Being strict with myself

Baba says, ‘you have to become very strict about becoming ready’. Consider yourself to be a soul.

The aim of this spiritual study is to realize the original self or to become soul conscious. I had forgotten this truth as well as the truth of Whom I belonged to for half a cycle. I lived the life of an orphan seeking identity and belonging, receiving sorrow in return. Having fallen prey to the vices, I unwittingly sacrificed the very things I was seeking.

Baba came at this auspicious confluence age and reminded me of who I am and of Him. I have stayed with Him since. He has cared for me as a Father, taught me as a Teacher and is guiding me at every step as my Satguru. Why? To liberate me from sorrow and help me reclaim my lost inheritance – my self-respect, my dignity…my sovereignty.

There isn’t a harder worker than Baba. He toils night and day, investing His time and energy to make me successful at attaining my aim. But at the end of the day, He can only do so much…it is, as He says, dependent on my effort, on how well I study.

Baba says, ‘you have to remain very strict with yourself that you will claim the full inheritance from the Father’. ‘Manmanbhav!’, He says, ‘belong to Me in your mind’.

A pre-requisite to be able to do this is that I have to renounce the old world or die alive.

I had been a servant of Maya for half a cycle where my days were about sense gratification, I chased after material pursuits, accomplishments, relationships because I had believed that this is how I belong or fit in. That often meant that I had to hustle and jostle to get through an increasingly crowded field…success was relative…it was about how I ranked against the others. So competition, comparison, jealousy, manipulation, was all part of the game. Selfishness was the core theme marked by ‘I’ and ‘mine’.

When I am gripped in this kind of old world consciousness, my mind cannot be stable and certainly cannot be pure. It is occupied with selfish thinking- wants and needs that lead to selfish feelings- worry, doubt, fear, hopelessness, anxiety which then creates a selfish attitude. Where there is selfishness, where there is the loudness and noise of ‘I’ and ‘mine’, there cannot be Baba. I will be constantly pulled by what I need to do next or waste thoughts about what he/she said about me. I will be consumed by ‘winning’, by ‘being on top’. What I see and read, what I listen to will all be influenced by my attitude and vice versa. It becomes a vicious cycle.

I need to break this cycle, rescue myself from the quicksand. For this, I have been given tools by Baba. I have been given a daily itinerary, Shrimat and a code of conduct. Following this protects me from slipping into the old consciousness. Let me be strict with myself – never miss Amritvela and Murli, no matter what. Amritvela is when Baba is especially accessible to the children, when I connect with the Father, experience His love and draw power. This meeting is what sets the tone of the rest of the day. Then, through the day, let me take a couple minutes each hour to connect with Baba, remember who I am, experience His companionship and guidance. I fell prey to Maya when I forgot my identity and lost my belonging, let me ensure that I remind myself of them throughout the day. The Murli is full of elevated thoughts that are food for the soul. What points touched me especially today? What did Baba mean when He said that? Thinking elevated thoughts automatically negates selfish thoughts. It cleanses the mind and intellect, sets it on a different course.

Sometimes, Maya comes in the form of guilt or shame. Maybe I made a mistake today or 10 years ago, suddenly the thought comes up and tries to take over. Let me stay alert and not get onboard. I see the thought and I let it go. Yes, I made a mistake…I learn from it and move on. Let me be strict with myself…no careless indulgences! I cannot afford to shut down, go into a downward spiral, lose time and energy focusing on some past event. Move on….

Sometimes, it’s company. Someone invites me to a party that I know is more harm than good or offers me things to eat that I shouldn’t be. Let me be strict with myself and politely decline. What if I lose that friend? Well, would you rather lose Baba? would you rather lose yourself again?

This is the tapasya, the penance I need to do. It is changing course, from worldly to spiritual, from body to soul. I have invested a lot of time and energy in myself with help from my Father Who has come especially for me. I am close to the final exam now. Let me not lose all of that effort by making careless mistakes, by allowing myself to get loose, by going to sleep. Let me be strict with myself. Let me study well, imbibe the jewels I am being taught each day and make them part of my character, my sanskars. Then, they are mine and I will not lose them. Then, I reclaim my inheritance.

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