Baba says, ‘Never forget this spiritual childhood. If you do forget it, you will have to cry a great deal. To cry means to be hurt by Maya.‘
There are three types of childhood, Baba teaches. One is the worldly childhood. The second is the childhood of the path of isolation – that is when people leave their homes and families, die alive and belong to a guru or a sannyasi. He is not their father; they simply belong to a guru and live with him. The third is this wonderful birth of dying alive. I belong to another set of Parents; the spiritual Mother and Father. This, Baba explains, is your birth of dying alive, the spiritual birth in God’s lap.
God is the Creator, He is the Father of all souls of all religions but, not everyone knows the Father and even amongst those who know of Him, there are only a handful of actually know Him, as He is. Furthermore:
- I cannot inherit being a part of God’s family. In other words, just because my parents are Brahmins, it doesn’t mean I become a Brahmin as well.
- I cannot make myself a child of God by any amount of self-determination or self-effort. It is not a decision anyone can make that ‘I will become part of God’s family’ and then become it, just as how I cannot just pick a set of parents somewhere in the world and decide I want to become their child and become it.
- I cannot be made into a child of God by someone else; no matter how many Brahmins buzz the knowledge to me, they cannot make me a Brahmin.
The only way to enter into God’s family is through a spiritual birth; I must be ‘born of God’. Only God can make me His child and bring me into His family. He may well use one of His children as His instrument, but to make me His child is His work and His work alone. There are many who come to exhibitions or to seminars and workshops, listen to the knowledge, praise it and then never return. But I am here, God adopted me out of so many souls. He chose me, He made me belong to Him. Do I have this intoxication? It is sung: After dying alive and belonging to the Father, don’t forget this childhood.
To be His child is to accept Him into my heart and life. He is my Father, Teacher, Satguru. He is the Supreme Guide, the Liberator. He is the Spiritual Beloved, the Companion. He is my world. I rely on Him for everything just as a little child relies on its Father for everything. The moment I ‘grow up’, I start to think that ‘I know everything’, ‘I understand everything’, ‘I am doing everything’. I think I will change myself and others, forgetting Who the Purifier is. And so when I inevitably fail, I blame myself, shut myself down as a failure and reject myself. When I am a child, I think I can do anything because I know Who my Father is and when I do stumble, I am too little to feel discouraged by it and stay down; Children fall often but they simply get back up to go at it again. And so Baba says, ‘don’t forget the days of your childhood’.
When I am a child, when I do something wrong, I don’t know enough to hide; instead, I run to my Father, confess, ask for forgiveness and actually know to receive it. A little child does not complicate things like adults do. They also don’t worry about the past or the future but live in the present moment. As an adult, I worry about what I have or haven’t done in the past, or about what may or may not happen in the future. It is why adults love being around little children, because they appreciate and take joy in the simple things of life, they enjoy the present moment. However, to be childlike does not mean to be childish, immature, or selfish. In other words, I don’t become stubborn about wanting something or throw a tantrum when I don’t receive it. Baba says, ‘don’t forget the days of your childhood‘.
And so until I become a child of God, I cannot become truly free, or liberated-in-life; I cannot come into His kingdom of heaven. Without the humility to depend to Him, I will live a life of struggle and frustration by relying on my own strength to make things happen. And so Baba says, ‘never forget that you are a child of the God, the Highest-on-High.‘ When I don’t deeply realize this, I am unaware of the deepest truth about myself. Then, my identity stands on the shaky foundation of – nationality, ethnicity, job title, bank balance, whom I know, and being somehow ‘better than others’. I sometimes delude myself into thinking that even God appreciates me the most when I ‘win’ or ‘accomplish’ something but the Father says, ‘I am pleased with an honest heart, when you are a child’. I can lose everything – success, reputation, title, wealth, even my physical parents and friends- but I can never lose my adoption by God, my eternal Mother and Father. And so Baba says, ‘never forget that you are My child. Never forget this childhood.’
The way, therefore, to really, truly know God and inherit from Him, is to become His child and stay His child – always trusting Him and relying on Him for everything. Then I experience total rest and comfort in the Father’s protection. ‘Take care‘, Baba says, ‘to never forget your childhood. If you do, you will have to cry and you will be hurt by Maya in one way or another. Wake up early in the morning and talk to the Father. Sit in solitude in the evening and talk to yourself.‘ The more time I spend with the Father, the more I get to know Him -Who He is, How He is, What He does, How He does- then, the more I trust Him and therefore, inherit from Him. ‘If you don’t learn to claim your full inheritance now, you will lose in every cycle‘, cautions the Father. And so He says again: ‘Don’t forget such a Father or that you are His children. Constantly remember Me alone.’