Nurture your heart and keep it strong. A strong heart HEALs and conquers any hurt, any wound, any difficulty that challenges you. Your heart protects you, nourishes you and saves you from the potential injuries and sufferings of this life. Your heart and the Divine Heart are One. However, you need to support your heart in order to remove the obstacles that deny and muddy its Oneness with the Divine Heart and That of all.
There are powerful keys which help you strengthen the heart rather than weaken it, which keep the heart unbroken rather than broken and which allow it to merge with its destiny of Love. These are kindness, unwavering devotion, service, integrity, good company and right action.
The Spiritual Path is the Path of HEALing and strengthening the heart, the Path which returns you to your original Divine purity. Your True Heart, which is the seed and cell of all things of this world and which is rooted in the Divine Love of God Itself. The Heart that is indestructible and eternal.
Duality and its desires, attachments and vasanas weaken and harm you. They make your heart limited, tight, impoverished and undernourished. They make you unkind, judgemental, critical, ungrateful, arrogant and ignorant.
When we embark on the Spiritual Path we have the opportunity to move beyond these weakening habits and elevate to the level that our duality and worldliness can no longer poison. We learn how to be steadfast, how to be equanimous, how to be unwaveringly devotional, how to embrace integrity, how to serve and be selfless, how to sacrifice, how to be humble, to not gossip, or slander, hurt or damage another. We learn the true meaning of kindness. We are given an opportunity, a sacred protective thread from Divine Love, from God, which holds us on our Path and in our connection to the Divine… a Divine thread of Trust.
There is usually a honeymoon period when we first embark on any relationship and it is no different when we embark on our Path or when we meet our Guru or the teachings: everything feels wonderful and we are elated. Finally, life has more meaning; It’s like something, someone is here to save us and protect us, to heal us and to help us. But, in time, the honeymoon period ends and the hard work begins. The work of destroying our negative and repetitive habits… our ego. The challenges inevitably come. But we must not forget that these are only challenges to the ego, an ego which wants to be taken seriously, which is arrogant, which suffers, which complains and which has little gratitude.
How we react to the challenges is crucial. Not all can be truly alert and careful. Only a few can remain with their devotion, who can be unwavering. In any moment, if the ego is strong enough, the sacred thread of Trust is easily broken. And there is deep harm.
Each time I hear someone commit to their Path, their Guru, their word, their Love, I know that they are now in an inescapable danger of breaking their commitment. I warn them when appropriate, when I feel there is a chance for them to stay true, to help their resolve. Each time they say “I love you” or “may I serve you” they are in danger of the possibility of rejecting, of even hating. Once the sacred thread is cut they either begin the habit of rejecting and destroying or they strengthen a habit of destruction that is already there.
The way to God is not an intermittent path. God is not found through a wavering mind or a wavering heart. God is not found through listening to internal or external gossip or judgements, through associations with others who pull you from your path. And each time we fill our mind with judgements, rejections and inconsistency, each time we break our devotion, our loyalty, our resolve, our Path, we break our hearts in the most tragic way: we break our integrity, and we create a strong habit of rejection, of damaging, of aborting, of turning away.
Many years ago I met some individuals and groups who behaved like this in relation to my Guru, Sri Sathya Sai Baba, a phenomenon experienced by many divine teachers. I witnessed those who fell in love, who were enamoured, who pursued devotion. How they tried to infiltrate themselves with Swami, to please Him, to serve Him, to try to get whatever they wanted or felt they needed. Sometimes something happened that they did not like and the ego went into judgement. Maybe Swami did not give them what they thought they should get and their love turned to anger. Or suddenly, they did not need Him anymore, they did not feel anything for Him anymore, they did not respect Him anymore, they did not like Him anymore and they pursued rejecting Him, not just personally but also publicly. I am deeply grateful that their efforts to change my mind did not work with me.
It was a profound learning to watch such a process, sad though it was and it prepared me for similar kinds of projections, angry or destructive actions, towards me as I became more involved in teaching others. We like to place our teachers on pedestals and then we like to push them off. We objectify them, adore them, give our devotion and then we get angry at them when The Path becomes more difficult, when perhaps more is expected of us. Our teachers tell us to have humility and gratitude but we can become self-righteous, arrogant and lack gratitude. It is easy to decry our teachers and blame them and try to defame them. Some people make a habit of this all their lives. And each time we do, we break the sacred Divine thread in our hearts. We break our hearts in a way that is almost insurmountable to HEAL.
I knew without any doubt that my devotion was a reflection of my own heart, that my devotion was the subject and not the object, that my beloved Swami as my Guru, was the willing and beloved focus of my devotion to enable my heart to expand, to grow, to not reject, to not waiver, to not break. I knew that my beloved Guru was willingly giving me the power to break His heart, if in the process, somehow, somewhere, someday, I could possibly wake up. How can I ever have enough gratitude for His Love and Devotion to do this for me?
I prayed with all my heart that I would never give in to the inconsistency of my mind, that I would stay loyal to my devotion and to the object of my devotion. I prayed that through steadfastness, my heart would reach its true destination through a loyal commitment. My devotion, like yours, is a reflection of your own heart. But without the object of my devotion, without Swami, my heart could do nothing… I have an everlasting gratitude to Swami for placing Himself for many years in the vulnerable situation of my own and others projections, for being constant, for encouraging and receiving my devotion; for being an object, projected on, potentially idolised and decried, loved and hated, judged and condemned, adored and disrespected.
All true Gurus willingly face this fate, the fate of fickle and dangerous reactions. All true teachers know that only a very small percentage of those who walk with them, can walk the whole way. That, for many, the destiny, the grace is just not there. And yet, there is always the opportunity for a heart to stay constant, to stay true, to become pure and to find its innocence. And so the chance is always worth it. To be there, to support, to hold and to be the object needed for the heart to grow. The tantalising possibility of an emerging heart shining with the strength and radiance of true unwavering devotion and Love. A heart merged with The One Divine Heart of all.
God, Guru’s heart is your heart. Pray for the grace to stay strong so that your Sacred Thread is never broken. Pray, that you remain unwavering in your quest and that your Heart remains intact and merges with The True Heart that is God. Pray especially, that if you cannot resist and you must move on, that you move away with kindness, peace, respect, integrity and eternal gratitude. Pray for this grace and no matter what, your heart will remain Whole.