Divine presence in us is what connects all humanity with a common thread of love. It is the prime duty of all humans to let the Divine in them shine through them. We do it by being human – being compassionate.
It was this love for fellow humans that kindled an ever-burning fire in the soul of the U.K.- born (1847) Annie Besant, a great social activist, reformer, voracious reader, thought-provoking writer, soul-churning orator, nationalist and supporter of women’s rights. She emphasized that the Divine in the Universe shines through service to fellow humans.
Her visit to India in 1893 was a turning point in her life. She was to make this great land her home and her Karma Bhoomi for the rest of her life. Her philosophic growth and work for the Theosophic Society in India was the result of a circuitous experience with many different ideas, theories, philosophies, and ways of life. From being a national reformer fighting for the rights of factory workers, trade unions, women education to becoming a member of the Fabian Society (a British Socialist society), she always advocated free thought and equality of all men and women.
But it seemed that her soul was looking for more (Magis) and was not content with merely being a social and political reformer. This is when she came in contact with the Theosophical Society that was founded in 1875 based on the principles of human service, spiritual evolution, Karma, and Reincarnation.
Jesus says, “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13). Besant dedicated her life to serving the downtrodden and fighting for the rights of those who were voiceless. It was this that made her part of the Indian National Movement for Independence.
Besant was able to glimpse the inherent Divine spark in all humans. She says, “Within you lies embedded in the marble of your human life the Spirit that is God, hidden beneath the flesh, hidden beneath the body, the emotions, and the mind, so that it is not visible to the outer eyes. You have not to create that image. It is there. You have not to manufacture it; you have only to set it free.”
Annie Besant taught that the Divine can be sought by service to fellow human beings, meditation, and prayer. Prayer is opening our soul to the Divine, as Life, vibrant in every atom, as Light, shining in every creature, as Love, embracing all in Oneness and letting the Divine shine without obstruction from the personal self.