Baba says, ‘you have to become sensible‘. Become soul conscious.
The first lesson Baba teaches me is: you are a soul, not a body.
I have a car and I am the driver of that car. I knew this for half a cycle and so things were good, they were right…most importantly, it made sense. Then mid-way through the cycle, I decided that I am in fact the car and everything else went downhill from there. I became concerned about the color, model, features, appearance, awards, speed and everything else of the car because I identified with these things. Every scratch on the car was as if it was a scratch on me.
The whole thing got so confused and senseless, says Baba.
When I believe something that makes no sense as the truth and base my worth on it, it inevitably leads to sorrow which it did. I took to bhakti, worshipping the deities and calling out to the angels because I was told they were pure, with special powers, they were close to God. I forgot that…that’s in fact my description. That’s who I am…when I lost my purity, when I became senseless, I moved from being someone with worship-worthy qualities to a worshipper. I routinely referred to myself as a sinner and begged for mercy. That, of course, didn’t help my self-esteem at all. It only made it worse.
‘I come to make the senseless, sensible, He says, knowledge is given to those that are senseless‘. And only He can give me this knowledge because He is the sensible One. Why? because He is always in realization, He never forgets.
‘You now have the understanding but nevertheless, you still have to make a lot of effort’, He says.
Forgetting my identity and searching for it through bhakti has made me exhausted and caused me a lot of sorrow. And many wish to simply leave the stage…go home and never come back. But that’s not the solution, He says. Instead, you have to understand who you are and really grind the knowledge into yourself. That does not mean I go around all day chanting: I am a soul.., I am a soul…. a few hundred times. That is not sustainable and also not the point. I know I am a soul now, the rest of the journey is realizing what that means: what are my qualities? what powers do I have? and then returning to that original pure, complete state.
That comes, not from chanting a mantra but by practicing being an embodiment of the knowledge. Going deep into every point of knowledge and then applying it in my practical life. That practice then shifts the consciousness permanently, makes me into a functioning soul.
‘It all comes down to practicing with full attention‘, says Baba.
For example, even after coming to Baba, I can still lapse into thinking of myself as the car. I wear my white clothes and my badge i.e. I look the part but inside I am not exactly experiencing being a soul. I still seek external approval and attention to feel happy…I even try to enlist Baba to help me: ‘Baba, can You help me win that deal? get that promotion?’. I transfer those same sanskars to spiritual service, I say: ‘Baba, please make this program successful…not because we want souls to get Baba’s message… instead our motivation is to receive applause and attention from everyone for a ‘job well done’. I still compete and compare myself to others: I look at what others are doing and think: I can do that better… or I think: I should be like her…rather than focusing on what Baba is telling me.
And so He reminds me daily of who I am and Who He is: it’s not what you do, it’s who you are. You are a soul…now, remember!, He says. He is not here to help me win a status in the old world, He says. He is here to make me pure from impure. He is here to help me reclaim my sovereignty. Manmanabhav!, He says, remember Me and remember your inheritance.
In introspection, I move inward first and touch base with my own truth – I am a pure, peaceful, loveful soul. I see myself as separate from this body. I am an independent being. I have donned many costumes through the course of the cycle, this body is just my latest costume. Once I situate myself in the awareness of being a soul, I move upward and touch base with the Supreme Soul, my Father. He looks just like me. I connect with His qualities of peace, love, happiness and experience them. I experience safety, belonging, protection, contentment. I have found what I had searching for. His remembrance cleanses the soul, removes the dirt, dust and cobwebs of half a cycle of body consciousness and helps draw out my true qualities, my own powers that had gotten pushed underneath.
‘Remembrance is the injection to the soul‘, He says. It jumpstarts the soul, gives it new life.
Remember Me and practice soul consciousness, He says. Then, you will continue to become sensible and all your sorrow will be removed.