Baba says, ‘Brahma was a worshipper of Vishnu. He is now becoming that same worthy-of-worship Vishnu; the same applies to you. This is said to be the deepest of all deep matters.’
The four parts of the world cycle are like the four seasons and we souls are like the trees that respond to the changes of this cycle. While the seasons are on an annual cycle, the world cycle is 5000 years in duration.
Spring growth or the Golden age
In in spring, the trees enjoy and react to long periods of daylight and warm, balmy temperatures. Buds begin to open and new leaves begin to expand. New twigs grow, and the roots are also extremely active in spring, as they grow to find water and absorb nutrients to support all of the metabolic processes occurring within the plant. Same with me in the golden age. I, the soul, am a deity – complete in all virtues, 16 celestial degrees pure, completely viceless and righteous. I naturally respect everyone else, there is unity and harmony. The world is golden, a reflection of my purity; the weather is perfect, there is no lack of any kind, only abundance.
Summer slow down or the Silver age
As spring moves to summer, and daytime temperature highs increase, growth slows. Summer is also accompanied by decreased precipitation and low soil moisture, contributing to slow a tree’s physiological processes. Similarly, in the Silver age, there is still abundance and purity in the world, but to a lesser extent because the purity of I, the soul, has decreased from having taken a few births; I’ve used up some of my strength. What’s more, there are now a lot more souls in the world that lay claim to the same finite resources; so abundance decreases. There are a lot more opinions and therefore, a lot more opportunity for disagreement. But it’s still largely fun and games, it’s still heaven…just semi-heaven, relative to the golden age.
Falling leaves or the Copper age
As summer sways to autumn, day length begins to shorten and trees respond by creating less chlorophyll. At some point the trees release these no-longer-photosynthesizing leaves to fall to the ground where they form a natural mulch that replenishes the soil. In the Copper age, I no longer remember who I am and so I fall from my elevated stage, becoming prey to the vices. I then start to search and worship – first God, then the deities i.e. my own former self. I, the soul who was once a worship-worthy deity of heaven, now become a worshipper. But in becoming this, I am still trying to hold onto the memory of those virtues I once had and have now lost, I am still holding on to that purity, peace and happiness; I know it existed, I want it back and I seek it.
Winter dormancy or the Iron age
Trees begin their preparation for dormancy in fall so they can survive through winter. Hormones are magically produced that help prevent cells from winter dehydration. Cells are also infused with lipids that help prevent them from freezing. Similarly, I, the soul who was once a virtuous deity am now completely corrupted; the various religious founders have come and tried to fortify souls as much as possible through their messages of hope and love but it takes God Himself to come at the confluence of the iron age and the new spring to prepare me for the spring. That can be the only explanation. How else can someone that has lost everything and become completely bankrupt suddenly become the master of the world? and how can that world be heaven from hell?
Is there annihilation and then does God come and create the world from scratch again? No! because if this were true then He wouldn’t be remembered as the Purifier. He comes and takes the impure souls and by reminding me once again of who I am and of my whole story, of the seasons, He returns me to my original glory. This is Raja Yoga. ‘Remember Me‘, He says, ‘I am your reference. You are just like me, it’s just that you’ve forgotten while I still remember‘. He remembers because unlike me, He never goes through the seasonal changes, He remains beyond. So remembering Him, reminds me of myself and slowly, I re-member myself and re-emerge those virtues that are dormant within me, I re-emerge that peace and happiness that are my original nature.
Only the Innocent Lord can take a completely degraded and corrupt soul, a tree that is barren without any leaves, and return it to its former glory. Why is He the ‘Innocent’ Lord? because He never judges. He takes the state of the soul and of the world for what it is- seasonal changes. What is new has to become old. What is pure has to becomes degraded and impure and then be made pure again. Only someone who is so completely beyond judgment, who is neutral, who is of an instrument consciousness can perform this greatest act of purification that enables the cycle to renew. He is the Creator– not because He creates everything anew…that would still be easier. But He is the Creator because He comes to an impure world, in an old, ordinary impure body, stays in the midst of impurity and makes it pure again. He is the Almighty Powerful not because He brings the dead back to life, no! Rather, His love is so pure and powerful that His mere remembrance heals and transforms souls, absolves all their sins and returns them to their truth again.
And that isn’t even the best part yet! He, the Creator, God Himself, the Purifier, the Almighty….is my Father! He adopts me as His own child! I don’t become a sanyasi and perform penance for Him, He comes to where I am, in my winter and reminds me of the spring. When I am busy judging myself incorrectly for having lost all my leaves, He reminds me that it’s not my fault, it’s just how the seasons work! When I am busy worshipping the deity for fruits and flowers, He reminds me that I have fruits and flowers, that I am that same tree, that same deity…it’s just that I lost everything I had. Now, through the knowledge of who I am, through remembrance, I once again ‘become infused’ with divine virtues and become the deity again. As I am, so I become, once again. Hum so, so hum.
So the next time I stare out my window and look at that seemingly ordinary tree, let me recognize how remarkable it is in it’s ability to withstand the extremes of seasonal changes. In other words, let me give myself some credit. I, the soul have been through the four seasons, have withstood many changes, harsh environments, extreme temperatures, everything…and I’m still here, still standing! And what’s more, without these changes, I would never get to meet God, the Renewer, the Miracle Worker, the Magician. I would never get to experience His beautiful innocence, His unconditionality and acceptance. Yes, now I remember that Spring is coming soon and that’s great! but isn’t now…this beautiful confluence of winter and spring the most precious and elevated? it’s where the magic is unfolding, it’s where the renewal is occurring before my very eyes; it’s where I have the awareness of all the seasons and therefore of my own greatness.