Spirituality is for those who are careful5

Once there was a beautiful woman who was very spiritual. Her husband was also quite spiritual. Often they used to invite seekers to their home for spiritual discussions, prayer and meditation. The two were very generous, and after these meetings the wife would usually serve dinner to everyone.

Once the husband had to go out of town on business for a few months. The seekers who previously had been coming to her home asked if they could continue meeting there. But she said, “Oh, no! My husband wouldn’t like the idea. Only when he is here can I invite you over.” That was not the real reason, however. Several times in the past, when her husband had been out of town, the wife had continued meeting with seekers. But now, during her husband’s absence, she had become very friendly with one of her servants and eventually fell in love with him. Because she was deeply interested in the servant, she found no need for spirituality in her life.

One day, a spiritual Master was walking near her house. He looked very sad. When the wife saw him, she asked, “Why are you so sad?” The Master said, “I am very sad because from my childhood I have always carried a special toy with me. The toy was my friend, my only friend. Whenever I did anything very private and intimate, I allowed only this toy to accompany me. Nobody else would ever know what I was doing. The toy was like my collaborator, and it always suffered whenever I did anything wrong. But now I have done something so bad that, out of shame, the toy has fallen down and broken its head.”

The woman was very sympathetic. “Let me buy you another toy so that you forget about this one,” she said.

But the Master said, “No, I can’t do that. How can I have another toy? This toy represented my inner being. It was part and parcel of my nature, my character, my life. If I get a new one just because it has smashed its head, then it will have another consciousness.”

The lady got the point. Here she was married to a good and spiritual man, and now she was in love with a servant, of all people. She cried and cried at the feet of the Master. “Oh, forgive me, forgive me,” she said.

The Master said, “I will forgive you for what you have done. Even your husband will forgive you, immediately he will forgive you, for his love for you is boundless. But your soul — the only real reality inside you — may not forgive you at all, or for a long time. It may withdraw and not come to the fore again this whole incarnation.

“Once one accepts the spiritual life, once one becomes a real seeker, at that time if one falls and enters into the vital and emotional life, indulging in unthinkable things, then the punishment is unbearable. One is compelled to lead a miserable, miserable life, without forgiveness.

“So, be careful before you accept the spiritual life, and then, once you have accepted the spiritual life, be constantly careful. For if you fall at that time, darkness-life will not care for you and wisdom-light will not care for you either. Aspiration-life will not care for you if you do not aspire and desire-life will not care for you, for it will feel that it cannot trust you totally. It will say, ‘Again he may go back to aspiration-life.’ And aspiration-life will not trust you. It will say, ‘Oh, he left me to go back to desire-life.’

“So, you will be caught in between aspiration-life and desire-life. You will not get joy from desire-life, for you have already told aspiration-life that you will be its eternal friend. And once you betray desire-life and go after a higher life, desire-life will only torture you. So be careful! Spirituality is only for those who are always careful in what they say, do and become.”

GIM 45. 14 January 1979