My constant wish is that we respect one another, that we respect our individual uniqueness and therefore the multitude of pathways that must exist on our human quest towards the Divine. This must start in the home through the classroom and out into the wider world.
My heart bleeds when I see the devastation caused by zealous Buddhist monks in Burma against their Moslem neighbours. When you remember that certain followers of Buddha will sweep the path in front of them for fear of treading on and killing an insect, spider or ant and yet will kill and set fire to the homes of their human brothers and sisters I wonder which cannon of Buddhism they are following. Are they so fearful of losing their own faith that they deny others theirs? What harm have others done to them?
Was it the greatest crime against humanity when Buddha proclaimed, ‘there is no God’? Or perhaps, was Gautama there for the very reason to cater for those who did not believe in God? Well, I can’t help feeling that if his disciples had allowed others to believe and know of the existence of God then his followers of today would not be in such a traumatic state as to fear for themselves, wandering in the desert of unknowing that they find it necessary to kill others in the know!
My first finding of the word Atma to represent the Soul within was when I joined a local Sai Baba group in Crawley, Sussex, England 30 years ago, but as Shakespeare said, ‘A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.’ And I would not deny any other name that anyone might use to call the spark of the Divine within.
If only we could remember with each breath, that we all do carry within us that light of the Divine Fire that is the only and supreme cause and reason for our life on Earth. And with that same breath look at everyone else as if looking in a mirror to see the reflection of that light shining forth as a beacon from us all.
Wouldn’t it be an amazing revelation to recognise our lights and to realise that in this way we truly do become the light of the world? Do you think our attitudes to each other would change? Would we look at each other the way we do now with the black cloth of the judge on our heads ready to pronounce judgement even to death on anyone who does not conform to our way of thinking?
There is a lot of talk about human rights and cases in courts right, left and centre but when you look at the news, would you have the courage to stand up for the rights of every individual no matter who they are, of whatever colour, caste or creed? You know of course that this stance involves a radical reversal from fear, brought on by jealousy, into unconditional love?
Beloved Baba puts it like this:
Be fixed in the consciousness that you are the immortal Atma – holy, pure and Divine. This will give you unshakable courage and strength. Then you will develop mutual love and respect.
Tolerate all kinds of persons and opinions, all attitudes and peculiarities. The school, your home, your workplace and the society – all of these are training grounds for tolerance. Each one must be aware of their duties and rights. All relationships must be based on love, and not fear.
Only the atmosphere of love can guarantee happy co-operation and concord. Above all, be good, honest and well-behaved. That will make your degrees and achievements more desirable and valuable.
– Divine Discourse, Feb 2 1958.
With love, David