What hides God from us is our little ego. When the ego goes God’s light grows.
Human beings have a natural tendency to conceal all their misdeeds. We try to cover them with falsehood, pretense and hypocrisy. The reason for this is of course, our big ‘Ego’. We tend to wear many masks, some masks are painted bright and some masks are pure and glowing. But most of us know that they are only masks, the fake camouflage that we put on. We present to the world, an unsullied, pure and beautiful exterior faked to please others. These masks of falsehood can deceive the world, but not oneself. And in the long run, if we continue to play ‘roles’ under these fake exteriors, it can cause harm to both our physical and emotional health. Is there anyone among us who can say that he has not sinned? Is there anyone who can frankly say that he has harboured no ill feelings or ill thoughts towards others?
One day, a saint along with his disciples was passing by a graveyard. It was a moonlit night. The very graves shone with the silvery light of the moon. The saint looked at the graveyard, and remarked, “Man is like those graves! See, they appear shining and clean from the outside, but when you dig the graves deeper, you will find nothing but a sordid collection of insects and worms, feeding on dead flesh!
In the same way, man may appear very clean from outside, but look deeper into him, you will find venomous snakes of greed, serpents of evil thoughts and wasps of desires. Man goes about wearing white clothes, man goes about putting on a white exterior, but man’s heart is filled with the slush of evil. His mind is full of lust and greed and unhealthy desires!”
Looking at the graveyard, the saint urged his disciples, “Do not carry the dead spirit within. Come out of the graves, and live a life of reality! Do not hide your sins. Do not conceal your crimes and evil doings; do not keep them under wraps. Be natural. Be what you truly are. Not the dead bodies of the graveyard, but the zestful, joyful human beings of the beautiful planet earth!”
Once, Gurudev Sadhu Vaswani was asked, “Please show us an easy way to realise the Higher Self. We are unable to follow the difficult paths described in the scriptures.” He replied, “I will show you the easiest way. By morning you would have realised your Higher Self.”
The devotees surrounding him were happy. Self-realisation in one night! Anyone of them would have thought it was impossible. But here Gurudev Sadhu Vaswani was offering us self-realisation on a golden platter.
He said, “Tonight, you must keep awake; take a sheet of paper, and write on it all the sins that you have committed till now. Tomorrow, early in the morning, you must go and put it up on the notice board outside the Mission Office. Once you have put up the list of all your sins of commission and omission on the notice board of the Mission you will find your Higher Self.”
The eager devotees were bewildered. Thoughtful and serious, they retired for the night – perhaps, to keep a vigil!
Next morning everyone rushed to the notice board. Alas, there was not a single sheet of paper confessing anyone’s sins and misdeeds. No one was ready to reveal the inner sullied self. Finding the Higher Self could wait!
Friends, we are content to live our lives on the surface. Superficiality characterises everything we do. We occupy our minds with what we would like to eat, what we would like to buy, and what we could do to impress our friends and neighbours. Do not put up a show for the sake of the ego. Do not be like a fake currency note.
You will be rejected not only in the temple of the Lord, but also in the world around you. Be genuine. Follow the truth. Accept your shortcomings, your sins and your faults. Do not hide your weaknesses. Be an open book in the court of the great dispenser of justice. You will be able to cross the bar and withstand the test of time only if you are ‘real’. Understand this clearly: you cannot hide your true self from God.
Therefore pray again and again, “Oh Lord, make my heart pure, wash it whiter than snow, and cleanse me of all this filth, all this dirt.”