Baba says, ‘Make a promise to yourself because it is only by having remembrance of the Father that you will become pure. Otherwise, you won’t.’
For half a cycle, I wandered from pillar to post, seeking peace, happiness, love, respect. I was taught that if I lived ‘perfectly‘, then I’d find these things. Perfect meant that I never had a misstep, always looked and behaved like the popular trend, had the right people like me etc. In trying to keep up with this definition, I’ve lived a tormented life, a miserable life, one fraught with self-doubt and condemnation.
Baba says, ‘This is the kingdom of Ravan, he is your enemy. You have now been adopted by the Father in order to conquer him’.
There is a very different life God wants me, His child, to have- a life of self-sovereignty. I’m not supposed to suffer from the same self-doubts and misery that I had before and simply change the label to Brahmin self-doubts and misery! Sure, there will always be trials, mistakes I make, people that are hard to get along with, tragedies, disappointments but my duty is to remember the Father and what He is teaching me and remain above the mess. Remembrance is an active thing I have to do, because it won’t happen on it’s own. How I think makes all the difference because Ravan speaks to me through thoughts. And so Baba stresses on the importance of the right thoughts. Thoughts determine my attitude and my attitude determines how far I can go in my life. For as long as I live, no matter how spiritual I become, Ravan will in some shape or form try to inject wrong thoughts in my mind. It’s what he does and it is his kingdom right now. And my job is to actively choose to cast down those wrong thoughts and think only that which will benefit me and God’s kingdom.
In the beginning, that feels like such a hard if not impossible thing to do because I’ve let my mind run rampant for so long. It feels like every thing I’m thinking is something I shouldn’t be thinking of. But if I keep at it, then little by little, day after day, it will get better. That doesn’t mean Ravan will ever stop attacking me but it does mean that I will get better at keeping the door closed to wrong thoughts.
Baba says, ‘Some don’t even remember Shiv Baba throughout the whole day; they don’t become Shiv Baba’s helpers. You have become Shiv Baba’s children. Therefore, do service!’
Sometimes, if anyone were to ask me what’s on my mind, I’d say nothing! But a mind cannot hold a vacuum. And unfortunately in Ravan’s kingdom, an idle mind is his workshop. It’s only when I stay busy thinking the right things will I keep Ravan from filling it with the wrong things. It’s important for me to stay busy all day in some kind of service that furthers Baba’s task of establishing His kingdom. Explain the pictures to others, He suggests. If I don’t have this opportunity, then let me explain the pictures to myself in different ways, let me read out the Murli by emerging souls all over the world, let me write out the Murli in long hand- I’d be surprised at some of the revelations that come to me when I just spend time immersed in Baba’s knowledge. I do need my rest too but not so much that I just lay around allowing myself to dwell on all the things that are wrong with everyone else, and what so-and-so did or said to me.
Let me never forget that which Baba reminds me of constantly- this is a war. This is the same Mahabharata war that is being fought right now except, my enemy is not another soul but Ravan. Only you know this enemy, says Baba.
People in the world continue to make an effigy of Ravan and burn it but they have not idea if he will be ultimately defeated or even why he is the enemy in the first place! When someone makes others suffer, they think that they should bring a case against him. But I now know that this war with Ravan cannot be fought in a natural way- I cannot strangle Ravan, hit him, shoot him, tie him with a rope or put him in jail. Yelling at him won’t do any good either, I’ll still have the same mess in my life. I first need to seek refuge with the Father, that is, come into His lap and then resist Ravan. I cannot do it on my own strength. Only when I come to the Father do I receive the weapons that help me destroy the strongholds of Ravan. They are spiritual weapons and they are invisible but all-powerful – these are the weapons of Raja Yoga (or remembrance) and knowledge. But it’s not just hearing His knowledge or thinking that ‘I am Baba’s anyway’, I need to really immerse myself in the study to make it into a powerful weapon in my life.
Then when that wrong thought from Ravan comes, I am able to discern it and destroy it with the right thought from Baba’s knowledge. When he whispers: ‘You’re done, you’ve messed up your life way too much, it’s finished for you..’, I can easily destroy that with the sword of: ‘Baba says that as long as I stick with Him, He will make me into the master of heaven! This is His guarantee‘. When he says: ‘remember that mistake you made just this morning?, how many times are you going to fail, you are just so messed up….’, I can easily destroy it with: ‘Yes, I may not do everything right but I don’t do everything wrong either. I am not perfect but Baba has brought me a long way from where I used to be’. In fact part of keeping an accurate chart is to not just record what went wrong but also what I did right– those good decisions I made, time I spent in the study, that positive influence I had. If I only focus on the negative, I’ll never stay motivated. Similarly, when I get mistreated, it might feel good to stay down in self-pity, feeling sorry for myself but it stops me from rising higher. Not only does it not move God but in fact, it opens the door wide open for Ravan. What I need to do is fight for my life by using my weapons and get out of that place quickly….not in an hour after I’ve had tea with Ravan, but right then!
This is the Godfatherly University for becoming princes and princesses, Baba tells me daily. This is the study of Raja Yoga! You are becoming Narayan from an ordinary man! You claim your inheritance from the Father and become princes and princesses of the golden age! The Father sits here and tells you such pleasurable things. You should remember them. Some become trapped as soon as they leave here. You remember the Father, numberwise.
To remember is therefore, the greatest service I can offer myself and for Baba. If I don’t keep busy with this through the day and allow myself to become loose, then as soon as I wake up, the first thought will be something depressing, about someone else, what they did, etc. Then the rest of the day will go accordingly. I become trapped and allow Ravan to steal so much from me simply because I don’t do what Baba is asking me to do. Ravan relentlessly seeks to create strongholds in my mind. He lies and deceives me into believing things that aren’t true. They aren’t true but because I believe them, it becomes true for me. He wants me to stay home and cry about everything that’s wrong, throw a negative pity party, and go to lunch with another negative soul that can pull me down even further. The longer I stay upset, the more fun Ravan has at my expense. Baba says, ‘Remain very cautious about the influence of bad company. Follow the One Father alone‘. Sometimes, even during Murli, I can be thinking: ‘I bet they haven’t done what I asked them to do…’, ‘I know her intentions aren’t good…’, ‘the house is going to be mess when I get back…I’ll have to clean it up…’ Ravan sets me up to be in a rage even before anything even happens. He makes me into a fuse waiting to catch on fire.
Let me realize that thoughts go ahead of me and prepare my life for me. If the thoughts I think are hopeless, I’ll behave hopeless. If I think negative, my life will be negative and lousy. This is the false, impure life I have led for half a cycle, let me not suffer another moment living this way. Baba has adopted me to conquer Ravan. He has given me insight into how Ravan works and equipped me with the weapons with which to defeat him. The Father says: ‘it is My duty to tell you to remember Me. Follow Me and there will be a lot of benefit. Make a promise to yourself because it is only by having remembrance of the Father that you will become pure. Otherwise, you won’t. The Father inspires you to make a promise. However, it is up to you whether you do it or not. Those who do something will receive the return of it.‘
Let me practice actively choosing my own thoughts, they determine my destiny. I have weapons! The Murli, remembrance, service, are all my weapons to conquer Ravan with and I have to have them with me all day, every day. Maya puts you in a great spin, Baba cautions. You children should remain engaged in doing service and more service! The Father says: Constantly remember Me alone and you will become residents of heaven from residents of hell. This is so easy! Now, promise yourself that you will do this.