by Michael Ketterhagen
“Law and order are necessary if humans are to live together in groups….
Our intuitive wisdom,
grounded in love, compassion, mutual understanding and nonviolence…
is often buried
under our selfishness, ego, fear and attachment to our own [personal] values.“
--Pandit Rajmani Tigunait
In light of humanity needing to have rules and laws to operate peacefully, we must be careful about the rules that we make. They need to be in tune with Divine Law. But what is Divine Law? Or as many Christians would ask, “how do we know God’s will?” Many God-loving people struggle with that question, especially since the recent overturn of the national law about abortion by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Are the regulations we make today interfering with Divine Law? In the U.S., where individual freedom is considered God-given, do regulations regarding the use of guns restrict people from fulfilling a divine right?
When is a law a benefit just for the individual and not a benefit for the welfare of the family, community, society or even humanity? In thinking of our individual duty to live our lives as we feel called to, we also are not living alone in the world. Even if we were living alone, let’s say, in the desert or in the woods or a jungle, we would still have to live according to the law of nature. Our every action have to consider our natural surroundings, would have to consider the animals, birds, weather, etc. that touch our lives.
So, what is God’s Law? In Yoga, it is called the Law of Karma. Every action has a consequence, “an opposite and equal reaction”, as science says. We can’t just do what we want to do. We have to do what is good for others as well as for ourselves. We have to overcome our ego, selfishness, attachments and aversions in order for us to flourish. It’s the same when others are involved. We have to pray for and act in accordance to the highest good of all.
What is that? How do we know?
All spiritual traditions say that we must set aside our selfishness and fears and listen to the Divine. We must pray!
The Yoga Tradition says that not only prayer is needed but we must train our mind so that with “repeated practice in overcoming ego, selfishness, attachment, and aversion,” it is then possible for us to connect with “a higher power or to the Divinity within to give us the strength and wisdom to overcome our blindness so that we can walk in the light of divine law,” as Pandit Rajmani Tigunait says.
Regular, faithful, consistent meditation practice, Yoga says, is the practice that is necessary. We need to sit daily and set aside the worries, fears, concerns, and self-centeredness so that we can hear the soft, gentle, subtle whisper of the Divine voice within. Then we will know how to honor Divine Law.
“Lord, give me the wisdom…to delight in sacrificing my personal pleasures for the sake of my family…., to sacrifice my family interests for the welfare of the community,… and … to sacrifice my communal interests for the welfare of my society. May I envision the ways of contributing to the welfare of the entire humanity, even if I have to sacrifice the welfare of ‘my’ society.” (Pandit Rajmani Tigunait)
I pray to the divinity in you!