Baba says, ‘the basis of constantly experiencing success in every type of service you do, is the power of discernment and decision-making .’
There are many spiritual powers of which there are eight main ones that are mentioned. Out of these eight, the most elevated power, the most essential power without which I cannot become a Mahavir, Baba says, is the power of discernment. All the powers are elevated, no doubt, and each one is connected to the others but the number one power that brings all the other powers close is the power of discernment.
The power of discernment is the very basis of this study. To have self-realization is the power to discern- I don’t just know that I am a soul but I realize what kind of a soul am I? Similarly, only when I first discern the Father will I be able to recognize Him in an ordinary body. Unless I recognize Him, I will not come close to Him and become similar to Him. In simple terms, the power to discern is the power to know. I know that this is the Father, I have discerned that this task that is being carried out is the Father’s task. The power to discern is also known as the stage of being knowledge-full.
But many don’t have the power to discern or it isn’t very sharp, says Baba. The reason for this, He points out, is that there isn’t stability in the intellect. If my intellect which is responsible for discerning is in upheaval, then, it is in no position to assess. The reason for this upheaval, in turn, Baba points out, is that the intellect lacks the power of silence. Silence is not shutting down thoughts, rather silence comes from focus. When the intellect is engaged in many instead of one, when there isn’t the surrender to the One, there isn’t silence. Instead of Mine is One Baba and none other, it is: Mine is One Baba and a few other. This extroversion makes the intellect and stage fluctuate. There is noise. As a result, the power to discern is reduced and I am easily deceived by Maya. When she comes, I am not even able to recognize that it is her, that there is something wrong. Instead I say: ‘What I did and said was right!’, ‘what have I done wrong!?’ ‘this isn’t my fault, I am okay, it’s they that have to change’. I get stuck in the trap of ‘being right’ or ‘I need to win’. I forget that this is not the point, I don’t realize that Maya is using this as a way to sow division amongst my brothers and I, I don’t realize that unity and brotherhood is far more important.
Because of lacking this power to discern what is going on, to discern what Maya is up to, I end up opposing my brothers and side with Maya. I become her lawyer and offer Baba many points for why I am right along with evidence to prove my rightness. ‘This is why your transformation becomes slow’, teaches Baba, ‘you lack the power to discern and therefore your decision becomes wrong as well.’ The more I side with Maya, the more isolated I become because I inadvertently move away from everyone, I deprive myself of opportunities to serve in God’s task. Ultimately, with time, I realize how Maya robbed me of my happiness, of companionship, of love; I realize that rather than becoming a conqueror of Maya, I became her friend. That is learning the hard way and it gives me no power, not to mention a lot of time is lost in the process. ‘Instead of letting time teach you‘, Baba says, ‘hone your power to discern and transform yourself through your own elevated thoughts.’
Accumulate the power of silence through introversion and solitude, teaches Baba. This brings about cleanliness of the intellect because it remains engaged in Baba’s knowledge, in what He is telling me; it becomes sharp by learning shrimat. Then, when the mind brings up a waste thought or even an ordinary thought, the intellect will be quick to reject it as such i.e. it will apply a powerful brake and turn i.e. steer away from that road back to elevated thoughts. Energy will not be wasted, it will accumulate. The more I accumulate, the more my powers to discern and judge will increase. ‘You have to practice this’, says Baba. ‘Throughout the day, in the midst of your tasks, check your thoughts and see if you can apply a brake and re-focus your mind.‘
When you develop these two special powers of discernment and decision-making, then you will easily be able to resolve all problems in your interactions with others and in doing God’s work. They easily enable you to become a destroyer of obstacles on God’s path.