A spiritual Master was with some of his disciples when an elderly woman came up to him one day and said, “Master, I am not now totally devoted to you. But I assure you, in the course of time I will become totally devoted and dedicated. I will aspire infinitely more than I do now.”
The Master said, “How will you do this?”
The woman said, “Right now my sons are studying, but once they complete their studies I will be free. One will practise medicine, the second will practise law and the third will be in gymnastics. It is only a matter of time, and then you will see how devoted I will be.”
The Master said, “God bless you. First of all, your children have to complete their studies, and then they will enter into their respective professions. At that time you will say, ‘Oh, now that they are mature and established, let me help find proper marriages for them. They have to get married and be bound to one individual; otherwise, they may not lead decent, faithful lives. The best thing is for them to get married!’
“After you marry them, you will say, ‘Marriage is not enough. They should have children!’ When you have grandchildren, you will have tremendous joy. But then you will say that it is your duty to bring them up in the same way you have brought up your own sons. The grandchildren will go to school and grow up, and some of them will listen to you while others won’t. So every day you will be in the world of worries and anxieties. This is how your life will end.”
The woman said, “No, Master, you wait and see. Even if what you say is true, one day, when my grandchildren grow up, I will be ready.”
“Yes,” said the Master, “at the age of ninety you will be ready for the spiritual life.”
The woman insisted, “No, I will accept spirituality in this life.”
“When you have one foot in the grave,” commented the Master.
“Duty is duty,” said the woman. “These are my sons. God brought them into my family.”
The Master said, “Yes, you are doing your duty. Again, you have to know that it is God who brought you to me. Your children now want you to stop worrying about them. You have played your role as a mother. Now you should play your role as a seeker.”
“It is very difficult for me to accept what you are saying,” said the woman.
The Master explained, “Look at the sea. If you go to the sea and wait for the waves to subside, will this ever happen? There will always be waves. If you want to swim, you have to dive into the sea. In the spiritual life also, you have to brave all kinds of opposition. Because of your sons, you are unable to meditate all the time. But if you really want to see God, then this opposition you have to face and conquer. You have to dive into this opposition and be very brave. And for God’s sake don’t create any more obstructions for yourself by thinking of your sons’ jobs, careers, marriages and children. By doing this you are only inviting more waves of obstruction to enter into your life. If you are wise, you will stop here.
“As a mother you have played your role. As a daughter of God, as a spiritual daughter of mine, you now have a new role to play. Think of God alone. God will take care of your sons. He is the only one who can take care of His creation, not you nor me nor anyone else.”
The disciple said, “Your words are most illumining, but my capacity is very limited.”
The Master said, “Your capacity is limited but my Compassion is unlimited. So you stay with your limited capacity and let me stay with my Eternity’s Compassion-Capacity.”
GIM 30. 9 January 1979↩