Baba says, ‘with unity and stability (concentration), reveal the Father.’
There is always strength in unity, weakness in disunity. A fortress is as strong as it’s weakest wall; it becomes a means of protection when all the bricks stick with one another tightly. When even a single brick comes loose, it weakens the entire wall and puts everyone inside in harm’s way. Similarly, when it comes to attracting attention, it helps to have a bonfire of many logs burning together because then the flames rise high and burn brightly. Then, even people far away are forced to turn and notice against their conscious wish. But if a log decides that it will burn on its own, separately, then neither can it do much by itself nor does it become an instrument of co-operation to the bigger cause.
And so Baba says, ‘if you want to reveal the Father, you need the specialty of unity and stability‘.
Along with unity, stability is important too. As part of the bonfire, it is the duty of every individual log to ensure it is burning it’s brightest. I don’t have to worry if others are burning brightly or not, I only have to pay attention to myself; if each one ensures a stable flame that is not flickering, then automatically, when put together, the collective flame is tall and bright.
‘But‘, says Baba, ‘you are too busy looking at others than at yourself‘. In fact this is the reason why I am unable to do my part. To focus on others is to have waste and negative feelings about them and while there are many wasteful things one can suffer from, there are usually three things that especially get in the way, points out Baba: jealousy, dislike and criticizing or taunting others. Jealousy distresses me and others; while anger is the big form, jealousy is the progeny. Dislike doesn’t allow me to experience having pure and positive feelings for myself or others. In Ravan’s world, and that too at the end of the cycle, souls are tired and sanskars are flying all over the place. So yes, there is always a lot to dislike but the point is that I deliberately have to choose to see the specialty in each soul, Baba teaches me. Every single soul has at least one specialty, choose to focus on that, He says. More than the other person, I’d be doing myself the biggest favor. Similarly, to taunt or criticize others – whether I say something as a joke or seriously- is like tripping someone up when they are walking, says Baba. When someone trips me and I fall, then because I am hurt, I lose courage. I continually think of my hurt and of the person that hurt me. This isn’t an ordinary karma, points out Baba. It’s very easy to say something about someone, it takes just a few minutes, but it can lead to a life time of sorrow.
When I am not being my best self, when I am too busy holding grudges or ‘teaching others a lesson’ or wallowing in self-pity or being jealous, my flame is flickering; I a weakening the bonfire. When I weaken the fire, souls that are far away, that are searching for light, for hope, peace and courage, who are looking for a sign from the Father can’t see it. The flame isn’t high or bright enough…it takes just one log, one brick to weaken the whole fire, the whole wall. ‘Remember that each one of you is an image of support to the world, your effort is never just for yourself’, teaches Baba. To be an image of support is to be someone with a generous heart that uplifts others.
When I sit in front of the picture of the tree, it become clear that most souls will never know or relate to the Father directly, as I do. I won’t find them at the centers or at the workshops; rather, I will find them sitting next to me at the workplace, I will run into them at the grocery store and at the schools. They don’t need me to preach to them, they need to experience selfless love, acceptance and understanding. In other words, they need me to continue to love them even when they’ve been clumsy; they need to see me go out of my way to help them even when they’ve hurt me. They are desperate to see stability modeled to them- they want to see me remain peaceful in the midst of a storm, enjoying myself despite circumstances. That’s the flame, that’s the signal they’d been waiting for! I am the trunk of the tree connecting the Seed with the branches. When I am clogged up with junk, I am blocking the much needed nutrition from the Father to his other children.
The junk, Baba points out again and again, is the limited ‘I and mine‘. It is the root of all problems, of all the negative and wasteful thoughts, feelings and attitudes. In other words, it is the doorway to Ravan and Maya: ‘I am right, why should I apologize…’, ‘I deserve the credit, it was my idea…’, ‘why wasn’t I put in front…’, ‘I am senior, everyone should be listening to me…’. ‘Remember who you are’, pleads Baba, ‘can you not see and hear the suffering of your brother souls?‘ ‘Being right’ is not the point, it is a trap of Maya to sow division between brothers. Let me realize and become the peacemaker; let me be Arjuna, or ‘I first’ in this. Receiving praise, applause, credit in Ravan’s world is also not the point; in God’s kingdom, I give, don’t take. Let me be Arjuna, or ‘I first’ in this. To wait for others to change so that I can change is the ordinary, worldly way; to say, I will transform and bring about transformation is the Godly way.
If I can get myself off my mind long enough, I can become the instrument to serve God. My brothers and sisters are searching and longing for a signal, for that glimpse of their Father. They want to know that they are not forgotten, that the Father loves them very much. Let me not fail them and fail myself. ‘Remember Me in every breath‘, says the Father. Focusing on one rather than many helps me build concentration and stability; when that one thing is the Father, my awareness becomes elevated- I remember who I am, my aim, my elevated role as the Father’s helper at this time in the drama. Then, I automatically focus on keeping my flame burning brightly. The limited ‘I’ becomes merged and I become an image of support and upliftment to the world. I become the mirror in which only the Father is visible as He is and what He is- a World Benefactor.