The lotus flower has its roots based in mud. It submerges every night into murky river water, and—undeterred by its dirty environment—it miraculously re-blooms the next morning without residue on its petals. Not only does it live in the muck, but due to the waxy protection layer on its petals, its beauty is unaffected when it re-blooms each morning. It continues to resurrect itself, coming back just as beautiful.
Baba asks us to live our life like the lotus flower. Whilst living in the muck that is this old world with its deceptive pomp, fame, successes, heart-breaks, judgments and corruption, Baba asks us to remain untouched by it. That does not mean we don’t engage, we do. After all, the lotus does submerge itself in to the mud too. We all have our families, friends, we have jobs and we are therefore in constant contact with the old world and exposed to its ways, but am I strong enough to not be pulled by it? or do I get swept up by praise and injured by failures.
Going back to the example of the lotus, its waxy protection layer is what ensures that none of the mud sticks to its petals. Do I have a protection layer to keep me, the soul, safe? Baba says Manmanabhav- belong to me in your mind and you will be in my canopy of protection. To belong to Him is to have all my relationships with Him- so I am not pulled by something or someone here. To belong to Him is to follow His Shrimat – His elevated directions which are intended to protect me from the old ways, from the old sanskars, from body consciousness. And so my single objective is to stay in constant contact with Him throughout the day so I always remember who I am, whom I belong to and what I need to do at any given moment.
We are not sanyasis, Baba says, to physically run away from the world into the jungle and then claim that we are pure. He wants me to be right where I am, in this world and bloom each day like a lotus flower bringing beauty, joy and inspiration to one and all.
And that – being able to live and serve in the midst of impurity is what purity is all about. It’s what Baba does.