Baba says, ‘Children, don’t come into familiarity.’
Familiarity breeds contempt, and so the saying goes. Everything is new and exciting at first and then, as I get familiar with it, the very thing that I once regarded as a blessing fades away. It loses its shine and luster, it becomes ordinary. Its bad enough when this happens with possessions or with a job but its worse when it happens with people. Those whom I once looked up to and respected, now seem ordinary and flawed; I no longer feel respect for them, I might say I feel a little dislike or irritation instead. But nothing can be worst than when familiarity affects my relationship with God, and my regard for His knowledge.
When I first came to Baba, I was so ecstatic! I now know God! He chose me to adopt as His child out of multimillions! Wah, my fortune, wah! It didn’t even take me days, it took me a few minutes to change my dress code and put on my new shiny badge. I changed my diet, changed my playlist to BK music. I couldn’t wait to celebrate my meeting with Baba at amritvela- why do people find it difficult to wake up!? I couldn’t understand it! I couldn’t wait to get to Murli and hear what Baba had to say today and He always had such great things to say to me about how elevated a soul I am, about what I am to become. What a magical life I had, could it get any better than this? Why had I not, I wondered, come to Baba earlier! O, if only my part with Baba had started earlier!
Then over time, that initial intoxication faded away. I no longer feel those goosebumps that I belong to God! and that He belongs to me! I’ve lost that sense of awe when I hear the Murli; now my reaction is: ‘I know, I’ve heard it before…’. Its humdrum. I no longer smile at the thought of heaven nor shiver at the thought of slipping back into hell. Traffic control comes along and I think: ‘when will this end so I can get on with what I was doing…’ I need an alarm to wake up for Amritvela and when it rings, I think: ‘is it morning already? O man!, I’m so tired, I think I’ll just sleep in today…’ Previously, saying ‘Baba’ brought tears of love to my eyes; now, I say ‘Baba’ even when I yawn. It has become a dead word.
Indeed, familiarity is a dangerous thing that makes me lose respect and appreciation for what I have. I lose that sense of immense gratitude, of joy, of awe. Everything seems ordinary, common. As a result, I deprive myself of experiencing being blessed and fortunate; I feel empty like I lack something. That’s when I start looking for freshness or for relationship or love or belonging or something else in other people or things. Familiarity is indeed one of Maya’s dirty tricks. Then, I say: ‘Baba is mine anyway but I do need one or two others here to call ‘mine”. I say: ‘I don’t need anyone else but I do need some support.’ I have forgotten that promise I made to belong to the one Father and none other. I have forgotten all that He has done for me, how far He has brought me. Apart from the Father, if I accept any other soul or even any facilities as my support, even just in my thoughts, then the Godly machinery, Baba cautions, works at a very fast speed in an automatic way. In that very second that I choose a different support, the mind and intellect step away from the Father. Due to having stepped away from the Truth, the intellect begins to consider something false to be true, and wrong to be right. I begin to make wrong judgements. For example I think it’s important to celebrate with others here, have a family and friends here, because: “Who has seen the future? Who will see anything anyway? We will have forgotten, and everyone else will also have forgotten.” This is a judgement based on falsehood, points out Baba. But I’m unaware of it because I have stepped away from the Truth in my mind and intellect.
As my awareness becomes ordinary, even my effort becomes ordinary: ‘OK, I will do it at some time. I have to do it anyway! I have to become that anyway” instead of what it used to be during the old days: ‘I have to do what Baba is asking me to do, NOW! because it is either now or never.’ This is intense effort. Baba remembers the mothers or the ‘gopikas’ in bondage as those with intensity. They are constantly lost in remembrance of the One and say ‘Baba, Baba’, with their every breath and every thought. But my remembrance cannot be dependent on bondage; I remember the Beloved in good times and during the not so good times. He is my constant Companion. But when I take my relationship with the Beloved for granted, then I get content with thoughts such as: ‘I belong to Baba anyway. I am close to Baba anyway. I have surrendered to Baba already and mine is one Baba alone…’. ‘Do you experience fire in your love for Baba as you did when you first came?‘, He asks. ‘Is it such a fire of deep love that you are able to burn away your own past sanskars and nature and also burn the sorrowful sanskars and nature of others?‘ Familiarity takes away the fire, it takes away the zeal and enthusiasm from my effort.
Indeed, the greatest obstacle that comes to Brahmins along the way, that holds me back in my effort, is familiarity. We have sadly and scarily begun to neglect and take for granted so great a reward and the Bestower. Yes, He is Baba but He is also God Himself. He is the resident of the faraway land, of Paramdham, and He comes into an impure world, in an old impure body, to liberate me from the prison of Ravan. What more could I ask for! He comes to decorate me with the virtues and take me back home with Him. He brings as a gift, heaven, on the palm of His hand. And He says: ‘Look, this is the world I created; that same world is now hell. I am here to change it back to heaven again and make you into the master of that heaven.‘ In exchange, the Innocent Lord says: ‘give me all your defects, your flaws, your bondages, those strongholds that hold you back. Only follow Shrimat and you will change from human into deity, this is a guarantee.’ Let me not make the mistake of taking His innocence for granted and do as I please. He is innocent not because He doesn’t know my heart, He does. He is innocent because He loves me anyway. ‘The Father has concern for every child‘, says Baba, ‘no one should be left behind‘. I am the child of God! Let me never lose this awe. Let me never let go His hand of shrimat and thereby, claim my full inheritance. This, Baba says, is what it means to be a worthy child.