Someone recently asked me, “What are you? I mean, why do you look like you do? What’s the reason?” I loved the question, but I didn’t know where to begin to answer. Then it came to me. Keep it simple. “I’m a man who doesn’t want to waste the opportunity I’ve been given. I just want to keep-up serving God.”
She seemed to grasp that definition. It prompted another question. “Then, how do you serve God, and can anyone do it?”
“Yes, anyone can serve God. But, the trick is to serve Him the way He wants, not the way you want.”
She continued, “How do you know what God wants? I mean, who really knows the truth?”
“Now your asking the right question. Books have been written, protocols handed down, teacher’s of all kinds abound, that’s true. Where is the truth found? God’s truth can still be found. It’s in yoga, it’s in Sikhism, it’s in Judaism, it’s in Christianity, it’s in Hinduism. It’s in all great teachers and teachings. All you have to do is to separate the truth from fiction, reality from culture (easier said than done), then begin practicing that truth.”
This is where a true teacher becomes invaluable. It’s nearly impossible to pull yourself up by your bootstraps. You need a hand up. That’s how it works and has always worked. If your teacher is true, his/her hand will pull you up and lead you to Infinity, to God. Serving a true teacher provides one with a helping hand on spiritual path. This help comes in the form of a taste of the gifts a pure spiritual life provides: joy, contentment , prosperity, selflessness and more are previewed. A true teacher brings to the devotee a preview of an elevated life, in experience and perspective.
In order for the preview to become permanent and continuous, eventually, the servant must serve to a degree acceptable to his teacher, his teachings, his Guru, and his God. She must earn for herself what her teacher has previously blessed her with. The advantage is that the student has now experienced the glory in the elevated experience and knows what she’s after. The goal is not only in focus, it’s in the memory bank of experiences. Thus, self-esteem issues become much less of a handicap. Been there - done that!
Those of you who don’t have a teacher, don’t fret. There’s still hope. Practice the teachings in your structure, your scriptures, your religion. Take it slowly so you can analyze what works and what doesn’t, separating the wheat from the chaff. It takes great patience, but that’s how being your own teacher works. Typically, this way, the solo method, takes much, much longer. That’s why I recommend a true teacher.
Her questions continued, “Yes, but how do I know a true teacher from a phony? How do I know that this or that teacher will teach me the true way God wants to be served?”
“Now, your questions are getting really good”, I responded. “It’s about karma and it’s about overcoming karma. Karma will take you to where you’re supposed to be; overcoming karma is only at God’s discretion. And, God loves those who serve Him properly. That’s the rule and I can’t change it even if I wanted to. By serving a true teacher, your serving his/her God. Be it Christ or Guru Nanak, or any other true steps, serving this progression is where God’s grace is bestowed. This is where, through God’s grace, karma is overcome.”
“Do you mean that serving God correctly is the way to elevation, to a live of contentment?”
“Yes, that’s what I mean. Now you understand.”
If your service to a true teacher, to your Guru, to God, is deemed acceptable, then, and only then, will God’s grace befall you. Your calling is up to He who created it all. You can never judge the time it takes; you can never judge your worthiness; you can never doubt your love; you can never alter His will.
I repeated, “I’m just a man, praying to keep-up, taking advantage of the opportunity with which I have been blessed.” Stay tuned,
In the Humility of Service and Gratitude,
MSS Hari Jiwan Singh Khalsa
Chief of Protocol