Symbols of the world's religions



Meher Baba

The aspirant always has to be in readiness to serve the cause of humanity. He need not apply himself to any type of work irrespective of his capacities. He has to select that type of work which he is qualified to do by virtue of his individual aptitude and abilities. But whatever service he can render by virtue of his capacities, he renders it even when the circumstances are most trying. The ordeals through which he may have to pass are many, but his determination to serve whenever possible must remain unshaken.

The aspirant is not in any way attached to the idea of service, however, in the sense of maximum results being secured through himself alone. If any service needs to be rendered, he is willing to render it with any amount of sacrifice; but he is never bound by the false idea "I alone should have the credit for doing this." If the privilege of rendering the service falls to the lot of someone else, he is not envious. If he were to seek opportunities for himself to render service, it would be a form of selfishness.

In service that really counts in spiritual life, there can be no thought of the self at all. There should be no feeling of having something for oneself or of being the one who can give something to others. The self in all its forms has to be left entirely out of the picture. Service should spring out of the spontaneity of freedom, if and when it is necessary; and it has to come in the cooperative spirit in which there is no insistence upon the claims of the limited "I".

If the aspirant is completely detached from all works and their results, he becomes free from the vitiating opposites of great and small. The worldly-minded feel their separative existence through achievements. Therefore they have a natural tendency to judge their achievements in terms of tangible quantities. They grasp at the great things and avoid the little things. From the spiritual point of view, the so-called little things are often seen to be as important as the so-called great. Hence the aspirant has no reason to eschew the one and seek the other; he attends to little things with as much zest as to great things.

Although in spiritual life even little things matter as much as great things, the conventions of the world usually fail to recognize this simple truth. By following conventionally accepted ideas, the scope of possible service to fellow beings get artificially restricted to those activities that are conventionally regarded as important. Much that really is of vital importance to life is neglected, with the result that life is spiritually impoverished.


DISCOURSES, 7th ed, pp. 360-361
1987 © Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust


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