The power of Rama

Baba says, ‘You cannot gain victory over Ravan without the power of Rama. Only from the Almighty Authority can you receive power.’

For half a cycle, I was a vicious human being in the kingdom of Ravan and didn’t even know it. In fact, this is the defining characteristic of the residents of Ravan’s kingdom – ignorance. I think I know everything but in reality, know nothing. I think I am making a lot of sense but in reality, am completely senseless. I think I am being responsible but am anything but. I think I’m happy and peaceful but in reality, I don’t even know what true happiness and peace tastes like.

And so to defeat Ravan, the fundamental thing needed is to break this spell of ignorance. Unless the residents of this world realize that they are being had, they will not take any steps to leave. At this point in the cycle, the only One Who isn’t being had, which is to say, the only One Who is actually conscious is God, the Supreme Soul. He comes and breaks the spell of ignorance by shining His light of knowledge. ‘I am Shiva, your Supreme Father‘, He tells me, ‘you are not who you think you are and you are not living the life you ought to be living.’ Then, He tells me the fundamental truth that breaks the spell I am under: ‘you are a soul, not the body’. But He doesn’t just tell me that and stop there.

Many in the world of Ravan understand and believe that they are more than just a body, some even speak of the soul but understanding alone does not enable me to leave Ravan’s kingdom; that, takes power, a lot of power. God is the Almighty Powerful and His powers are in me and for me. The very first thing He does is adopt me as His own child, practically. He also becomes my Teacher and Satguru. He sustains me in all three forms – loves and cares for me, educates me and guides me. And thus, through these relationships He purifies me; makes me a new person or rather returns me to who I really am. Simply giving an orphan a map and directions doesn’t do much to remove the fear that has filled him, to remove the despair, the agony, the helplessness, the hurt, the pain, the sorrow, the conditioning that he is somehow a misfit, the beliefs about what is right and wrong, the biases, the prejudices, the habits and all the rest. It requires a ‘removal expert‘.

Baba says, ‘You cannot gain victory over Ravan without the power of Rama. Only from the Almighty Authority can you receive power.’

His love is the only alchemy that heals and transforms. No matter how deep a hole I have dug myself into under the influence of Ravan, no matter how broken I am, God comes and finds His children in their brokenness, in the most remotest of places, in the deepest of holes. Only His arms reach far enough, deep enough to pull me out into the light, into His love, under His canopy. There, He then teaches me step by little step how to remake my life. He reminds me that indeed I was the king of kings, it’s just that I slipped up along the way but He is here now to get me back up on my feet again and back on track.

You forgot who you are and started to think of yourself as the body’, He reminds me, ‘this is how Ravan was able to take advantage of you.’ Body consciousness is the fundamental mistake that then brings along with it all the vices. When I switch back over to soul conscious, the true consciousness, the vices leave. Only God can help me make that switch and He does so in a short time- at this auspicious confluence age. His mantra: ‘Manmanabhav! belong to Me in your mind.‘ Unless I surrender my mind and intellect to Him fully, which is to say, unless I accept God as my Father and make myself belong to Him, He cannot help me. He gives me Shrimat or the elevated directions for every aspect of my life- for my thoughts, words, actions, diet, lifestyle, everything. He cares about every tiny aspect of my life, He wants to know and help with every littlest thing that bothers me, that has been a bondage, that has been limiting. But He cannot do it unless I have a faithful intellect that is turned toward Him, that trusts Him completely.

His ways are His ways and His timing is His own. He uses situations in the drama and people to pull out the wrong attitudes, the wrong vision, the wrong conditioning, and all the other falsehoods within me that have made me a prisoner of Ravan. It will feel hard and painful a lot of times and unless I love and trust God as my Father, I won’t be able to obey. At times, it will feel frustratingly slow, like nothing is happening and again, it will take unshakeable faith to know that He is right there with me, working on me and for me and keep moving forward. It takes courage, He says, to walk in step with God, to give your hand in His and go wherever He takes you trusting that it’s the right way. He doesn’t tell me what His plan is or what and how and when He will take any given step. I simply have to trust.

‘This is why the praise in bhakti is of the shaktis and mahavirs‘, says Baba. They are the handful of souls that made themselves belong to the Father completely: ‘Mine is the one Father and none other‘ and followed only His Shrimat without mixing into it dictates of their own mind. They didn’t question, complain or doubt, they simply followed Father. ‘Such souls are able to receive all powers from the Father and conquer Ravan‘, says Baba. Where I would once blow my fuse and lose all my joy, I am now able to remain patient and tolerant; where I would once feel rejected, I am now able to remain stable in my self-respect; where I would once judge and criticize, I am now able to accommodate; where I would once hold a grudge for years, I now am able to forgive and let go. ‘Sannyasis practice limited renunciation by moving to the jungle‘, Baba says, ‘but here you learn unlimited renunciation.‘ Like a lotus flower, I renounce the whole old world while living right in the midst of it. Such Shaktis and Mahavirs become liberated-in-life and become the Father’s helpers in liberating His other children as well.

There are some, Baba points out, who keep one foot in God’s boat and another in Ravan’s boat; they want to have the victory that God can give them but don’t want to go through the process to get it; it feels too hard or they become afraid. That doesn’t work, Baba explains. To become the master of the world is not like going to your aunty’s home. Here, it takes surrender.

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