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Tag: knowledge (page 2 of 2)

Growth

Something that came to mind during meditation…

Everyone wants to grow. Be more successful, gain security, find friends and family, contribute meaningfully, make a difference. How? Really, the only way to gain all the above is by service. There are countless gifts on the path of Seva. Gifts for oneself, gifts for others. I truly believe that on the path of Seva, you gain success, security, friends and family, and make a meaningful difference.

How?

So many people are reluctant to serve because they feel that dedicating one’s energies to Seva amounts to cutting back on one’s personal plans and ambitions. Seva comes in way of your own plans, they misunderstand… Not at all. Serve yourself, serve others. How to serve oneself? Sadhana is the perfect way to serve yourself. Spiritual practices nourish the spirit, feed the soul, add to inner reserves of strength and composure. And make you fit to serve the world.

Do what’s required. For yourself, for others – when it’s required. And the returns are infinite. Skills, talents, friends, prosperity, wealth, security… all of these await the Sevak, the one who serves.

Women police officers in Indian films

… are always painted in the worst of colors. Not that women, in general, are depicted in a realistic manner as professionals. Take the case of a woman police officer. She is generally a firebrand, a haughty woman who literally begs to be ‘tamed’ (how it PAINS me to type that word but that’s the most apt description) by the hero who is obviously righteous, fair, and reasonable. And if he gets a little violent and ends up acting rough with her, it’s only because she asked for it. At the end of 32 reels, she has reconciled to her rightful place, next to her man, content to defer to him, and of course, when it comes to song-n-dance, she will be open to him slapping her butt, playing with her breasts – basically, making her look like a complete slave around him.

It was after taking a course on gender last Fall that I started viewing all these events in a whole new light. I can only be thankful that the leading men in my life, my Dad and Pinch, have never, not even ONE TIME, ever made me feel subordinate or weak, in any aspect of my life.

Reminds me of a time when I asked Pinch (this was much before we got married) about a hypothetical situation. What if I had a career that involved some level of danger (maybe an investigative journalist) and I had to go to a high-risk area for an assignment? Would he bar me from going? I still remember his response. He said that he would do all that he could to make sure that I was safe. Beyond that, if it was my wish to go, he wouldn’t disallow or discourage me from going.

Art of Living is doing such amazing work in places like Iraq and Afghanistan. Trauma relief programs have been conducted with bombs going off in the distance. Yes, the work we do sometimes places us in situations where our very life is at threat. Yet we continue to do what we have to do – help those in need, provide support and knowledge to the ones whose very lives depend on it, be there. I am positive that if I were to pose the same question to Pinch (or even my Dad), the response wouldn’t be different from what it was so many years back.

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… 🙂