Are you on the spiritual journey? Maybe you even belong to some spiritual organization? A church? A mosque? A temple? Some other spiritual society or religious association?
Do you have people around you on your path? You need to take care of them, you can’t expect your organization to. Why is that?
Have you ever read a scripture or spiritual text from any tradition where individuals were not directly mentioned? Was there ever an organizational body that interacted in a touching way with an individual? There’s a reason for that! Organizations are good for building processes, providing infrastructure, and many other nice organizational things. But no organization can connect to a soul. A soul can connect to a soul though.
There is no doubt that organizations are very useful. They allow propagation of spiritual ideals in a systematic manner. While not all organizations are necessarily “ideal” though they may well be based on some lofty ideals, they make for effective vehicles to convey the vision, mission, and work intended.
Organizations are usually full of people, no? Yes, organizations do not, cannot, and ultimately will not take care of people in a personal way. Organizations are designed to take care of themselves, to self-propagate. This is necessary of course, because an organization that does not take care of itself usually disappears very quickly. Even when organizations try to take care of people, they do so only to protect or grow the organization itself. So does that mean organizations are evil?
While some organizations may indeed be evil, it is not necessarily evil for an organization to take care of itself. After all, if the organization does not remain, how on earth can it spread the purpose it came into being for?
The people within the organization, especially the ones in management positions often cannot see the individuals for who they are. So, what can be done about this?
Well, souls are uniquely enabled take care of other souls. Whether you are just a layperson in the organization or an office-bearer… don’t forget, you need to put aside your organizational/management hat and be a human to be able to take care of someone. To really take care of someone, you need to be on the pure spiritual platform, to see others as spirit souls, and not just theoretically.
After all, the ultimate purpose of the spiritual organization is to servr souls, but to do so in a personal, relatable way takes personal effort from individuals.
This may mean taking a phone call in the middle of the night, or attending bail hearings. It may mean organizing funerals or taking some meals for someone. It may mean offering a shoulder to cry on or a safe spot for someone to vent their anger. It may mean buying groceries for someone, or arranging to take someone to a doctor’s appointment. It may mean connecting souls to each other.
No matter how accomplished of a spiritual leader you may be, how enlightening or inspiring your talks might be – you need to take the time to individually care for people, really serve them in a personal way.
I remember that my spiritual master and mentors have given me that care. They went above and beyond organizational mandates and made time to help me at the level I was at. It made a BIG difference to me!
ye me bhakta-janāḥ pārtha na me bhaktāś ca te janāḥ
mad-bhaktānāṁ ca ye bhaktās te me bhakta-tamā matāḥ
“[Lord Kṛṣṇa told Arjuna:] ‘Those who are My direct devotees are actually not My devotees, but those who are the devotees of My servant are factually My devotees.’https://vedabase.io/en/library/cc/madhya/11/28/
My desire is to be a humble personal servitor of the people in my spiritual organization. I wish to establish personal relationships with them. Because, my organization, however amazing, certainly cannot and will not. Neither will yours. Yes, it is inconvenient to go out of your way, but if not you, then who?
Please be that ambassador of God and care for His souls. Individually and personally, just as God is taking care of you.