Divine duty and supreme reward1God 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.
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, the everlasting Joy, that flows from God. Divine reward is the constant Love, the all-fulfilling Love, from God.
In our unaspiring life, we perform duties and feel that duty is another name for labour. We also feel that duty is self-imposed, 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.
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.
Many years ago, an eminent Indian scientist, PC Ray, was a student at Edinburgh, here in Scotland. After completing his studies here, he went back to Bengal, India, to offer 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 seventy-three children, in spite of the fact that he was a bachelor in the purest sense of the term! Then he said to his questioner, “Look, these are my children: seventy-three brilliant students. They are my true children. I am not married, but I consider them as my own children. They have given me the opportunity to serve mankind, and this is my duty. By serving these children of mine, I perform my highest duty.”
I wish to say that I am 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. My spiritual children give me abundant encouragement and opportunities, and meet with all my needs when I move around the world. This is my service, my dedicated service, and this is my bounden duty.
Today, at this august university, I am offering my selfless service. This is my last talk. My tour has come to an 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 from Switzerland, Wales, France and Ireland. 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 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.
Duty and reward, from the spiritual point of view, go together. It is like the obverse and reverse of one 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, there in Heaven.
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, Him to serve, Him to manifest on earth. For this we saw the light of day.
OEH 90. University of Glasgow; Glasgow, Scotland, Catholic Chaplaincy, 2 December 1970.↩