Baba says, ‘never have any conflict with anyone and stop studying. If you stop studying this study, you will end up in the stomach of Maya, the alligator.’
This is a school, Baba reminds me. In a school, there is an aim and objective. In worldly schools too, students understand what they are there for: ‘I will become a surgeon’ or ‘I will become a lawyer’. Similarly, I have come to this Godly school or university to change from ordinary humans into deities. And the one Who is changing me is none other than God Himself. He is my Teacher, He is also my Satguru.
To become a student of this most elevated university is therefore an unbelievable fortune in itself. But to stay the course and complete my study is the greatest fortune; and it, Baba reminds me, is not like going to your aunty’s home! To stay put and finish requires both courage and faith in the intellect.
When I am studying to become a lawyer, I am taught law- not just in theory but I also learn to apply the law practically, in a courtroom. Here, I am changing from a human into a deity and so I am taught about what it means to be a deity. I am taught, for example, how to remain stable in the face of a storm; I am taught that no matter what someone is like, I have to maintain good wishes and pure feelings; I am taught that to give respect is to receive respect; I am taught that when someone hurts or even betrays me, I don’t get to become bitter or resentful, I get to forgive. I don’t just have to study this ‘in theory’, I actually have to apply these principles in my every day life and change. And many times, along the way, I lose courage and start to develop doubts: ‘How can this be God Who is saying this to me!? After all that they did to me, why would He still ask me to forgive them? That’s not fair….’, ‘If this was really God’s university, how come His students are like this? she was so rude to me yesterday…I don’t think this study really works…or that this is really God teaching…’, ‘How can I be expected to remain peaceful and happy when I just lost that promotion…that isn’t anything to be happy about!’ In other words, I have comments and questions about what God Himself is teaching me.
There, in those schools, when students don’t have enough money to continue with their studies or they find the study too hard, they leave their studies. But they don’t go around saying that the knowledge to become a barrister is wrong or that the one who is teaching is wrong. Here, in God’s university though, when students develop doubt or find it hard to continue, they blame it on the knowledge and the Teacher: they say the study is wrong and that this cannot be God; they say that there is no kingdom to be claimed or any such thing, that these are all lies. Not only do they think this and draw a line across their own fortune but they tell others and prevent them from claiming their fortune as well. They become instruments, therefore, for great disservice to take place. This is why it is said: ‘those with a doubtful intellect are led to destruction.‘
‘This is the most important study and the highest examination‘, says Baba. ‘You need a lot of courage to pass it.‘ I need courage for my intellect to develop faith. It is only when I actually put the advice I receive from God into practice that I will be able to see the result. When I see results, I develop faith and it then grows. To put His direction into practice requires courage. To be stuck in ‘But what about how I feel..’, ‘but what about what they did to me…’, ‘but how can I…’ is a sign of a lack of courage. When the monkeys were asked to build a bridge with stones, they didn’t question God asking: ‘but how can this be possible? surely, the stone would sink! besides, who ever built a bridge across an ocean!?’. If they had questioned God’s direction in this way, they would never have gotten to build the bridge and see those stones float on water. They would have missed the miracle and would never have gotten to the other shore by walking across that bridge. ‘I am the Boatman’, God says, ‘I have come to take your boats across. Do you have the courage and faith?‘ If I do, that’s when, I am able to stay put amid the waves and storms of the ocean; that’s when I change from a monkey to a worship-worthy deity.
The key therefore is to belong to the Father, completely. Only when I belong to the Father, that is, when I become His child will I be able to obey His directions unconditionally, because I will then trust His directions unconditionally. To belong to the Father is to die alive from the old world completely. If I still have one foot in that world and one foot in Baba’s world, then I leave myself open to doubts and questions. I will also find lots of people in the old world to feed my doubts: ‘yes, you should never have left bhakti in the first place. It’s because you did that you are having these dreams or experiencing these losses in your business…’. Baba says, ‘you must never become afraid of storms and leave the study.‘ There are no storms experienced when I am in the company of Maya because I am in ignorance. It is only when I have set sail on the path of righteousness, when I leave the shore of the old world, that storms come. But the sane thing to do is to trust the Boatman, because He is God, and stay put in the boat. But, says Baba, many children who came here and died a living death, then go back to live in Ravan’s kingdom. They are unable to make their lives like a diamond. This is why it is said: ‘If you want to see the most unfortunate ones, see those who stop studying here. They have doubtful intellects and kill themselves for many births. This happens when their fortune becomes spoilt. When there are bad omens, then, instead of becoming beautiful, they become ugly.’
There is only one company of the Truth, only the one Supreme Soul is called the Truth. His name is Shiva and only He alone establishes the golden age. He comes at this time as the Purifier to remove the impurities of half a cycle from within me and set me free. He comes bearing the gift of liberation-in-life. When I look at the cycle, it is clear how the cycle turns. This period of the iron age definitely is to end and the new world or golden age is to come- whether I believe it or not. So, I have this short confluence age, in which to belong to the Father so that He can do His work of purification on/in me such that I become worthy of that new world. If I leave the Father, I end up back in the iron age, that is, back in bondage.
Sometimes, I have conflicts with others- maybe a classmate or the instrument teacher and say: ‘I can’t go to that center as long as she too is there…she’s just a bad influence..’ or ‘this instrument teacher is just too junior; how can she possibly help me make spiritual progress…’ Baba says, ‘no matter what your Brahmin teacher is like, you should still study, should you not? This is not the teacher’s study, this is the Father’s study. It is the Supreme Teacher that is teaching you. The Brahmin teachers too give His knowledge. Therefore, you have to pay attention to this study. Unless you study, you will be unable to pass the examination.’ If I don’t pass, I lose my inheritance, no one else loses anything. So, don’t change from fortunate to unfortunate by sulking with God or with other souls, He teaches.
There is a lot of income earned by studying. The Father is giving you the inheritance, He reminds me. Therefore, you children should make full effort and claim your full inheritance- monkey to worship-worthy deity, beggar to prince. Let me not sulk, leave and thereby settle for anything less. Baba says, ‘only first-class children who have faith in the Father and the courage to follow shrimat can become beads of the rosary of victory.’