Baba says, ‘the Father, the Conqueror of Hearts, has come to win the hearts of you children. Therefore, become those with clean hearts.’
When my heart is clean, my desire is also clean and when something is clean, it is already successful. Baba calls a soul with a clean heart, a holy swan; someone who is capable of picking the pearls from between the stones. The Father is pleased with such souls: ‘He is called the Comforter of Hearts, not of heads’, He says. He chose me because of my heart, not because I have a shrewd, worldly head that can outsmart others or get ahead. The basis of sovereignty too is a pure heart, not how much service I did, how many centers I opened or how many people attended my lectures. In fact, in service too, success is achieved based on purity and honesty of the heart because the sound of the heart is what reaches the other’s heart, whereas the sound from the head only goes as far as the head. ‘Therefore, pay attention to the heart‘, He teaches.
When I have a clean heart, that is, when I am a holy swan, I am the same in my attitude, vision, words, relationships and connections. I don’t think something, and say something else or try to pretend to be something that I am not.
Maybe the instrument teacher gave me a project to do that I don’t really want to do it, I actually think it’s beneath me but I accept it anyway, not because I’ve had a change of heart and decided to serve but because I want to be in the teacher’s good books. And now, because the foundation is dishonest, all my thoughts and actions from this point on are also dishonest- my heart won’t be in it and so the quality will be sloppy, I try to enlist someone else to do the actual work because ‘I want to give others a chance to serve too’. ‘I don’t need a clever head’, says Baba, ‘if you want to serve, do so with a clean heart, else don’t do it at all’.
Sometimes, I am eyeing that promotion at work- it will mean more visibility, more money, better benefits etc. That’s the real draw! And all though I realize deep down that taking that position will leave me no time for my spiritual effort, that it will take me away from God, I try to tell myself: ‘I am not doing this for me, I am doing this for service. If I rise higher, I can do more for Baba’. Then, I even try to enlist Baba to help me get the position forgetting that He is God and knows my heart. ‘Check‘, teaches Baba, ‘why do are doing what you are doing. Ask yourself, are my motives pure? or are they selfish?’ I bring this sanskar of selfish motives on to the spiritual path as well: maybe I have a certain skill or a great idea for service but I don’t offer my co-operation to the centers that might need it the most because ‘I won’t receive credit for it’, ‘it will get lost’ and so I hustle my way to the ‘right’ people to ensure I get stage time and visibility. Was my motive to serve or was it to become famous? Sometimes, it’s the teachers that won’t encourage good ideas unless it can be stamped with the name of ‘their’ center. Let me check: am I here to serve God or am I using Him and His task to serve myself?
Sometimes, I can’t stand the boss at work but I stick around because the pay is good. So I sing her praises in front of her and gossip and complain behind her back. ‘Such behavior is not becoming of God’s children‘, says Baba, ‘it defames the Father.’ But someone who is even more dangerous than even a person who gossips is the one who puts on an appearance of perfection on the outside and is something else inside, says Baba. Such a person is dangerous because they mislead others into thinking that they are good yogis when in fact they are not. Outside, I have my white clothes and badge on, I wear my smile and say all the right words ‘Om shanti…, Baba….’ but in my heart, I have hidden sin- lustful thoughts, attractions. Such hidden sin will destroy my life, my peace and my health because it keeps eating at me. It also disturbs the spiritual atmosphere and hinders the progress of other souls, especially beginners who are still trying to find their feet.
The fact that I have impurity within me is not the cause of concern in itself; what is concerning is if I decline to acknowledge and repent i.e. work with God on flushing it out. The first step is therefore to accept responsibility, to acknowledge to myself that I have a problem instead of making excuses or denying the impure feelings to myself. I can’t overcome something I am not willing to confront. Then, I have to immediately take it to God and ask for His forgiveness and His help. Sometimes I feel ashamed to go to God with my sin; this is a trap by Maya to keep me from recovery. Let me not allow myself to be deceived, let me realize that God is my Father, that He is Merciful if I will go to Him with honest repentance and a desire to be cleaned.
‘Only He is the Purifier‘, teaches Baba, ‘no one apart from the Father can purify you.‘ In fact, this is His specialty, it is what He is here to do but I have to go to Him with an honest heart that has realized.
Sometimes, I have unforgiveness and bitterness in my heart over something that happened years ago and I lug this baggage around with me. Now, I am so familiar with it, I don’t even realize it’s there and that it is hindering my life. When asked, I might say: ‘yes, they did me wrong, but I’ve forgiven, I’ve moved on…’ but do I love them? am I willing to help them with something they need? If the answer to these questions is ‘no’, then I likely haven’t actually forgiven or moved on.
‘Let your hearts be very clean‘, says Baba. He comes to perform this deep cleansing, to clean us from the inside out. This is the only way to transform, He points out. Often I hear Baba talk about sanskars I need to get rid of like anger or jealousy and I try to change myself by altering my external behavior: I try to distance myself from others or do something else. But ‘behavior modification‘ is not the remedy for the damage Ravan has done to me over half a cycle; he came and poisoned my heart. And so what I need is a new heart, a renewed mind. Only God can renew my mind. When I take my new birth into His family, I receive the seed of His nature. Then, with the fire of His remembrance, with the water of His knowledge, with the love and nourishment of His constant companionship, that seed grows in me and bears the fruit of righteous behavior, of love, of peace and contentment. I can’t expect to get to the fruit without working on the seed.
And so He says, ‘I come to win everyone’s heart at the confluence age’. He comes to heal and restore. He comes to free me from the burden of sins I have been carrying in my heart and grant me liberation-in-life in a second. ‘Simply do what the Father says‘, He tells me, ‘forget everything else! and remember Him alone.’