Material vs. Transcendental Relationships
Dandavats Pranams at your lotus feet Gurudeva.
The most auspicious occasion of your Vyasa Puja is approaching.
By your causeless mercy, you have guided and are guiding us, your disciples and friends, in so many ways.
We are all social creatures so we do want relationships. At the same time, I have to recognize that I am existentially alone. I was born alone and I will leave from this world alone. In the journey, I will naturally form relationships but my foundation has to be clear.
There are three kinds of people – dependent, independent and interdependent. Only people who are independent can become interdependent. We all define ourselves in terms of relationships. I'm the son of so and so, I am the daughter of so and so. When we’re older we may say - I'm the husband of so and so or the wife of so and so. We define ourselves in terms of our relationships. But this is not our sole definition. We are not just the sum total of our relationships. In other words, we are not just a factor in our relationships. We have relationships of this world and then we have transcendental relationships such as with you Gurudeva. You are always present with us; closer to us than the closest friend. Even though my friends might hold me in a tight hug still they cannot come as close to me as you. This Guru-sisya relationship is something that is meant to be our anchor.
In our earthly relationships, there will be ups and downs. Sometimes there will be affection, sometimes confrontation, sometimes alienation. These ups and downs can be likened to a person who is being tossed around by the waves here and there in the ocean. But if there's a helicopter above and he is holding onto a rope from the helicopter, the waves won't shake him as much, although they will still come. Because he has a shelter. Similarly, for us in the world, in the relationships that we have, there will be storms. There will be ups and downs. If we are sheltered by a strong relationship with you then we understand that we always have at least one person who always cares for us. Gurudeva, you never leave us no matter what happens.
In any relationship, when we experience rejection, we feel unloved. To feel unloved is distressing. But suppose we experience multiple rejections then we start thinking maybe there's something wrong with me. And that’s devastating. To feel unloved is distressing, but to feel unlovable is devastating. But when we understand… when we experience our relationship with you through Bhakti yoga and chanting, we experience an inner serenity. An inner calm. And that helps us understand how you keep one eye on us no matter what happens in our lives. And that gives us a security - an inner security - by which, if there is any rejection in our other relationships, our sense of self-worth and identity won't be determined by that relationship alone. We need to be independent, not dependant. If we depend on any particular relationship for our security or our self-worth then any turbulence in that relationship will be very agitating. But if our security and self-worth come from our relationship with you then even if the other person goes through various ups and downs in their behaviour with us, we will have the inner stability to move forward in our life by remembering you.
Thank you for all the help you are sending.
Aspiring for your service,
BV Tapasvi Swami