The Day of JudgmentJul 28, 2019
In Buddhist and in the Hindu religion little is said about the Day of Judgment, because they have the doctrine of Karma; but in the Qur’an it recurs often in the different suras, great emphasis being put upon it, and in the Bible the Day of Judgment is spoken of very many times.
This Day of Judgment, of which various religions have spoken, is a great secret. All that can be said about it is that not one moment of time, not the blinking of the eye passes without a judgment; that in the conscience of each individual there is the faculty of judging, which judges himself and others, and that this faculty exists in its perfection in the universal Conscience, which judges the whole universe. The former is man’s justice, the latter the justice of God.
In man’s justice partiality and error are found, for his conscience is overshadowed by his self; thus the seeing faculty of the conscience is dimmed. God’s justice is the right justice, for no shadow of partiality falls upon His universal consciousness because the whole universe is His field of vision and therefore His sight is keen. As our justice determines our likes and dislikes and creates in us favor or disfavor for another, so it is with God. He reckons the account of deeds and bestows rewards and punishments; He also forgives in His mercy and compassion whomever He may choose to forgive, as do we human beings in our small way.
To the short-sighted, man’s justice is plain, but God’s justice is too vague to be apprehended; and there are many apparent examples to lead him astray, such as the righteous being ill-treated while the wicked enjoy life; but the keen-sighted can see an end to the enjoyment of the wicked and to the ill-treatment of the righteous. The seer can see the blow awaiting its time to fall upon the one, and the reward being prepared for the other. It is only a matter of time. To a material person this seems absurd. He thinks, “If I rob someone, if the police catch me, that is the judgment. If they do not catch me, it is all right; then I am safe from it. If I have a purse full of money, and I can pay barristers and lawyers, it is all right.” For he does not see anything in the hereafter; he sees only what is here.
A simple believer believes that there is a Day of Judgment, but he knows hardly anything about it. It is for the Sufi to understand that there is a record in the memory of every action, thought, and work–nature’s manuscript open before our own conscience; and if a murderer escapes the police, he cannot escape from his conscience within. One might think, “It is his own conscience, what does it matter if it is displeased for a while?” But there is the universal Conscience behind it, perfectly just and all-powerful, which, if he escaped from the land and sought refuge in the water, could hang him even by means of the waves of the sea, as a penalty for his crime.
Everything that one does, all one’s works, have three parts: the beginning, the action, and the end. In the beginning there is hope, in the action there is joy, but in the end comes the realization.
In the morning when one wakes up, one is fresh and ready to plan all the work of the day. A person works all day, and in the evening he sees what result he has got from his work, how much he has gained. When a child is born it is fresh and ready to enjoy everything. It is happy with any little thing, any little doll that it is given.
It does not know where the world is nor what the cares of life are. Then a person has to go through all experiences, good and bad, in life; and when old age comes, then he sees the results of his actions. At the time of action he does not see them, because action is blinding. Then, if he has worked for riches, he has got riches; if he has worked for fame, he will have that. And if he loves, he receives the affection and sympathy of his surroundings. When he is old, that is the period of his judgment on earth. Then he sees the reward of his action. If he has murdered someone, the judgment is when he is hanged. If he has robbed, he is in gaol and he repents. But the time of action comes only once, and after that it is too late to repair one’s fault.
There are many things that we do that seem all right at the moment, but afterwards our self is not satisfied. It is just like a person eating something that at the time has a pleasant taste but afterwards produces a bad odor, so that the smell of his own breath makes his head ache. Whatever was tolerated in him while he had power, magnetism, and activity, together with energy, manner, appearance, and looks, no one will tolerate any longer when the power has left him. He has become cranky; his children want to leave him, because they say that old papa has lost his head; his friends despise him, because they say that he is no use.
A Badishah was once riding in the jungle. Crossing a bridge he saw a man who was quite drunk standing in the middle of the bridge. The man called out, “Will you sell that horse, O passer-by?” for he was quite drunk and could not recognize the rider. The Badishah thought, “He is drunk”, so he paid no heed. After shooting for some hours in the jungle he returned and saw the man who had been standing in the middle of the road now sitting by the roadside. The Badishah asked the man in fun, “Do you want to purchase this horse?” The man’s drunkenness had now passed. He was astonished to think what he had said to the Badishah in his drunken state, but fortunately he thought of a very witty answer. He said, “The purchaser of the horse has gone, the groom of the horse remains.” This amused the Badishah, who overlooked his fault.
There is a time when our ego desires all that tempts it, but when that stage of beginning and action is past, helplessness remains.
Our life has three parts, the part before our birth, the time of our life here, and the time after death. When considering our life here and hereafter we understand that our life on earth is our youth, the hereafter age, the time of reaping the fruits of our actions. And the judgment comes in age, which is the time after death.
In the arts too we see that there are these three aspects. In music there is first the introduction, then there is the music in its full grandeur, then there is the conclusion, which gives the essence of all that has gone before. In painting the artist first designs, then he colors the picture, and then he looks at it; if it is not as he likes, he wipes it off or he tears it up. A person might say, “You yourself have made it, why do you tear it up?” It is because when he looks at it, he sometimes discovers that it is valueless; whereas when it is better the artist desires it to be sent to the exhibition, and he proudly calls his relations and friends to look at it. This world is the Creator’s picture. The Creator as an artist looks at his work; and He alters it, improves it, or He wipes it off as He chooses best.
Why is the Day of Judgment called “day’? Our day is when we are awake, our night is when we are asleep. This is not the day and night of the earth, which are limited to twelve hours each, but the day and night of the consciousness. What separates one day from another, what makes us distinguish the days, is the night.
Here our life is in the darkness of activity, where the world of illusion appears to our eyes as real, and the rapid passing of life appears to us stable; just as when in the train it seems as if the trees by the line were running while the train is standing still. When the illusionary life has proved to be not so real as for some time we had thought it to be then comes the day when things appear as clear as in daylight. To some few this happens in this world, but to all in the hereafter.
Here we have two states, the waking state and the dream. There the only reality will be the dream. That will be our day, uninterrupted by any intervening night. It will not change. And this day will last for ever, that is to say until our individuality is merged in the divine consciousness.
We dream of all the things which are in our surroundings and of all things as they appear naturally. We dream of a horse or an elephant, or of our brother, our sister, our mother, our father, or our uncle; but we do not dream of non-existent objects, such as a horse with wings or a rabbit with elephant’s ears, because these are not of our world. That with which our consciousness is impressed, that only is our world. And that world comes into the judgment which is always going on. The world of the husbandman will be his cottage with his family, the world of the king will be the surroundings of his palace.
Shall we, then, not be in a great gathering where there will be millions and billions of souls in whatever form they may appear, and all the souls that have existed on earth will be tried at the same time? It will be so in appearance, but not in reality, for every individual’s Judgment Day will reflect the whole world within himself and will be peculiar to himself; in other words a world will be resurrected in each soul. The affirming and denying aspects of conscience will both be in full play, sometimes in the guise of Munkir and Nakir, the recording angels.
In reality it will be like a gramophone record, which repeats all one’s life’s experiences, remembered and forgotten, good and bad, together with the moving picture of all who were concerned in them, whether dead before or after, or still alive on earth. This takes place before one’s own soul in the presence of the perfectly just and mighty Being, the thorough Knower and Weigher of all things.
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