Baba says, ‘everyone has to settle their accounts and return home‘. The Father has come to take everyone back home with Him.
It’s been a long journey to getting here to this moment in the cycle. I met a lot of people and a lot has happened along the way- a lot of it good, some of it…not so much. But that’s what living is…
Sometimes, we have challenging situations or challenging people come into our lives and we think: ‘why me?’. Then, we proceed to answer our own question with: ‘it’s just my karma! Who knows what I did in my last birth to deserve this….’. It’s like I’m being punished for something bad I did. Baba teaches me that it is the wrong way to think about karma. Karma is not something bad, it just means action.
Life is about engaging with the universe- others souls and matter. I am constantly expressing myself through my thoughts, words and actions. And so when I engage with the universe, I will receive a response back. I learn from it and tweak my next response and so on.
When I think about it this way, I become a student of life. I learn at every step. When I throw a ball out and receive a curve ball back that I have a hard time catching, it doesn’t mean that I was punished. It just means, I received something unexpected and new and I have to learn how to respond. When I think of it as punishment, I shut down, I stop learning, I stop enjoying the process of growing up. I live life in fear of what might/could happen and so don’t even engage.
Sometimes, I remember wrong decisions I made years ago in this life that resulted in betrayal, that resulted in loss. And I feel a surge of anger against the other person, but really, when I pay attention, I realize that the anger I feel is mostly against myself. Yes, they did the bad thing, they betrayed me but….I should have known better, I should’ve been smarter than to allow myself to be taken advantage of! How could I not have seen it!!!
I find myself being furious and ashamed at myself for not having known something…before I knew it. But that is unfair to myself, the student, isn’t it? How can I know the subject matter of a class I haven’t yet taken? How can I pass an exam of a class I haven’t attended?
Let me be patient with myself and forgive myself for not having known what I didn’t know and be grateful for the fact that I do now. What happened then is not nearly as important as what I need to do now – forgive myself, use that learning so as to not repeat that mistake again and forgive myself in advance for other lessons I don’t yet know but will soon learn. That is compassionate living, that is sensible living, that is settling my accounts. If I instead fly into a meaningless rage and try to hatch ways to get even with others or continue nursing a grudge, I am not harming them, I am only harming myself. I lose my joy, my health and I am delaying the settling of the account. Let me not betray myself.
Some of these lessons take a long time to learn and it is different for different people depending on the turns we all took on our journeys. You might get to certain lessons before I do and vice versa. But at the end of the day, the core truth is the same- we are all students in this unlimited classroom, we are all just learning. When I realize that, I find that I am able to forgive others too. I realize that none of us know what we don’t know yet. We are all figuring stuff out and in doing so, we sometimes bump into each other, throw curve balls that knock each other out…and yes, it hurts when that happens. And yes, it is prudent and okay to go see the Doctor, get the wound tended to. But boy, let me not stop playing! Let me not stop studying!
Instead, let me understand karma accurately. Let me not view life as punishment or burden myself with guilt and shame. Let me learn to engage with it joyfully as a student and view others as students too. This is how I set myself free, settle my accounts and in doing so, I will free others as well.
On this auspicious Deepavali, let me close my old accounts and celebrate a fresh beginning, a new account for the new world. Let me pledge to protect my light, to let it burn bright, dance with joy. Let me ensure there is always the oil of knowledge and closeness to the Supreme Flame. His love heals wounds and mends broken hearts. It unburdens and lightens. I seat you in My eyes and take you back with Me, He says. It’s time to return home.