Symbols of the world's religions

               

EGO AND MOODS

Kitty Davy

 
Believe it or not, there were times when one was tempted to stand apart and not cooperate, asking oneself why all this trouble? What had it to do with the spiritual life? But Baba's emphasis on group work and group living was evident at all times. What meant most to Baba, of course, was to see how much enthusiasm and interest we had taken in these preparations to please Him. Baba so often emphasized that to please Him was one practical way of showing our love for Him.

In India, bit by bit the ego gave in; self-consciousness, inferiority, obstinacy, likes and dislikes, all went in our effort to please and obey Baba. It was surprising how, with Baba's encouragement and Mani's patient coaching, we did produce some quite amusing and simple performances. All this served Baba's work, for it helped to liberate us from our ego and, during Baba's frequent absences, kept our thoughts one hundred percent on Him, for He would always expect us to have "some surprises" for Him when He returned. I think Baba had many an opportunity for a "silent laugh" when the Westerners attempted to perform in Hindi, Marathi or other Indian languages!

I once asked Adi Sr. how best to please Baba when you were with Him. Adi replied, "Be supersensitive to Baba's moods and act accordingly and anticipate His needs before He asks. I know of only one disciple, Mehera, who does this for Baba one hundred percent."

Baba, while tolerant of our various moods, understanding their causes (frustration, jealousy, inferiority complexes) as a result of sanskaras left over from past lives, disliked them intensely. Said Baba, "All such moods feed the ego-life." In a letter to Delia, He remarked, "And how can you help in this game of Mine? By love and service. By control of your mind and moods, and yes, weaknesses which are there for the purpose of exercising control over them. Often, the greater one loves, the greater is the tendency to moods, because the pangs of separation are more acute. But I do not like moods and therefore, to please Me, which is one of the best ways of showing your love for Me, try your best to overcome them. . . . A joyful heart will help you most to get strong."

In the early days, Baba would devote an hour or more to help you see the cause of your upset, occasionally making use of another of the group to come out with the unvarnished truth, knowing full well how distasteful it is to be told the truth by your neighbor. With Baba, weaknesses had to be brought to the surface and faced. Once He had made you aware of the "lesser good" He rarely brought up the matter again. You had to do the correcting and controlling yourself, knowing that Baba would help you. Continually worrying and referring to your weaknesses and focusing your thoughts on yourself might increase your ego, and Baba's work was to eliminate the ego. To one of the group Baba dictated the following on the board:

"Why worry?! Worry is unnecessary. Necessary worry is not good, but unnecessary worry is madness. If I say: 'Be happy!' be happy at once! Forget. Away with it! Why brood? I never brood. Laugh! Be cheerful! It is all illusion — why not be cheerful, happy? Start now!!"

Another time Baba said:

"Do everything, but don't worry. Worrying binds. When one is beyond worrying, one is happy. But you must consciously not worry. The stone does not worry, but unconsciously. It is all fun, all a game, happiness — if you don't worry."

Baba's ways of eliminating the ego were both skillful and subtle, but they did rapidly cut down both prejudice and pride. To quote Baba,

"The spiritual benefit accruing to an aspirant on the path approaching a Spiritual Master is in direct proportion to the weakening or elimination of the ego."

And so Baba might frequently ask you to do just those things which your nature revolted against, but never gave you the reason why. At first, we were rarely given occupations which we had done before joining the ashram but rather chores that we would have avoided doing in the outside world, or which we disliked intensely. Said one who set to work in the kitchen, "I did not come to peel potatoes — I can do this at home. I came to be with Baba!" Did we think we had come to sit with Baba all day, to meditate, discuss spiritual subjects, read philosophical books, escape the problems and monotony of daily life? If such was our vision, Baba through His own example showed us that this was not His way of life. "All work is My work," He said. Baba was so intensely practical and I feel it was a help to Baba if those around Him were practical too.

LOVE ALONE PREVAILS, pp. 239-241
1981 © by Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust

               

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