When a seeker enters into the spiritual life, sometimes he is afraid that all his weaknesses and undivine qualities will be exposed. But it is not at all like that. Let us think of a mother and child. When the mother notices the shortcomings, imperfections and weaknesses of her son, what does she do? She hides them carefully and secretly. She will never even imagine exposing her own child to the world. In the spiritual life, the seeker has to feel that he is a child of the Divine Mother. The Divine Mother is infinitely more loving and compassionate than the human mother, so how can She expose Her own child? Only She hides the teeming imperfections of Her son, and secretly makes him aware of his shortcomings. She does this precisely because She does not want Her son to always repeat the same mistakes. If he repeats the same mistakes again and again, then God-realisation will always remain for him a far cry. So when She makes him aware of his ignorance, She does it with the best intentions. She wants him to know the difference between an ignorant life and a life of wisdom. But she does not stop here. She carries the child one step forward. She transforms his ignorance into wisdom-light. She transforms his weakness into strength. She transforms his life of night into a life of light.
When we think of a human child and a human father, we see that the child is very short, limited, weak and ignorant; but his father is tall, stout, powerful and full of knowledge. The human father may be commander-in-chief of a vast army. Thousands of soldiers are afraid of him. The whole nation is afraid of him. But look at the child! The child runs to his father and does anything he wants. He can do this precisely because he has established an inner oneness with his father. When there is inner oneness, there can be no fear.
A tiny drop is afraid of the mighty ocean as long as it retains its individuality and personality. But the same drop, when it feels its oneness with the ocean, just merges into the mighty ocean and feels that the whole ocean belongs to it. Not only that, but it feels that it has actually become the ocean. When we have a sense of separativity, we are bound to suffer from fear. But when we establish our sense of unity or oneness, at that time there can be no fear.
Thousands of years ago the Vedic Seers of the hoary past offered us a significant message. Nayam atma bale hinena labhyo: “The soul cannot be won by the weakling.” A weakling is he who is always afraid of something; he is even afraid of his own life. Yesterday he was afraid of today. He thought that today would try to fool and deceive him, or yesterday he had a dream and he thought that today would not allow him to fulfil his dream. Then, today he is afraid of tomorrow. He is afraid of tomorrow because he feels that tomorrow is a stranger. He cannot have faith in a stranger, he cannot trust a stranger, because a stranger may cause tremendous trouble for him.
Now we are all seekers. But there was a time when we were not seekers. When we lived in the life of desire, we were afraid of the life of aspiration. We thought that the life of aspiration, which is God-life, would not make us happy. We thought that it would compel us or inspire us to enter into the Himalayan caves and spend the rest of our lives there. But now we are living a life of aspiration, and we see that our fears were unfounded. We don’t have to go into the Himalayan caves. Here, in the hustle and bustle of life, we can succeed with the life of aspiration.
Unfortunately, now that we have entered into the spiritual life, we cherish another wrong belief. We are afraid that God-realisation is not meant for us, that it is meant only for the selected few. But if we are sincere, then we see that there have been people on earth who have realised God. If we have the same inner cry, then one day we shall also realise God.
Some people in the West have a peculiar type of fear. They feel that if they accept the kind of spiritual life which is advocated by Indian Masters, then they will have to give up their Christianity. This is a deplorable mistake. You do not have to give up your religion in order to practise the spirituality that is taught by the Indian Masters. The heart of spirituality is Yoga or conscious oneness with God. Religion is a house and Yoga is a path that leads to God. Each of us has to remain in our own house, but we have every right to walk along the same road to go to school and get knowledge. The road belongs to everyone; but a particular house does not belong to everyone. If it is your house, it belongs to you. If it is my house, it belongs to me. But the road belongs to everyone. Similarly, in the inner life we can walk along the same road, no matter in which house we live.
There can be many roads leading to the goal. Many roads lead to Rome; but the destination, Rome, remains the same. At the same time we have to be wise. One road may be short and sunlit, while another road may be long and, to some extent, obscure. If we follow the road of the heart, then we are walking along the short and sunlit road. But if we walk along the path of the mind, then we are walking along the long and obscure road.
We have to give due value, due importance, to time. When we reach our destination, we will realise God, true. But that will not mean that we have achieved everything. God-realisation is not the end of our achievement. After we have realised God, then we have to think of revealing God. Then, after we have revealed God, we have to manifest God here on earth. So, God-realisation is our first goal, God-revelation is our second goal and God-manifestation is our third goal. The sooner we can reach our first destination, the faster we can go on to our second and third destinations. Again, each of these goals themselves have no end; they are constantly transcending their own limits.
Fear causes worry. We worry about our physical bodies. We worry all the time that our physical may have to sleep for a long time or that it may suffer from ailments.
We also worry about our vital. We feel that our destructive vital will strangle and kill others.
We worry about our mind. We feel that our mind may become full of doubt. We know that if the mind becomes doubtful, then we cannot believe anyone. If we cannot believe anyone, then we cannot love anyone. If we cannot love anyone, then we can never be satisfied.
We worry about our heart. We feel that if our heart does not feel its oneness with everyone, then we shall suffer much. We worry that if our heart does not accept the light of the soul, then the heart will remain in darkness.
Finally, we worry about death. We are afraid of death because death is unknown to us. Anything that is unknown to us creates terrible fear in us. But we have to know that death is also afraid of us. Death is afraid of us when we become seekers of the transcendental Truth. Death is afraid of us when we become one with God’s Love. When we become one with God’s universal, transcendental Love, we grow into the eternal Life. This eternal Life is always unknowable to death. So before we grow into the eternal Life, we are afraid of death. After we have become the eternal Life, death becomes afraid of us.