Baba says, ‘storms will come’. He doesn’t ever say, storms might come. This is the story of the little lamp and the storm, the story of the battle between the weak and the strong.
At the end of the cycle, our light which is to say the soul, is very dim. Having been body conscious for half the cycle, having practiced Bhakti (devotion) for half the cycle, the soul was forgotten which is to say, I forgot myself. Baba comes to re-ignite our lamps with the oil of knowledge and remembrance.
He says, you children have to re-ignite your own lamp- remain introverted and remember Me in silence. There is no need to chant any mantras or hymns, there is no need to sing, there is no need for any sound. In addition to remembrance, you also have to churn the knowledge to understand right from wrong, to understand the secrets of the cycle. When I do both these things, I start to imbibe the points of knowledge and become what Baba says is my original self. As I start to imbibe, I radiate the virtues into the atmosphere and begin to serve.
That is how I re-ignite my lamp again, says Baba.
During this process of regaining my lost strength, storms will come. Baba says, storms come to move you forward. Don’t be afraid of them. Even as I start to make a little progress, there will be a situation that will challenge me. Chances are I won’t handle it well. Other times, the storm is impure thoughts. Actually the storm isn’t so important.
It’s how I react to it that is important.
Do I get sucked into feeling shame and guilt with thoughts like, ‘Baba said I should never have thoughts of lust or anger…’ followed by ‘what would others think if they knew what I was like..’ followed by ‘Baba sets the standard, I am not at the standard…..’ Seeing the impurity, I reject myself and push myself aside. I then go into the phase of feeling disheartened and hopeless. A sense of self-sabotage kicks in and it’s like I feel that this process proves to me that I am a weak soul, I am not strong….
I punish myself and essentially, deny myself Baba’s love and help.
The only productive thing to do is to observe and transform. And the only thing I need to transform is God’s love. If I get sucked into any of these traps of rejection, shame etc., I have essentially let go of Baba’s hand and have exposed myself to the storm even more. I have denied myself His love. Baba is the Purifier, let Him do His work on me. All He needs from me is to NOT shut down, NO MATTER WHAT. I have to push through these feelings, stick with my path with powerful determination. That is my one step of courage and is all Baba needs.
When that thought of shame, rejection, self-sabotage comes, let me remember that this is part of the process. I AM OKAY. Let me not let these thoughts weaken or dilute my determination to bring about change. Let me instead train myself to remember that Baba is with me ALWAYS, as long as I am true to Him, am following His directions, He is responsible. If the storm comes, let me observe, learn whatever I need to from it and let it go. Yes, some of these storms can be very powerful, can be dark and come thundering through.
Don’t slow down, don’t be overwhelmed, don’t be afraid, don’t take a step back…stay your course.
I am a student, my job is to stay open and learn…so that I can change. This life, Baba says, is about learning till the last moment. This is the only (very short) time in the whole cycle when my sanskars (traits) will change. The more I learn and stronger I become, the storms I face will be bigger and stronger too. That’s the deal. But Who is with me? For those whose companion is God Himself, storms too become gifts. Let me learn to shift my focus from the storm to Baba. I might not be able to meditate at this time but let me remind myself of all the beautiful experiences and attainments I’ve had with Him. Let me speak to Him, listen to that inner voice, stay in His company and let Him take me across in His boat. If I panic and flail, I will not just rock the boat but might actually fall over. My job is to keep my eyes and mind focused on the Boatman, not the storm.
That is the greatest service I can do to God, to myself and to the world- stay on the boat. In other words, stay strong and don’t let my flame die out. He loves me unconditionally, nothing that has come up is a surprise to Him, He is not judging me as sinner, He wants to help. That’s what He is here to do. Instead of letting fear or shame grip me, let me use Baba’s help and make a plan to change the sanskar.
Yes, I am a little lamp and the storm is enormous, but the One who is with me more than makes up for my lack of strength, wisdom, courage, faith. Baba says, I only need one step of your courage and I will match it with a thousand of Mine.
So let the storms come and go but my flame cannot be blown out, God is my Protector. This is the story of the battle of the weak and strong, it is the story of the little lamp and the storm.