Don’t give or take sorrow

Baba says, ‘There is no sorrow in the new world. You should therefore constantly dance in happiness and not experience sorrow about anything.

The basis of going to heaven is purity. Where there is purity, there is peace and happiness. In fact, heaven is known to be the land of happiness– there is no trace of sorrow there. And so Baba says, ‘check if you have any thorns in yourself that cause sorrow and remove them’. If I experience sorrow, there is a lack of purity due to some vice or the other.

While most of us have overcome the main vice of lust, anger, on the other hand still lurks around. There is anger where I feel like I’m not being treated right, that I’m being taken advantage of, when someone I was counting on lets me down, whatever. This world is hell, says Baba, it is inherently selfish. Even the little love that exists is selfish love. There isn’t love from a true heart. People give love because they have a motive. If there isn’t any need or once the motive is met, there is a ‘don’t care’ attitude. Yes, this is hurtful and it doesn’t just happen occasionally, it happens all the time. And no, it’s not as if it happens only with outsiders, it happens with my own family members.

Yes, this is all true. But what will you do?, asks Baba. ‘You have to give soul-conscious love, give blessings and most importantly‘, He says, ‘neither take sorrow, nor give sorrow‘.

It is the giver’s choice to give sorrow but I don’t have to take it, teaches Baba. Peace and happiness are my inheritance and it is up to me to protect my inheritance from being stolen from me. No matter what someone is like, the moment I focus on what’s wrong, I take sorrow. And so Baba says, ‘if you have to see something in others, see specialties’ but the best thing to do is to ‘simply remember the Father and the inheritance‘. The more I stay focused on what I have been asked to do, the more peaceful and happier I’ll be. ‘Well, what if my kid is off course, what is I have a crisis at work, how can I be peaceful and happy?’ Does it help to be worried? For half a cycle I’ve been part of a ‘doing’ culture, so I feel the need to be doing something all the time, especially if there is a problem. ‘Surely, I can’t just rest’ and so I worry because it makes me feel like I’m doing something. Not just that, I can’t stand it if others are not worrying along with me! ‘how can you just sit there and not do anything…’ But really worry is like a rocking chair- I’m moving all the time but going nowhere. Besides, it depletes my mental resources, doesn’t help me one bit.

Baba says, ‘yes, despite whatever may be going on in your circumstances, you can and must still remain happy.’

The thing is I cannot change people, only God can. Heck, I can’t even change myself without God’s help! Doesn’t mean I don’t take action. Maybe a child or a family member is being irresponsible and I feel like I have to keep bailing them out of one trouble after another. I have tried to speak to them but to no avail, it keeps on repeating. They come to me when they need help but once they get what they want, they disappear. Yes, it’s selfish and I certainly have the right to feel like like I’m being taken advantage of. But Baba says, ‘when you give teachings, you give it with the attitude of ‘I will put this one right’ but the most elevated method of giving teaching is in the form of forgiveness.’

Don’t just give teachings alone, He says, but give it with mercy and forgiveness. When you give all three together, then the teachings will work. If you just give teachings alone without first being merciful, then the teaching will go through one ear and out the other. Those teachings will not be imbibed. You tend to be quick at becoming the teacher but you also have to forgive, have mercy from now on, He teaches. The method to have mercy is to have good wishes and pure feelings. It is said: True love even turns stone to water. True love. In the same way, by giving teachings in the form of forgiveness, the thing that you want – for someone not to do or to happen – will take place. The impact of your giving teachings while being merciful will transform the hard heart of the other person, He teaches.

This is what Baba did with me. He told me to change something so many times. Each time, I said I would, only to not do it. But not once did He judge, criticize, get frustrated, or worst of all, reject me. He gave me the teaching again and again and again in different ways- each time with mercy and forgiveness. But He is able to do that because He is firmly seated on His seat of self-respect. Only then can I give love despite the behaviors. If there is no self-respect, then I see the behavior and feel like I’m being taken advantage of, being taken for granted, being disrespected, I feel angry because my teaching was ignored…again…for the hundredth time, I feel helpless, and I reject the other soul.

Remember who you are and remember the Father, says Baba. You think of yourself as Brahma Kumars and Brahma Kumaris but forget that you are the direct children of Shiv Baba. God Himself has come to take care of you, His children, as your obedient server. You must have so much happiness.

When I lose my self-respect and tell someone off because of their behavior, by repeatedly doing this, that soul become like an enemy and I develop a dislike for that person. That makes the situation even worse than it was. If they don’t change through words, then they will change through pure vibrations but they will never change if there is negativity and bitterness, teaches Baba. Because, if even one person becomes angry, the atmosphere of the home changes – it feels less like a home and more like a battlefield. And sanskars don’t change on the battlefield! You are the children of God. So just as the Father is the One who purifies the impure, can’t you give happiness to those who are weak and unhappy?, He asks. Now, try this method out, He says and start at home because charity begins at home. If a family member causes sorrow, sit firmly in your seat of self-respect and don’t take their sorrow. Learn to see beyond the apparent behavior at their struggle. Then, you will feel mercy and blessings. Sometimes, I ask: ‘but for how long?’. Did Baba ask this question about me? He remains patient and never stops believing in me. And truth be told, I ask this question only when I am not being truly loving and merciful, but rather suppressing my frustration.

When my nature is one of mercy and love, that’s what I give….there is no expiration date. It’s just who I am. It’s when I let my who be affected by the goings-on that I become sorrowful and then that’s what I give to others. So, when Baba says, ‘be happy, no matter what’, it’s not an inconsiderate statement or a statement of denial but rather the most merciful thing I can do because I will give what I have. It’s like the story of the two women who were neighbors. One of them was a troublemaker- she constantly dumped her garbage in the other woman’s yard. The other woman always just cleaned up and kept her yard clean no matter what. In disbelief, the troublemaker decided she was going to test the limits once and for all. She left a gift box at the doorstep of the neighbor- the box was filled with garbage. She was sure, that would be the last straw that breaks her neighbor’s resolve. The next day however, she found a gift box at her own doorstep – she opened it to find it full of beautiful flowers. Stunned by the gesture, she walked up to her neighbor to ask why she sent her flowers despite all she had done to antagonize her. Her neighbor smiled and said, ‘because flowers are all I have’.

When I am unshakable in who I am and Whom I belong to, I don’t get baited by Ravan. It is never my brothers that do things that cause sorrow, it’s Ravan i.e. the five vices working through them. Let me recognize who my real enemy is and reject him by accepting my brothers and sisters with true love. So now, put the blessing of ‘don’t give sorrow and don’t take sorrow’ to use first in your own family, teaches Baba. The impact on your family will then create an impact in your community. The community will create an impact on the country and the country will create an impact on the world. And the world will change from being the land of sorrow to the land of happiness.

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