A woman came to me wanting to divorce her husband. I will never forget what she asked of me. She said, “Show me a way of getting a divorce so that my husband remains miserable for all time to come.” She knows very well that her husband will be the happiest person in the world the day she divorces him; she has pestered him endlessly. Now she wants that he be made miserable even after she leaves.
When we are together we wish to give sorrow; when we are apart we wish to give sorrow. Together or apart, if our aim in life is to create sorrow and pain for others, then it can only gradually create a painful wound within ourselves. The wound is of our own making. It comes out of constant attention to provoking pain.
This is what we call karma, the process of actions. Fate, destiny, only mean that whatever you do comes back to you. Though there may be a certain lapse of time, eventually it is bound to bounce back to affect you. Therefore do only what you want to obtain for yourself. If you find yourself in a veritable hell, it is of your own making – the fruit of what you have been doing for countless births.
People come to me and say, “Bless us so that we may attain happiness.” There would be no problem if it were so easy, if one man could just bless everyone and they would find happiness. How could my blessings wash away your misery? Try to understand me and not ask for blessings; that would be mere deception. You have given pain and suffering to others, now you must reap the fruits of your actions; and you come to ask for blessings? And your attitude is that you suffer because I do not give you my blessings. No blessings can remove your suffering. If somebody’s blessings help to improve your understanding and sow seeds of love within you, that is more than enough. Sins can be washed away only with love, and suffering can end only when you give happiness to others.
Nanak says: “If the mind is filled with sin, only the love for his name can purify it.” When you begin to love a person, you find it impossible to harm that person, because then the other’s happiness becomes your happiness; the other’s sorrow becomes yours. The barrier between your life and your beloved’s exists no more; you flow into each other.
When that phenomenon takes place between a person and God, it is called prayer, worship, devotion; it is the ultimate form of love. When it gives so much joy to make someone happy and so much pain to make someone unhappy, the same holds true in the case of you and God. If the relationship is one of love you are in heaven; in the absence of love you find yourself in the depths of hell.
God means totality. You have to love this vast expanse, the whole universe, all that is, as if it were a person. All your sins will be washed away when you fall hopelessly in love with all that is. Then whom will you deceive? Wherever you look he is there; in whatever eye you look you will find him seated.
Devotion is a revolutionary process. It means now there is none but He. Your life has suddenly become simple, uncomplicated. Now there is no more need to sin, no more need to deceive. Do not think that devotion implies going to the temple to offer worship. Reciting the Japuji early in the morning is not devotion; nor is going to the mosque or church. This will not lead you anywhere.