Baba says, ‘become your own friend‘. It is at the confluence age that the soul becomes its own friend. The Father comes and teaches the soul to befriend itself.
For half a cycle, we have been our own enemies. We fell prey to Ravan (the vices) and lost our identity, our dignity and fell into the depths of darkness. Our mind and intellect became so closed, so hardened like stone that we could no longer discern right from wrong. We simply followed the dictates of Ravan – sometimes in the form of thoughts that my own ignorant mind came up with as a good idea or those of other people.
But somewhere even in those depths of ignorance, the soul knew that there was something wrong. That it wasn’t happy, content, fulfilled. It suffered from a lack of belonging. It also knew that there was Someone, so pure, so loving, so unconditional that had once helped me. That He is the only One that can help me again.
But we were body conscious and so we engaged in bhakti as we called out to that Someone. We didn’t remember who He is, how He is related to me, Where He lived and what He had done exactly the last time around. Nothing based on body consciousness can ever be good for the soul and it certainly cannot help me find God. Bhakti only made me my own enemy even more.
We called loudly with bells, with loud chants, with songs, with rituals, with penance, with long and treacherous pilgrimages to high mountains. I put myself through danger, I became submissive, I thought I needed to fall at the feet of priests and saints- that they somehow had a bigger right on God than me, I bowed down in front of trees and animals, I worshiped stones and did anything else anyone suggested might be a way to get to Him. I even struck deals with Him, ‘O God, please let me pass this exam and I will offer you 3 coconuts’.
In bhakti, I looked outward instead of inward. I thought I was a body and searched for someone in a body to help me. I treated God like another body conscious person – someone who’d be impressed with big offerings, with submission, with seeing others beg, plead, sing praise. We dare not say a single wrong word, lest we anger God and suffer His wrath. I tried to make The Incorporeal One…corporeal. No wonder, Baba says, no one can attain me through bhakti.
I know Him only through Him, when He Himself comes and gives me His introduction. He has told me who I am, that He is my Father and the story of my lost inheritance. I remember now. I know now. I therefore no longer put myself through danger or perform hollow rituals. I relate to Him as my Father, my Teacher, my Guru, my Friend, my Beloved, my Companion. He is my Partner on this journey He is taking me on – a journey back home, to my own truth, to my inheritance and He is with me every step of the way.
Baba says, I come and show you how to be your own friend. I have been suffering the consequences of listening to my own dictates for half a cycle, now I only follow Baba’s Shrimat (elevated direction).
When I imbibe the knowledge rather than just listen, when in silence I move inward and connect with myself rather than just learn, when I move upward and connect with Him rather than just tell myself that I know Him….I touch base with my destiny, I start to change. When I change, I begin to behave in ways that don’t cause sorrow to the soul or to others. I am able to move beyond the ways of the old world based on body conscious sanskars and return to the consciousness of being a soul.
In other words, I return to my own dignity. I become my own friend.