Baba says, ‘be a Mahavir who always has zeal and enthusiasm and experiences the ascending stage‘. They do not stop or experience tiredness.
Baba reminds me daily that this is a pilgrimage. The meaning of “Manmanabhav” , Baba says, is: Stay on the spiritual pilgrimage. O souls, remember Me, your Father! This is also a war and not just any war, this is the Mahabharata, the great war! You are constantly on a battlefield, Baba reminds me. In other places, a war might last for 10 to 20 years but your war with Maya will last till the end. However, it is incognito and no one knows about it.
The Mahabharat War shown in the Gita is a physical war, whereas this war is spiritual.
When we’ve been on the pilgrimage for a while, we’ve understood the knowledge, taught the course many times. We remember Baba, we have a lot of love for Baba and with this power of knowledge and yoga, we’ve mostly tackled the soft sanskars. But then after 10 years on this pilgrimage, something comes up and we are caught by surprise. I had thought I had conquered this sanskar a long time ago, I can’t believe it has shown up now, after all these years!
It’s a delicate phase in the journey. When we are new, in the honeymoon period, everything feels easy, I feel Baba’s presence all the time, I love everything. But a few years in, it’s like mid-life and I have my mid-life crisis! A whole lot of self-doubt that kicks in. I wonder why I still have this sanskar, I think it is wrong that I still do, ‘am I a real Brahmin after all?’, I question.
The thing to realize is that when we come to this path, one of the first things we do is suppress unpleasant sanskars. We don’t yet know how to transform, we haven’t had those realizations yet but we know enough to know certain sanskars are bad and so we push them down but of course they are there and they come up, sometimes with a lot of force after a few years. But, the key is to stay put, to not get sucked in by the self-doubt.
Sometimes, the sanskar is something I never saw within myself even before gyan! And I think: I never even had these thoughts or did something like this before Baba, so how did this happen now!? And I wonder: am I going backwards? is this really even working? is there a point in continuing?
Storms will come to all of us, Baba tells us that daily. It is not the storm that is important, it is how I react to them. I need a lot of wisdom to manage this Brahmin life. Sometimes, it is a sanskar like irritation that comes up after many years in gyan and I think, I never had anger even before, so how did this happen? And I think: and this is such a basic sanskar, I should have seen it and gotten rid of it in kindergarten but here I am after all these years…I should have be beyond this by now…maybe I am not cut out to be a Brahmin after all!…maybe this is a sign I’ve failed! I am clearly way behind schedule…etc etc.
Sometimes, I have a deep realization of a point of knowledge, it’s like I hear the penny drop. I am ecstatic but at the same time I think: and all this time I had thought I understood the knowledge so well, it only took me 10 years to understand this point! so maybe I haven’t understood the rest either?!
The sign, Baba says, of a Mahavir is that they will be able to discern Maya from a distance. She will try to attack, it’s what she does for a living! But the key to victory is to know her when she’s coming and stop her. Maya always, always attacks the intellect and tries to sow the seed of self-doubt. And she presents a very convincing, logical case complete with all the evidence, the data points and closing comments.
But here’s the thing! I am a Mahavir, I have a loving intellect. I have broken away from everyone else and connected myself to the one Father. When I have practiced such introversion and remembrance, I can discern when Maya tries to attack.
The Father is the Almighty Authority. He is the Purifier, He is the Liberator. This is His domain, He is the Expert. All I have to do to ensure success is not get in the way. Not getting in the way means to keep my intellect connected to Him, to keep the line clear, without the disturbance of waste thoughts. Then, He touches it with knowledge, with teaching. I learn, I realize, I keep on moving. That is the co-operation He needs from me. And that is exactly what Maya tries to disrupt. She tries to make my intellect doubtful from faithful, she tries to clutter the mind with waste thoughts of self-doubt and shut me down. She tries to tire me out, kill my confidence, my enthusiasm.
Don’t let her!
Zeal and enthusiasm are the breath of Brahmin life. Never lose hope and your zeal and enthusiasm, says Baba, no matter what. Just stay on the path, keep on moving.
And let me not make the mistake of comparing myself to others. This is the most prominent form of body consciousness we suffer from. I look at someone else and think: she has been on this path for only 5 years and she was able to conquer her anger, how come I still get irritated after 10 years? Let me realize, not two journeys or routes are the same. I’ve taken a different route where I’ve tackled different sanskars first before getting to this. Someone else got to this first and are yet to get to some of the others. The thing is it doesn’t matter what anyone else is doing. My duty is to only keep my eyes on Baba and the aim. Don’t question ‘why’, ‘how’, ‘what’, trust the self, trust the drama and, trust the Teacher and keep on moving forward.
There isn’t a magic bullet on this path, it’s pretty old school really- plain old determination. Yes, I have this weakness. Hurray! that I’ve recognized it, now with determination, I chip away at it little by little and that gives me confidence that I can conquer it, that I am making progress. And Baba’s promise: when you take one step of courage, I give you a thousand of Mine.
So the key thing is to never ever give up, never overreact, never think for a moment that I am behind schedule, I am not. All of this self doubt, self rejection, self loathing is body conscious. Because of coming into body consciousness many times, you forget and then destroy your own status, says Baba. There will then be a lot of repentance at the end. Nothing can be done at that time. This is a deal for every cycle. All I have to do is with a pure heart, a pure desire to change, with determination and faith in the Teacher, keep going forward. And I’ll always be on schedule.