What I learnt
I have heard a bit about ‘Sakshi Bhava’ or ‘Witness State’ from Sri Amma Bhagavan, my spiritual mentor. Bhagavan used to say: “To See is to Be Free.” We don’t notice things and they don’t exist. The existence of something depends on the very act of our seeing. This is a quantum truth. For the first time ever, I witnessed myself observing someone closely. A small child. One year old. My grandson, Sanjay. It opened my eyes to my present condition. I believe this is the first step towards liberation – to see things as they are, before we decide how we are going to reach where we want to be. As I continue to hear Sanjay speaking a few profound truths to me, several questions kept bombarding me.
Sanjay says: I am curious and inquisitive; I go where my heart goes. I wonder at everything. I love the quietness, music, nature, wind, sunshine, chillness, water, flowers, grass, animals, birds and all things in nature
I asked myself why I couldn’t go back to my childhood days of innocence, curiosity and inquisitiveness. What has happened to me? What prevents me from wondering at things? If only we had not stopped wondering, won’t we all be inventors ourselves? Why have I religiously followed a life of mundane activities? Why am I addicted to repetitive actions and reactions to things, people and situations and loathe to change? Why can’t I be proactive? Since when did I lose my identity with everything I came across? Why am I not able to pursue what my heart dictates?
Sanjay says: I am happy at every moment of life; I don’t need anything in particular to be happy, though I am happy with everything: I am unattached
Why am I chasing all sorts of things, all the time, in the hope that they will bring happiness to me, only to eventually discover that they don’t enchant me anymore once I acquire them? Why can’t I just be happy? Why do I need to be constantly praised, lauded, recognized so that I feel important to me? Why can’t I just feel important and valuable? What is my self-worth? Am I not worthy of happiness all the time?
Sanjay says: I don’t think at all; I just trust. I don’t fear unless you tell me, for I know that I am safe and taken care of, all the time. I am cautious too.
Why don’t I just trust? Why can’t I carry on my life, just trusting that there is Someone taking care of everything for me? What am I afraid of? Afraid of unknown? Afraid of my future? Afraid of losing my image? Afraid of losing what I have? Afraid of acquiring something I don’t wish to have? Afraid of my death? Why do I need to be afraid? Why do I need to be planning all the time for the unknown tomorrow? Why don’t I just enjoy the present moment as it is? Why am I unable to unburden myself from the pains of yesterday?
Why am I not able to ‘Be’ with the moment? Why do I need to be doing something or other all the time to feel occupied? Why am I not able to be peace with myself and enjoy some leisure time for myself?
Sanjay says: I just say ‘no’ when I want to say ‘no’; somehow I also know to say, ‘Enough’. I may appear to be stubborn at times and demanding or avoiding at other times. Honestly, I am just naturally, seeking what I want.
Why can’t I just say ‘no’ when I want to say ‘no’? Who am I afraid of? Who am I trying to please? Am I sincere and honest to myself when I say ‘yes’ to something or someone? Do I maintain my inner integrity? What kind of image of myself am I trying to protect? Am I bringing happiness to people around me by not saying ‘no’? Am I happy when I say ‘yes’?
Sanjay says: I don’t become angry with anyone or anything and I don’t feel hurt at anything. I don’t make calculations when I misbehave; I am just very natural – not just normal alone
Why do I feel hurt all the time with all sorts of things? Why don’t I accept things as they are? Why can’t I accept myself as I am with all my deficiencies? Why do I need to carry the burden of ill feelings about people, things, situations, and my experiences? Why do I become angry with them? I either feel guilty or hurt, why? Why do I need to be aggressive to protect MySelf? Why do I need to put up a victim or ‘poor-me’ picture of myself?
Sanjay says: I just treat everything as ‘play.’ I play tricks and entertain everyone; I can imitate, dramatize, learn, follow, understand and make everyone around me happy.
Is not life playful, we players – playing our part, meeting and parting, only to meet again at some other point? Why do I need to take everything seriously? Why do I need to compete all the time?
Why do I feel lonely and bored most times? Don’t I realize that I am never alone and would never be?
Sanjay says: I keenly observe and notice everything; you may not take notice of my noticing everything
Had I only noticed that others are noticing me, won’t I be behaving differently? Won’t I be behaving better? Won’t I be conducting myself in ways that won’t at least sadden them, if not making them happy?
Am I currently satisfied? Am I not constantly trying everything to become something else? Why can’t I, too, just Be? Why can’t I reverse the paradigm ‘Think’, ‘Act’, and ‘Be’ to ‘Be’, ‘Act’ and ‘Think’?
These questions continue to disturb me even today. And I am still seeking their answers.
In summary, what lessons did I learn from my grandson, Sanjay?
- Be Natural
- Go where my heart goes; maintain my inner integrity
- Do things that I genuinely love to do
- Accept myself, others, things and generally this world as it is.
- Take responsibility for my actions and realize that I had a part in whatever experience I undergo right now; so, no need to blame others, no need to feel guilty, no need to feel hurt. I am beyond hurt, guilt, anger, and jealousy
- Life is a flow, go with it; do not struggle
- Everything is already kept in place by someone for you to be occupied and happy and that I don’t have to do anything in particular to be occupied and happy
- Happiness lies in the process of life and not in the end result
- Trust that there is someone taking care of everything including me; so I don’t need to have any fear
- Life is relationship. In times of conflict, winning is not so much more important as maintaining my relationships. Life without relationship is as good as death itself.
- Begin honestly to notice what is going on – inside and outside of you. Stay as a witness to everything.
- BE something before I act to be something and think of being something
Did I succeed?
I know I am in the process. That itself is a success, according to the teachings of Sanjay. The process – the process of life – is the most important thing. Ultimately, we all succeed, I know.
Thank You, dear Sanjay, for your wonderful classes!
Asatho Maa Sath Gamaya! Thamaso Maa Jyothir Gamaya! Mruthyor Maa Amrutham Gamaya!!
Poornamadhaha Poornamidham Poornaath Poornam Udhachyathe! Poornasya Poornamaadhaaya Poornameva Vachisyathe! Ohm Shanti, Shanti, Shanti hi!!
Ohm Namah Sivaaya