant, demanding and discouraging. When we are reminded of our duty, we lose all our inner spontaneous joy. We feel miserable. We feel that we could have used our life-energy for a better purpose. Duty is painful, tedious and monotonous simply because we do it with ego, pride and vanity. Duty is pleasant, encouraging and inspiring when we do it for God’s sake. What we need is to change our attitude towards duty. If we work for the sake of God, then there is no duty. It is all joy, all beauty. Each action has to be performed and offered at the Feet of God. Duty for God’s sake is the duty supreme.
In our unaspiring life we perform duties and feel that duty is another name for labour. We also feel that duty is an imposition, while reward is a 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.
No right have we to undertake any other duty before we work out our own spiritual salvation. Did God not entrust us with this wonderful task at the time of our very birth? The supreme duty is to constantly strive for God-realisation. Time is short, but our soul’s mission on earth is lofty. How can we waste time?
Love your family much. This is your great duty. Love mankind more. This is your greater duty. Love God most. This is your greatest duty, the duty supreme.
There are two things: one is remembrance, the other is forgetfulness. All of us know that it is our duty to collect our salary. Indeed, it is our duty. And we always remember it. But there is another duty. We have to work. That duty we forget. In order to get our salary, we have to work. Somehow we manage to forget this. In the spiritual world also, there is a duty. This duty is to enjoy the fruits of God-realisation. We all know it and we are extremely eager to perform this duty. But unfortunately we forget the other duty: meditation. One duty is to enjoy the fruits; the other duty is to acquire the fruits. But we are clever enough to cry for the fruits of realisation long before we have entered into the field of meditation. No meditation, no realisation. Without meditation, God-realisation is nothing but self-deception.
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, his ever-transcending journey; and in duty is God the ever-transforming, ever-manifesting, ever-fulfilling Reality here on earth and there in Heaven.
In our unaspiring life, and even in our aspiring life, we see that duty precedes 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, His 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 received the highest reward from God. Later God tells him about his duty: to love mankind, to help mankind, to serve the divinity in humanity, to reveal God the eternal Compassion and to manifest God the eternal Concern on earth, here and now.