It’s been eight weeks since my wife Gita and I witnessed the birth of our daughter Tulsi into this world. I say witness, not because Gita did not exhibit extraordinary fortitude and endurance in labor and delivery, or that I was not constantly present, encouraging and supporting in every moment and way I could. It was all so. We witnessed Tulsi’s birth because there could be very few such experiences of worldly life so simply miraculous, so gracefully endowed with Divine blessings. The painful labor, the bodily processes, the long journey and every detail notwithstanding, there could be nothing short of God’s presence, vibrant with grace and joy on the road to parenthood.
Now I take every step on the path of fatherhood and reflect often and marvelously at our Heavenly Father who, full of love and compassion for all His children, cares for each one of us meticulously and without falter. Who, despite our every effort to turn away, our countless mistakes and shortcomings, loves us unconditionally and bestows His blessings upon us never once to fail. What a simple and yet miraculous and beautiful concept, to be loved unconditionally and eternally. Might we all reflect and meditate on such love more often, feel it in ourselves and share it with others? If we are in fact come from God, or as the bible says “made in His image” then we too are to love and care for one another in the same way. And to love God so. But how? How can one love faultlessly, patiently unmoving in the face of dirty diapers, piercing and relentless cries for help, exhaustion and personal habits or preferences discarded? Moreover, how can we return such love from whence it came, to the one Lover, scrupulously hidden yet glimmering and shining through every atom of creation? I suppose, as the cliché goes, one step at a time.
Developing devotion, perfecting the love of the heart, and expressing it peerlessly might be the most difficult and universal task there is. But if there’s work to be done, let’s get to it! Why not start small by practicing kindness, sweetness, being thoughtful and spending time with God. With consistent effort, one soon finds notable progress within. Before a lifetime goes in a blink of the cosmic eye, what better time spent? What better effort than perfect love could we leave as our legacy?
Back to fatherhood. Now mind you, on the lengthy spectrum scale of parenthood, decidedly well-off: our child is healthy, sleeps and eats well, and only mildly tests us with wailing bouts of inconsolable “WAAAA’s”. (As far as I can tell, this translates as “I am screaming to ineffectively communicate my problem, or I am without problem, just screaming.”) Despite our fortunate circumstances, I find the most wonderful and difficult experiences, the greatest capacity to experience Love in my heart, amidst my family and in silence within. No greater task or test, no further challenge or joy for me exists than to expand my self to include my family, to extend my love and my care to that of another, and still another. Indescribably helpful to this process is daily meditation and constant remembrance of the indwelling love of the Self within.
Our cute little two foot, ten pound baby we call Tulsi is a soul, an old soul to be sure, full of blessings to us all, as well as personal strengths and challenges, unimagined joys and painful growths for certain. And yet our dharma, our right spiritual action requires of us the daily tasks of parenthood, of caring for an all but helpless little human, to clothe and to feed, to “care for the morrow.” Daily we sacrifice of ourselves, and yet still have so much to give and to grow, for we are too someday to be like our Divine Mother and our Heavenly Father, perfected in our love and our fullness of virtue.
And so we continue our own spiritual practices, refining our attitudes and feelings, deepening our meditation and love for God, and calling on that same Presence to be with us constantly and bless us. No further calling, no greater joy can I imagine exists than that of fulfilling this spiritual journey with my earthly family, and my spiritual family, from here through all the heavens. And so each of us go our own way, seeking happiness and love here and there. We find it’s fulfillment in family and friends, work and play, creative deeds and endeavors, and ultimately always and only in our own Self, in the Heavenly Father whose infinite love and blessings are with us at all times, forever.