|Meherwan Jessawala entering Baba's bedroom to take Darshan. 2014.|
Meherwan Jessawala has been remembering Meher Baba since he was very young. When he first met Baba as a child, he called Baba "Krishnaji" because Krishna was his favourite Avatar, being mischievous and fun-loving. However, as he grew older he so totally fell in love with Baba's current Avatar that it was all he would focus on. So started the habit of taking His Name whenever he could.
Time passed, Meherwan and his mum and sister moved to Meherazad to be near Eruch Jessawala, and he had not many distractions so he started taking Baba's Name almost constantly. Today you can see his lips move in silent remembrance, all the time. Sometimes, when he is asleep I go to check on him and make sure he is alright, and I hear him going "Baba Baba Baba Baba" in his sleep. Meherwan is exceptional. He wants all of us to focus on taking the Lord's Name continuously. I have written much about this in the past and you have all read what I wrote.
Being with Meherwan almost continuously, I can't help but absorb some of this "Taking Baba's Name" drive. So I have been practising...and I found that though I can't do it even a fraction as well as he does, there are things that have helped me to improve. Here are some of my own tips and tricks for getting into the habit of constant remembrance:-
- Decide that you will commit to this practice. Vaguely saying, "I want to take Baba's Name all the time" just does not do it. So, having committed, you will have to set aside a time and place for this most important activity. In the beginning I found that if I set aside 15 minutes before I went to sleep, it worked best for me. I'd fall asleep taking Baba's Name, and usually slept wonderfully well. This is because there are no violent, angry, resentful or just stupid thoughts going through your mind at the same time as you are focused on His Name, and so you fall asleep peacefully. Actually, I'd fall asleep within 5 minutes of starting to take His Name!
- When you wake up say "Good morning Baba!" before you even sit up or say anything else. I say it aloud. If you then want to offer thanks for a good night and offer whatever happens during the day to Him, go right ahead. I just started off saying "Good morning."
- Begin thanking Baba for things during the day. A nice bit of fruit - Thank You Baba. A phone call from a close friend - Thank You Baba. You get the picture?? I had severe pain in my knees for over 2 years, and I'd walk along and thank Him for the pain, because it helped me remember Him. I'd also berate Him for His gift of suffering, but so what? You can tell Baba anything, and He will listen. I then discovered the Five Tibetan Rites of Rejuvenation (see the separate blogpost with the YouTube video that I used, posted right after this one) and my knee pains disappeared within days. So now I think of Him when I walk and thank Him for the absence of pain.
- Use external aids to make this repetition automatic. I recorded the Meher Dhun at Amartithi and then put it on my phone. I can play it in a loop, and it is a most wonderful way of repeating His Name. You can sing His Name and record yourself doing it, then play your own voice in a loop. This is actually better because you know your own voice and it makes a deeper imprint on your subconscious memory than someone else's voice.
- Ask Baba for help. Baba has said that He will not grant you your wishes, but there is one exception. If you ask Him for help in remembering Him constantly, He CANNOT refuse you this help.
- Notice changes within, no matter how small. My first sign that I was beginning to internalize the Naam-smaran was that I'd wake up in the morning without a feeling of "What do I have to do today?" Instead I'd wake up and have a few minutes of conversation with Baba, aloud if I felt like it. This helped me to learn about letting go of (illusory) control and surrendering the day to Him. Lower anxiety and a much happier start to the day. Then I noticed that I was going "Baba Baba Baba" while travelling in rickshaws, on trains and buses, walking...it was beginning to become more of a inner refrain and less of a conscious practice. If you are travelling in India, the condition of the roads and the disorderly traffic certainly helps.
- Listen to devotional music, stuff that uplifts you and makes you happy. Avoid violent and loud music, films that depict human nature at its worst or are excessively full of gratuitous sex and violence. When I started looking I found that there are many bhajans, chants and sholakas that are so inspiring that my day is better for starting with one of these forms of remembrance. And there are so many sweet films that are being made that are filled with love, light and the better side of humanity. I still love Queen's loud anthems, though...and Boston Legal.
- If you are falling asleep reading all the above, just forget about it all and offer it up to Baba. It is all up to Him, anyway. He will do whatever is best for you and you will get to the remembrance sooner or later.
|Meherwan Jessawala bowing down to Baba's bed on his birthday, 2014.|
My uncle Eruch did say that sanskaras unwind when we take His Name. As I've said before, he explained that when you are taking His Name whole-heartedly everything you do is done by Baba and not by you, so you get no further additions to your sanskaric load. Instead your impressions begin the process of unwinding. If you go by this, Meherwan is whizzing around and around very rapidly, unwinding all the lifetimes of sanskaras!! For myself, I'm hoping I've slowed down the winding process, just a smidgen!
What are the benefits? I am less likely to jump to conclusions, start arguments, get upset, take things personally, become all judgemental and pompous. I am still arrogant and still say what I feel, but I am trying to do it more gently. I worry less about my parents and Meherwan dying, about what I will do when they are gone, stuff that I have no control over and is directly contradicting Beloved Baba's order "Don't worry, be happy." I feel more love towards others, maybe because I am finally getting a very vague inkling that He really IS in everyone. There are still people I cannot stand. But right now I can honestly say there are only 2 people who fit into this category. Pretty good, huh? Others, well I wouldn't court their presence, but I don't shun it either. Most important, I am happier and am letting go of stuff more easily.