Friday, December 16, 2016

If what Baba says is different from what our heart/conscience says, what should we do?

In a recent Facebook interaction, one person wrote that Baba had said to somebody that if Baba tells something and one's heart tells something else, to always follow one's heart.

Given below is a modified version of my comment response to the above.

My view is that Bhagavan has taught us to follow our heart, follow our conscience as the pure heart and conscience is where God resides. But we need to interpret that properly. The word 'heart' is used in all kinds of emotional contexts including that of romantic love one human being may have for another human being. My understanding of Bhagavan's words is that we should follow what our pure heart says.

But the hassle is, how do we identify what our monkey-mind is prompting based on material desires that cloud our pure spiritual heart, and what our pure spiritual heart is saying. In fact, I am more comfortable with Bhagavan's teaching expressed in terms of conscience rather than the very elastic word, 'heart'. Here's a quote from one of his discourses, "Follow your conscience, which guides you. If you follow your conscience, you are worthy of being called a human being.",

And from, which claims these words are by Bhagavan: 'I advise you to "Follow the Master". By 'Master' I mean the Conscience within you, the Voice of God.'

And here are extracts from the Late Al Drucker's website,

Devotee: Swami, how do we recognize the voice of conscience from the other voices present?

Baba: Conscience is always only one. Whenever there are many voices we can call it conscious, but not conscience. Conscious relates to the little self; it is the condition of the mind in the waking state. There will be many voices and differences, but conscience is always one and unchanging.

Conscious, conscience, and consciousness--these are three terms that must be understood. Consciousness refers to Chaitanya. Chaitanya is the omnipresent supreme Spirit, the one all- pervasive Reality. From it comes conscience, which is the voice of truth inside. Conscience is the soul, the spark of the Divine. Conscious refers to the various instruments. All this in the world can be called 'conscious'; it is all part of the conscious state.
Conscience is the voice of the Superconscious, the Divinity residing within.
--- end short extracts from ---

Ravi: One of the things that I picked up early on in my stint at the Sai university was the teaching, "The voice of your conscience is the voice of God" (or similar words meaning the same thing) which was shared with me as a teaching of Bhagavan by a student-teacher colleague who I considered to be quite spiritually inclined and spiritually evolved. That helped me a great deal in my spiritual journey in Prasanthi Nilayam. However, following the voice of conscience is not easy as many times it asks me to do things which other voice(s) in me like that of my (rational) mind, rebels against :-). But there are things that my conscience will simply not allow me to do and those things I avoid completely, and I think that is why I usually have good sleep at night :-).

Now about the very odd sort of situation where Baba supposedly said to somebody that if what Baba tells us is different from what our conscience/pure heart tells us, we should follow our conscience/heart (and not follow Baba's words)! I don't think I have heard this from other sources.

It has been my experience with physical form Baba that there were many times in my interactions with him (mainly gestures from Swami during Darshan in response to my thoughts/prayers/actions) where I thought his disapproval of some things I did was him being too strict with me, and perhaps even wrong!!! But as time would pass and I gained a little bit more spiritual maturity, I would realize that Baba was perfectly right in disapproving certain thoughts & actions of mine, and I am so very grateful to him for that. I was not able to distinguish then between what my monkey-mind was saying and what my inner conscience was saying, with my monkey-mind dominating, and Baba would, in a split second, so to speak, figure it out, and show me that I was wrong with unmistakable facial gestures of disapproval (from a distance of say around five to ten feet or so typically during Darshan in Sai Kulwant Hall).

So it has been my experience with Baba that Baba's view was always right (in the spiritual kind of matters context that I am discussing here) and that Baba corrected my faulty thinking/view many times.

After Mahasamadhi, some people in Prasanthi Nilayam system have told me of some big life decisions they took based on what Swami told them in their dreams. I always respect such dream instructions they received directly from Baba and respect those that follow those instructions. I don't think any of these persons that I talked to, told me of trying to check with their inner conscience whether those words of Baba were right. Neither would I advise them to do so. These are matters of deep faith in Swami's words and I would not dare to interfere between Swami and his devotee in these matters. As an example, a form-boy student-teacher told me, after Mahasamadhi, that he was leaving the Sai university as Baba told him to do so in a dream! I did not debate the matter with him and just accepted his decision to follow those Baba dream instructions. When I last heard about him, he was with an Ivy League college in the USA!

But yes, if the dream instructions were very strange, I would urge them to pray hard to Swami to get clarification/confirmation of those instructions, say by another dream (or sometimes vision). It has been my extraordinary experience with physical form Swami that he would respond to deep and intense prayer of mine (and, many times, just not bother about shallow prayers of mine). So rather than ask somebody to double-check with his/her conscience/pure heart on something conveyed to them by Baba, I would ask them to pray intensely to Swami for a confirmation of those instructions.

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