We burn our sins – meaning, the patterns we accumulate over many lives (such as attachment, ego, lust) – by recognizing and then refusing them. We choose another consciousness.
However, that is just the first step. It is not enough to simply recognize and then make the decision that we do not want them anymore. In a second step, we have to offer them, from the heart, to the Purifier. This requires a lot of determination because some of them are very old habits and they won’t go away with just a decision There needs to be a deep, inner desire to be free of them, to no longer take any pleasure or support from them…because this is how the soul is deceived by sin again and again. These patterns provide an illusionary pleasure or support, which puts the soul right back to square one.
To burn sins means not to go into a big analysis of them, not to play around with them — to half want and half not want them — but to offer them fully. It is like offering bhog. When we offer to Baba, we give everything. When we open like this, then Baba can burn them. If it is just a ¼ or ¾ offering, it means we are still closed. In this case Baba’s sakash cannot go into every corner of the soul, and its sanskars. To burn means to be able to catch Baba’s sakash … because that is the unconditioned energy of love that frees the soul… from itself.
What is ‘sakash’ and how can we ‘catch’ it?
Sakash is the selfless power from God that is really able to transform the soul. ‘Catching’ it requires sitting down in front of Baba, in full concentration, and positioning ourselves very deeply in determination and humility. “Baba, I give this to You… I really do not want it”. It is tapasya — the very deep, intense fire of yoga. The result is that the soul feels a lot of lightness, even if there isn’t 100% success.
It is good to understand this because these old patterns will keep coming back, again and again, like ghosts coming to haunt us. It is important not to fear this. Meaning, not to feel guilty about this (“Oh no… I am going to have to go in front of Baba and offer this AGAIN?”) No, the burning of sins is not something we do once and that’s it. As we continue our practise, there will be a strengthening. Some patterns will go easily; others will require a lot of offerings. So, no need to be overly idealistic. Be realistic. It is going to take a bit of time to remove these things. They will come back, but with less and less intensity. Realize that with a true, cooperative thought, Baba becomes cooperative. Then, with that cooperation, something shifts. Always. It may not go away completely. But it shifts. And then, at some point, it dissolves. Completelely.
To realize that you are exceeding the speed limit when the speed camera flashes in your rear view mirror is carelessness. You weren’t paying attention to your surroundings and therefore the speed limit. Saying something inappropriate to a person whom you know is sensitive, triggering an emotional reaction in them, means you were careless, you were not paying attention to that persons needs/sensitivities at that moment. To cut your finger while being distracted by something on the radio means you were not paying attention to what you were doing. You were careless.
Carefulness is the opposite of carelessness. To be careful is to give your full attention to whatever you are doing. Similarly, in a spiritual context, when you stop paying attention to your state of consciousness you may become careless. This can happen in a number of ways:
- You are careless when you allow your vision to be trapped in the form of another when you already know it is a trap
- You are careless when you are attached to anything in the world when you know it will only cloud your vision and cause you to suffer
- You are careless when you emotionally react to a situation or an event when you know you could create a calmer response.
- You are careless when you follow the spiritual disciplines only out of habit, i.e., just ‘going through the motions’ but not paying full attention to what you are doing internally.
Underlying moments of carelessness is likely to be some amount of laziness.
3. Dharamraj / Punishment
Dharamraj, literally translated, means, ‘the king of righteousness.’ Basically, it is a concept that works with consequences and realization. It works like this: I do something wrong to someone, over and over again, and I don’t listen to anyone because of my arrogance. Now, the realization of that – whether it is when I am in the womb, when I am physically old, or when it is end of the cycle – that realization will bring regret. This feeling of, “I should not have done that” is the punishment.
Dharamraj is really a principle of life which states that you are going to have to face whatever you’ve done, for your own sake as well as for that of others. You can’t just keep on doing it. There has to be realization of the wrong things that have been done.
What do you mean by ‘wrong’?
Essentially, ‘wrong’ means, ‘I disrespect’ – my body, my mind, and / or other people – and I continue in a selfish mode. If the soul is not given realization, it will just continue the same behaviors and its sorrow will keep increasing.
The soul has a very important chance for change while in the womb. The soul sees scenes from its last incarnation and some aspect of conscience allows it to know how wrong different actions were. Some decisions and realizations do stay in the memory track of some. For example, if someone has deceived others emotionally – has not been honest with others, or with themselves – so they may think they are peaceful but in fact they are not at all. They have not really made that deep effort to reach that stage. In the womb, there is this realization. However, ”As soon as the child comes out of the womb,” says Baba, “they forget it all.” Not always, but this is the case for many.
So ‘punishment’ is really the law of consequences at work. I’ve made a choice, come into action, and this is its consequence. It is an absolute. If you plant a potato, you are going to get a potato. If you plant a watermelon, you will get a watermelon.
People are not deeply enough aware of the choices they have made, nor of the consequences.
4. Dying Alive
I remain in this body but I make such a complete transformation – a metamorphosis – that I am not recognized anymore. That is how complete the change has been. I die to my old way of thinking, my old way of seeing people. It is like a sacrifice to Baba – I give all of myself. This is when and how I find my true self. The real ‘I’ comes to life.
When people are in their ego and the consciousness is full of fear, anger and attachment, are they alive or dead? How do we define ‘being alive’? Or being ‘dead’? We know that spiritually speaking, people can be leading a deadened life – there is no happiness, only sorrow and fear; there is no communication, no trust – this is a description of hell. When we die alive – according to Baba’s view – we are making a conscious decision to die to these little hells inside us. It is clear that they are of no use.
So ‘dying alive’ is really a process? It is not something we do in a second, for once and for all, as soon as we recognize some aspect of negativity within us?
Of course there can be a ‘click’ moment – a realization that this is how I would like to be, but it is not about a one second miracle. I remember one time Mama was asked, ‘How do you reach perfection?’ Mama said, “I learn to die a little, everyday.”
5. Detachment, Renunciation, Disinterest
Usually, when Baba uses the word ‘detachment’, He puts it together with ‘loving’, and makes it ‘detached and loving’ – like a lotus flower. It means to be in a state of no animosity or enmity towards anyone or anything. Thus, I am detached, but able to be accepting at the same time. I don’t harbor inside any resentful or bad feelings.
Detachment has to be especially from the concept of ‘my’: my ideas, my way, my old self. It is from this that we need to detach. This helps us to create a space of respectfulness. As the soul reaches its state of being complete and full, detachment begins to happen naturally.
Renunciation is the absolute letting go of useless things. We decide we do not want these anymore, no matter how much we think that they fulfill us, or give us comfort. We really decide to change; we see that we must now move in another direction, whether it is a change in attitude, activity, or words.
Disinterest means not to be interested any longer in the things we once believed were reality. For example, having a prestigious career, wanting a certain position, or needing people to treat us in a certain way. These do not pull us anymore because we have begun to experience the alternative – goodness of the self, and there is simply no comparison.
6. Intellect: Foolish, Stone, Monkey
Man is asleep. We may experience ourselves to be very alert and active, but – as the great spiritual teachers throughout the centuries have taught – we are walking around in a kind of stupor or dream. This is the fundamental tenet of all spiritual traditions, which is why realization is often called an awakening.
Having identified with the material dimension, our attention is now directed outside of ourselves – towards our work or relationships or the myriad of other details that go into our lives. Many of us neglect our inner lives. The soul suffers from a loss of contact with the depth dimension and so has become superficial and desensitized.
This tendency to go to sleep on ourselves leaves us operating in a mechanical way, following the blueprint of our conditioning. It is a degradation of consciousness or spiritual ignorance, which shows up as a difficulty in discernment. We are distracted by many things and lose the thread of what is most important. There is laziness about questioning things, preferring things to be easy and non-conflictual, creating the unconscious motivation to stay on the surface of things.
Staying in bed too long, leaving the dishes unwashed, not replying to a request from a friend or colleague, judging another instead of taking the time to understand them, could all be considered forms of laziness.
Translated into the context of our spiritual awakening, the equivalent might sound like:
- Spiritual laziness is being aware of how old habits of reaction are still ruling our thoughts and actions but not doing anything to change them.
- Spiritual laziness is blaming and criticizing others for what we feel even though, deep down, we know we are always responsible for our thoughts and feelings
- Spiritual laziness is failing to explore (churn) gyan, i.e., explore for ourselves the underlying meaning of what Baba is saying (lazy intellect).
- Spiritual laziness is when you know you are in a comfort zone which could be anything from your self-image to how you act to where you live, and not do anything to break out of it. (In this, we could also add that all forms of attachment are in themselves comfort zones – even though they cause discomfort – and could be seen as forms of laziness.)
8. Love (a) : ‘Have no love for bodily relations’; ‘Remember Me alone’ / ‘Listen to Me, alone’
Here, Baba is really advising us to start using the right compass and understand what a genuine relationship is. It is a soul to soul connection; it is brotherhood consciousness. What Baba is actually saying is break away from the old and destructive ways of relating to yourself and others. To remember Him alone is the means for becoming soul conscious again; because He is always soul conscious and we have really forgotten it. Knowledge of it won’t be enough. We really need the experience.
The more we remember Baba, the more the soul is put back on track, again, and again. This is important because the old ways of relating to ourselves and others are very strong… and these can come up again and again. So what Baba is saying is, forget these old ways. They do not create happiness or love.
What about when Baba says, ‘Don’t listen to anyone but Me’…
Baba is giving us the basics for how to return to a sense of our true identity and create true relationships. We’ve been listening to other people for a long time. Yet, they are in the same boat as me. So what Baba really means is not so much ‘don’t listen’ to anyone but rather, really discern, very well, what others are saying. Baba is not saying that we’ve nothing to learn from others. Everyone can be a teacher for us. We just need to be able to filter whatever we hear through true soul consciousness, and only Baba can teach us about that.
9. Love (b) What does Baba mean when He says, “If you don’t do service, you are useless. You are not loved by God”. Isn’t it that God’s love is unconditional and available to all?
First of all, we need to understand ‘service’. How useful can we be to God if we don’t do service to the self, and we just continue acting and thinking in the same old ways? In that case, we aren’t useful even to ourselves. If our service to others is to be true, we have to be offering others peace or happiness that is genuine. Otherwise, we are offering the same things that everyone else offers and up to now, that has been seen to be useless. It has just created sorrow. And of course, Baba will be close to souls who are serving their brother souls, genuinely. He will give them more power because they are not keeping that power just for themselves. They are generous and they distribute it. So He will be closer to them.
I wonder about something here. I mean God – the Ocean of Love – would always be loving, wouldn’t He? So what is the rationale behind a point like the above? Couldn’t we say that there would be some souls who aren’t working with the pure, spiritual energy of peace and love in their service, and so they would be as if on a wave length other than Gods? In which case it is not that they are not loved by God, but rather, they simply can’t receive His love because they are not ‘tuned in’.
Yes, that is right. It is two different wave lengths. Because – as you say – God is …. God. He does not reject; He does love the whole creation. He does have love in the form of mercy for all souls.
This mercy is that He takes them all into a state of liberation, which is very much connected to how close souls get to Him. However, mercy and love are different. The love that God is talking about is an experience of closeness. This requires from us a certain degree of transformation.
The really key word here is ‘experience’. The intellectual approach only knows about love from a mechanistic point of view. However, what Baba is talking about is the experience of love, which is what everyone wants. That experience, which is one of closeness, grows to the extent that our way of serving transforms and is based on purity, with benefit for all.
10. Lust: ‘The Greatest Enemy’ – A Dialogue
What is lust? And why does Baba say it is our greatest enemy?
Most of the time, when Baba mentions lust, He is talking about sex-lust. However, we can understand that within that is something more subtle, like a very big emptiness inside that doesn’t let us alone, and how do wedeal with that. So ‘lust’ is also used to describe our attempts to fill that emptiness through means that are usually quite self-destructive.
What I’ve seen is that in order to fill that emptiness, it is as if I’m willing to sacrifice my values, principles, the things I believe in…. There is such a strong desire – it’s like I’m willing to let go of the important things for me, as if to sell myself to the devil.
Yes. We use the vices to fill this emptiness. This is because there is fear of that emptiness. We resort to a vice in response to that fear. Greed is the fear of ‘not having’. Ego is the fear of not being valued, recognized, respected. Attachment is the fear of loneliness and anger is the fear of not being in control.
Lust is different. Lust is any vice that that crosses a line and becomes an addictive behavior. The difference between lust and all the other vices is in degrees. A vice goes into lust as we try to deal with not just the fear of that emptiness but with the pain of it.
I always saw lust as when the emptiness has become such a big need that is not being fulfilled, it becomes stronger than the self, the soul. And the soul has to satisfy that need with whatever.
Actually, the good news is that it’s really not about neediness – which can be so varied and endless and hard to finish for once and for all. It is about emptiness. One sort of emptiness, which can be satisfied – if we are willing to go with the one thing that will do the job, which is a true relationship with Baba.
Yes, but I’m just seeing, for example, greed. Greed is also emptiness. A constant emptiness that is unable to be fulfilled. No matter what you do, you cannot fulfill it.
See, I would say that that is not greed any more. That is lust. Greed just means this: taking more than my fair share. For example, Dadi comes into the room with a box of booklets on virtues and says, ‘These are extra, if anyone would like to have one, please help yourself. But please take only one per center, because there is not enough to go around.” Yet I go up to the box and end up taking three because – or so go my thoughts – they are small and I could lose one; they are poorly bound and could fall apart, etc. etc. Both these aspects are about the fear of ‘not having’, even though my ‘having’ is at the expense of others going ‘without’. What is driving me, at that moment, is my fear.
Another interesting aspect here is that with vice I still have feelings. The feeling is a negative one – fear – but at least I’m still feeling. There are thoughts, too. With lust – as is typical of all addictive behaviours – you sort of go into numbness… from trying to numb down that pain. Whilst there is still some capacity for feeling and thinking, it is easier to have realization and to change. When that shuts off and the soul falls into nothingness, transformation is harder.
Another aspect of this is that while operating from vice, (vs lust), there is a moral potential; there is a relational potential. So, for example, whilst my greedy behaviour is still at the ‘vice’ level, I’ll realize at some point that this is not good; it is not nice to take other people’s share. At the level of ’vice’, there is the possibility of awareness. Awareness, that is, of the damage our vices cause the self and others.
Lust, on the other hand, is when we go overboard and lose all awareness of the harm we are doing. There aren’t a whole lot of feelings or thoughts – at least, not rational or reasonable ones. We are selfish and driven, to an extreme. This is because what we are really after is no longer the simple satisfaction of a desire, but the blanking out of that pain. Lust is very connected to our need to shut off pain. This happens almost unconsciously. When we are lusting over anything, we are ‘on automatic’; we are ‘blanked out’.
This is why Baba says that lust is the greatest enemy. While succumbing to it, we get very far away from the kind of thinking, feeling, moral, relational consciousness that holds the potential for true realization and change. With lust, we are in a full out, seemingly non-stop mode of self-destructiveness that we hardly have the power to grasp, let alone confront.
Vice does not deal with the pain of emptiness. That is a deeper element. Vice simply tries to manage the fear of that emptiness – wrongly, of course. I mean, one virtues booklet would have been fine. But with greed, I take more than my share, so it means something else is operating there.
We end up in the grips of lust as a way of dealing with the anguish of the emptiness itself. There usually is no awareness of this. No awareness is operating at all, in fact.
With lust, we ourselves are the most important players and it is the self that is damaged the most. With vice, others play an important part and are often my hope for redemption – in the way they mirror back to me the inappropriateness of my behaviour. With lust you are on your own, facing your own, often unknown, demons. No one even needs to know about it for them to finish you off completely.
But, for example, Baba often talks about greed together with food. So I’m just trying to figure this out… Let’s say I’m alone and I feel like eating ice cream… so I eat it. And then I feel like having more, and more and… more. So I have lots of extra ice-cream. Just because I feel like it.
That’s lust, not greed. Greed involves others. Greed involves a conscious or unconscious knowing that someone is going to miss out because of your behaviour. Greed is when your main concern is the fear of ending up, ‘without’, yourself.
Sitting and finishing up a whole carton of ice-cream in one sitting is not as simple a vice as greed. It is lust, because eating, especially in excess, especially eating excesses of sugar, numbs us. And that is what is really driving you as you reach for one more bowlful. You are trying to keep yourself numb.
So what we are seeing is that all the vices are twisted energies in that they have a good intention – they want to calm a fear. However, in calming a fear through vice, nothing is truly calmed and the emptiness behind it only gets bigger. When the fears aren’t addressed accurately, all vices will go into their extremes –into lust –and people will just be going mad. Crazy. The anguish of that emptiness will do that, over time, if healthy, true, spiritual fulfillment is not introduced.
Fears may be calmed temporarily. That is what happens when we react with bossiness, anger, or attachment and find ourselves feeling good about it. However this relief will always be temporary.
In other words, all vices, if not addressed correctly, will, in time, evolve into lust. This means vices will be overruled and the soul will end up a slave to compulsive, addictive behaviours. This probably has started happening already. Whilst we are not working with the real thing to fill that emptiness, eventually, we will get ‘stuck’. With every conceivable opportunity given to us to fill ourselves with ‘the real thing’ – that is, from what Baba is giving – many Brahmins still find themselves stuck; they are only very slowly moving forward; some are even leaving gyan. This is the reason. People are discontent (read: not fulfilled). So the real issue becomes this: how to deepen the relationship with my true self, and with God.
11. Masters of the World
This means to be a master of the inner world of the mind, intellect, sanskaras, thoughts, understanding, and feelings. To master these means to make them one. Not that we think one thing, and say and do something different. To be a master means that there is coherence in our own inner world, which in turn creates trust and faith in others.
Someone with this inner harmony will act as a harmonizer in the outer world. A real master – such as we see in the golden age – does not add or subtract. Everything there remains in balance. At this time, the master is one who is learning to harmonize, and bring things into harmony. This is why, at this time, when we speak of ‘master’ we often add the word, ‘child’ to the word ‘master’… because at the time of learning, we have to be a child, first — very open and humble. So, to be a ‘master’ means to be a humble harmonizer.
Maya means illusionary promises, attitudes and beliefs that deceive us into thinking bad is good. For example, greed. With greed, we believe that the more we have of something, the happier, fuller, and more satisfied we will be. However, the opposite happens. Maya appears to be right but with time we find that it was not true. In overcoming Maya the soul needs a constant discernment.
What do you mean by ‘discernment’? How is it cultivated?
It means recognition, which is cultivated through learning from experience.
What about someone who is not processing their experiences correctly, and so ends up with conclusions that continue to distance them more from truth, Baba and the Family?
The basis for true learning from experience is genuine humility, as that enables you to step back from yourself a bit. There also needs to be a genuine desire to be free. However, often, the ego simply does not allow this to happen. It is as if, sometimes, admitting something is too big a shock for the image they have of their self. The alternative – soul consciousness and self respect – has not been built deeply enough for the person to be able to admit certain things.
How to work with someone like that – without being offensive?
If you feel you can’t say anything verbally, then you just need to stay connected with the Director of the play, and those vibrations will reach the other actors in the play. There is not much you can say or do, if a person is quite obstinate in their formulas for processing. I have to just remain connected with the Father and no have second thoughts about them.
What is a sign that I am processing things wrongly?
The soul feels unhappy. Unfulfilled. It does not feel recognized, or appreciated. Misunderstandings will continue, one after another.
Such souls do not realize that what is blocking them is the wrong motives they have. So they remain very dissatisfied – even if they are very successful – because they think that what someone else is doing, or is invited to, is much more prestigious. When there are wrong motives, then even if a person is serving a king, or the president, they will still not be satisfied. The reason for this is that they are not working as instruments.
Baba’s name is Shiva, which means zero. You cannot add to, subtract from or multiply the zero. Human souls all have their number which is determined by the level of purity. Purity, that is, the status of the soul, is the result of study and yoga. According to how much the soul studies, learns, changes, serves, all these will determine its number. ‘Numberwise’ reflects the equal opportunity that God the Teacher gives to every soul at this time. The differences in numbers is not determined by God, but completely by the soul taking responsibility for its own efforts and destiny.
14. Self Sovereignty
Self sovereignty is the result of contentment, the deep, spiritual contentment that comes from finding out what you are eternally as a soul and the part you play eternally in this drama. It means contentment based on permanent, inner fulfillment. It means to have discovered and conquered your selfish needs. Until we recognize and conquer these, both our freedom and dignity are compromised as we compare and compete, make demands and complain. This is the life of a subject, not a king. The king interacts, enjoys relationships, but does not allow him/herself to become a puppet, a victim or a boss.
What is a ‘puppet,’ a ‘victim’ and a ‘boss’?
When you are a puppet, others pull your strings, all the time. You are always under someone else’s influence. There is no sense of real self, and so you give others the power to rule over you.
Victims spend their time blaming, complaining, and comparing. They always feel that life is not fair. They make the sanskars of pain and suffering their reality. Some religions even promote this concept – if I want to get close to God, I have to suffer.
Victims don’t try to change the situation by doing what is needed to rise above it. For whatever reason – a feeling of unworthiness, ‘such is how life is meant to be’ – they stay where they are. Then, pain and suffering become a habit, which is integrated into their existence as a norm. This is where we hear some people saying, “Well, this must just be my karma… to be a victim—of life, of the devil… of God!” To which Baba, of course says, “No. Neither life, the devil, nor I do any of these things. You do it to yourselves. To become truly free, you have to take full responsibility for your life. Victim consciousness will just not do!”
A ‘boss’ means the arrogance of ‘I know’ and ‘I do’. It is bossiness. Such souls always think they know what is best. They want things their own way. They cannot respect anyone because they do not respect themselves. This is not necessarily something visible, like gross ego is. Often it is expressed through more subtle, manipulative strategies that sabotage the lives of others as well as their own. It sabotages one’s own journey towards self sovereignty.
The dictionary definition of self sovereignty probably uses some of the concepts you just described – someone who ‘knows what is best’, who has ‘their own way’ (e.g., has self standards and goes by them, no matter what anyone else thinks). What is a ´self sovereign´ in Baba´s eyes? How is Baba’s definition different?
True self sovereigns are always loving. They are not needy. Bosses, on the other hand, are always needy… for recognition, for being in charge – not politically or socially, but emotionally. They want to be in charge of other people’s feelings, of their hearts. This is why there is so much deceptiveness in relationships with them.
A self sovereign always gives permission for others to be as they are. They accept others for what they are. Self sovereigns are naturally inclusive because they have no need for possessing. Other people are not seen as extensions of themselves. A self sovereign does not need to extend the self through others, through achievements, or through a task. Bosses do this and this is why there is so much pressure created at the work place. Their sense of self depends too much on the successful outcome of a task.
Mothers do this, too. And they call it ‘love’.
Bosses do it at work and call it success!
‘Sin’ refers to those moments when we work against our own best interests and act from selfishness rather than from our original pure qualities. For example, we continue to prefer relationships of dependency (attachment) rather than to go for true love – which requires respect and being together as equals.
What do you mean by ‘acting selfishly’?
It means we are trying to fulfill our needs at the expense of others, or at the expense of what is true and correct.
Sin is the self-sabotage of one’s own well-being by believing in wrong attitudes and ideas.
For example, love. Some people think that attachment – relationships built on dependency – means love. They get their sense of security and belonging from what they think are relationships but what in fact are contracts of dependency (attachments). They think they are getting what they need, but this attitude is incorrect. Such false attitudes lead to false behaviours, like trying to possess something or someone as ‘mine’, in the belief that it will give me that happiness. Yet we know that if you try to possess anything or anyone, it is like you are suffocating them. It is actually a kind of violence. It cannot last.
Any other examples of ‘wrong attitudes’?
Thinking that if I do a lot of service, I am going to get a lot of love, or be considered very valuable, or get a high status…. Or, thinking that if I get close to this particular senior, I’ll get some subtle, extra, privileges. This is called using others for selfish gain. It is called having a wrong attitude.
What is the opposite of ‘sin’? Would you say it is to be unselfish? Charitable?
Sin is in a totally opposite camp from charity. Or love. The antonym of sin is virtue – qualities of our being. When these are put into action, it becomes benevolence, the benevolence towards others that result in charity. Benevolence is a form of respectfulness and acceptance.
Sin does not just play itself out on gross levels. It can also be very subtle. Initially, we might not even be aware of it. The consequences might not be immediate; it may take time. However, these subtle threads become more visible as we continue the journey towards purity. One way to know that there are still such threads – wrong attitudes, wrong way of thinking, etc – is a subtle, yet constant feeling of discontentment and/or dissatisfaction. There is always the feeling of wanting.
When qualities start emerging in us again, body conscious needs and wants begin to diminish. You could say that in benevolence and charity there is fullness. In body consciousness and sin there is emptiness and addiction – to name and fame, to taking, grabbing, and being dependent. When this is the case, there is no getting through to their reasoning mind, or common sense. They just can’t hear you. Addiction does that. It makes you stuck… it keeps you feeding off a particular sanskar.
What to do if that’s you find yourself in?
The only way to get rid of these subtle threads is through real, quality sit-down yoga, where there is real, deep remembrance. This will reveal the subtle threads that are there. Just as when there is an operation – what is needed? No matter what methods are used – old fashioned, or new and high tech – the patient has to be still. This we do not do enough… we very rarely have true concentrated stillness. Connection. In such a state Baba does a lot of things without us even knowing the details, just like a patient will not know the details of the surgery, but he will feel better afterwards.
It is really a matter of surrender and trust.
16. Spiritual Violence
It means interfering with, or trespassing into, the world of another human being. We are not asked, but because of our own ego, we think that we know better, we know more, they don’t have a right; we do. For many reasons, we become suppressive, dominating and end up, in one way or another, canceling the autonomy of another’s existence. This is violence.
When things are going in the right direction, there is coherence and balance; there is a complementarity. With violence, there is an interference, which breaks that balance. For example, when we break the balance of mutual respect, then superiority / inferiority role playing emerges. This happens with cultures, races, religions. They inflict violence to get their views across.
It is wrong to impose. For example, a fellow BK is doing something not to your liking and you say, “This is not ‘shrimat” (the word used in murli to refer to the guidelines for right living, given by God). It might very well not be shrimat, but to say something like that can become a form of spiritual violence because often this is said not so much for the good of the person but rather because you are irritated or fed up and so you become controlling. We can’t push others into shrimat. Shrimat is personal; it is for me. I’m the one who has to follow shrimat. Possibly I can then be an example of shrimat, for others to follow if they choose. However shrimat has not been given to me to teach to others. It is for incorporating into myself.
Trying to get others to do something for the wrong reason is spiritual violence. For example, you are too lazy to do the thing yourself, so you get someone else to do it by convincing them that if they don’t, they are not being serviceable. It is most likely just your own self-centered idea about service, or your own way of dealing with people who are not helping out, but you try to make them feel guilty. This is a kind of emotional blackmailing. If you make someone feel guilty enough, you can control them. Getting someone to do what you want them to by diminishing them, making them feel not worthy, making them feel bad, guilty, etc. is violence. This happens a lot in society. You don’t even have to use words. The wrong attitude towards others alone will do it.
Reminding others of their past and bringing it to their attention is also subtle violence.
What about the subtle violence I do to myself by remaining in my own past?
It goes together. Whatever we do to ourselves, we definitely do to others. It comes from not having recognized the self, in terms of eternity, the spiritual dimension; we don’t work from that consciousness. Instead of using the pure self, we use ego. Instead of love, we use attachment.
The greatest violence of all because feelings of belonging are innate in the human soul. We often exclude others, innocently, in very subtle ways, without even realizing it. We don’t realize the pain we cause others. Of course it is the other person’s sanskar but we open a wound that is already sitting there. Behaving just a little inappropriately, or saying even one wrong word can open the wound of not feeling loved, not feeling valued. It happens easily, as we all know, and it is not very easily resolved because souls are still not able to take enough love from God through soul consciousness. Ultimately they need to fill that emptiness by doing the kind of inner work that makes God their only support. Until then, the soul does not just suffer but also projects, expects, complains, blames and makes demands.
The reality is that so many come to our centers in that frame of mind, and then, whoever is the authority figure in their life becomes the .
17. Step Children vs Real Children
Step children are not true to their birthrights. They have been given certain rights – treasures of knowledge, for example – but they are not obedient to them. This creates conflict and chaos. A real child creates harmony and wellbeing. A step child thinks more about being naughty and how he can catch you out.
It is really about obedience based on recognition – the recognition that what God is telling me is for my own good. A true child understands and trusts this, unequivocally. A true child really accepts this, and follows what the Father advises. A step child will fluctuate – sometimes following Father, sometimes following brother and sister.
It seems like many think of themselves as very obedient, but they overlook Baba’s very first shrimat, “Consider yourself a soul and remember Me alone”. This they are not doing so well with, so to all intents and purposes, is as though they are still step children…
Literally, a step child means someone who does not have their real mother or father. So the soul comes to the Father but doesn’t see Baba as their real Mother and Father. They make themselves into step children. It is not that Baba creates step children. It is just that some souls have not understood the reality of the Motherhood and Fatherhood of God.
Surrender is normally interpreted as ‘giving in’ or ‘giving up’. At the end of a battle between two nations or an argument between two people, one side may say, “We/I surrender”. They consciously end their resistance towards the other. Outside the context of a ‘battle of wills’, and within our day-to-day lives, we also find ourselves frequently resisting, as we avoid surrendering to the natural ebbs and flows of life. Evidence of our recurring resistance will be seen and felt in moments of judgment, criticism, blaming and attempting to control others. Any resistance means we are closed. We have closed our self around something to which we have become attached. Most frequently this will be an object or an objective within some expectation or desire. Where there is resistance there is always attachment. And whenever any ‘attachment’ is threatened, damaged or lost, our reaction will be one of fear or anger, which means we are suffering a self-inflicted emotional discomfort. We are then unable to see and sow anything beautiful into the tapestry of our lives as we have entered the territory of emotional darkness. It’s unfortunate but probably true to say the vast majority of us will spend more time in this darker dimension than in that ‘lighter place’ where inner and outer harmony can be found.
Surrender essentially means to ‘end all resistance’, which means to let go of all that you are attached to, and then live from a space of non-attachment. Life and all its energies are designed to flow. But we attempt to stop the flow when we attach to anything and attempt to make what is ‘not mine’ my own! It could be money, objects, people, places, positions or just ideas. Holding on to any ‘thing’, tangible or intangible, means we are ‘in resistance’ to the flow which is always calling to take back what belongs in the flow. Hence the free floating anxiety that tends to live in the background of our daily lives. It just means we have not yet learned to surrender both all that we have, and the self, to the flow of life. And yet we all know how smoothly life can go when we do ‘go with the flow’.
So why is it so hard to surrender, to let go, to give up all things, to release and relax into the natural flow of life itself? Simply because where there is attachment there will be our old friend the ego. The ego is based on the self mistakenly identifying itself with the object of attachment. This obviously means that the letting go and giving up of attachment means the death of the ego. This is why it takes courage to ‘let go’ of anything, as it is like killing your closest and dearest companion, the ego! Which is like killing your self. But in truth, in reality, you are already dead in the sense that you have mistakenly invested your identity in something that is not the real you, not the true you, i.e., the object of attachment. ‘Seeing’ this is necessary if we are to rediscover the grace of surrender and know the serenity which surrender restores to our lives.
The only reality is ‘the self’, but when the self attaches to and identifies with anything that is not the self, including the body in which the self resides, it means the unreal appears real. Common mistaken identities include nationality, profession, possessions, money, other people, belief systems, memories. When the self gives up its attachment to and identification with things/beliefs/people/memories, it is surrendering to the truth of ‘I am’; it is surrendering to the only reality of ‘I am’. Not I am British, I am a writer, I am a Hindu or Christian. These are unreal identities where the self attaches to a concept of the self! The truth is simply ‘I am’. Only when the ‘I’ that says ‘I am’ realizes itself as “I am’ can it ‘know’ peace (be peace) and ‘know’ freedom (be free).
This is also the moment when the ‘light of truth’ shines again as there is no longer any attachment blocking or absorbing that light. The light of truth is essentially the light of the self, and when the self realizes it is losing its light, its power, in the object of attachment, and that that loss is the root cause of all its suffering, it sees through the illusion, which means it surrenders (gives up) the maintenance of the illusion, and surrenders (gives in) to the truth/reality of ‘I am’. This is why ‘spiritual courage’ is the ability to see, and then maintain the vision, that the fear is not real, because the origin of the fear is found in a mistaken identity, an identity that is not real.
Surrender to the Moment
This sounds easy but is also extremely challenging. Our habits show us we are more often in resistance to the moment. The direction of your thoughts will indicate that you are either moving into the past (memory – regret, guilt, sadness) or busy speculating about the future (imagination – worry, fear, expectation). Only when you give up your attachment to the past and future can you reside and be fully present in the ‘moment’. Genuine surrender to the moment only happens when the self fully realises there is no past, no future, only the present, which is an eternal moment called now! In truth, the self/soul is always present in the present, even when it is ‘thinking’ about past or future. But if the self becomes ‘lost in the thoughts’, which means attached to and identified with thoughts about past or future, it is temporarily absent and lost in a temporal illusion. To have fully realised this, and to be fully present, without any regret for the past, or concern for the future, is to be karmateet, i.e., beyond the attachment to previous action, beyond the attachment to future action and unconcerned with the consequence of any action. So once again the ‘surrendering of’ the attachment to past and future allows a ‘surrender to’ the moment, the reality of now.
Surrender to the ‘Other’, to God and to the Truth
Obedience is the sign of surrender in relationship. But as history shows us the blind obedience of many towards one other, or to an organization or a government, can result not in grace and harmony but in much conflict, pain and suffering. While migrating birds have an instinctive response to the signals of the changing seasons, we have an intuitive capacity to discern to whom and to what we should obediently follow. This intuitive capacity is a function of our intellects’ ability to access our innate awareness of truth: the truth of who we are, what we are and why we are here. When this truth is clearly accessed it forms the basis of our awareness and it then ‘informs’ our decision to surrender or not surrender. It informs and shapes our decision to obey or not obey. Unfortunately our intellect is clouded by our attachments in the form of memories, prejudices and desires. We find it hard to intuit the ‘truth content’ of the intentions and motivations of others and even when we do, if they are a challenge to our attachments, to our desires, we will likely ignore them.
To surrender to another means to obey the will of another. Some believe that when they surrender to another they are even surrendering to God through that person as they perceive that person to be God’s instrument. Others would argue that you cannot surrender to someone who is still sustaining an ego (attachment and therefore resistance), however subtle. They are therefore not surrendered in themselves, and therefore cannot accurately reflect or be a channel for the will of God.
Ultimately there is only one surrender, and that is to the truth. This is a surrender without cause or consequence, as it only occurs when the ‘I’ sees and ceases to sustain all that is unreal or untrue within the self. Being in the presence of One who is already in that state is the most powerful and effective influence upon our journey back to being our true self. Hence the search for God, the devotion to God, the desire to be one with God, the effort to surrender to God have motivated millions through the ages. And yet why have so few seemed to succeed in their endeavours? Could it be that they too made the mistake of simply attaching to a concept of God, an idea or set of beliefs about God, and not realized that it was that subtle attachment which did not allow them to surrender to and bathe in the light of the detached and therefore the egoless One?
A traitor is someone who does not act honorably. Or nobly. They deceive the people who believed in them. They trick them.
How does that apply to those who are on a spiritual path?
It means that we’ve not acted honorably with the Supreme Soul. We’ve not been loyal to that relationship. Traitors aren’t those who just remove themselves and keep quiet. Traitors go against, and are very verbal about it. A traitor means one who goes to the other side, very forcefully. They don’t just leave. They make a big fuss, blaming God, the system, etc. They become anti.
Is there a way we become traitors on other, more subtle levels?
Yes. We can be traitors of the truth by denying certain spiritual truths and choosing something selfish. Meaning, ultimately, that we become traitors of ourselves. We work against our own best interests… in a way which actively involves others, and deceives them.
What does it mean to ‘remain loyal to the Supreme’?
It means to do as He says… to remain His student, friend, child… and stick it through, no matter what comes up.
It is really a matter of surrender and trust.