Don’t be stubborn

Baba says, ‘those who try to prove themselves right by being stubborn cannot become embodiments of success‘. This is also a sign of being influenced by your old nature.

I had been wandering looking for identity and belonging for half a cycle. I had enough of the sorrow and suffering, I called out for relief, for salvation. Baba came and gave me identity, made me belong to Him. He also told me my own story, the story of the world – it was once heaven and now it is hell. I couldn’t agree more, I have been living in hell! He has come, He tells me, to change the world back to heaven, return it to its original glory.

We shake hands. I’m all in, I tell Him. Then, He shares His plan – your transformation will lead to world transformation, He tells me.

You have to completely die alive from this old world, He says. You are not your role, your income, your job title, your status or your accomplishments. You are a pure soul, My child. Yea, okay, I agree that I am Your child Baba but….

  1. Baba, if I win that promotion, my name will appear on such and such list, that’s how I get noticed, so I have to hustle.
  2. Baba, I’d love to help with that program but they appointed that young sister to lead it and I can’t possibly work under her direction! If You can get her moved, I can help.
  3. Yes, I agree we are all brothers Baba but that applies to all of us, not just me. When she changes her ways, I will too.
  4. I’ve done and given so much and yet when it comes to recognition, they deliberately omit my name. They speak highly of everyone else but me. Baba, would You have stayed on the team (or at the same center) despite such treatment?
  5. Baba, I clearly had the best idea so I don’t understand why we need to try something else. I know this is going to work!
  6. Yes, I raised my voice Baba but in this world, one has to be loud to be heard. If you remain silent, they think we are weak.
  7. I enjoy listening to Baba describe heaven but I don’t see the point in ‘experiencing heaven’ or ‘experiencing myself as a deity’. It feels funny! I think it’s more useful to live in the present rather than ‘visualize’ the past.
  8. Yes, I know Baba talks about practicing the five forms but I enjoy churning the knowledge. As long as I’m thinking about the knowledge, I’m sure Baba is happy.

I love Baba, I want to help Baba in the task of transformation, I want Him to be proud of me but I am set in my ways and in my thinking. I’m willing to help if it aligns with my thinking. This is stubbornness.

I find it hard to let go of all the many ‘I’s and ‘mine’s I have been clinging on to for so long. I’ve relied on them for security, for identity, for happiness, for so much. In fact, stubbornness has its roots in fear. I am terrified to let go of that branch because I think that is part of me. If I let go I feel there will be nothing left, that I would have lost. I am more concerned about what others think of me, that determines how I see myself. So, I don’t let go and instead spend time and energy trying to justify myself, trying to prove myself to be right….even to God.

Let me remember that Baba is here to transform the whole world- not a little change but completely. He is transforming hell into heaven. He does that by transforming souls who have become like thorns into flowers. So yes, what He tells me to do will look, feel, sound, smell completely different from what I’ve been used to in the old world. That’s the point.

Baba teaches me the method to success, He gives me Shrimat for everything. When I don’t follow it accurately and allow the dictates of my own mind or of others to be mixed in, I deprive myself of exactly that which I had been seeking – happiness, identity, belonging, love. When I don’t follow Shrimat, I remain body conscious and so rob myself of my true identity and happiness. Unless I am situated in my identity, I cannot belong to God and experience His love. When I don’t use the knowledge, I don’t gain experience and power. My sanskars don’t change. And thus I deprive myself of all attainments not just for now but for the whole cycle. I was looking for salvation from the sorrow, from the hustle but when I’m shown the way, I am too afraid to follow. When I am stubborn, I cannot attain salvation.

Those who try to prove themselves, that is, those who are stubborn can never become well known, says Baba. They can never be successful. Those who are to attain success keep themselves humble, gentle and also pick up virtues from everyone. Stubbornness makes me isolated and distant.

The opposite of stubbornness is determination. Where there is determination, there is always success. The two sound similar but couldn’t be more different.

When I am determined, I am peaceful, gentle, open to reason, full of compassion, unbiased and sincere. Determination is the willingness and ability to overcome obstacles and to avoid the distractions of ‘I’ and ‘mine’. I don’t become the embodiment of reasons and problems and excuses, I embody the solution. I have the humility to involve and learn from others, in this case, God. He is teaching me and I am willing to obey, to follow. I’ve tried my way for half a cycle, it didn’t work. I want to try God’s way now. When I am with a team, I assess what is best in a given situation and I am willing to work with others to achieve a common goal. I am determined to do what it takes, even sacrifice my preferences, my ego. It is a marked departure from stubbornness which is the resolute adherence to my own ideas or desires – ‘it’s my way or the highway!’.

Determination is tapasya. It is decision to change myself, not others. It is the decision to mold myself to attain that which is my birthright, my inheritance. I will have good wishes and pure feelings for everyone, no matter what. I will keep my thoughts, words and deeds elevated, no matter what. I am not concerned with proving my truth to anyone. I am more concerned about living my truth.

Where there is stubbornness, there is always a wall I bump into. God is asking me to find a way instead of complaining about a wall. He can only help those who are willing.

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