Thursday, January 31, 2008

The Really Great Are Really Simple

There is much talk and argument these days about leadership. That talk goes on in the material world under the name of politics. In spiritual circles similar talk goes on in the name of community. But one thing is common to all: when love and affection are present, everyone feels satisfied. And when they are absent, no one is fulfilled.

The special quality of a pure devotee of God is his divine love. This love is not calculated on knowledge or position. It is broad, generous, deep, inclusive, graceful and not self conscious. Although the highest thing, it does not hesitate to mix with the lowest. Rather, it takes pleasure in sharing the highest with the lowest. True greatness and spiritual genius are not affected by self importance. Self forgetfulness is one of the qualities of love.

Although the pure devotee is really great, out of love he appears to be really simple. He is full of mystic power but dressed in plain humility. Feeling love for God and affection and compassion for the living beings, he may not even be aware of his own exalted position. He sees himself as an ordinary person, but his greatness can be observed by how much love he is ready to give. And his love is not mere sentiment. He is able to liberate anyone who approaches him.

On the other side are those who posture and pose as leaders or masters but who are conditioned by power and entitlement. They are motivated not by giving to others but by how much they are recognized as great by others. They see themselves as very important because they are not satisfied within themselves. Since they don't experience divine love, they demand compensation for the role they play. They can’t wait to fly off to the next event for the next reward.

So if you have a choice, who would you follow: someone who puts on a good show at being holy or special, but who wants your praise or your money or your vote, without anything substantial to offer you? Or one who is so heavy (the literal meaning of "guru") that he forgets his own weight and stays with you for as long as it takes to lift you up and free you from your suffering?

No comments: