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Becoming an open space? PDF Print E-mail
Gita - Gita Articles

“Accept every one around you as they are. There is no need to change anybody. Give them space to live freely around you. Be there but live as if you do not exist. There is just one open space. You do not have to detach yourself. Just be there and you can add some flavor to it. You can be there for every one around you. You will by and by create an aura of comfort and love. It is not that difficult to try out. By and by the concept of being non-attached will start opening up by itself. Even if this technique does not work for you, you will find the way.”

This paragraph was published on the November 22nd column “Dekho dekho andar dekho.” I have been approached to explain it further. If the son is smoking or if the husband is drinking, is there not a need for me to try to change them? If I want to be here as if I do not exist, will I not be taken advantage of? These questions are bound to arise.

We all want to change others and we all want to do service. But, the question is that who is trying to bring about the change. No body wants to go to a medical student for having their gallbladder surgery. He does his shopping and due diligence before he goes to a surgeon. His life is at stake. But, when it comes to giving advice, every parent is an expert. He or she knows exactly what the son or daughter should do. What have we created? How many sons and daughters really are open to their parents and how many listen to what they have to say. My children tell me that many of the children they come across have a dual personality. They appear goody goody in front of their parents while they have a totally different personality while they are on the campus.

Let us examine this a little further. We all walk around with our interests around us. There is an aura of our interests that moves with us. The aura may be personal such as “I like to eat Indian meals or I like Hindi movies.” Now I would like to change my son to like Hindi songs. He is growing up in the USA and his tastes may be different. This aura may be benevolent. I want to make sure that my wife does puja everyday. Who can argue against that? These interests may be political. I want to be Presisdent of an organization. How do I behave? I want every one related to the organization to vote for me.

This is what goes on. We all walk around with our interests at stake. I am not criticizing the system. I want us to know the system well. Krishna or Buddha has a different perspective. They are not walking around with any baggage. Buddha is not out there to change any one. He is just sharing what he has found through his search. He is just present and something is flowing out of him. It is a paradox that Buddha changed many people although he was not out there to change anyone.

Krishna is not trying to change Arjun. Some questions have arisen in side of Arjun’s being. Krishna is simply addressing those issues. Krishna’s whole effort is to address the questions that have risen inside Arjuna. Krishna is not worried about what the outcome is going to be. Arjun has full freedom to decide whatever he wants to do. This complete freedom is what I have tried to express in the paragraph in question. Krishna says in 3:20 that “sa yat pramanam kurute.” It is the deeds that count. I smoke. I want my son not to smoke. Any effort from me to ask him to quit smoking is not going to work. This is a simple example. If I am walking with the baggage of my interest, my children can see right through it. I do not smoke. I want my son not to smoke because it will affect my reputation in the society. In this situation I am not on the pedestal where I can ask my son to give up smoking. When I get there, and I am not carrying the luggage of interests, there is no need to try to change. It will happen without asking.

I was watching a TV program where Suresh Oberoi was hosting a show. The guest was Mahesh Bhatt. Mahesh Bhatt narrated a real life story. He had started to drink heavy. Wife did not like it, but she could not do anything about it. One day he took his baby daughter in his lap. The baby was small and had not developed her interest baggage yet. She does not even know that her father is an alcoholic (Mahesh Bhatt used this word on the show). When the baby was in his lap, she turned her face away from the face of her father. Mahesh knew why. His breath stunk. That was the day. Mahesh Bhatt has not had any alcohol since that day. It is such a sweet story. The baby is just there. The baby turns her face away not because she wants her dad to stop drinking. But a transformation happened.

Just because someone has become an open space does not mean that he can be taken advantage of. Krishna is one such open space. Krishna could never have been taken advantage of. In fact the more silent one becomes, the more aware he becomes of his surrounding. Krishna would know the thoughts inside Duryodhana and Shakuni even before they get into their heads. Creating an aura of peace and tranquility around is only possible if we are empty and do not carry the baggage of our own interests. It is difficult to really express this without raising more questions. As I have mentioned before, ‘proof of the pudding is in eating the pudding.’ So the best way to find out if this technique works for you is to try it out. If it does not work, it is worth dropping it. If it does work, then you can allow it open some inner doors.

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