The Rich Vegetarian

An Examined Life

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Love and Respect

That was the title of the tape we viewed today from the Narada Bhakti Sutras commentary delivered by Guruji. He spoke about the delicate balance between love and respect that plays out in a healthy relationship. When you love someone dearly, and are intimate with that person, there is a possibility of losing respect. Pretty soon, love flies out of the window as well. How to maintain the beauty of a relationship is determined by how well you navigate between love and respect. Another aspect is that of space or distance. Respect demands a certain amount of distance and love can stand no distance. Then how can the two co-exist? And yet their coexistence is vital to the health of a relationship.

All of the above is based on my understanding of the tape we watched this morning. Someone asked me over chat recently, “Why is your marriage happy?” The question came from a young friend who had just come out of a messy relationship. I said something to the effect that our marriage was happy (sorry, IS happy and thank God for that!) simply because our focus is not on each other. Instead, our attention is focussed on knowledge, Seva, Guruji… and moving on the spiritual path. We don’t seek to discover each other; instead we seek to realize our own self. And when you dive into the depth of your own being and experience its purity and brilliance, you are changed beyond any kind of explanation. That change simply translates into a sense of happiness that never leaves you, a feeling of immense gratitude, and a desire to share – share the joy, the knowledge, the experience. Plus when you are so happy and fulfilled from within, how can you prevent the joy from spilling forth in your relationships? Love colors everything it comes in contact with – spares no one!

In a unique way, Pinch and I are close to each other, and yet there is space between the two of us. We are not looking at each other but we are definitely looking in the same direction.

Guruji mentioned something about this in his inimitable way. I’ll try to paraphrase what he said. He likened a healthy marriage to two parallel lines. They would be together until infinity as opposed to two lines that move towards each other, meet at a point, and then go their different ways. What a fabulous way to explain the point – once again, I am bowled over by my Guru’s brilliance… 🙂

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