GREATNESS OF HEART
A message from Baba Virsa Singh Ji to Gobind Sadan USA, January 2017
Physical heart disease is of concern to many people, but we are not aware of the great disease of the spiritual heart. What is that disease? Hardness of the heart, constriction of the heart. We live only for ourselves, closing our hearts to the feelings, sufferings, and needs of others. A hard and closed heart is not a healthy heart. A healthy heart is lively, ever expanding in love for all beings, always increasing its spread.
When instead we withdraw from people, excluding them from our heart, what are we really doing? We are cutting ourselves off from God. God lives in all kinds of people, in all creatures. If we withdraw from others in fear and hatred, we are withdrawing from the living Presence of God, who pervades everywhere. As narrow is the boundary we make between people we are comfortable with and those whom we exclude as outsiders, so narrow is our experience of God. Thus the Guru said, “Na ko bairi, nahi bigaana, sagal sang ham ko baniaiee.” :
I have totally forgotten my jealousy of others, since I found the Saadh Sangat, the company of the Holy.
No one is my enemy, and no one is a stranger. I get along with everyone.
Whatever God does, I accept that as good. This is the sublime wisdom I have obtained from the Holy.
The One God is pervading in all. Gazing upon Him, beholding Him, Nanak blossoms forth in happiness.
What about people who seem to be doing wrong? How can we be comfortable in their presence? How are we to respond to them? Being open-hearted does not mean being untruthful. In his Zafarnama, Guru Gobind Singh challenged Emperor Aurangzeb’s non-religious behaviors so strongly that the extremely powerful Emperor recognized the truth of his misdeeds and began to wither away. So impressed was he that he called Guru Gobind Singh to give him spiritual guidance. And so open-hearted was Guru Gobind Singh that he tried to answer the Emperor’s call to meet him, even though the Emperor had been responsible for the deaths of many of his family members and devotees.
Our spiritual heart is the seat of both love and truth. These qualities are not mutually exclusive. Rather, fullness of life—the full potential of being a good human being—is attained only when our hearts are full of both love and truth. God is the Love that pervades everywhere, and also the Great Truth.
How can we open our hearts to that great Love, that great Truth? By discarding fear, by letting go of hatred, by turning toward the Great One Who is everywhere present. Only in that Presence will our heart open and open until it embraces the whole world.
- Dictated by Baba Virsa Singh Ji Maharaj 17 January, 2017