Baba says, ‘In devotion they receive chickpeas (a little something) because of their devotional love, but they do not receive salvation.’
When someone receives very little of something in return for a lot of hard work, it is said:’ ‘it’s like they were given chickpeas.’ In devotion, Baba says, they put in a lot of effort but they receive very little in return, chickpeas. Sure, some receive visions of their deity, but there is no benefit through that. There is temporary happiness but nothing in my life changes, I don’t attain salvation. They observe fasts, undertake arduous pilgrimages, sing praise of the deity while condemning themselves, go to the temple twice every day, chant, etc. etc. – all that effort just for a little something – a little help with a situation or for a limited desire to be fulfilled etc. Once that desire is fulfilled, or help received, there is another desire and another problem. But because I have not done anything to develop spiritual strength within me, I once again stand in line asking for help, for favor, for temporary salvation.
In bhakti, devotees ask for and experience God’s mercy; as a child though, I experience His love. I become His heir to all that is His. It is a difference of night and day. And so it is said: ‘Devotion and knowledge cannot continue at the same time. Day and night are separate’. This, Baba explains, is an unlimited day and night. The experience of God’s mercy in return for all the fasting, the pleading, the begging and praising is chick peas. When I become God’s child, He makes me the master of the world! He does that by becoming my Father, Teacher and Satguru. He adopts me, practically, and sustains me as His own child. I live with God as my Father, practically. I experience His pure love and companionship. As my Teacher, He teaches me Raja yoga- the knowledge of who I am, who He is and of the beginning, middle and end of the world drama. When I receive this knowledge, there are no more questions, complaints, sulking, crying or begging. It is like the switch is turned on and I, who had been blind and therefore stumbling and hurting myself all this time, can finally see clearly for myself. It is like I have received new sight, more like divine insight. I now know everything- past, present and future- and I know what to do. But He doesn’t even stop there; As my Guide, He walks the walk with me and guides me at every step of the journey back to my truth, back to my home. That I can have any kind of relationship with God, let alone these multiple relationships, practically, is beyond a devotee’s imagination. To them, this is unheard of, just simply impossible. ‘O but, we are nothing more than the dust of His feet’, they sing. Chickpeas.
‘Show your brothers and sisters the way’, says the Merciful Father, ‘they are still grasping at chickpeas when I am here with jewels of knowledge, and an inheritance of world sovereignty.’
But it isn’t just the devotees who are grasping at chickpeas, even children are guilty of doing this. As long as I am body conscious, I will remain consumed by the limited desires of ‘I and mine’ and thereby remain captive in Ravan’s cottage of sorrow. It’s as if all the limitedness of my life before Baba has simply gotten transferred over into Brahmin life. Where previously I might have chased after a promotion at a job, I now chase after a promotion at the center; where I once longed to be recognized by colleagues, I now long to be recognized by the senior teachers and other Brahmins; where I once compared and competed against others on the team, I now compete with other Brahmins: ‘I can also do that service; I will do it and show everyone what I’m capable of…’ I once hustled for position, title, awards and now I hustle to be known amongst Brahmins, to be in so-and-so teacher’s good books, to be seen on stage etc. I forget what I died alive from that world for and go right back to living there! I came here to become a pure yogi, an angel and then a deity; and not just any deity, I came here to become Lakshmi-Narayan, the king of kings. So why am I still chasing after the limited ‘I and mine’? God is here as my Father to give me the sovereignty of heaven and I am lusting after a little stage-time, a little pat on the back by an instrument teacher!? Chickpeas.
God is here to liberate me from a life of bondages and take me into liberation-in-life. But sometimes, I seem intent on staying bound. I have my schedule so overpacked with worldly affairs that there is little to no time for God. There’s the job, the kids, the gym, cooking meals….I am so tired, I’m barely awake for Amritvela and forget what I heard in the Murli by the time I leave class. The unlimited Father and unlimited Teacher has come, but He is not just going to sit down thinking: ‘let me wait until the children retire from their jobs or let me wait until they finish their master’s degree or let me wait until their kids grow up and they become free…’ ‘There is little time left and yet, children don’t awaken!, observes Baba. No matter how much salary I receive at my worldly job, it is just like a handful of chickpeas; all that is going to end, nothing will remain. ‘The Father has now come to make you give up the handful of chickpeas’, says Baba, ‘however, some don’t let go at all.‘ Baba is not asking me to leave everything and reside at the center but He is asking me to let go my dependencies; He is asking me to revisit my priorities: Am I trying to fit God into my schedule or am I sensible enough to build my schedule around God? Because there, in the world, I receive a handful of chickpeas whereas here, I receive the sovereignty of the world! Why would I distress myself over chasing after those chickpeas worth just a few pennies?
The Father has come to establish Shivalaya. I know through the knowledge I have received that everything here is to turn to dust. I know that it is now time to wrap up and return home. While I at least know this, my brothers and sisters are still unaware. So not only do I need to pack up but it is my duty to help my brothers pack up too. Do I have this awareness and sense of this immense responsibility? Day by day, according to the drama, conditions of the world are getting worse, not better. Suddenly, there are wars, calamities, death takes place suddenly. ‘People leave their bodies while clasping chickpeas in their fists. They have to be liberated from this monkey-like behavior‘, says Baba. People have to be reformed. All those chickpeas that I am working so hard for, praying so hard for, will be destroyed. Instead, why not claim the sovereignty of the new world from the Father? Why not prepare for what is coming rather than hold on to what is going away?
‘It’s not that complicated‘, says Baba, ‘and there is no difficulty in this‘. All I have to do is remember the Father and spin the discus of self-realization. ‘Give everyone this message‘, He says. ‘You have to empty out your fists of chick peas and fill them with diamonds and jewels and return home.‘ I was blind for half a cycle, the Father has given me divine vision or divine insight. It is now the time to use this vision, to see and understand things clearly and make the right choices. It is now the time to become the stick for the blind, not the time to continue to be blind myself. The Father is here to give me my sovereignty, so I have to claim it. My fist is becoming full of diamonds. Everything else is going to be destroyed.