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2.1 Tagore – Sadhana I – III Chapters
Rabindranath Tagore born in Calcutta on 7th May 1861 was the youngest
but one child of Debandranath Tagore. In the words of Tagore himself his father
was one whom “I saw very seldom; he was away a great deal, but his presence
pervaded the whole house and was one of the deepest influence on my life…’.
He was called Maharishi or the great saint who believed in the worship of
Invisible God. Tagore’s attitude to God and world was inherited from his father.
The Tagores were Vaishnavas in their religious outlook and were inclined to
vegetarianism in diet. They were a set of highly educated and enlightened
people who assisted Raja Ram Mohan Roy in his movement of social reform.
Rabindranath Tagore lived in a significant age when India was stirred
deeply by three movements – religious, literary and social to which the
contribution of the Tagore family was very great. The first movement was
religious and its founder was Raja Ram Mohan Roy, who believed that God is
one. One of the leaders of this movement was Debandranath Tagore,
Rabindranath’s father. The second movement was in the field of Literature and
Bakin Chandra tried to rescue Bengali language from the degradation of dead
forms to which it had fallen and bring a new critical attitude and make Bengali
language an instrument of the expression of rich imagination that would not
tolerate any restrictions imposed upon it from outside. The third movement was
national its was national; it was partly political and partly cultural. It raised a
voice of protest against the humiliation which the Indians were subjected to at
the hands of the westermers. It was not opposed to the introduction of western
thought, but it certainly was not in favour of indiscriminate rejection of
traditional Indian culture and values. Tagore’s father laid stress on the study of
the Upanishads and left no stone unturned to check the wave of conversion to
Christianity in Bengal.
Tagore passed his boyhood in the Jarasnako house with the atmosphere
that reverberated with the echoes of culture, refinement and art. He was from
very early years of his life fond of nature and longed for the outer world of
nature. He was made to study science, literature, music and painting without
taking into consideration whether he was interested in them or not. Learning all
his subjects in English, he learnt Bengali well. Educated in India and London
showed a great promise as a writer. He was influenced by the Vaishnava lyrical
poetry, which gave to the poet an impetus to be bold and strike a new path for
himself in the field of art and poetry.
The Awakening of the waterfall, his work showed a great unity of
meaning. What was memorable in this experienced was its human message and
the sudden expansion of his consciousness in the supernatural world of man.
There are three distinctive things which seem to come before us from this new
vision of the poet about life.
i. The human soul from which the creation and which its creative effort
draws it away from itself and harmonizes it with the inner life of
nature which is full of human significance.
ii. The union between man’s growing consciousness and the spirit of
nature is a source of joy and it is in this feeling of delight emerging
from a realization of inner harmony of objects that the poet seeks for
his definition of beauty.
iii. This seeking and this joy is similar to freedom, for it is only by
transcending the outer certain of common-placeness and triviality
that its real significance is discovered.
Published a number of collection of songs and poems in which the glorified
the ideals of ancient times against the background of the evils of western
nationalism which the condemned as the climax of greed. He waged a ceaseless
war against the two evils of caste which dehumanizes man and nationality in
the west which makes a brute of a man.
After the publication of Gitanjali which marked the transition in his life,
Tagore’s national aspirations got merged in the Universal. When the visited
England and Europe he was greated there as seer with a universal message. He
was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1913. The publication of Gitanjali in English
took the English – reading public by storm and they got examoured as much by
the nobility of its though as by the beauty of the language. During the course of
his visit to America in 1913 to deliver some addressed there, he made the
acquaintance of Rudolf Eucken, the famous German Philosopher, who was also
charmed on reading Gitanjali. The lectures he delivered in America were
published as Sadhana by Macmillan, along with The Gardener, The crescent
Moon and Chitra.
Tagore was a poet and a dreamer. He felt that the western civilization
was heading towards a crash or destruction. He started thinking of the crash or
destruction. He started thinking of the problems of life in a calm and detached
manner and the expression was marked by a sense of bold optimism attempting
to depict tot eh world the message of eternal peace. Peace and tranquility
proved to be the theme.
2.2 The relation of the individual to the universe
The civilization of ancient Greece was nurtured within city walls. These
walls leave their mark deep in the minds of men. They setup a principle of
‘divide and rule’ in our mental outlook, which begets in us a habit of securing
all our conquests by fortifying them and separating them from one another. We
divide nation and nation, knowledge and knowledge, man and nature. It breeds
in us a strong suspicion of whatever is beyond the barriers we have built an
everything has to fight hard for its entrance its our recognition.
In India when the first Aryan invaders appeared, the vast forests
provided them some special advantage of natural protection, food and water in
plenty. Thus our civilization had its birth and it took a distinct character from
this origin and environment. Surrounded by vast life of nature, was fed and
clothed by her, having the closest and most constant intercourse with her
varying objects. This atmosphere instead of dulling human intelligence and
dwarfing the incentives to progress, gave it to a particular direction. Having
constant contact with the living growth of nature, his mind was fee from the
desire to extend his mind was free from the desire to extend his dominion by
erecting boundary walls around his acquisitions. His aim was not to acquire
but to realize, to enlarge his consciousness by growing with and growing into
his surroundings. He felt that truth is all comprehensive that there is no such
thing as absolute isolation in existence and the only way of attaining truth is
through the interpretation of our being into all objects. This harmony between
man’s spirit and the spirit of the world was the endeavour of the forest dwelling
sages of ancient India. In future even when Mighty Kingdoms were established –
even in the heyday of its material prosperity – the heart of India ever looked
back with adoration upon the early ideal of strenuous self-realization and the
dignity of the simple life of the forest hermitage.
Westerners took pride in subduing nature, as if we are living in a hostile
world creating and artificial dissociation between himself and the universal
nature within whose bosom he lies. But Indians believed that there is a rational
connection between him and nature. We are in harmony with nature and the
thoughts are in harmony with things – the power is in harmony with the power
which is universal. According to it, everything that is low in the scale of being is
merely nature, and whatever has stamp of perfection on it, intellectual or moral,
in human-nature. The earth, water and light, fruits and flowers to India were
not merely physical phenomena to be turned to and then left aside. The man
who has his spiritual eyes open knows the ultimate truth about earth and water
lies in our apprehension of the eternal world. There is not mere knowledge, as
science is, but it is a perception of the soul by soul. This gives us not power but
joy. When a man does not realize his kinship with the world, he lives in a prison
– house whose walls are alien to him. When the meets the eternal spirit in all
objects, them he is emancipated, for them he discovers the fullest significance
of the world into which he is born. Thus the text of our everyday mediation is
the Gayathri, a verse which is considered to be the epitome of all the Vedas. By
its help we try to realize the essential unity of the world with the conscious soul
of man. We understand the Eternal spirit, whose power creates The Earth, the
Sky and the stars. It is not in the power of possession but in the power of
India knew that when by physical and mental barriers we violently
detach ourselves from the inexhaustible life of nature, when we become man,
man in the universe, we crate bewildering problems. Man must realize the
wholeness of his existence, his place in the infinite. The Rishis were they, who
having reached the supreme God from all sides had found abiding peace, had
become united with all, had entered into the life of the Universe. Thus the state
of realizing our relationship with all, of entering into everything through union
with God, was considered in India to be the ultimate and fulfillment of
humanity. His freedom and fulfillment is in love, which is another name for
perfect comprehension. This is why the Upanishads describe those who have
attained the goal of human life as ‘peaceful’ and as ‘at one with God’, meaning
that they are in perfect harmony with man and nature, and therefore in
undisturbed union with God.
We have a glimpse of the same truth in the teachings of Jesus when he
says, ‘It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich
man to enter the kingdom of heaven – which implies that whatever we treasure
for ourselves separates us from others; our possession are our limitations. It is
the one living truth that makes all realities true. This truth is not only of
knowledge but of devotion. Buddha, who developed the practical side of the
teaching of the Upanishads, preached the same. The Upanishad says that the
being who is in his essence of light and life of all, who is world – conscious, is
Brahma. Upanishad also says ‘thou shalt gain by giving away. Thou Shalt not
covet’. In the Gita we are advised to work
disinterestingly, abandoning all lust for the result. Everything his sprung from
immoral life and is vibrating with life, for life is immense.
2.3 Soul consciousness
The aspiration of ancient India was to live and move and have is joy is
Brahma- the all conscious and all pervading spirit, by extending its field of
consciousness all over the world. By beginning to try to realize all, one has to
end by realizing nothing. But, in reality, it is not so absurd as it sounds. Facts
are many, but the truth is one. The animal intelligence knows facts, the human
mind has power to apprehend truth. This discovery of truth is pure joy to man –
it is a liberation of his mind. Truth opens up a whole horizon, it leads us to the
infinite. Upanishad says ‘know thine own soul’ – realize the one great principle
of unity that there is in every man.
All our egoistic impulses, our selfish desires, obscure our true vision of
the soul. When we are conscious of our soul, we perceive the inner being that
transcends our ego and has its deeper affinity with the All. Like children
learning the alphabets, words and then sentences, our soul when detached and
imprisoned within the narrow limits of a self loses its significance. In love he
use of difference is obliterated and the human soul fulfils its purpose in
perfection, transcending the limits of itself and reaching across the threshold of
the infinite. Therefore love is the highest bliss that man can attain. Our great
‘Revealers’ are they who man manifest the true meaning of the soul by giving up
self for the love of mankind. We call then ‘Mahatmas’ – the men of the great
soul? ‘Paramathma’ is the supreme soul in me and my joy is in the realization
of this truth. The joys and sorrows of our loved ones are joys and sorrows of our
loved ones, because in them we have grown larger, in them we have touched
that great truth which comprehends the whole universe. Our highest joy is in
the losing of our egoistic self and in the uniting with others. According to the
Upanishads, the key to cosmic consciousness, to God- consciousness, is in the
consciousness of the soul. The chick knows when it breaks through the selfcentered
isolation of its egg that the hard shell which covered it so long was not
really a part of its life. In Sanskrit, the bird has been called the twice-born : so
too the man is named, who has gone through the ceremony of the discipline of
self-restraint and high thinking – who has come out simple in wants, pure in
heart and ready to take up all the responsibilities of life in a disinterested
largeness of spirit. He is considered to have had his rebirth from the blind
envelopment of self to the freedom of soul life. When Jesus said, ‘Blessed are
the meek, for they shall inherit the earth’ he meant this. The doctrine of
deliverance that Buddha preached was the freedom from the thralldom of
Avidya (ignorance), when he attains ‘Bodhi’, i.e., the awakenment from the sleep
of self to the perfection of consciousness, he becomes But Man’s poverty is
abysmal, his wants are endless till he becomes truly conscious of his soul. The
vision of the supreme one in our own soul is a direct and immediate intuition.
Sin is the blurring of truth which clouds the purity of our consciousness. It is
the supreme one which makes man feel the pang of his separation from God
and gives rise to the earnest prayer,
‘O God, O Father, completely sweap away all our sins’. Give into us that
which is good? Man’s cry reach his fullest expression. It is this desire for self69
expression that leads him to attain perfection. Man becomes perfect man, he
attains his fullest expression, when his soul realizes itself in the infinite being
who is Avih whose very essence is expression. When a man’s life rescued from
distractions finds its unity in the soul, then the consciousness of the infinite
becomes at once direct and natural to it as the light is to the flame. All the
conflicts and contradictions of life are reconciled; knowledge, love and action
harmonized; the formless appears to us in the form of the flower, of the fruit as
the supreme one.
2.4 The problem of Evil
The question why there is evil in existence is the same as why there is
imperfection on or why there is creation at all. Imperfection is not a negation of
perfectness; finitude is not contradictory to infinity; they are but completeness
manifested in parts, infinity revealed within bounds. Pain, which is the feeling
of our finiteness, is not a fixture in our life. It is not an end in itself, as joy is.
We feel that good is the positive element in man’s nature, and in every age and
every clime what man values west is his ideal of goodness. Will is the supreme
wish of larger life, the life whose greater partition is out of our present reach,
whose objects are not for the most part before our sight. Then we begin to
distinguish between what we
immediately desire and what is good. Good is that which is desirable for our
greater self. Thus sense of goodness comes out of truer view of life. In this he
becomes great, for the realizes truth. Life is not made up of fragments,
purposeless and discontinuous. It is a truth that man is not a detached being,
that he has a universal aspect; and when he recognizes this he becomes great;
very often it is our moral strength which gives us most effectively the power to
do evil, to exploit other individuals for our own benefit, to rob other people of
their just rights. The life of an animal is unmoral, for it is aware only of an
immediate present; the life of a man can be immoral, but that only means that
it must have a moral basis. Not to see is to be blind, but to see wrongly is to see
only in an imperfect manner. To live the life of goodness is to live the life of all.
Pleasure is for one’s own self, but goodness is concerned with the happiness of
all humanity and for all time. From the point of view of the good, pleasure pain
appear in a different meaning. Martyrs prove is in history and we prove it every
day in our little martyrdoms. To live in perfect goodness is to realize one’s life in
the infinite. Our body can only die if it tries to eat its own substance, and our
eye loses the meaning of its function if it can only see itself. We see then that
man’s individuality is not his highest truth, there is that in him which is
universal. Our organ of sight, our organ of locomotion, our physical strength
becomes worldwide; steam and electricity become our nerve and muscle. It is
the same with our spiritual life. Yet we complain that we are not happy, as if
there were something inherent in the nature of things to make us miserable.
The universal spirit is waiting to crown us with happiness, but our individual
spirit would not accept it. The most important lesson that man can learn from
his life is not that there is pain in this world, but it depends upon him to turn it
is not good account, that it is possible for him to transmute it into joy.
NON – DETTTTAILED – 2 . 5 .AN AREA OF DARKNESS -V.S.NAIPAUL
V.S.Naipul’s position as a third generation Caribbean settled in England makes
the idea of the return (to an unsullied past ,and threby a complete, rooted
identity )doubly problematic . In one of his essays ,Naipaul wrote , “ although
the English language was mine , [ …] its tradition was not ” . There is no
virtually Caribbean ‘ tradition’ that he can fall back upon , and this perhaps is
the basis for his anguished sense . The aboriginal peoples of the Caribbean
have long been extinct .Naipaul has also in his many interviews and essays
,made his own myth into that of the writer as a displaced person ,one who does
not “ have a side , doesn’t have a country ;doesn’t have a community ; one who
is entirely an individual ” , a figure who has achieved a ‘Brahminical ideal of
non –attachment ’,a man without a home . His protagonist Mr . Boswas depicts
this linked to the ownership of ‘a house ’ – ‘a home ’.The slow and stately
rhythm of his prose ,the measured tone ,reflects a grim solidity , and grants to
it something of the status of fact . Naipaul visited India for many months on
different occasions in order to gather ‘materials’ for his ‘An Area of Darkness ’
(1964),India :A Wounded Civilisation (1977),andIndia:A Mmillion Mutinies Now
(1990). They are serious undertakings that entail much thought and analysis ;
thus ,the eye-witness account gives ‘authority’ to his writings . It is a first hand
account of what happened and who was involved . No one can doubt the
extraordinary qualities of Naipaul’s observations ,they are keen ,detailed and
In ‘An Area of Darkness’ , the ‘quest’ for ‘self ’ is notable : there is an intence
preoccupation withself, and this colours all of Naipaul’s observations and
comments . The narrative is replete ,with confessional statements ,with
philosophical commentaries ,his own fears and anxieties about India . The
philosophical perspective is imbedded everywhere in both of Naipaul’s fiction
and traver narratives ;it is this substantive –idea that permeates his writings
,and is at times connected with the ‘autobiographical ’sense. In many passages
philosophical ideas are brought out through autobiographical instances there is
a dynamic interrelationship between both travel and fictional writings . The
sharp literary image gives his travel narratives the necessary ‘literariness’ , and
at the same time ,his travel narrative
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f one prays daily, without failing, by offering delicate flowers (like jasmine) to the feet of Lord Vinayaka whose body is deep red like the coral, with a beautiful trunk on his elephant face, would be granted the silver-tongue (power to speak or sing well) and a good mind that always think of good things. He will also ensure the blessing of the three Devis so that education, wealth and good health would be theirs.
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ALL IS WELL
Classroom. 4 boys and a punjaabi teacher
Class is enjoying. They don’t want to attend the class so they prepare a plan to convince the teacher to cancel the class..
ST4: As we decided we will not let Mr. Singh attend the class today, agreed
All the students shouts ``agreed``
Teacher enters, class settles down. They stand up.
T: Piyaro, Good morning to all of you.
Students all at once:
- Good morning Mr. Singh.
T: Sit down , sit down.Its a balle balle day to come to school, don’t you agree? Open your books, pg 111
One child raises his hand
St1: I don’t agree with you Sir.
T: You don’t agree? What don’t you agree Gharpar.
(Children laughs, ST1 looks angrily around)
St1: Its Ghazanfar Sir, not Gharpar.
T: Ahu, Gharpar (more laughs)
T: That’s right Gharpar. You were telling me about your disagreement.
ST1 still annoyed takes a deep breath to calm himself and concentrate on the plan.
- I don’t agree with your assessment of the day Sir
- And why not
In a theatrical way –Because it’s raining and we can’t go out to play in recess. That’s the only time, we young minds, eager to learn, hopes of the future, can socialize properly which is very essential for our physical and emotional development.There fore, we cannot channel the extra energy youth produce in a constructive manners. Hence, with this extra energy still loaded in our shoulders, we start thinking about improper, even useless things which school strictly forbids us, of course for the betterment of ourselves. You see Sir now, that, this is not a day to come to school.
Teachers rubs his moustache thoughtfully,
-indeed, when you put it like this, it really doesn’t sound a balle balle day to come to school.
St 1 satisfied, sits down.
Teacher paces along the students one two rounds, rubs his big belly .
-Anyway, now that we are all here, we cannot do anything about it, can we?. So, open the books pg 111.
St2 raises his hand.
- Yes putter.You have anything else to say.
ST2: Actually our friend………… forgot one more thing to say.
T: Really? What is that?
ST2: Its raining so we are all gloomy and distracted. We all are remembering punjaab, the valleys, the flowers, the smell of the flowers ( his face takes a melancholic expression , as the teacher also gets gloomy)
Teacher here says- ooy oyy ki yaad kara dita ay?
Student continues like teacher never ever made a sound with same melancholy
ST2 :I can hear the sound of rain drops on the roofs of the houses( he put his hand on his ear like he actually hears it, teacher does the same), I can see mothers braiding their daughters hairs( he does the braiding impressions with his hands, same does the teacher), (his voice get louder) I can feel the heart of punjaab calling me,. PUTTERIIIII, PUTTERRIIIIII ( his hands are outstretched like he is about to answer the call, same does the teacher)
At this time, there are real tears in the teacher eyes, the student also acts like he is wiping his fake tears.
T: oooooyy Putter, putter, how true you speak..
He goes and hugs ST2 to consolidate.
-ALL IS WELL PUTTER, ALL IS WELL..
St 2 finally soothed ,leaves the embrace, he looks to his teacher like they undergo a great misery together.
ST2: ALL IS WELL SIR
They smile to each other. He sits down. Students for sure now, there will be no class.
Teacher wipes his tears.
-as long as we share the same heart we will live in punjaab regardless where we reside.
Childrens are not happy with their turtle speed progress, talks to each other.
T: come on now.Be quiet.Open your books, pg 111
ST1 elbow the ST3 to do something.ST3 raises his hand.
T: OOOy, this morning for a gloomy lot,you all seem a lot to say.Ahu putter.Speak up.
ST3 first look to his right then to his left as if asking what to do. When no one signals anything, he thinks and acts like he has a heart attack.
ST3 : I feel pain…he grumbles by holding his heart.
T: oooyy oyyss..ki ho ya?( uses endearments)What happened? Lay him down, lay him down quick…
ST1: I think he is having a heart attack
ST2; I think he stopped breathing
ST4: I think he is turning to blue
Teacher try to calm himself and the students.
- No panic, no panic. Your teacher is first-aid certified. I know CPR, move a side , move a side.(As children open space to him, he keeps on talking) how was it? Remember Singh, remember, first open air way.( opens air way)need give air fusion.
He comes close to boy to give air fusion, ST3 opens his eyes and shouts: I am awake. I am awake, no need any type of fusions
Teacher relieved but surprised:
-putter, are u ok, menu te tu mar deta sii…
ST3 looks his friends- There are some sacrificies I just cant do for a free hour.
T: What are you saying Putter.Are you ok?
St3; Sorry Sir.I am fine.I feel much better.Infact I feel so good that I can act like nothing has ever happened.
T:Ajjjib(Weird) putter, so fast recovery, never I have seen the likes of it.
He stands and goes back to his place.
Students are not happy with ST3
ST1: You couldn’t bear unconscious little longer complains angrily
ST3: I am sorry but it was my face he was bending over, my nose smelling his breath. No need for chloroform, get close to Mr. Singh for 5 Min.s and whaapoosh you are out.no sense for at least half and hour. Natural anaesthesia.
St2: Still we have 2 hours to go, we should find another excuse fast.
ST1: well, we tried logic, it didn’t work, we used emotions it didn’t work, we tried medical leave, and patient could not last more than 5 min.s I don’t know what else we can do
Students suddenly 4 of them looks expected.
ST3: Mr. Singh is punjabee
ST2:We forget the basic pujabee treat.
ST4: Of course..
ST4 brings a tape from the back.
ST4: Hey Mr. Singh, look what we bring for you
T: What is it putter
ST4 presses the music. Bhangrha start. All the student starts to dance..
Teacher also starts though he clearly tries to stops himself.its like e struggle.
T; Stop it, oooy, ooy I do love this singer a lot….but I cannot…I need to..dance..noo . noo ..i mean I need too do pg 111..oooy..its too good…I mean gloomy day…I should stop..ooyy..ooooy..i cant,i cant, I cant
Student all together
-ALL IS WELL SIR, ALL IS WELL
No more struggling, accepting the dance , mr. singh finally dances without hesitation
-ALL IS WELL PIYAROO, ALL IS WELL….
They all leave the stage by making bhangra…
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The Christian’s Highest Occupation
Alfred P. Gibbs
Copyright © 1950
THE MEANING OF WORSHIP: THE Holy PERFUME
As we further think of the definition of worship, let us now consider:
6. The Holy Perfume (Exodus 30:34-38)
This very beautiful picture of worship is given to us as part of God’s revelation to Moses in
regard to the Tabernacle, concerning which He had said: “Make me a sanctuary, that I may
dwell among them” (Exodus 25:18). Minute instructions were given regarding the details of its
furnishings, and we find God repeatedly saying to Moses: “And look that thou make them
after their pattern, which was showed thee in the mount” (Exodus 25:9; 40:26, 30; 27:8, cp.
“And the Lord said unto Moses, Take unto thee sweet spices, stacte, and onycha, and
galbanum; these sweet spices with pure frankincense: of each shall there be a like weight:
And thou shalt make it a perfume, a confection after the art of the apothecary, tempered
together, pure and holy: And thou shalt beat some of it very small, and put of it before the
testimony in the tabernacle of the congregation, where I will meet with thee: it shall be unto
you most holy. And as for the perfume which thou shalt make, ye shall not make to
yourselves according to the composition thereof: it shall be unto thee holy for the Lord.
Whosoever shall make like unto that, to smell thereto, shall even be cut off from his people”
Three things impress themselves on the mind as one reads this passage regarding the holy
(1) The Exclusive Use of It (verses 37-38)
It was reserved solely for use in the worship of God in the sanctuary. God expressly forbade its
manufacture for any other purpose. The obvious inference from this is that worship belongs to
God alone, and that He will share this honor with none. David, “the sweet Psalmist of Israel,” by
the Spirit’s inspiration wrote: “He is thy Lord, worship thou him . . . Exalt ye the Lord our
God, and worship at his footstool, for he is holy . . . O come, let us worship and bow down:
Let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker” (Psalm 45:11; 99:5; 95:6).
It will be recalled that the first demand of the law was: “Thou shalt have no other gods before
me . . . for I, the Lord thy God, am a jealous God” (Exodus 20:3-5).
There is no substitute for spiritual worship. It is the unique right, the sole property, and the
exclusive privilege of God Himself and He will not tolerate any rival. Idolatry, in its essence, is
simply that by which man seeks to displace God, or which attempts to relegate Him to a position
of secondary importance. An idol is anything that a man worships in his heart, to the exclusion of
God. It was because of the idolatrous apostasy of Israel that God:
- Set Israel aside nationally,
- Allowed them to go into captivity,
- Scattered them to the four corners of the earth. (See II Kings 17:7-18; II Chronicles 36:14-17).
We do well to pay good heed to the Divine dictum: “I am the Lord, that is my name, and my
glory will I not give to another” (Isaiah 42:8). He alone claims the title of, “Holy and
Reverend” (Psalm 111:9).
There is always the subtle danger of becoming more occupied with:
- The visible, than the invisible;
- With the temporal, than the eternal;
- With an outward and formal ceremony, than an inward and spiritual reality.
There can therefore be no substitute for spiritual worship:
- However ornate may be the ritual,
- Or gorgeous the vestments,
- Or beautiful the building,
- Or well phrased the prayers,
- Or smoothly conducted the service.
Undoubtedly all this has an appeal to the esthetic senses, and is well pleasing to the flesh, for
man is naturally religious; but it is not spiritual, and consequently cannot please God.
(2) The Ingredients that Formed it (verses 34-36)
Four ingredients, compounded in equal proportions, composed this perfume, and each part was
necessary to the whole. These ingredients were stacte, onycha, galbanum and frankincense. Each
of these four things has a typical significance which we shall not dwell on now.
Let us think of them as four elements which, when compounded together in the heart of the
believer, as he sits in the presence of God, causes the perfume of his worship to ascend to the
Father and the Son.
The first ingredient is remembrance.
It is good for the believer to use his memory to recall what he used to be by nature, and
what he now is, by God’s matchless grace.
The words of Paul to the saints at Ephesus are pertinent to this:
“Wherefore remember that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh . . . but now, in Christ
Jesus . . . are made nigh” (Ephesians 2:11, 13).
Let each Christian call to mind his black past, when he was without God, without Christ, without
life and without hope. Then let him contrast this with his present acceptance in the Beloved,
together with all the spiritual blessings that are now his present and eternal possession. Surely the
result of such remembrance will cause him to life his heart in adoration to the One who made this
so blessedly actual to his experience.
His memory should also be focused on the Person and work of the Lord Jesus Himself. The
purpose of the Lord ’s Supper, as indicated by the Lord Himself is: “This do in remembrance
In view of this, worship will become an essential feature of such a meeting, for worship is
kindled upon the fires of remembrance. As David puts it: “While I was musing, the fire
burned; then spake I with my tongue” (Psalm 39:3).
It is memory that enables us to recall the record of His matchless life, as given in the holy
The Christian should therefore concentrate upon:
- Christ’s wondrous words,
- His mighty deeds,
- His perfect and holy character,
- His absolute obedience to the father’s will,
- His infinite grace in going to the cross,
- His completed work of redemption accomplished by the sacrifice of Himself,
- His victorious resurrection,
- His glorious ascension,
- His present ministry as the great HIGH PRIEST of His people.
As he does so, the believer’s heart will warm within him, and his worship shall rise to God as a
The second ingredient is gratitude.
As memory recalls all that God is and has done, the heart responds, even as the strings of a harp
break forth into song beneath the skilful hands of a master musician. We have before noted that
the gratitude of the believer delights the heart of the Father.
Socrates, the great Grecian philosopher, declared that gratitude was the greatest of all the virtues,
and ingratitude the basest of all the vices.
A study of the great worship hymns indicate how great a part gratitude plays in their
composition. Hannah Burlington beautifully expresses it thus:
“The knowing this, that us He loves,
Hath made our cup run o’er;
Jesus, Thy name our spirit moves,
Today and evermore.”
The “Ter Stegen” hymns are amongst the finest we have. One of them, by Ernst C. Homburg,
written nearly 300 years ago, is redolent with gratitude:
“O Lord, from my heart I do thank Thee
For all Thou hast borne in my room,
Thine agony, dying unsolaced,
Alone in the darkness of doom,
That I, in the glory of Heaven,
For ever and ever might be --
A thousand, a thousand thanksgivings
I bring, blessed Saviour, to Thee!”
The third ingredient is reverence.
This is produced as the soul apprehends, in some measure at least:
- The greatness of God,
- The majesty of His Divine character,
- The glory of His unique attributes,
As displayed in His
We are living in an age characterized largely by cynicism, flippancy and lightness regarding
The modern trend is to humanize Deity and deify humanity, and that has not aided in man’s
concept of God. One has only to read the Scriptures to discover that whenever a person was
brought consciously into the presence of God, it filled him with a holy awe, humbled him in the
dust and produced a deep reverence for God.
Moses, the great leader of Israel, was taught this lesson many times. At God’s first revelation to
him at the burning bush, the voice of Jehovah said: “Draw not nigh hither; put thy shoes from
off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground” (Exodus 3:5).
At God’s revelation to him on the mount, in response to his request to see God’s glory, God gave
him a vision of Himself. At this august spectacle we read: “Moses made haste, and bowed his
head towards the earth, and worshipped” (Exodus 34:8).
Isaiah, whose magnificent concept of Deity has thrilled the hearts of the people of God for
twenty-five centuries, had to lay to heart this essential requirement. In chapter six of his
prophecy, he describes the vision he had of the glory of God which completely revolutionized his
life. This sight not only filled him with a sense of his own littleness, uncleanness and
insufficiency, but indelibly impressed upon him God’s greatness, holiness and power.
Daniel, “the man of desires,” tells us that when he saw the majestic vision of God: “There
remained no strength in me, for my comeliness was turned in me into corruption and I
retained no strength” (Daniel 10:5-11).
We could add others to this list, but these will suffice to indicate how necessary it is that godly
reverence accompany all our dealings with Divine things.
This reverence must always be present if our worship is to be acceptable to the One who is
described as “The high and lofty One, who inhabiteth eternity,” and who hath declared: “Let
all the earth fear the Lord: Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him” (Psalm
Familiarity with God can never produce contempt, for those who know Him best, love and fear
Him most. The more God impresses the soul with His Person, the greater that individual is filled
with holy awe as he stands in the presence of Him, before Whose eyes “all things are open and
naked” (Hebrews 4:13).
It should be obvious that humility of mind, sobriety of manner, and sincerity of spirit are
essential to and fitting in the presence of the One who said: “Ye shall . . . reverence my
sanctuary. I am the LORD” (Leviticus 19:30).
The fourth ingredient is amazement.
We have before indicated that worship has, as one of its basic requirements, the element of
wonder. He who ceases to wonder, ceases to worship.
The hymn writer has put it thus:
“I stand amazed in the presence
Of Jesus the Nazarene,
And wonder how He could love me,
A sinner, condemned, unclean!
O how wonderful! O how marvelous!
And my song shall ever be,
O how wonderful! O how marvelous!
Is my Saviour’s love to me!”
One of the many titles of Deity is “Wonderful.”
Everything about the Almighty takes upon itself this character. As the believer thinks of the
wonder of His Person, His creation, His word, His Son, His love, His salvation and of each
Christian’s blessedness, he is led to exclaim with another:
“That Thou should love a wretch like me,
And be the God Thou art,
Is darkness to my intellect,
But sunshine to my heart!”
(3) The Purpose of It.
It was for God’s pleasure and for His glory. These ingredients, equally compounded together,
combined to produce a perfume which ascended to God in a fragrant stream and brought great
pleasure to Him. Likewise, when a believer sits in the presence of God, with an equal measure of
remembrance, gratitude, reverence and amazement well compounded in his heart, there will
undoubtedly rise, from the censer of his soul, a silver stream of humble, reverent, sincere and
adoring worship to his God and Father, and to the Lord Jesus Christ.
This, in turn, will delight God’s heart, for it fulfils His desire for the worship of His people. This
was expressed by His Son in these words: “The hour cometh, and now is, when the true
worshippers shall worship the Father in Spirit and in truth; for the Father seeketh such to worship
him” (John 4:23)
Our last consideration, under the heading of the meaning of worship, is:
7. The Root Meaning of the Word in the Old Testament
Those that understand such things have affirmed that the root meaning of the Hebrew word
carries the thought of “a dog to its master.”
As one approaches the town of Hartsdale from the city of New York, he will observe, to his left,
an animal cemetery. It is perhaps the most ornate in the world. Beneath marble monuments,
some costing hundreds of dollars, like the remains of pet animals and even birds.
Many of these tombstone’s bear sentimental epitaphs, such as: “Momsie’s only baby.”
Others are grotesque, as one over a dog which reads: “He cannot come to us, be we can go to
However, there is one epitaph that stands out from them all.
It is of a dog whose master caused to be inscribed: “To the memory of Bruce, the devoted
servant, faithful friend, warm admirer, and ardent worshipper of his master.” Then follows the
name of its owner. Does this not aptly describe what a dog is? Dogs have been described, and not
without some cause, as “man’s best friend.”
A cynic once remarked: “The more I know of human beings, the better I appreciate dogs!”
Let us use an illustration to clarify this point.
We will suppose that a man, warmly clad, ventures forth on a blustery and bitterly cold night.
The temperature is below zero, and the streets are practically deserted. Presently he sees a poor,
neglected, shivering and half starved cur, sheltering behind a telephone pole from the biting
wind. Some cruel boys have tied a can to its tail, and it has been kicked from pillar to post, until
now it is almost at the end of its tether. It will never survive a night like this on the streets.
The man pauses and looks the dog over. What a pitiable sight it is: thin, miserable, frightened,
homeless, hungry and on its last legs!
His compassion is stirred and, yielding to the impulse of the moment, he stoops down, reaches
out his hand and calls to the dog. Suspicious as first, for the dog has good reasons for distrusting
mankind, it gradually approaches, until at length it comes under his hand. The man pats it on the
head, strokes it, all the while speaking kindly words. Then, after removing the string and the can
from its tail, he lifts it up, opens his overcoat, pops it in, and carries it back to his home.
When he enters his home he says to his wife:
“I’ve found a poor starving dog on the street, that will surely die tonight, unless it finds a home.
Please put a sack in the corner of the kitchen and we’ll take care of it for at least tonight.”
Accordingly, the dog is gently placed on the sack, and a delicious bowl of hot bread and milk is
given it, followed by some scraps from the evening meal. For the first time in many days the dog
wags its tail in gratitude for this unusual kindness. The next morning it greets its benefactors
with another friendly wag of its tail, and they decide to give it a permanent home.
A month passes by, and what a wonderful change it produces in that dog! As a result of good
food and proper care, one would scarcely recognize the fine looking animal as that miserable
starving cur of four weeks ago.
One evening, as the man is sitting in an easy chair, with one hand hanging over the arm of the
chair, he suddenly feels something warm and wet on his hand. Glancing down he sees the dog
looking up at him with adoring eyes as, again and again, it licks the hand of the one to whom it
owes everything. The dog had not come into the room to beg for a bone, or even to be petted.
It wanted nothing from its owner but the privilege of sitting in his presence, so that it might look
at him with rapt, adoring eyes and, every now and then, to enjoy the privilege of licking the hand
of the one whom it loved above all others.
This is worship.
Now apply this to the believer, who once was a lost, guilty and helpless sinner, deserving
only the judgment of a holy God.
- Through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ,
- By faith in His substitutionary sacrifice and glorious resurrection,
- By acceptance of Him as Saviour and Lord,
He has been:
- Brought into a place of acceptance, provision and security.
Surely it is not too much for the Lord to expect that His people, saved as such an infinite cost,
will want, like that dog, to come into His presence in order to be occupied only with the One
whom, “having not seen, they love” with all their hearts. May it be yours and mine to know
something, by experience, of the real meaning and nature of worship, and thus fulfil His purpose
in our salvation.
The words of Miss C.A. Wellesley will form a fitting conclusion to this section of our study:
“Occupied with Thee, Lord Jesus, in Thy grace;
All Thy ways and thoughts about me
Deeper stories of the glories
Of Thy grace.
Taken up with Thee Lord Jesus I would be;
Finding joy and satisfaction
All in Thee;
Thou the nearest and the dearest
~ end of chapter 5 ~
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