Volume V - Spiritual Liberty
Part V: PEARLS FROM THE OCEAN UNSEEN
'REPENT YE, FOR THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IS AT HAND'
These words, were spoken in the first place, by John the Baptist in reference to the coming of Jesus Christ. But apart from this there is a spiritual meaning in the words, 'Kingdom of Heaven.'
All things that belong to any person constitute his kingdom, be they great riches and power, or petty possessions. The Kingdom of Heaven means the perfect possession of anything, when the thing is in itself sufficient. There was once a well-known dervish in Gwalior, Muhammad Ghaus, who sat in the jungle, unclothed, and only ate when food was brought to him. He was poverty stricken in the eyes of the world, but was respected by all. Evil days came on Gwalior. The state was threatened by a powerful enemy, with an army twice the size of that belonging to the ruler who in his distress sought Muhammad ghaus. The sage at first asked to be left in peace, but his help being further entreated by the Maharaja himself, he at last said, 'Show me the army that is threatening you.' They took him outside the city and showed him the vast host that was advancing.
Muhammad ghaus waved his hand, repeating the word, Maktul (be destroyed). As he did so, the army of the Maharaja of Gwalior appeared immense to the oncoming army, which turned in fear and fled. This Sufi saint was the possessor of the Kingdom of Heaven. His tomb is now in a palace, and the kings of the earth come and bow before it.
The Kingdom of Heaven is in the hearts of those who realize God. This is recognized in the East, and great respect and regard is always shown for the holy ones.
Sufi Sarmad, a great saint who was absorbed in the vision of the One, lived in the time of Aurangzeb, the great Mogul emperor. Aurangzeb demanded that Sufi Sarmad should come to the mosque. On his refusing to do so, he was beheaded at the command of the emperor. From that time dates the downfall of the Moguls. This story shows that the possessor of the Kingdom of Heaven has the power even when dead to overthrow the kingdoms of the earth.
We see this same truth again in the story of Krishna and Arjuna. Arjuna and his five brothers had to fight alone against a mighty host. The prince sought the god, and wanted to renounce the kingdom. But Krishna said, 'Nay, thou must first win back what thou has lost, and then come to me.' And the story goes on to tell how Krishna himself drove the chariot, and the enemies of Arjuna were defeated, for the possessor of the Kingdom of Heaven was with Arjuna.
Speaking from a metaphysical point of view, the Kingdom of Heaven may be attained by the way of repentance. If we have offended a friend, and he turns away from us, and we in fullness of heart ask for forgiveness, his heart will melt towards us. If, on the other hand, we close our heart, it becomes frozen. Repenting and asking for pardon not only melts the hearts of those we have offended, but also of those in the world unseen. These words can also be explained scientifically. Warmth melts, while cold freezes. Drops of water falling on a warm place and on a cold place are affected differently. The drop in the warm place spreads and becomes larger, covers a larger space, whereas a drop in the cold place freezes and becomes limited. Repentance has the effect of a drop spread in the warm sphere: it causes the heart to expand and become universal, while the hardening of the heart brings limitation.
The bubble does not last long; it soon breaks, but with its break it joins a mighty ocean. So with us. When by warmth of heart we can break our limited self, we merge in the One, the unlimited. When our limited kingdom is lost from our sight, we inherit the Kingdom of God.