You first

Baba says, ‘those who consider everyone to be their elder and give them regard are loved by everyone. For this, make the lesson of “You first” firm in every situation.’

I cannot be selfish and be happy at the same time. For half a cycle, I have lived selfishly where my choices were controlled by the answer to one question: ‘what’s in it for me?’ It is indeed our good fortune that God is altruistic for if He had based His decision to help me on the same criterion, then I would still be in the clutches of Ravan calling out for mercy. Even now, when I go to Him at any time of the day or night with anything, He never ever says: ‘later…this is a bad time’. When He enables me to do things I’ve never done before and everyone applauds, He’s not thinking: ‘this job sucks! look at all those people clapping for her when in fact I’m the One getting everything done! How come I have to do everything and they get all the credit!’

He doesn’t think or say any of those things. Instead, God says: ‘I am your obedient servant‘, instead God says, ‘the Lord is ever present before His children who are His masters‘.

Humility is the foundation for unselfish behavior. If I don’t have a humble mind, then I take offense to even the word ‘servant’, it makes me squirm. I have the feeling that I am above others and that they always have to do for me, serve me. ‘I am no one’s servant!’, I think. But when I listen to what God is teaching me, I realize that only He is the Lord and Master, only He is the Teacher, only He is the Father and Mother…everyone else are His children. And so everyone is equal– whether I am playing the role of a mother taking care of kids or that of a CEO of a company or that of a janitor- because all are souls playing different roles. But when I don’t realize this, then, when there is a difference of opinion, I think: ‘why should I apologize, they were the ones who are at fault, let them apologize to me first.’ Baba says, ‘you put others first where you need to be first and put yourself first when you should be putting others first’. To be the peacemaker, to be the first to apologize is to say: ‘You first’ – to both God and to my brother soul. It’s me saying: ‘Baba, Your task is my task.’ and His task cannot be accomplished without unity and brotherhood. So if that means I have to apologize, so be it. I don’t do it out of compulsion but with pure feelings and elevated wishes.

This is the specialty of the maharathis‘, says Baba, ‘they lack the consciousness of “I”‘. They naturally have the nature of being an instrument and a server; they don’t have to struggle to create this nature. They never say: ‘me first’ but make the lesson of ‘you first’ firm and thereby become instruments to bring benefit to those souls. Such maharathis who have such elevated feelings and an elevated nature are said to be the same as the Father.

Sometimes Baba asks me to do a task that I perceive to be rather simple, behind the scenes and so I don’t like it: ‘Baba, I have so many talents and gifts, I should be up on stage!’ Then, I look at the person on stage and I can hardly stand it; ‘Why her?! that should be me!’ I make the mistake of confusing visibility with importance. It’s a see and be seen culture in Ravan’s world where I live most of my life looking at or scrolling through others‘ lives, lusting after their positions and success. And I think if I can become visible, if I can get on stage, then that’s the sign of success and then, God too will be happy. I think He cares about the ones on stage because that’s how the world works. But let me recognize that this is Ravan at work. God is not like human-beings- He doesn’t look for famous people, He looks for honest people to further His kingdom. He is looking for that child that will go to that remote place where no one sees them and do what He has asked them to do, happily. When I do what God asks me to do when no one’s looking, then He will trust me enough to use me to do things where everyone’s looking. It is God that promotes me, not people- let me realize this truth.

But when I forget this, I battle with others for ‘my right’, for ‘what I deserve’, for ‘my rightful place’ based on my talents, gifts, charisma, appearance and whatever else. The thing is that none of these things impress God, they don’t break bondages and they do nothing to take me to my destiny. On the other hand, character, commitment, faithfulness, loyalty, will. They are the building blocks to every lasting success. If someone else has been chosen for a task that I may indeed be more qualified to do, that’s okay. Can I be big-hearted enough to share my knowledge with them and make what they have even better? Because at the end of the day, it isn’t about me or them- it is about glorifying our Father. That is my goal. So then, if I do or they do, the goal is to get the task done the best way possible- for the Father. Nothing reveals my motives more, my heart more, than how I behave when I don’t get picked, when I am in the invisible places, when no one is inviting me to the cool stuff. Can I say: ‘Your first’ to God and my brothers?

This is the praise of Father Brahma. Along with saying, “Ha ji” (yes, Baba), he also always said, “You first!” He never put himself first, he always let others go first. In fact, only those who let others go first are able to say, “Ha ji”. This is why the main thing is to put others before oneself, but with pure feelings. On the basis of your good wishes and elevated feelings, when you put others before yourselves, Baba teaches, you come first. There is only the one Father and so there is only the one Father’s business. If, instead of, “You first!”, you have the thought, “I first”, even if one soul has this thought or even speaks or acts in this way, then understand that one bead of the rosary of success is broken. Even if one bead of a rosary breaks, it affects the whole rosary. Therefore, you have to make this lesson firm for yourself so that not even one bead can become separated from the rosary of victory. When you make such effort and carry out this task, you will then be able to hoist the flag of victory over your kingdom.

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