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23

ON OBEDIENCE

Giving an introduction to His discourse on different types of obedience, Baba said: In one of his couplets Hafiz says, "How can you step on the Path of Truth unless you step out of the boundary of your own nature?" Baba continued: The Path of God-realization has untold and intolerable hardships and suffering. Even yogis, saints and 'Satpurushas' are unable to fathom My reality. Hafiz speaks of stepping out of the boundary of one's own nature before one dares to step onto the path of reality. But what is one's own nature?

 

I am not going to repeat the theme of evolution of forms and consciousness, which has been explained at length in "God Speaks." Best to begin this discourse with the birth of a child: the child takes birth according to his past karma (sanskaras or impressions). He will act, think, feel according to his sanskaras gathered in past lives; there is no way out of it for the child. This is what I call the law of "must." This law sticks in the child from birth to death. It has formulated the nature of child, and has become the child’s very nature. The child cannot get out of it. In addition to this inexorable law of must, the environmental circumstances of the child are such that he cannot but act and feel according to the impressions of past lives. When the baby is born, it must cry; mother must feed the baby; its very sex is determined by the law of must. If The baby is a male child, it is so because it must be born a male child; if it is a female child, it is so because it must be born a female. And when the child grows into a man or woman, it becomes what it does become because it must be so. Do not confuse this nature with Nature—the entire panorama of the earth and its seasons! Your nature is the nature created by you and nurtured by you. It is one''s own nature that is responsible for the body one takes on―the shape, the complexion, the health, sickness, appetite, temperament, etc. In short, anything and everything connected with one’s own self―physical, subtle and mental.

 

Now to return to the difficulties on the Path. I say that it is impossible even for one on the Path to fathom My real state: why is it impossible? Hafiz said that unless one steps out of the limitations of one’s own nature (routine of life) one cannot step on to the Path of reality. Here realization of reality is obviously not meant. What Hafiz means is that it is impossible to realize your real self as long as you are bound within the

 

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