Baba says, ‘this is a maze‘. I have now come to take you back home.
A long, long time ago, I stepped onto the playground with wide eyed wonder. This was going to be a fun game. I noticed a door, opened it and walked through. I wasn’t disappointed! It was lovely, so many cool things, each one beautiful. There were just a few others who came also, they were the nicest people you’d meet. But wait, there was another door and I was curious to see what’s behind it! And so the journey or the game continued…
For a long time, I continued to enjoy it, more people joined and there were more doors coming up everywhere. As time went by, it got noisy but it also got weird! All of a sudden, it seemed that I and others started to collect things on the playground and think of them as our own. The more one had, the more valuable that person became. It got pretty obsessive too…comparisons, competitions, prizes, parties….why were we collecting stones and pebbles? how did that make me valuable? who knows…no one asked, everyone just played along. It also started to get late, it started to get dark inside and outside. It was hard to see or hear anything clearly. I just knew I had to get out of there, something was off. I needed to experience peace and quiet again. It was like I couldn’t hear myself anymore. I had to get back home but, it had been so long, the playground looked completely different, doors everywhere and I was tired.
The next thing I did was panic. I went to the next door I saw and knocked. Lo and behold, there was a ‘wise guru’ who heard me out and said that he had the solution. He asked me to follow a ritual: ‘you will see the way’, he claimed. So I paid him handsomely and followed the ritual and of course I was right where I started, except a little poorer. Then, I realized: ‘you know what, if he knew the way out, what is he doing stuck here? wouldn’t he lead the way out for all of us?’ So I let go of him and went to a different door, this was a temple. I had clearly come to the right place, so I visited regularly, prostrated myself, called myself a sinner and stood with my head bowed. Somehow, I wasn’t sure why I was a sinner or if the deity could actually hear me. So the saga continued: more doors, more trials, no return.
By this time, it’s a little past midnight and I am exhausted. Instinctively, I throw my hands up and call out: O God, help me. Liberate me. Guide me. Who God is, I didn’t know. But I did know there was someone out there. And He did respond.
‘O traveler of the night, don’t be weary’, He consoled me. I am here to take you back home.
This world is now a maze, says Baba. Bhakti is a maze. There are as many opinions and rituals and customs and traditions as there are people. And none of them know the way back. Only I do and so you must only follow My directions.
As I start to follow His voice, He proceeds to tell me about myself- you are a soul, He says. Purity, peace and happiness are your innate qualities. You are a tiny point of light. That’s when I realized that I had even forgotten who I am. He then reminds me of what happened, how I got to where I was – I got into wrong company, did wrong things, make bad choices…and the game changed. But that’s okay, He consoles me. Everything that is new becomes old. I am here to take everyone back home, He says. So grab your friends, your neighbors, hold each other’s hand and follow Me.
And whatever you do, don’t stop. Don’t get tired. Keep moving.
As I continue to follow His directions, listen to what He is teaching me, I gain strength, courage, hope. My hope inspires others. My misconceptions disappear, I start to see clearly although it is still technically dark. It is as if, for me, it is sunlight. I start to smile again in a long time, my intellect starts to clear up and then it happens….magic…I start to remember! I can remember…I am a soul, I am in fact separate from this body…with that realization, I the soul, immediately move upward and connect with the Father. You see, the soul always knew it’s Father. I had just forgotten that’s who I am.
You’d been looking for an exit down here in this old, broken world. You were looking for your identity here in relationships, in accomplishments, in religion, in material pursuits. That’s not who you are, He says. Look inside, that’s where you’ll find the answer. Simply continue to consider yourself a soul and remember Me alone. I am your Father and only I know the way back. It’s the last mile, we’re almost home.