Baba says, ‘don’t say “I am still an effort-maker” when you make a mistake‘. An accurate effort-maker can never be defeated because the true meaning of the word “effort” is to move along while considering yourself to be the soul.
Making effort means that I have an aim and I am equipped with instructions on how to reach my aim, I then follow those instructions to reach the aim. On this spiritual path, my aim is to change from human into deity and the instruction to reach that aim is Manmanabhav! It means consider yourself to be a soul and remember Me alone. If I am following instructions, then I am making effort. If I know but not following, then that is not effort, that is carelessness.
When Baba came and found me, I had been wandering for half a cycle with no sense of identity or belonging. I had no purpose, no aim. He gave me all of those things. He reminded me that I am a soul, not the body. He gave me His introduction and made me belong to Him- you are My child, He said. He gave me my aim- you are a deity soul, you are simply becoming that again. My purpose is to help Him in His task of world transformation – I do that by transforming the self.
Now that I know that I am a soul, that I am God’s child, there is no denying it, pretending I didn’t know. I do. Then, if I still continue to think, speak and act in the consciousness of being a body, that would be called self-sabotage. He has told me who I am and yet, I think of myself as my roles, my responsibilities, my relationships, titles, gender, nationality…I have one ‘I’ (I, the soul) and one ‘mine’ (Baba) and I knowingly get lost in the web of the many false ‘I’s and ‘mine’s. Then when I inevitably lose one or more of those ‘I’s and ‘mine’s, there is sorrow. Baba teaches me to remember that which is true because truth is eternal, it is permanent, I can never lose it. Baba and His knowledge are true, and I, the soul am true. To engage in self-sabotage and constantly go up and down is not effort, remembering the truth is effort. Effort should always help me ascend, not fluctuate.
Baba gives me Shrimat to protect me from wrong actions. After half a cycle of body consciousness, I have forgotten how to be, I have become unrighteous. His Shrimat protects me from tendencies of the old world I have left behind. I make all the right promises and yet, when it comes to doing, I lose courage. What I have to give up or let go feels too big, too much of a sacrifice, I don’t feel ready. To make effort without determination or with weak determination, sets me up for failure. To make effort without faith in Who is teaching me sets me up for failure. When I remember that it is God Who is teaching me, that He is my Father, then I know following His instruction can only bring me success. When I remember what I am studying for, that it is for the new world, I have no problem letting go of anything old. When I forget, I still continue to try to make it in the old world, I don’t renounce.
He tells me to do something, gives me tools – spin the cycle of self-realization, He says. Remember the new world, heaven, He says. I hear that but decide I want to do something different. Spinning the cycle or remembering heaven or writing a chart feels cheesy…might work for others, it’s not for me. Where there is no obedience to the Teacher, there cannot be success in effort.
I am moving forward and I come face to face with others’ sanskars. Rather than harmonize and move on, I come to a standstill. I decide that what they did was wrong, and consider it my duty to set them straight. Baba has not asked me to make the effort to play Him, to be God. He has asked me to keep moving. There will be side scenes- situations, people…but I have a destination to get to. I learn to see but not see, hear but not hear. If I allow myself to get sucked in, get upset, bitter, resentful, then I lose my peace, my happiness and with that remembrance of Baba. When I lose my connection with the Source and lose all my attainments, I have no more oxygen to breathe or energy to move. Making effort is to maintain good wishes and pure feelings – I remember we are all on our journeys, I accept, accommodate and keep on moving.
When I encounter my own darkness, I have to learn to face – not deny, not avoid but face. To face is to show courage. If I think: the sanskar will go away on its own with time, or that Baba will make it go away, then I am deceiving myself. I am being careless. This is a study, Baba reminds me, don’t ask Me for mercy, you have to make effort. If I get afraid, feel ashamed or guilty, then I am shutting myself down and coming to a stop. Instead, Baba asks me to come to Him, to the Supreme Surgeon and tell Him as it is so He can help me. Unless I realize and decide that I want to change, He cannot help me. Sometimes I think: it’s just one sanskar, I’ll be okay at the end…Baba cautions me that I won’t. To overcome deep sanskars takes practice over a long period of time. If I get careless and push it to the end, I am setting myself up for failure.
To make intense effort is to fly, says Baba. Effort is not laboring, it is flying. I keep my aim in my vision and keep moving toward it. The difficulties, the obstacles, the storms that come in my path- I accept them as part of the curriculum. I realize they are not here to defeat me, they are here to teach me, make me stronger, push me toward my destination. I learn the lessons with patience and humility. I don’t fizzle out, I protect my attitude and keep my zeal and enthusiasm.
God has told me who I am, I accept that vision and step into it. I don’t question it, wonder if it’s really me, look at my current state and doubt my destiny…I accept it. I am who He says I am, that I can do what He says I can do. I co-operate with the Father, the Teacher, the Purifier, the Liberator. I serve myself in this way and in doing so, help Baba in His task. Let me not use the word ‘effort-maker’ as an apology. When done right, it is a badge of victory and honor.