We say “God-fearing” of a man who is deeply religious person. Is that not a misconception? If the essence of God is love, why fear Him? Hasn’t he created the universe and all life, providing us with resources? Why should anyone fear Him? The Bible (John) states: “He that loveth not, knoweth not God. For God is love. There is no fear in love but perfect love casteth out fear.”
Fear is negative, it’s limiting. It makes one weary and distrusting. It stops us from standing up against corruption, it prevents us from protesting against wrongdoing and it makes us hesitate to challenge injustice. In a state of fear we turn passive supporter of misdeeds. Since God is not only love but also upholder of universal law, perhaps we do need to fear Him.
Virtue is rewarded and ill-doing attracts retribution. If at all one needs to fear something, it is to fear retribution. On the other hand if one has nothing to fear, it means the conscience is clear, there is courage of conviction and life flows smoothly.
Religious diktats are followed not out of fear of God but because of fear of ungodly misguided people in authority who are themselves far removed from God. We fear pain, failure, separation. We fear situations that cafull of opportunities to learn and move on. If we resent setbacks and blame it all on God, then God becomes intimidating.
Yet, we do look up to God as our saviour. And when we do so, we pay more attention to rites and rituals, chants and intonations rather than on invocation. We are depriving ourselves of His love, losing sight of the soul, the integral part of the supreme soul; we are turning a deaf ear to the voice from within. “He who realises the joy of Brahmn is free from fear,” say the Upanishads. “Only by love can men see me and know me and come unto me” said Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita. According to the Svetavatara Upanisad “The one God is hidden in all beings, all-pervading , the inner self of all beings, the ordainer of all deeds dwells in all beings, the witness, the knower the only one..........” Therefore it is futile to try to hide dark thoughts and actions from the Divine. Make friends with the Almighty who could then be your sakha or ally in life and help you overcome anger, jealousy lust, passion and greed.
“Friend, stay in my heart, in my day’s work, in my prayer, in my knowledge, in happiness, in sorrow, in laughter, in tears...” so prayed Rabindranath Tagore. He addressed the Supreme as his beloved and friend, mate, co-traveler, companion playmate, partner in deep realisation.
Sufism is perhaps the best example of complete surrender to the Almighty with devotional love, reflected so beautifully in Rumi’s verse: “I thought of you so often, that I completely became you. Little by little you drew near, and slowly but slowly I passed away.” With the strength of divine love Meerabai united with her beloved Krishna and Chaitanya Mahaprabhu got engulfed in the blue God’s ocean of love.
According to Swami Surya Jowel fear acts as hindrance to freely love the Supreme. When we condition our love with expectation there are chances of disappointment ad fear of rejection. This creates distances. Divisibility of self creates room for dilemma, doubts, and insecurity. All fuelled by fear. “Turn to the Sun; he says you will realise how he takes care of life with love and light.”
Lovely Thoughts for Lovely People Just Like You