Wednesday, May 28, 2014

IX: 14

Chapter 9, Verse 14

"Always singing my glory,
Steadfast in devotion,
They make their lives an unending hymn
To my endless love."

Paramahansa Yogananda:

This verse refers to the devotional path.  The mind and heart of the Bhakta [devotee], immersed in God's love, are always intent on him.  Every thought and action are grasped as new expressions of devotion and worship.  Through their love-emanating eyes and actions, and the magnetic joy of their one-pointed devotion, they draw other souls to God, who is glorified by the eloquence of their exemplary lives.

Sri Aurobindo:

They open themselves to the indwelling divinity and know that the secret spirit in humanity, which only appears to be bounded by the limited human nature, is of the nature of the same ineffable splendor which we worship as God.  They become aware of his highest status as Master and Lord of all existences and yet, at the same time, see that in each existence he is the indwelling Inhabitant.  Him they serve and adore both as the transcendent and as the immanent God in all that exists.

To know God integrally is to know him as one in all manifestation and paradoxically beyond all manifestation at the same time.  To know him so is not enough unless it is accompanied by an intense uplifting of the heart and soul Godwards, kindling an all-embracing love, adoration, and aspiration.  Otherwise, it is only an intellectual seeing, a barren cognitive endeavor.

An all-seizing delight in him and a deep love and adoration of him is the inevitable result, the very essence of this knowledge.  This adoration is not an isolated prompting of the heart, but an offering of the whole existence as worship, a giving of all our works, a surrender of all our inward and outward nature to the God of our adoration in every moment.

Sri Eknath Easwaran:

St. Teresa of Avila, Christian mystic of sixteenth century Spain, founded many convents.  Towards the end of her life, she was struck with a bad case of influenza.  Before she had recovered, in the dead of winter, the call came from her superior to establish a new convent at Burgos.  She hesitated.  After all, she was very ill.  The Lord, she said, reproved her with these words...

I am the true warmth.  What is there to be afraid of?

Teresa and her companions set out in their mule-drawn carts on a day when sky and earth seemed fused in one torrential stream of water.  The carts were so mired in the mud that the nuns had to wade much of the distance in their sandals.  Teresa shook from head to toe with fever.

They came to the Arlanzon River.  There was a makeshift bridge which was so narrow that at the slightest movement of the current, carts, mules and nuns would tumble into the raging waters.  Teresa's carriage moved forward first.  Those still on the bank saw it swerve, stop and then begin to tip.  It was on the brink of falling into the torrent below.  Teresa jumped out of the cart and hurt herself.  With the river raging just below her feet, she exclaimed...

Lord, amid so many ills, why add this to all the rest?

In the depths of her consciousness came the reply...

Don't be upset, Teresita.  This is how I treat my friends.

Teresa replied, as only his beloved handmaiden might...

O, my Lord!  No wonder you have so few of them!

The Lord must not have been displeased with this answer, for the whole caravan made it across unharmed.  Teresa was a great saint.  The Lord made great demands on her, but he tempers the wind to the shorn lamb.  All he asks of little people like you and me is that we remember him as often as we are able in the small, daily encounters of our lives.

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