Man's responsibility is greater than that of any other being in the world. It
is told in the Qur'an that God said: 'We laid our trust on the mountains, and
they could not bear the load; we laid our trust on the trees, and they were
unable to take it; we then laid our trust on man, and it is man who has borne
it'. This trust is our responsibility; not only our responsibility to those
around us, to those whom we meet in everyday life, or to the work that we are
engaged in, or to the interest that we have in life - but our responsibility
towards this whole creation; what we contribute to this creation and whether it
is something agreeable to bring about better and harmonious conditions in the
sphere, in the world, on the earth. If we do so then we know our responsibility.
If we are unaware of it, we have not yet learned the purpose of our being here.
There is childhood, when a child knows nothing. He destroys things of value
and beauty owing to his curiosity, his fancy. But when he grows up the child
begins to feel his responsibility. The sign of maturity is the feeling of
responsibility. So when a soul matures it begins to feel its responsibility, and
it is from that moment that a person begins his life. It is from that moment
that the soul is born again, and so long as the soul is not born again it will
not enter the kingdom of God. The kingdom of God is here. As long as man is not
conscious of his responsibility he does not know the kingdom of God. It is his
becoming conscious of his responsibility which wakens him to the kingdom of God,
in which is the birth of the soul.
Once a soul has awakened to the continual music of life, that soul considers
it as his responsibility, his duty, to play his part in the outer life, even if
it be contrary to his inner condition at the moment.
The responsibility that every man has is greater than a king's
responsibility. It seems as if every man has a kingdom of his own for which he
is responsible - a kingdom which is in no way smaller than any kingdom known to
us, but incomparably larger than the kingdoms of the earth. This teaches us to
be thoughtful and conscientious and to feel our responsibility at every move we
make. When a man does not feel this, he is unaware of himself, he is unaware of
the secret of life. He goes on as a drunken man walking in a city. He does not
know what he is doing, either for himself, or against himself.
Many people in the Western world have said: 'For us it is very difficult to
have a meditative life in the activity of this world. We have so many
responsibilities and occupations'. But my answer is that for this very reason
they need more meditation. Then a person may say: 'I have things to do. How can
I go into a meditative life? I have weaknesses to overcome'. But the answer is
that the way of getting above weaknesses is to go through meditation. When there
are many responsibilities in life, one's very reason tells one that it is better
to meditate and make the responsibility lighter. It is not getting worried over
one's responsibilities that helps man. It is being responsible, but at the same
time being strong enough to lift one's responsibilities.
Never expect that the events of life are favorable all through. You will have
to make a continual struggle and fight with others, whether you like it or not,
whether you love them or not. You will find that this fight must be encountered
on every side. So you must face it patiently. Do not turn your back to it. Face
the conflict with courage and bravery and tranquility. Since you know that you
are on the path of truth you can go on trustfully. Although there is a great
responsibility in this worldly life, it is through this responsibility that you
are enabled to evolve spiritually. In fact your evolution will become much
greater even than that of the saints who have renounced the world. The reason
for this is that, when you pursue your life's journey steadily and with
tranquility through all the struggles and conflicts you have to undergo, success
will surely come in time. This success will perhaps enable you in your turn to
bring great success to the lives of many other souls too.
Man may become great by his responsibility. And at the same time he may fall,
for there is a stumbling block: the more conscious man becomes of his
responsibility, the less he recognizes the power of wisdom which is working
beside him. It is because of this that at this time of materialism there are
great personalities who accomplish many things, and yet in the end they show
their limitation. This limitation comes from being drowned in the responsibility
they have taken upon themselves and from having forgotten God, the other power
that is working beside them.
The teacher shows the way, but the pupil must journey. If the teacher shows
the way and the pupil sits still, after a thousand years he is still there where
he was, and it is not the fault of the teaching.
The greatest responsibility we have in life is to find out our own path, our
own object in life, instead of bothering about others. Suppose a person has a
better object in life, if he happens to be our friend, we need not pull him
back. If a person has what seems to be a worse object, let him have it, we need
not pull him towards us. If it seems to us at the moment a wrong object, never
mind, even from a wrong object, perhaps, he has his lesson to learn. We learn in
life much by our faults and mistakes. If a person falls, he learns by his fall.
If a person has thought of an object wrongly, if the object is followed
sincerely, surely in the end he must arrive at the goal towards which the soul
directs every individual.