Baba says, ‘sit in solitude and make effort on yourself‘. You now have to return home.
When it is time to return home from somewhere, I have to pack the things I need to take back with me and leave behind the things that don’t belong to me.
I came to this physical world stage a long time ago to play a part. Since then, I have used a lot of things of this world – including the costume of the body that enabled me to play the role, many sanskars, relationships, material possessions etc. I refer to them as ‘mine’ but what my Father comes and reminds me of is that they are in fact not mine, they belong to this world. Having used them for so long, I had forgotten that they are in fact not mine, they are not things I can take with me.
Baba reminds me that I will only take that which is innate to me, the soul. That means: my original sanskars, the spiritual treasures of virtues and powers. But what is mine has become so intertwined with what’s not that it can feel hard to pull apart and let go. It needs practice.
‘Sit in solitude and make effort on yourself‘, He says.
The effort I make is to, once again, be myself. I consider myself to be a soul and continue to forget the body. I, a soul, am independent. I have donned many costumes and played many roles through the course of my time here. What I have on now is just another costume…and an old one at that. Now, it is time to return home and so I must remember nothing else but the home and the one Father who will take me there.
‘Manmanabhav‘, He says, ‘consider yourself to be a soul and remember Me alone‘.
Anytime, anyone in any profession has had to come up with something new or hone a special skill, they have done so in solitude. They go underground, disappear for a while and endlessly, tirelessly focus on their craft. Even devotees sit in a little alcove and turn the beads of a rosary and perform worship.
Baba says, ‘you too should sit in solitude and instill the habit of being bodiless. You don’t have to chant anything with your lips, it is a matter of the intellect.
The first step is understanding. In solitude, I go to the depths of the Ocean of Knowledge and extract jewels. This opens up my intellect, I start to see things clearly- true vs. false, mine vs. not mine. This is the valuable, imperishable wealth that I can take with me – the method is to use it in my practical life. Then, it becomes part of my nature and goes with me wherever I go.
‘If you remember the Father, your sins will be absolved and you will receive strength‘, He says.
The power to use the knowledge comes from remembrance. In introspection, I move inward and see myself as separate from the body. I am a soul, a point of light. I then move upward to connect with my Father, also a point of light, in our home. His remembrance helps me realize myself, I am just like Him.
As I move into the consciousness of the soul, as my realization grows, the various masks and labels I had been wearing so tightly, the stones of ‘I’ and ‘mine’ that I had been holding in my fist start to fall off. I experience a sense of freedom…it’s as if I can breathe easier, I experience a super-sensuous joy. I enjoy this experience, I want to do it more.
In addition to remembering Baba, I also spin the cycle of self-realization and look at myself in the whole cycle. I start to have pure thoughts for myself and positive thoughts for others. No matter what other souls may be like, I am able to rise beyond and end their wasteful thinking. While that does help them, it helps me even more. I build up power and don’t lose time. When there is a situation of upheaval, I become stable and concentrated in a second by going into the depths of the One. That is solitude.
And so solitude, unlike what most think, is not just limited to sit-down time. In fact, it is not easy to find large chunks of time throughout the day to sit in solitude. While in the midst of the activities, while walking and moving around, I pause for a few minutes to check my thoughts and remember. I stabilize the mind and intellect in a powerful stage- whether the seed stage or the stage of an angel or something else. That is solitude. Then, when I sit in remembrance, I don’t sabotage myself by having waste thoughts break my concentration. Because I’ve practiced being in solitude throughout the day, I set myself up for success.
‘Self-sovereignty is being established now‘, He reminds me. ‘Earn as much as you can’. That is in fact the biggest help I give Baba in His task. I don’t need songs and poetry, He says. That won’t prepare me for the return journey. For that, I have to make effort in solitude.