Baba says, ‘you receive a status through the study’. Knowledge is the source of income.
To study means to understand, says Baba. I study something when I want to learn it, understand it. If I already understand something well, then I don’t need to study that topic. When Baba comes, I have forgotten who I am and Whom I belong to. I was searching for my identity, for belonging. I was seeking liberation from sorrow and a sense of fulfillment. Baba comes and teaches me the knowledge of who I am, He gives me His own introduction and makes me belong to Him. He teaches me about the beginning, middle and end of the cycle. He becomes my Father, Teacher and Satguru.
In fact the very first thing He does when He comes is set up the Godly University. He enrolls His children into the university and teaches them. When I enroll into a medical university, I am taught by doctors and surgeons. When I enroll into a law university, I am taught by lawyers or judges. Here, my Teacher is God and He also teaches me to be like Him.
Every one of the Father’s praise is your self-respect, He says. Baba is the Purifier, the Almighty Authority, the Ocean of Knowledge, the Ocean of Love, the Remover of Sorrow and the Bestower of Happiness, the Magician….every one of these is also my own self-respect. Do I have this awareness that this is what I am studying for? that this is what I am becoming? Do I have the intoxication of my elevated status?
Just because I attend a school or a university does not automatically qualify me for the degree. Just because I work at a hospital doesn’t make me a doctor neither do I become a doctor just by reading a few books. I have to study which means I have to actually understand the subject matter, experiment, and practice it in the laboratory. It’s not just theory which I memorize. Same here. Just wearing white clothes and a badge, attending class everyday and following the disciplines does not qualify me to be a Brahmin, let alone equal to God. Sometimes, I think that because I do a lot of activities and help around at the center, I will attain a status. I won’t. I have to actually understand the knowledge and practice it. Only then will I become an embodiment.
Every point of knowledge is a jewel worth multi-millions, says Baba. When I imbibe each point, it becomes a source of income and gives me a status.
The first step is to realize what it is that I am studying for. A medical student knows that he is studying to be a doctor, that is his title and he remains in that awareness, it becomes natural to him. Then, it becomes easy to go about the business of learning the tools and techniques of being a doctor. Have I accepted that I am studying to be equal to the Father? Have I understood and realized my title? If I have, I can go about being that.
I don’t have to study each aspect separately, says Baba. For example, I don’t have to study how to be kind, to be loveful and co-operative etc, separately. Instead, stay on the pilgrimage of remembrance, says Baba. Pay full attention to yoga. With the power of yoga, you automatically develop divine virtues. In remembrance, let me experience each of the Father’s praise which are my titles of self-respect. What does it mean to be an image of support to the world? Let me soak myself in that awareness, let me see myself as this, let me realize. Then, I will automatically imbibe all that is contained within being an image of support.
The proof of whether I have actually become this comes across in the way I handle a situation. These are the helpful tests that come to help me assess my progress. When I encounter that soul that is critical or rude or angry, do I feel insulted? do I feel anger? do I feel hurt? do I feel dislike? do I judge them? Maybe I don’t react in words or actions, but if I even feel any of the feelings then I am not quite an image of support. I have more work to do, more practice needed.
This is also why Baba stresses the need for practice over a ‘long period of time‘. This is also why He refers to remembrance as a ‘pilgrimage‘- I have to stay on it till the very end, no room for slackness. Only when I spend time really immersing myself, really stabilizing myself in my self-respect will it become a part of me. Only then will it sink into my bones, so to speak. Then, when the situation comes, I don’t have to make an effort to remember…actually, I won’t be able to make effort at that time anyway! When I have really absorbed and owned my self-respect, I am ready. I feel compassion for the soul automatically. It is not out of compulsion, it is a natural understanding and acceptance of the other. Like God.
The Father tells me clearly: there is devotion and there is knowledge. They are as different as night and day. On the path of devotion, I praised God as the Almighty and called myself weak. I referred to God as my Father and called myself the dust at His feet. I praised God as the treasure store of all virtues and called myself a sinner of the worst kind. I thought that was humility, that God would be pleased by my making myself small in front of Him.
The Father comes and dispels the darkness of ignorance that is bhakti with the light of knowledge. You are a soul just like Me, He reminds me. You are My child, you are equal to Me. You have the same virtues and powers as Me, He says, you just have to remember. The very first lesson He teaches me in His university is the answer to ‘who am I’. It is also the very last lesson. The journey in between is realization, is understanding, is becoming.
On the journey, I will come face to face with defects, with my own darkness. Don’t be afraid of them, don’t be disgusted by them, certainly don’t run away from them, says Baba. Tell Me about them. He is the Supreme Surgeon. When I tell Him of my illness, He prescribes a remedy. This is a partnership, not a journey I am meant to take alone. Sometimes I feel ashamed to go to Baba with my illness – this is body consciousness, this is the sanskar of bhakti of feeling like a sinner. I am judging myself like the old world does and thus depriving myself of the opportunity to transform. If I don’t take help, if I try to shove the illness under the rug, pretend it does not exist, it will only grow. Then when the situation comes, which it will, the illness will also come out and, I will fall.
This is knowledge. This is the study. Here, I go to the Teacher with questions, for help. That is what He is here for- to teach, to help. He wants to help but He cannot until I realize and acknowledge that I have an issue that I need help with. Until that penny drops, no one, not even God can get through to me. I won’t listen.
So, let me in the cave of introversion, touch base with my true identity, my self-respect. Let me connect with my eternal Father, my Companion, my Teacher. In His remembrance, let me remember myself.