Baba says, ‘Arrogance makes you into such complete corpses that you are unable to remember the Father. The more soul conscious you become, the more love you will have for the Father.‘
I on on a pilgrimage and I cannot take this pilgrimage alone; God Himself becomes my Companion. ‘You called out to me, ‘O Purifier, come and make us pure”, He reminds me. He is here now and this journey we take together is one where He purifies me such that by the time I arrive at the destination, I am completely pure. The way He purifies me is through the knowledge He gives me; He shows me the falsehoods- the attitudes, the behaviors etc.- hidden within me that I need to correct. But the only way I will be open to receiving His correction and actually obey Him is when I have deep love for Him. If I don’t have love, I will feel condemned and I will find many of the things He asks me to do unfair. I will labor and cry and struggle feeling like a lamb being taken to the slaughterhouse and the question I have in my mind will be: ‘Baba, don’t you love me?, don’t you care for me?’, ‘why Baba, why?’
The basis to develop deep love for God is soul consciousness. I cannot love God unless I am like Him. Where there isn’t soul consciousness, Baba teaches, there can only be arrogance and the Father is the Merciful One, the Bestower. It is one thing to be ‘body conscious’ where I think of myself as the body instead of as a soul- most of us understand this and work on it. But the more subtle aspect I also need to pay attention to, Baba teaches, is the arrogance of the body. The more knowledgeable and yogi I become, the more the arrogance of the body gets in the way- there is the arrogance of my own intellect, the arrogance of my elevated sanskars, the arrogance of my good nature, the arrogance of my specialties, the arrogance of my special talent, the arrogance of my success in service….
When I have arrogance within me, then when anyone offers a signal for correction, I feel insulted: ‘who me?!, I don’t have this problem..’, ‘you don’t understand…’. Not only do I shut myself down to change and growth but I develop a change in my attitude and vision for that soul. But when the same soul offers me praise, I lap it up readily and have love and regard for them. This is not soul consciousness, teaches Baba, your attitude and vision should remain equally loving and respectful whether they offer praise or correction. Similarly, at the center, ‘I do’ so much service, ‘I‘ donate wealth, ‘I’ show up on time, ‘I‘ follow Shrimat… and yet, when there was an opportunity to lead that project or read the murli, someone else got it! And it isn’t just someone else, it is the one who doesn’t even follow Shrimat properly, they often don’t even wear their white clothes, I doubt they even know God properly!… ‘why, Baba, why? How come she gets the chance when ‘I have been‘ serving you so well, when ‘I have been‘ doing everything right?’ Here’s the thing: the sooner I realize that God is not a human-being, the better off I’ll be. The Father is not for sale! In the iron aged world, people’s affections can be bought routinely with ‘perfect performance’ but God cares ONLY for a ‘perfect heart‘- a heart that’s turned toward Him.
‘Let go of this arrogance of the body‘, He teaches me, ‘it steals your love for the Father, it takes away your joy and happiness and prevents you from changing.’ ‘Aren’t you My child?‘, He asks, ‘when you are arrogant, it’s like Maya becomes your mother and father’. Her sustenance though, as I quickly discover, is deceptive. She makes the ego feel good in the short term with words like: ‘I know, that was unfair, you deserved that position, you deserve more respect’. Maya is great with throwing pity parties, with feeding my bitterness and essentially at anything that can separate me from the true Father. She keeps me so busy in thinking of myself that I have no time to remember the Father, His goodness and what He has and is doing for me. She shows me limited attainment and deceives me into handing over my eternal inheritance. ‘And so close these opens doors to arrogance‘, Baba instructs, ‘close the doors of ‘I and mine’‘. And the one word that helps me shut those doors and return to the right awareness is ‘Karankaravanhaar‘. I didn’t ‘do’ service as much as God enabled me to do it, He got it done through me. All those specialties, He brought them out of me. It’s one thing to know and speak all the right things like when someone praises me, I immediately know to say: ‘O! it’s all Baba…’ and a completely different thing to actually know it to be true. It’s one thing to recite the knowledge- even a small child can do that, says Baba- and a completely different thing to embody the things I recite. It’s one thing to teach the ‘concept’ of the soul and a whole different thing to be soul conscious.
When I am soul conscious, I too think and operate like God does, with a pure heart, with a generous heart, with a merciful heart. I am not quick to judge, condemn or criticize, there are enough people in the world that do that already. I, instead, become God’s instrument to uplift and heal the wounded. I am never more like God than when I am helping the hurting, when I am uplift and empower, when I rejoice in their victories, when I show them and help them hone their specialties. This is what God did and is still doing for me. And He does it not so that I can hoard it within me; what He gives me, He expects to see flow through me to others. ‘You are the trunk of the tree’, He reminds me, ‘sit in front of the picture of the tree and realize who you are and what you have to do’. When I do this, when I become soul conscious, I become an angel- a true helper of God, like Father Brahma. To become an angel is to die alive, to forget the self and place God in front: ‘Baba, I belong to You, I live my life for You’. When I surrender in this way, He can teach me, mold me, and take me places that I can never go on my own.
So instead of this false arrogance, imbibe self-respect and humility, He teaches. In thoughts, let there be self-respect of your elevated role and in your words and deeds, let there be humility; then, arrogance will finish, He teaches. Arrogance makes you into complete corpses, He points out, you are spirits; you are just like the Father.