सब राज़ी खुशी हैं? (“Is everyone happy?”) यह भी कोई पूछने की बात है? (“Is this even something to ask?”) Accha! बाबा याद हैं?
Baba says we belong to the His family, the Godly family. ‘God’, ‘Bhagwan’, ‘Ishwar’, ‘Prabhu’ all refer to Him. He says, “you are My children and so you call Me ‘Baba’. By calling Me Baba, you experience love through the relationship and become an heir to My inheritance.”
And so, just like a newborn that learns to talk, we say Baba as soon as we become Brahmins but then as we grow up in this life, we’ve said Baba so many times and experienced such affection and closeness that somewhere we start to take Him and the relationship for granted. Do I remember who my Father is?
While it is important to experience all relationships with the One and develop that closeness with Him, it is just as important to remember who He is! He is God. With that realization comes both intoxication of belonging to the Almighty Authority and immense responsibility of representing Him and His brahmin family everywhere I go. It’s when I have accepted this reality that I pay close attention to myself –to every thought, word, facial expression and action. Do I look like my Father’s child?
He says, “I am not asking you to become someone you are not. You are My child and so you are like Me. All you have to do is remember who you are, whom you belong to and become an embodiment of that experience.” Do I believe Him? Do I truly, deeply understand the significance of what He is telling me? To the extent that I realize who is telling me- that this is God, I realize that He is Truth. He has no reason to lie to me about who I am and I start to see myself as an elevated soul just as He does.
Lucky for me, my Father is also my Teacher and Guru and so He gives me guidance at every step from the moment I wake up in the morning till I go to sleep at night. He reminds me to wake up early and sit in His loving remembrance – this, He says, will remind me of who I am, my qualities but His love will also give me the strength and power to go through the day without any struggles. He teaches me the importance of the quality of food I eat- the influence it has on my mind. To the extent that I think of it as Baba telling me, I find myself saying, “Well, I wake up when I can. I know He understands that with all that I have going on, it’s not easy to wake up that early each day” or “I do cook my own food when I can but I can’t say no when I am invited to eat out by my colleagues or friends. He understands that one needs to keep a balance to be accepted in today’s society.” Do I understand the authority of the One who is teaching me? This is my Teacher and Guru, not my Father at this time. To the extent that I do, I prioritize my day’s activities and arrange my schedule such that I can wake up early. I also realize the irony in trying to fit in to an artificial society when I can fit in with God.
He teaches me by example about how to return a garland of thorns with a garland of flowers or virtues. And instantly I find myself shaking my head and saying, “easy for you to say Baba. What he/she said deserves a like response. How can one possibly stay silent, let alone have good wishes and pure feelings for someone that rude?” And as if to remove any trace of doubt, Baba says “even if Raavan were to come in front of you, give him only good wishes and pure feelings.” Is it really hard? To the extent that I remember who I am and the family I belong to, it takes only a moment to realize that I can only give what I have. And so, even if someone else gifts me thorns, I only have flowers in my royal garden.
He reminds me of why He comes to this old world and says, “I come to destroy this old world and establish heaven. I have come to make you pure and take you back home with Me. I guarantee that I will then send you to heaven to become the emperors of the new world.” Do I ask myself, “really? It’s not like I see heaven anywhere. Even if it were true, what are the odds that I will become the emperor of heaven? this likely doesn’t apply to me.” Do I realize who is giving me the guarantee? If I heard the words, they apply to me. God does not speak different things to different people. He speaks the same words at the same time to everyone.
To the extent that I realize that God is my companion and guide, I use Him at every step, in every task by considering it His service. To the extent that my intellect has not accepted Him in this role, I find myself laboring by considering everything I am involved in to be my responsibility. By not staying in His company, I lose His precious guidance that enables me to move mountains and transform a crucifix into a thorn. Instead, sadly, I find myself saying, “Yes, I remember Baba. I know I am His child but now it’s time to get to work and take care of my responsibilities!” How ironic since God would like nothing better than for me to use Him! Once I belong to God, I and everything I do is His responsibility and yet I find myself doubting my own capabilities with a task assigned to me. I catch myself thinking, “Can I really do this? I’ve never done this before. Maybe this was a mistake and was really meant for someone else” Do I remember who gave me this task? To the extent that I do, I realize that He does not make mistakes and that He has assigned me something that He is sure I can do. God, my father, cannot possibly want me to fail!
It is said that during the Mahabharata war, Krishna (who represented God) spent a long time and spoke many verses of the Gita to Arjuna but did not get far in terms of getting Him to follow his instructions. Finally, Krishna is said to have shown Arjuna his true form to remind him of who he is. It was only then that Arjuna was shaken into the realization that his dear friend is first and foremost God and so it is not really a matter of choice as to whether he should do as he is told but rather it is his duty.
With that realization also comes the feeling of deep renunciation of everything limited –attachments, desires, fears, self-doubt and other chains that hold us prisoner. I become free and start to see things clearly. How can I lose when I have God Himself as my charioteer? All I need to check is if I have handed Him the reigns.
तुमसे मिलके ऐसा लगा तुमसे मिलके
अरमान हुए पूरे दिल के
ऐ मेरी जाने वफा
तेरी मेरी मेरी तेरी इक जान है
साथ तेरे रहेंगे सदा
तुमसे न होंगे जुदा
मेरे सनम तेरी कसम
छोडेगे अब ना ये हाथ
ये ज़िंदगी गुज़रेगी अब
हमदम तुम्हारे ही साथ
अपना ये वादा रहा
तुमसे न होंगे जुदा