Everyone of us whether on a spiritual path or a worldly path, knows the importance of defining our own identity. Baba explains again in lucid terms, importance of it.

Sai

Imitation is a sign of cowardice, not a quality that can ensure progress. How can you draw inspiration for uplifting yourself, if you are engaged in hating yourself and devaluing your achievements? You should feel no sense of shame when you bring back to memory your forefathers and the teachers of the past who built the culture that nurtured you. Instead, you ought to feel proud of them. Like them, manifest the power that lies in self-exertion! Do not resort to the weak stratagem of imitating others. Instead absorb the good qualities that others may possess. We plant a seed in the soil. Then we supply it with the ingredients it needs—water, air, and manure. The seed sprouts. It grows into a sapling. It becomes at last a huge tree. You will notice that it does not become either soil or manure, or air or water.  These it makes use of, but sticks to its own nature and grows into a tree.  May you too live like that! 

– Sathya Sai Vahini, Chap 7, “Be Yourself”.

In our search for Guru also, we come across many who imitate others, who after a few months or years of following a Master, think that they can guide others.

A banyan tree takes many years to grow. It develops strong roots that grow deep into the soil. When it grows into a tree spreading its branches across the vast areas; it does not give invitation to others to come and rest in its shade. Tired travelers seek it to rest in its shade and cool ambiance.

Similarly, a true Master does not need publicity. Tired travelers of life, are attracted to Him (or Her), come seek solace from their struggling lives to revive and revitalize their spirit.

Imitation in any sphere of life is disastrous. Over a period of time, as an imitator one loses one’s own identity. Baba says be ever vigilant on this aspect in life.

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