Baba says, ‘to forget your original religion is the biggest mistake of all‘. The original religion of the soul is peace.
Om Shanti literally translates into ‘Om’- I am and ‘Shanti’- peace or I am peace. I say ‘Om Shanti’ so many times a day as I meet other souls. It is a not just a greeting meant to substitute for a ‘hello’ as much as it is a reminder to both me and the person I am greeting as to who we are. It is meant to help instantly take me into the awareness of my original religion. Do I live by it?
For half a cycle, I was lost having forgotten my true identity. Rather than think of myself as a soul, my consciousness was of being a body. That one fundamental mistake caused me to be lost in the expansion of gender, nationality, status, roles, titles, relationships etc. I spent the time searching for peace and happiness in material pursuits and came back empty handed, thereby losing all self-respect.
Baba comes and reminds me of who I am – a pure, peaceful and loveful soul. Peace is your religion and happiness is your birthright, He says. It was within me the whole time, I just hadn’t been able to access it. I now learn how through remembrance. At this point in the cycle, God is the only One who has the original qualities of the soul in an emerged state. When I connect with Him, I am able to connect with and experience these qualities of purity, peace and happiness. That emerges those same qualities that are lying dormant within me. He says that even a minute’s worth of experience is worth multi-millions because it is something I will always carry with me. Listening to words about peace might not mean much but a taste of it will make a difference.
Do I remember? If we reflect back on our typical day, we find that we are willing to let go of our peace at the drop of a hat. Baba says: ‘let go of all that which takes away your peace and happiness’ and yet, I do the opposite.
In any given day, there are any number of things that can take these precious treasures away from me. I’ve been asked to do something that does not accommodate my preferences and immediately, I feel like I’ve been subjected to an inconvenience. I lose my peace and contentment over something as trivial as travel arrangements or even a slight change in diet. Someone else’s idea was appreciated more than mine, immediately there is jealousy and competition. I find it hard to let go of an idea but don’t feel half that committed to my original religion – that, I am willing to hand over in exchange for being ‘right’. The mere mention of the name of someone I knew 10 years ago and had a bad experience with is enough to bring back memories and snatch my peace away. I am willing to nurse a grudge that acts like poison, depleting all my energy but I will not make the effort to wipe the slate of my subconscious clean.
You forget what’s important, says Baba.
Sometimes, it’s not others, I am stressed about my own effort-making. I feel disheartened when I think I’m not going fast enough. I face a tough situation and feel tired and discontent. Other times, it is service related- what if I can’t get the project done? what if it is not successful? I forget Who is in charge and make myself alone. It is not as if God came, gave me a map and blew the whistle leaving me to figure things out. He is right there with me at every step guiding me. It is a partnership. The service is His domain, He will get it done, I just need to co-operate. Do I trust?
When I forget, I cheat myself not just for now but for the whole cycle.
It has been explained to me very clearly by none other than God Himself that: these wins and losses, name and fame, ups and downs of the old world are temporary. When I leave this physical plane, the only things that go with me are my sanskars. So in other words, sanskars I carry within me don’t just influence the quality of my life now but in birth after birth after birth through the whole cycle. If I continue to hold on to the old, sorrow causing body conscious sanskars of fear, worry, anxiety, the need to ‘win’, to ‘be right’, of competitiveness, comparison, jealousy etc., then I will continue to deprive myself of peace and happiness even in the future.
This is the only time that I am aware of the contrast of old and new, right vs wrong. I have the knowledge and the Companionship of God as my Teacher and Guru. Let me pay attention to what He is teaching me – let me remember and live by my original religion. Let me reflect, realize and make a firm decision today -I don’t want useless things anymore. Nothing is worth more than my peace and happiness. If I have to let go of a few temporary achievements, if I have to make some adjustments or compromise, let me do it. To sacrifice the old is to gift myself a new life.
Baba has come to transform this old world into new – one where, once again, peace is the only religion, where happiness and prosperity abound. This new world won’t just appear one day, I have to help Baba usher it in. I do it by becoming a person who is peaceful and happy. In other words, I go back to being the original, true me again.