Open your heart

If you want God,
open your heart and run.
If God wants you,
open your eyes,
close your ears and run.

If you want God, open your heart and run. What does it mean to open one's heart? Let us take the heart as a flower, a lotus. A lotus has quite a few petals. Each of these petals we can take as a divine quality: love, joy, peace, bliss, harmony and so forth. Right now the love that we have is very limited, the peace that we have is very limited, the joy that we have is very limited. We have all the divine qualities, but we have them in limited measure. But if we run with our limited divine qualities towards God, the Source of all divine qualities, the One who has these divine qualities in measureless measure, then only will we be totally safe and completely fulfilled.

When we open our heart to the entire world, we are not safe. The evil and destructive qualities of the world can enter into us and utilise us for their own purposes. They can do so precisely because our love, which is our strength, is very limited; our joy, which is our strength, is very limited; our peace, which is our strength, is very limited. All that we have, we have in very limited measure. But at the same time we have to have confidence in ourselves. Although we are not now measureless and infinite, a day will dawn when we will be measureless, infinite and transcendental. How? By going to the Source, to God.

Even though the ignorant world can destroy the lotus in us, that does not mean that we shall have no faith in humanity in general. India's greatest spiritual politician, Mahatma Gandhi, said something very striking. He said not to lose faith in humanity. We have to take humanity as an ocean. There are a few drops in the ocean that may be dirty, but the entire ocean is not dirty. According to him, we must not judge humanity by the limited experiences we usually get when we associate ourselves with limited persons around us. We have to be careful, but at the same time we have to have faith in humanity. If we lose faith in humanity, then we are doomed, for humanity is an actual limb of our body.

Since we are spiritual seekers, we have to have more faith than an ordinary human being has. We have to have faith even in unaspiring persons although we are not going to try right now to transform their nature. Why? Because we do not have the necessary capacity, or because it is not God's Will. Even if we do not have the necessary capacity, God can give us the capacity. He can make us strong so that we can help humanity. But that is not God's Will. God's Will is for us to help those who are already awakened to some extent, those who are aspiring or who want to aspire, but not those who are fast asleep. God does not want to push them. To them God says, "Sleep, My child, sleep." But to those who are already awakened and who want to run, God says, "Have faith in My creation which is humanity and have faith in yourself, for it is you who are ultimately going to represent Me on earth." We have to have faith in ourselves in order to realise and fulfil God. We have to have faith in God because it is He who has inspired us and awakened us and who is going to fulfil us in His own Way.

If God wants you, open your eyes, close your ears and run. We have to be fully awakened and alert; we have to stop living in the world of sleep before we can find God. We must look all around, not to see the ugliness of the world, but to see the creation in its purest form with our purest eyes. Open your eyes. We must sleep no longer! We must look at the world with the purity that we have and see the purity in God's creation.

Close your ears. Why have we to close our ears? Because there are things we may hear that will bother and disturb us, such as criticism, jealousy, flattery and praise. When somebody criticises us, how should we regard him? We should think of him as a dog barking right in front of us. If a dog barks right in front of us and we pay attention to it, the dog will not stop barking and annoying us. Then we will have difficulty in reaching our destined goal. We have to take criticism in the same way. People criticise us in every way. They say, "He is useless. He spends all his time meditating and he does not help society the way society needs help." But what does society want? Society itself does not even know. Nobody can tell us what to do with our life. When we are ready for God, when we are awakened and have opened our eyes, God wants us. At that time we don't have to pay attention to anybody's criticism. We have to know that what we are doing is best. It is best even for those who are criticising us, because a day will come when they will give up their ignorance and be inspired to follow us.

If we pay attention to someone's jealousy, what will happen? Our life will be blighted. Jealousy is poison, nothing else. If we listen to someone's jealous words, then their stained and impure emotions will enter into us. We will breathe in the poison and our own lungs will be affected. Jealousy is the monster we ourselves harbour if we pay attention to others' jealousy.

If we know that somebody is flattering us, what happens? If we are sincere to ourselves, we know that the other person is speaking of a height that we have not yet reached, so we are not affected. But if we become one with the person who says that we have reached that great height, we are only deceiving ourselves. Right now we are only at the foot of the tree. If we feel that we have already climbed to the top of the tree just because so-and-so is telling us we have, this does not make it true. We are still struggling at the foot of the tree; if someone is injecting into us the idea that we have already reached the top, then we will stop trying to climb up and we will never reach our destined goal. Self-deception is self-destruction, because in self-deception there is no light. We will remain in darkness at the foot of the tree if we listen to flattery,

If we have really done something good and others are praising us, again we are in danger. If we pay all attention to their praise, what happens? Pride comes to the fore and our precious aspiration, our inner mounting flame, cannot climb as fast as it would otherwise have done. When we are praised sincerely or appreciated deeply by someone, if we pay much attention to his praise, some part of us which is very precious goes out of us. Then we will not be the same until that special something comes back again. It comes back only when we again enter into deep meditation and regain our inner poise. When we are completely whole, we can run faster. But if something is missing inside of us, our being will not function properly. So we have to be very careful when people go on and on appreciating us. If we pay too much attention to them, we will be in great danger. Praise is very nice to hear but the after-effect of praise, if not put in its proper perspective, is fatal. We have to be as careful of sincere praise as we are of criticism, jealousy and flattery.

What is behind all this criticism, jealousy, flattery and praise? Human ignorance! And what is this ignorance, after all? It is the dark outer coating of knowledge or truth. Transform ignorance or pierce its veil and immediately we will see all knowledge, all truth. We have all heard the name of Aldous Huxley. He once said that ignorance is vincible. If we want to know the truth, we can. We do not know it precisely because we do not want to know it. When we sincerely want to know something, we will eventually know it. If we don't want to know, we will never know.

We have seen in our inner history and outer ordinary life that when the time is ripe, even if the person is not fully aware, the divine forces in that person do the right thing. A child is hungry. He is not aware of his hunger and says he won't eat. But the mother knows that it is time for the child to eat and she feels that the child is hungry, so she compels him to eat. In the spiritual world also, someone may be prepared for the spiritual life but in his outer mind he may not know that he is ready. Since he feels he is not ready, we can say that he does not want to know the truth, that he does not want to see or feel the light. But God knows that the person is ready. So God comes and compels him to accept the inner life. Even if he does not care to know the truth, God compels him to know the truth.

There are some people who are afraid of God, afraid of light, afraid of truth. That is, they are not fully conscious of their spiritual life. Whether or not you are afraid of God is up to you. But a day will come when God will feel that you are fully prepared inwardly even though outwardly you are not aware of it. At that time God will push you; He will compel you to know the truth. God will give you the truth in spite of your outer mind's lack of preparation.

But if we are prepared within and without, if we are meditating inwardly and we are outwardly conscious of what we are doing, naturally we will get the best benefit and the quickest result. At that time, our inner life and outer life have consciously become one. Our inner world and our outer world are consciously running towards the same goal. When this happens, naturally God will be proud of our conscious awareness of truth and our conscious achievement of the highest Light.

Each aspirant has to go to God or God has to come to him. It is best for each aspirant always to be ready to be completely at God's command. If He says, "Stay where you are; don't enter into ignorance. I am coming to you," immediately we have to be fully prepared to stay where we are and await His coming. But if He says, "Don't stand still! Run towards Me; I am waiting for you," we shall start running towards Him. When we are conscious of our inner existence, only then can we be guided by God's Compassion. When we are guided by God's Compassion, inner obedience and outer obedience to His Will will be at our disposal.