Indian Independence day is round the corner. And we have been as a country been independent since 1947. But what does freedom or independence mean to a country. Does is it mean that we are not ruled but have a democratic government that operates this country? What is freedom in true sense for a nation, for a person?
We are bound by so many aspects of life that we are not able to taste the nectar of freedom even though we are not ruled by a king. To be honest I don’t think I’m free in a true sense. I’m bound by what my family thinks, what my friends think, what this society thinks. Isn’t everyone following this norm. Are we really going beyond the cliché. or is it just me who is in a web of others opinion?
I have seen some of my friends proving themselves so that others don’t think that they are dumb! If so much thinking just goes in pleasing how are we going to be free?
Freedom doesn’t mean you are in a free environment, a free country or you belong to a family with folks who are broad-minded. Freedom is a state of mind. You are free the moment you take the decision to be free – without changing anything around.
This Sunday started with long Sudarshan Kriya, which Hemaji took us through with so much reverence that one can’t stop dripping with gratitude. Wow what a day to start the year – Guruji long back in one of the satsang said for any seer or anyone on this path this day is as good as a start of another year. This seems more appropriate to me this time experientially.
For Guru Purnima, one of our neighbourhood AOL teacher Manishji organized a satsang and Guru Puja at his place in the evening. And I had this strong wish to be part of it. It is said you are going through a testing time when everything conspires against you for doing a good. My son woke up later than I expected from his siesta. Once he woke up I had to fill his tummy so he doesn’t get cranky during the event. As a result I was late for the satsang in the evening. I was worried that I might miss the Guru Puja. My previous experience was out of the world so didn’t want to miss at all. (Check out my blog here) Thankfully the group decided to do it later which I guessed after I saw all the thing ready there in front of Guruji’s photo.
As me and my son approached the house, I could hear the chants. I just wanted to run and land there directly. As I entered the house I could feel the environment already energized. Not sure if the house is always like this – it is after all an abode of a disciple who is immersed in love for Guru.
Then I took a place and started singing. In some of the bhajans I could feel myself floating and in a state where my “my” mind dissolved. I simply didn’t want anything in life. For a human to survive only the breath is needed. Even food, water, shelter – all the basic necessity which we think are bonus on this earth. For a human to survive breath alone is needed. Because breath alone is connected to the “life”. Its only the body’s requirement to eat and do other mundane activities. The mind craves for things which we think are necessities. The soul is always complete. But for the body to contain soul, breath is needed. This relevation came during the kriya in the morning, only to be reinstated in the satsang. I felt all that I need is follow the technique and the master is holding me. But where from this realization struck me? Why was this revealed only on this auspicious day? I don’t have answers to this yet. I know for sure I can’t hold to the experience and can’t walk with it wherever I go. But my Guru was benevolent in showing me the bliss to a lowly mortal like me that moment. So if a Guru who is so pure and beyond all dualities able to forgive and bless you beyond what you deserve, who are we to condemn people for the so called wrongs they do?
I remember the DSN teacher Vinod ji’s word today -“What if people are not fair to you, you have been unfair to many”. Though this is not a key takeaway of the course, this one perspective has helped me forgive if not forget the shortcomings in people. I know I’m yet to reach the zenith but I have faith in my master that he will take me through.
May God and Guru give us the wisdom to transcend all worries and the small mind and aim for a meaningful life.
Its a season of not just fog and chilly winds but also a season of children’s annual days and sports days. You get to see a lot of pics and videos posted by parents on social media, of children gleefully decked up for their performances. I never imagined the amount of excitement a parent goes through until I myself sat as an audience for my son’s annual day. (The phrase “My son’s annual day” makes me feel as if he has grown way to early for me to say this.)
Since the father was away for work, I chose to share my state of mind on Facebook. And was pleasantly surprised by a lot of people, whom I haven’t even spoken to or haven’t contacted for years together, posting comments and liking the post. Just to reveal that we belong to the fraternity called “Parents” and we like sharing the thoughts and emotions with the mums and dads of the world. We have this ability to connect with a common thread whenever there is a chance.
Of course my son’s performance was the closest to my heart, but there was this one other item, the Karadi rhymes, which etched a mark on my mind. The kids were standing in a semi circle formation and each one stepped forward to do his/her part when their lyrics was played. Even if a child forgets to come forward , the other kids would give a gentle push to indicate that its that child’s turn. They were very young , as young as four year old and had the wish to help their friends.
This incident goes to prove that we from time to time forget this innate ability to help and hold hands with each other which in younger days comes as a second nature. Why as adults in this stage of life we keep nudging with our elbow to exhibit only “the survival of the fittest” as against reaching out our hands to give support to the folks who are left behind. In our mad race to excel we have stamped on many, despised many, belittled many, intimated many at times just to prove our point.
Let’s search for the reasons to connect instead of compete with our acquaintances. May this holiday season be the time to resolve to be better human beings if not Godly!
It’s been a decade since we tied the nuptial knot. So I’m seasoned enough to understand as to how much my parents understand each other.
There is something about this couple which I haven’t seen in any other pair. May be because they are the only married people I have watched so closely or they are just the best in the world!
Recently I read a thought which said, ” Yes, I do depend on a man. My husband and I are a team. He depends on me and I depend on him. We support each other. That’s how marriage is supposed to work.” So aptly put to words about the way my parents have shared their lives with each other.
Even in 70’s my father didn’t think of my mom to be even an iota less than himself. He gave the kind of respect which at times I don’t see in couples married in the 21st century. He didn’t allow my mom to touch his feet even though both of them belonged to an orthodox Brahmin family. He objected to this ritual when all his folks had gathered for a festival which happened just a few days after their wedding. He made it clear that she stands equal to him -nothing less, nothing more. I was awestruck when I heard this. I won’t say the ritual is to be abolished. I’m sure there would be some meaning attached to it. But is everyone understanding what they are doing? In the name of following traditions sometimes we are blindfolded and lose our conscience. I will reserve a separate blog for what highly educated modern men think about their wives. Thankfully neither my mom nor myself have husbands who express their male chauvinism even subtly.
My mom has equally supported my dad in every decision. She has made her share of sacrifices to make my father’s life easy. She can read his mind like back of her hand.
There are times when my parents have their own share of conflicts but in their 37 years of married life there hasn’t been a day when they haven’t spoken to each other when they are under the same roof. This holds good for my marriage too. I just can’t be quite and indifferent when my better half is around. And that’s how my husband has been. When I hear of couples not talking to each other because of a tiff, I find it very amusing.
With every year passing by you know your partner better. No one, even if you share the house with others, can guess what’s between the couple. I thought of sharing some tips to make a successful marriage but I fail to write about it because for every person and every pair the need and wishes are different. It would be inappropriate to compare your situation with anyone else. So there is no room for advice when it comes to this sacred bonding.
I would like to conclude this blog with just one thought though. Enjoy your togetherness whenever there’s an opportunity. In our busy lives we should make some time for someone who has vowed to be together ’till death do us apart’. And it will be worth every second!
I still remember vividly when my husband held his niece, the just born baby, in his hands 5 years ago. What a moment it was to see a life which has come to this world only a few seconds back! Ever since It has been a joy to see her grow from a baby to a girl.
Last weekend we celebrated her birthday with all the pomp and show. How happy she was to be surrounded by friends. One particular act of hers during the party really was thought provoking. One child complained of not getting chocolates and the next moment she spits out the chocolate in her mouth and gives it to her friend. How unconditionally she shared! A lesson we need to learn from this little being. Day in and day out in her small acts we have seen divinity. Of course not to forget the element of naughtiness too. 🙂
With every year passing by we are struck with awe at the little things she expresses. The affection and love she pours on us is unimaginable. How she would enact Krishna stories and make us role play. There are numerous such memories – the little games she plays everyday, the chattering, the work of art she does with her tiny hands, the way she recites hymns, her dancing, her singing, her laughter and the list goes on. The way she runs to us with her arms spread out for a hug makes my heart melt even today!
God Bless this adorable angel! And we are delighted and proud to have her in our lives.
As I grow older (yes, I have started feeling pretty old now), you are more connected to your parents than never before. Though would like talk about mom first! 🙂
People talk of various stress busters from listening to music to yoga to meditation and many more things. I have come to understand after all these years that talking to my mother is the best pill I can take for stress and nothing else is as effective. She understands me inside out! Everyone may think their mom to be the best in world. I would take a step back and view this lady objectively. As a person what she is and what makes her my role model.
She is made of iron and steel! I don’t doubt that with every year passing by. A few facts about her will speak for itself how true I’m in making this statement.
- She had the guts to stay in a hostel away from home when going to college was a rarity for women of her era. Even today she cherishes her hostel days both while doing her post grad and working as a lecturer in a college.
- She had the power to take the decision to let go that independence and marry a person miles away to be a housewife.
- She had the capacity to blend into the extended family that she was introduced to, who were very distantly related to her husband himself!
- After all the luxury of staying away from household chore for all those years she had the guts to take charge of the family.
- In a society where women think only of her husband and her kids, she not only was a moral support both to her mom and mom-in-law but had the courage to be beside them come what may. And even after them she had the commitment to pull everyone out of any difficult situation in the family, at times even at the cost of sacrificing her happiness.
- After 7 years of marriage and of having kids, she stepped out yet again to work in a place where she hardly knew the language and that too amongst Punjabi women!
- When she underwent her dental treatment which was quite long drawn, she took care of herself and used to walk long distances to go to dentist all alone when I know of women especially of her age who needed company even to step out of the house.
- She worked like a horse morning to evening and yet would smile at the mockery that her brother-in-law would make of her (who stayed with her under the same roof for many years).
- She would go that extra mile not just for her family but her friends and acquaintances, very very distant relatives who would visit us from south India in search of free stay and food.
- She had the courage to let go her emotional self and let her only daughter to stay away from home for her studies.
And the list goes on…
I have been influenced by her thoughts and actions in many ways. Most of my life in any situation I would always think what my mother would have done. She has been a mother, friend, filled the void of a sibling and also acted as a role model to me.
With age, if not understand, you atleast are able to guess as to what your mom would have gone through when she was as old as you are now. She was able to make place in hearts of many more by this time than I would in my entire lifetime.
There were so many people who would flock into our house saying Bhabhiji/ manni (sister-in-law) with reverence and share their worries, look for advice and have their cuppa too! So many of her students would touch her feet and get blessings for their exams with the faith that she is the one who can wish them always with all her heart. I have seen her anxious a day before her students used to have their board exam. Such was her dedication at her work. Her colleagues would seek advice for both personal and professional challenges. The heights of trust is one of the Maths teacher approaching her for tax calculation! LOL!
This one post is not enough to describe her benevolence and to say how purposefully she has led her life so far. I’m sure to write a sequel for her.
Love you Amma and looking forward to meet you soon! 🙂
As I begin this post, it makes me think – is the mother more unconditional or the child? Yes, I understand the mother has to sacrifice so much of herself in bringing up a child. But isn’t the child more unconditional than the mother?
I remember a few days after my son was born, he started looking at me and smiling. What an experience. No, not even a high resolution SLR camera can ever capture that expression or emotion. I felt like a cow- fat, struggling to lose weight, unkempt, no semblance of dressing up and yet I have this marvellous being who just smiled at me.
Everyone around only talked about how to reduce, get back to original form etc. I looked nothing less than ugly with no grooming, but he did smile at me. Even now, one and a half years later whatever state I’m in my son would pounce on me with so much affection, kiss me, hug me tight, bite me, demonstrate his love in every possible way. He never sees how beautiful I am, what work I’m doing, how intelligent I am, what I am even feeding him. For that matter these are not the parameters that he judges anyone on this earth with.
So as beings God created us to be non-judgemental. Then from when did we really start to pick that tendency to judge people? We weren’t born with this trait. How did we acquire this? We judge everyone under the sun, including our kids, spouse, parents, in laws, relatives, friends, foes, anyone walking on the road, anyone you hear across the bay speaking while at work….
I think the day we unlearn being judgemental, we will be more at peace – very much like a baby!