Unburdened by Love
A missionary serving the needy youth of an impoverished area of Nigeria was walking his daily trek to get fresh drinking water, a good sixteen-kilometer round trip. On his way back, painstakingly lugging the heavy 25-litre jug of water, while profusely sweating and thinking of the sacrifice he made every day bringing water to his fellow missionaries, he noticed a woman in front of him balancing the same 25-litre jug on her head. But that was not all; in each hand she carried a sack of cassava – the staple food of poor Nigerians, and also strapped to her back was a baby.
The missionary was stunned, but what caught his attention even more was how the woman was singing and smiling as she carried the heavy burden on her head, arms and back! She showed no sign of hardship or disdain for her situation. Running to her, the missionary offered to help carry her burdens, to which she laughingly told him that she didn’t have any burdens, that the water and cassava she carried was to feed her child whom she loved with all her heart, and that great love unburdened her, so much so that she felt no weight on her head, arms and shoulders.
Her message touched the missionary, and he never ever again confused a blessing with a burden. It made him understand that true love can never be a burden for the one you love, no matter the situation, and that bad situations are an opportunity to serve the ones we love in whatever way or capacity we can.
From a spiritual perspective, many have heard the Master say that love is to give, give and give! The Sant Mat teachings tell us that submission is the highest expression of love, and living in the will of the Master is a primary element in the Master-disciple relationship. Who is the best example of this? None other than the Master himself. He practises what he teaches.
The Master’s mission is to unburden his disciples of the illusion that is this life, and he does it with love and compassion – by teaching us the path of Light and Sound, and reinforcing our connection to the Creator. And though we still have to face the ups and downs of our destiny, ultimately, we now know where we are headed.
In the fantasy story Alice in Wonderland, when Alice reached a fork on the road, she asked the Cheshire Cat: “Which road do I take?”
The cat replied, “Where do you want to go?” “I don’t know,” Alice answered. “Then,” said the cat, “it does not matter.”
Such is the condition of humanity. However, a disciple of a true Master is no longer an Alice in the wonderland of illusion. The Master has given clear directions. What remains is for us to focus on our daily spiritual duty. By doing so, we will develop love and devotion and the discipline and commitment needed to silence the mind so that we can unburden ourselves from illusion and reconnect with the Creator.
Maharaj Charan Singh put it in perspective when he said:
This world was created, we are separated from the Father, and we are condemned to this separation. Unless we merge back into him, we cannot escape from birth and death. We have to grow spiritually within ourselves to understand the purpose of creation. And then perhaps you won’t even ask the Father why he has created you, because you will be one with the Father and will understand.
Spiritual Perspectives, Vol. I
Most of us have been on the path for some time. We have struggled and have yet to see results. The journey is not easy. In fact, it would be impossible but for the grace of the Lord. We should never lose hope; Master assures us that he is with us every step of the way.
A disciple asked Hazur Maharaj Ji: “We put in so much effort, and it seems like nothing comes for a while, that we’re in that vacuum you speak of. We’re putting in all this effort to give up our ego and give up the world, but my mind rebels. How do I deal with my mind?”
Hazur Maharaj Ji replied:
Brother, what do we give up of the world? What are we supposed to give up of the world? What is your concept of what you have to give up? You don’t leave your families. You don’t leave your children. You don’t leave your job. You don’t leave your house. You don’t leave your friends. What do you give up? Do you give up the sensual pleasures? One can enjoy those in a family life. What is there to give up?
Spiritual Perspectives, Vol. III
In a very gentle way, the Master tells us we have it easy, yet we complain about the little burden we have to carry, not realizing how light he has made our load.
Whatever part the Lord has assigned us to play, we have to play, but with a detached mind. If a honey bee sits on the edge of a utensil containing honey, it will taste the honey and fly away with dry wings. If it lands right in the middle of the honey, its wings will become heavy and it will not be able to fly away – it will die. So living in the world, discharging our obligations, we have not to forget the purpose for which this human birth was given to us. When that purpose is before us, automatically, naturally, we become disinterested in worldly things. But we don’t run away from them.
Spiritual Perspectives, Vol. III
And so we continue our journey fulfilling our destiny, unburdened through God’s love, singing the sound of silence all the way home.