Baba says, ‘this is the path of knowledge‘. This is not just fun and games.
For half a cycle, I was on the path of bhakti. Then, I spent time visiting the temple or the church on special days, said my daily prayer and then went back to my routine. There wasn’t an aim or purpose I was trying to reach, no accountability to myself or anyone else, nor was there the concept of learning anything. Instead every now and then, the priest or a pundit would recite the scripture, there would be gatherings to sing bhajans (devotional songs) together, ringing of bells, preparing elaborate meals ‘to please god’ and so much more. It was fun and games.
As they say, ignorance is bliss.
This, Baba reminds me, is the path of knowledge. Here, I am reminded daily of who I am, Whom I belong to and what I am here to do. I have an aim – to return to my original pure self- and I study to attain that aim. I have four subjects in my curriculum – knowledge, remembrance, inculcation and service. They are all important and required. I cannot say I am good at one and skip the other three. I have to pass in all four to be able to return home.
In the subject of knowledge, Baba as my Supreme Teacher teaches me about the Creator and the creation. He teaches me the right way to be- soul conscious- and that includes the right kind of thoughts, words and actions. He reminds me of my manners and molds my character by reminding me of my true (but lost) identity and shows me the path to reclaim it.
He also teaches me about Himself, the Creator. There are a number of myths about Me and what I do, He says. I am the Creator because I transform this old world from hell to heaven, return it to its lost glory. I don’t create the world from scratch or from nothing, He clarifies. I also don’t bring back the dead or read anyone’s mind. I am The Purifier, I come to purify souls and take you back home, He says. And besides, what use would it be for me to read your minds!?, He asks. I am your Parent and Teacher- I can tell your stage or how you are doing by your character and service…not by reading minds. I then guide you accordingly.
While knowledge gives me the understanding and opens up my intellect, remembrance is what gives me power to bring about change. I cannot burn away sanskars that have been with me a LONG time by simply understanding them. For that, I have to learn to step inward to situate myself in my true identity i.e. a soul, then move upward to connect with my Source, The Powerhouse. That helps me recharge, His love burns through the alloy and purifies me. Baba says, many children think that by doing a lot of service, by giving classes and lectures, they can become pure. No, He clarifies. Remembrance is the way to purification. The purer I become, the more powerful and constant is my remembrance. It is a virtuous cycle.
With that power of remembrance, I inculcate each point of knowledge within myself. Baba says, each point is an invaluable jewel with which I adorn you. Don’t spoil your adornments by falling into body consciousness. Many children are clever in understanding the knowledge but it remains in their head as points. You have to imbibe each point, says Baba, by applying it in your practical life. When I feel anger forming within, let me pause and do something new- let me apply the point of knowledge this time. When I do that a few times, it becomes my new sanskar and part of my natural nature.
It is when I adorn myself or imbibe the jewels that my very existence becomes a service to the world. Many children say, I gave many classes or did this service. Baba asks, ‘were you in remembrance?‘. If not, then there was no service done….it was just an ordinary action. Baba teaches me that when I perform any task, however ordinary, whilst in remembrance, it becomes extraordinary. Maybe I didn’t move a muscle but my very being serves – my eyes, my face radiate peace and contentment. My attitude transforms the atmosphere, however negative, to become spiritual.
Many children ask, ‘what should I do to increase service? what should I do to bring newness?’. Baba responds, ‘you can increase service by increasing your stage. The newness in service will come when you bring newness in yourself’. When I change, the world changes.
Realizing myself is the greatest service I can provide to myself and to the world. That is based upon purity. And to become pure, He says, ‘consider yourself a soul and remember Me alone’.