Thy Own Self | Bhaja Govindam 25th stanza

(Understandings from Swami Mitrananda’s talk to Yuva Veers of Youth Empowerment Program 6th batch)

Shatrau mitre putre bandau, ma kuru yatnam vigrahasandhau
Sarvasminnapi pashyaatmaanam, sarvatrotsruja bhedaajnaanam || 25 ||

Meaning: Waste not your energy to fight against or make friends, foes, children and relatives. Learn to see your own Self in all beings and give up the feeling of difference.

Mind lives in relationships. Why do we seek so many relationships? Why does a person feel the need for a friend, wife, children, etc? It’s because when he is among these people whom he loves, he feels complete. Without them, he believes he is incomplete. He’s happy in their presence and his life is miserable when they are not with him. A normal person spends so much time and energy to seek friends and relations. His happiness quotient is complete only if he is in their company. But what’s wrong in it, one may ask?

Such a person, who seeks happiness in the company of others, usually finds it miserable to live without them. Slowly he becomes so attached to the relations that he turns into a slave to the relationships. It is also commonly seen that he cannot stand if someone betrays him. May be it’s his children who grow up and choose their own way. May be he gets cheated by his own relations for whom he sacrificed a major part of his life. At such an instance, the pain and anger caused in his mind is so much that he can’t help himself but keep thinking about them. He then spends a lot of time thinking these relatives and is unable of think of anything else. Once again, his happiness percentage is determined by what he receives from his relations. Is not such a life demanding, or rather begging, for happiness a pathetic life? But the poor fellow feels that others are responsible for this situation of his. Imagine a whole life spent in being happy at the mercy of others!

Where does one go wrong here? All his life he has lived as an extrovert. He has been seeking happiness when he is in the presence of others. Never has he tried enquiring – Why do I feel happy in their company? Honestly, why do we feel so? When we see our wife, children, relatives, friends, etc, we identify them as My wife, My children, My relatives and My friend. Would we love someone else’s wife or children as much as we do our own? Why not? Because we feel they are ‘Mine’. Do we love the children because of who they are or because they are My children? Isn’t it true that it is the feeling of My-ness which makes them close to us? Truly speaking, we love Ourselves more than anyone else. We love all these people because we see a My-ness in them. We see Our presence in all these people (either biologically or in terms of qualities, personality, etc) and that is the reason they become so dear to us.

When a person seeks His Own Identity in others he is, unknowingly though, seeing His Own Nature in others, at least in a few people. In his letters, Swami Chinmayananda used to sign off by writing ‘Thy Own Self’. That is how great saints and sages see everybody and that’s why they could love & accommodate everybody irrespective of their good and bad qualities.

Once a person does this deep enquiry and a critical analysis, he starts seeing His Own Self in everybody and the feeling of indifference is dropped. He no longer searches for happiness in others but understands that this happiness he is searching for is His Own Nature.

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