About Your Relationships

Are you in conflict with the people you love most? Do you experience incredible highs followed by invariable lows in your relationships? Have the days of wine and roses become days of whine and neuroses?

Love tainted with selfishness is ‘attachment’; it is only about you. You expect a return for your affection, tangible or intangible. You make demands on people and bind them. You feel insecure, vulnerable and threatened. Your expectations never seem to be met with. The more people do for you, the more you want. The relationship thus becomes conflict-ridden. In the end, it breaks down and you lose the person.

The age-old philosophy of Vedanta steps in with new ways of defining ourselves, others and the world around us — ways that will appeal to the younger generation. It takes dedication, a leap of faith and practice.

Expand your mind. Get attached to a wider circle of people — community, nation, humanity. Work for loka sangraha, for the welfare of the world. As you get attached to the higher you get detached from the lower. True love is born and your relationships become free from the endless strife that prevails now.

In order to fill the haunting sense of emptiness in your life you depend on people for your happiness. Thus the starting point is faulty. Only when you are happy within can you establish meaningful relationships with others. It is absurd to depend on others to fill the void. Vedanta says you are paripurna — totally fulfilled. You do not need anyone to make you happy. Gain knowledge of your fulfilled state.

Love others for what they are, the good as well as the bad. Understand that people behave according to their nature. Do you hate a lion for its ferocity or a deer for its timidity? You love both creatures equally because you understand their nature and accept them for what they are. What prevents you from accepting people as they are? Why do you complain when a partner gets angry or a child is timid?

Look at others as part of yourself and you will focus on their best qualities. You will see opponents as partners, competitors as comrades. You will celebrate others’ victory as if it were your own. Thus your happiness multiplies a billion times! Today you are happy only when good things happen to you. In the end love turns Godword. You worship God in all beings.

Vedanta says there is only One. If you see separateness, it is your delusion. Just as one ray of light refracts into seven different colours, you see distinctions and demarcations because you view the world through the prism of your body, mind and intellect. You see maximum separateness when you identify with your body. See the world through your mind and your circle of love expands to include your family. Rise to the intellect and you see oneness among your compatriots. Merge with Atman, the Spirit within, and all differences vanish.

You exult in the experience of the One in the many. You see yourself in all beings and all beings in the Self, just as you admire your images in different mirrors. Only then will you be free from sorrow and delusion. And you will attain the exalted state of enlightenment.

–Jaya Row

The Speaking Tree, Page No: 20, 09 July 2011

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