Baba says, ‘Each one of you children has to understand that you are establishing the kingdom of heaven and hell will no longer remain. If you just continue to remember this much, you will remain very happy.‘
I was living as an orphan in the old world, fearful and anxious, fending for myself with no one to guide me or take care of me. Then Baba came and He adopted me as His own child; He gave me a new identity and a sense of belonging. He didn’t come so that I continue to struggle, He especially didn’t come so that I could struggle to make the Brahmin life work. And so He says, ‘tune-in to what time it is in the cycle, tune-in to what is going on. The kingdom of heaven is being established once again, you should be happy about this.’
The Father is the Purifier, He uses the situations and people to bring out damaging attitudes and behaviors that have taken root in me over half a cycle. He shows them me so I become aware of these strongholds and can then work with Him, not alone, to course correct; if I don’t realize I even have a problem, then I won’t do anything about it. Now, when He pulls these behaviors out of me, if my response is to feel condemned, then it means I haven’t really recognized the Father nor imbibed the knowledge correctly. Ravan wants nothing more than for me to feel condemned and disheartened: ‘here we go, another thing wrong with me…’ and shut myself down to progress. There is nothing worse than condemnation to suck the power out of me. And so foundational to my progress is the realization that the Father loves me no matter what, that none of my weaknesses are any surprise to Him- they may be to me, but not to Him; He adopted me, He knew what He was getting when He got me. He corrects only those whom He loves because He doesn’t want me to remain in fear anymore, He wants me to be completely peaceful, happy, content.
The Father says: ‘I come to give you your inheritance, I bring heaven on the palm of My hand.’ Heaven is liberation-in-life, it is to be free from all bondages, to be light, carefree, with no trace of sorrow; it is a life of bliss. The visible sign that I am getting closer to this heavenly life is happiness.
When I am making the right kind of effort, I am not working for victory, rather, I am working from a place of victory. My Father has already told me the story- the beginning, middle and end of it. ‘I come and tell you the true story of the true Narayan’, He says and so I know that I am a most elevated deity soul, a resident of heaven, 16 celestial degrees pure and that I am simply becoming that again. I am not making any new effort to become anything new; I have made this effort countless times and become the deity countless times.
I therefore am not bogged down by the situations and sanskars thinking: ‘why is this happening to me?’, ‘just my karma’. No!, my karma is super! These are just the last few scenes of the drama, let me learn to look at the whole story by spinning the discus and be amazed by how elevated it is. And these last scenes are here to prepare me for that new beginning, that new world once again. So yes, there’s a little pain, a few oops! and ouches! but I am learning to walk upright again holding my Father’s hand. I have a whole cycle of peace, happiness, prosperity in front of me….is a little pain to get there such a big deal?
And so perspective matters. If I look at situations and people as my enemies, as obstacles in my path, then I will feel overwhelmed, bitter and resentful. But if I see them as gift boxes with my gift of a new lesson wrapped inside each one, then I can’t wait to unwrap, take my gift out and then throw away the box. It’s a problem only when I keep staring at the box, judging it, trying to assess it and miss the gift! So what if the box doesn’t look pretty, if the wrapping paper is a little torn; I care about what’s inside, not the outside. Baba says: ‘situations are smarter than Brahmins; they come and go but you hold on to them forever’. Let me master the three step process: Take out the gift i.e. recognize the lesson, eat it up i.e. imbibe it, throw away the box.
Sometimes it’s not even something that happened today that I am holding on to, it’s something that someone said or did years ago or a mistake that I made that I still regret. Baba says, ‘Whatever has passed, it is said to have happened according to the drama.’ Nothing that comes to a Brahmin in this drama is useless; it brings me valuable experience such that I avoid those traps in the future for myself and I become an instrument to help others going through similar struggles. ‘You children have to benefit many others.’, says Baba. Brahma baba went through every experience there is and he became an instrument to help us; ‘now, it’s your turn’, says baba. Let me not waste the past by letting it keep me down, instead, let me use the experience to serve others.
And the souls that need to be served the most, who need the most help are not in the centers or at the workshops; they are sitting next to me at my workplace, I run into them at the grocery store, and at the school. They don’t need a lecture from me on ‘how to be happy’, they need to see it modeled before them. They don’t need me to tell them they are out of line, they need me to cut them slack when they mess up, go out of my way to help them even when they haven’t been their best, or just smile and ask them how they are doing! Baba says, ‘learn to see but not see, hear but not hear…‘. Yes, attitudes and behaviors are all over the place; I know because I have issues myself! God is helping me, He is merciful to me, He sees but chooses to not see when it comes to my awkwardness; and what He does for me, He expects to see me do unto others.
The trick is to remember!….it is to remember that I am preparing for heaven. I am establishing the kingdom of heaven for myself. That awareness gives me the power to shed, to drop, forgive quickly and let go, to take a high jump over obstacles- because my objective becomes to be liberated, not stay bound. So I choose to do things that liberate me and not do the things that bind me. I say yes to a strong foundation of being the most beloved child of God, no to condemnation; say yes to seeing the full picture by spinning the discus, no to short-sighted focusing on a few last isolated scenes; say yes to keeping the right perspective and claiming the gift, no to holding on to the box; say yes to focusing on what I can do in the present, no to being stuck in the past; say yes to serving others, no to being influenced by what I see and hear.
‘If you didn’t forget this, that you are preparing for heaven,‘ Baba says, ‘you would stay constantly happy. It is by forgetting that you choke.‘