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The Divine Warrior
THE DIVINE WARRIOR
What is a Divine Warrior?
While we may tend to look or consult dictionary definitions from time to time, most of us are pretty much in acquiescence, that the word ‘divine,’ belongs to or pertains to the nature of something higher, superhuman or devoted to the nature of God. Of course this presupposes whichever way that we are comfortable with our true Source.
In the same way, a Warrior is a courageous fighter, who may be required to fight on behalf of his or her country, or be called upon to fight his or her own inner and outer battles of ignorance or joy. This article is about the Divine Warrior, one who wages war against the forces of Ignorance, in order to find a deeper meaning to life; one seeking to be filled with inner and outer joy and delight.
Who is a Divine Warrior?
We are all seekers, consciously or unconsciously marching towards Happiness, our eternal home. The Divine Warrior is a conscious seeker. He or she is generally tired of the mundane, and has begun a wakeful search for something deeper within him or herself. The Divine Warrior embarks on a personal and inner journey of Self-discovery – a unique and ‘looked forward to’ meeting with his True Self, after a long and arduous struggle.
This happens outwardly in the material world, and inwardly, where one’s true Source abides. Spiritual warfare inspires this individual to go inward to the very Centre of Being, and to anchor into the Source of existence, where lies abiding joy.
How is the Goal Attained?
The Divine Warrior must be prepared to renounce self-will, and to humble himself/herself. This is epitomised in Luke’s gospel thus:
“Whosoever Exalteth Himself Shall Be Abased; and He That Humbleth Himself Shall Be Exalted.” The Bible: Luke 18:14. This message of humility is repeated in Sri Chinmoy's wonderful book, The Wings of Joy:
“Humility is our feeling of consecrated oneness with humanity. The more light we receive by virtue of our humility, the more we have to offer to mankind.”- Sri Chinmoy.
Thus we are encouraged to act only for the glory of God. There is always a great struggle between the forces of darkness and those of light, and consequently, the Divine Warrior must always think of the Higher Entity, striving to adhere to the Path of Truth. Some useful tools are: Distrust of one’s own capacities, an unshakeable faith in the Inner Pilot, a manifestation of the spirit in man to oneself and others, as well as self-offering. Of course this is strengthened by prayer, meditation and above all, God’s Grace. The good fortune of Grace through prayer minimises the pull of the material world, and all obstacles or impediments become easier to overcome.
One cannot over-emphasise the importance of faith. Faith sees the future inside the immediacy of the present, and is the soul’s fore-knowledge of the highest Truth. It helps us to correct ourselves and to avoid the same mistakes. It lightens our burdens, and gives us the courage to try again. It is because of faith that we continue to perform good actions, resist temptations and endure many trials.
The Supreme Warrior must be fully conscious of his dependence on the Supreme. While striving to free his mind from idle curiosity, he must also be conscious of vain, useless and immoral gossip. These things would divert him and cause him to forget the good cause of the divine war. Exercising discrimination, one must speak of things and mix with others that create joy, listen to devotees of truth, and follow the advice of one’s mentor or guide. The Divine warrior should seek only to serve, and to utilise the things that enable him to do so.
He should avoid self-love as much as possible as well as spiritual pride, and be ready to honour others without expectations. Such things as would open up the seeker to hostile forces must be diminished or transformed: vanity, satisfaction of the senses and an agitated or critical mind being at the forefront among them. The moon looks very beautiful after a dark night. In the same way, the Divine Warrior will feel more peaceful after having defeated the adverse forces of nature. This he does by relying on the Divine, seeing the presence of Spirit in all things, a convincing proof of God’s unfathomed and undying love for him.
We all have a two-fold nature. One spiritual and the other material, one higher and the other lower. The higher nature is dominated by love and a yearning for the One. The lower is generally dominated by the mind. This sometimes clouds our reasoning and creates competition for the affections of the soul versus the desires of the world. As a result of ‘limited freedom’ of choice, we may develop love and devotion for the side of Light, or we may choose the side of darkness, thus becoming lured by the promise of sense-gratification. This inevitably leads to suffering.
It is difficult to serve the forces of Light and darkness together. No one can serve two Masters, for by so doing one will sacrifice truth for the love of the world. It is rather like trying to build a fire by pouring water on it, hence the saying of the Christ thus:
“No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” The Bible. Matthew 6:24.
The Supreme Warrior should be on wary when temptations seem to be withdrawn, for this is the time for her to double her guard, and, like a true soldier, mobilise everything she’s got towards overcoming the emotions within. It will also help to cultivate discipline, while anchoring her jewels in the heavenly store.
Being a Divine Warrior calls for constant vigilance, for it is after seeming to conquer her greatest weaknesses, that the Divine Warrior falls prey to some small vice. This may cause her to lose courage and to give up the fight. It is good to avoid being too critical of others, and to strive to check the unbridled senses. This helps to avoid deceit, an innordinate desire for profit, fame, greed and distinction. All these can lead to attachment, and be detrimental to the devotee seeking satisfaction and true joy.
The Spiritual Warrior must be aware of the dangers of a second, third and fourth attack from the forces of ignorance. He has to fight with determination, cheerfulness, discipline and courage, very much like being on a battlefield. Ignorance will return to test him again and again, until the impulse that gave rise to the occasion has been completely annihilated. As long as the problem remains, even in seed form, it may sprout again, rob him of his good habits, and place him in danger of falling down.
The Divine Warrior consequently has to pray steadfastly and continuously, as well as perform daily acts of self-offering to both God and man. There should be greater association with devotees, mildness of speech and compassion or empathy to all. Small vices are to be shunned. They contain the embryo of larger vines that can damage even the strongest tree. Many past Warriors have shown tremendous courage and endurance only to be trapped by an enemy in disguise.
However, faith, resolution and the motto “Never give up!” will inevitably see him through. The senses will not act without the consent of a stronger will. Adversity teaches us to take shelter in the Supreme, thus we exercise our spiritual muscles, and increase our love for the ultimate Source. The Divine warrior must not rely on his own strength. Where possible, he should cultivate eagerness and joyful thanksgiving. The road to truth is narrow and full of obstacles. It is also long but on the whole richly rewarding.
Trials will come in so far as they are necessary for the transformation of one’s lower nature. It is at these times that endurance becomes a great help in assisting us not to forget the Divine. Even then, the Divine Warrior must learn to draw good from evil and joy from pain. Where temptation is severe and all else fails, he should pray for protection and take shelter in the Supreme. Patience is required again and again, for it has the capacity to dissolve wrong forces, and helps us to remember that victory is reliant upon Divine Grace.
Spiritual warfare may continue throughout life. As such, one should practice mindfulness and courage – the outer expression of our inner indomitable will. Setbacks and wounds are inevitable, but like a good soldier, we should never lay down our arms or leave the field of battle – the boat on the supernal journey.
Spiritual warfare is unavoidable, and the Divine Warrior has to fight, either on the side of Light, or to go with the ways of the world. Adverse forces are by nature strong, determined and obstinate and will not allow him to be peaceful. The only solution is to use the armour of morning prayers and meditation, so as to open the windows of his soul for divine protection. Each day should be a great privilege and an opportunity to conquer adversities and to abandon fear.
The mind should be free from suspicion and doubts so that the Light can enter. Let perseverance be steadfast in the face of all aridity and disenchantment. He that endureth to the end, shall find peace. (Matthew, 24:13). – Manatita, 6th August, 2013. Copyrighted