Acharya Prashant (AP): One does not live with family, one lives in relationships.
Please understand this.
The son or the wife — as physical entities — can remain the same, yet the relationship can be different. So, one need not physically move away from them but the relationship has to be changed. Otherwise, the anger will not go.
Till the quality of my relationship with the world is the same, my quality of anger will remain the same.
Listener 1 (L1): But, my question is: the moment I am deliberately trying to change the relationship, just for example, somebody you think is a burden on you and that gives you anger. Now, one way of looking at it is move away from that, which you said that’s not the solution because you are seeing him as a burden in the relationship, that’s what is making you angry. There are many burdens in my life which I basically look forward as a pleasant experience, for instance when my child wakes me up in the middle of the night, I don’t get angry. It’s also a burden but I wake up with a whole lot of concern, good feeling and a fatherly love. So one way is changing myself from an old man to old man, to a man looking at an old man as a child, and changing that relationship. Maybe that is one way of doing it but then in that case, again, I am actually taking the help of another illusion to get out of it.
AP: No, not really.
L1: I am just thinking aloud.
AP: Yes, I am getting the gist of it.
Nobody will sustain a burden without getting something in return from the burden. One never gets angry at the other because he is a burden, it feels as if he is a burden on me, so I am getting angry at him — it never really is the case.
One gets angry on himself for tolerating that burden.
And why does one tolerate a burden?
Because one is expecting something in return. There is some kind of a hidden greed. And, one gets angry at the greed. If the greed is not there, then the burden will also not be felt and the relationship will take a more healthy color. Why am I going to tolerate a burden? If something is a burden, I will drop it. But I never want the company of the person, I want something from him which I may not be getting, then the person becomes a burden. In a loving relationship, obviously, there can be no burden.
Now, what does it mean to change a relationship?
It does not mean to change something in the other person because the relationship is my relationship. So, my relationship cannot change without me looking at my mind. When I look at it, then my quality of relating with you changes. When I see that even as you are sitting here, somehow I am planning to get something from you, then I cannot continue with that kind of planning anymore. Are you getting it?
Being aware of oneself, one is able to bring about a mysterious change in oneself, an unplanned change, and that brings about change in relationships. What we always forget is: every relationship is my relationship. My relationships will only have the quality which is the quality of my mind. If I am violent, the fact will be that all my relationships will have a taint of violence in them — explicit or implicit.
First of all, I have to look at the quality of my mind, then the relationships change. Have you not seen this: ‘violent people are violent towards everybody’? They are not only violent towards their neighbour; they are also violent towards their dog or kid. And loving people have a quality that fuses out love not only to their wife but also to the entire world. You already know that. Right?
We have seen that and heard stories about that. We have also experienced it in ourselves at times, have we not? When occasionally you feel light and joyful, then don’t you feel like hugging even a stranger? Has it not happened to you?
L1: The world lits up!
AP: Yes, beautifully said. And when you are gloomy, then the entire world is dark. Even the most decorated places are simply dark. And that is spirituality — To look at oneself.
L1: It is a continuous twenty-four-hour self-correction.
AP: No, not self-correction; just a faint impersonal awareness. You cannot be doing it actively. If you say it’s a distillation, then one feels as if there is an entire system of process at work; it has to be very subtle.
L1: But that subtleness has to come from somewhere. How?
AP: That is a matter of Faith. That ‘somewhere’ is already sitting in our heart. It will come from there.
L1: So, this violence will go?
AP: This violence will get dropped. Not only will this violence go, the entire family of other attributes related to this violence will go. For example, there can be no violence without expectation. So the entire family of mental diseases related to violence will just become ineffectual. You will lose interest in them. You know, violence stays because you clutch to it. You lose interest in clutching to violence.
L1: What you are saying is that there is an analysis, which every time is releasing me from the clutch.
AP: It is not analysis; it is just a direct understanding; it’s like just seeing the Truth of it without analysis, without comprehension.
L1: Then how can I practice that? How can I be that? If Truth comes on its own and hits me, it depends on the Truth and not on me.
AP: That is very very accurately put — It depends on the Truth and not me.
You know how peaceful this statement is? Let Truth do what it wants to do, let it not depend on me. So I can only surrender to the Truth. It depends on the Truth and not on me. So I can only just surrender. And that is Peace. What you are thinking of as a statement of misery is actually a statement of deep liberation.
L1: Every word of yours is very disturbing; it is neither giving me peace of mind, and it is a very elusive thing. Ever since I sat for the first session without even hearing properly, not engaging myself, then automatically some engagement happened! I was feeling sleepy.
AP: It happened without your wish. So it depends on the Truth and not you.
L1: Only in the second half, I started asking you questions.
AP: And now we have the third half, so to say. So it depends on the Truth and not on us. It is not our deliberate desire that we are sitting here. There is some other grand plan at work. Has to be.
L1: I wanted to go home!
AP: And I didn’t know I would be sitting under this tree.
Worries. Huge worries. You talked about anger, I really do get angry. It’s not that intense anger; it’s just that, there is something that remains even when the anger is there and that is everything. I am very sure of this: even in the deepest anger there is something that remains.
That is good.
Then anger is alright.
There is that untouched spot which anger cannot really spoil.
Anger is not an expression of That. In fact, anger is purified by its touch.
L1: What I have realized is that: ninety per cent of anger is really helplessness.
AP: Personal helplessness.
L1: It’s basically insecurity.
AP: What will happen to me? Why didn’t my desires get fulfilled? And there is another anger.
There is another anger: Someone is sleepwalking on the road and trucks are approaching him. And, with great energy and intensity, you shout out. You actually don’t shout out, you go and punch him in the face. That is another quality of anger. And you are angry but this anger is not personal. Nothing of your self is at stake. This anger has a different quality altogether.
L1: The Guru’s anger is a corrective anger. How can somebody be so stupid so as to not see that this is good for them? So Guru comes and hits and he hits deliberately sometimes.
AP: The Guru can be angry at himself also. How could I forget? How could I get displaced? Even that is possible; there can be a disappointment but whatever is happening is happening in a different space; not in a personal space full of personal insecurities, ambitions, and such things.
The entire story is being played out somewhere else. It is a story. It is a story played out by greed, anger, lust, envy, jealousy and the rest of it. Everything is there but the entire environment is a little different.
Spirituality, rest assured, may or may not bring about directly perceptible changes in somebody’s life; it does happen with some people that either they begin with something new, or drop something old, so it is quite dramatic. With some people, nothing really changes on the surface. They continue living, working, sleeping the way they were doing it earlier as well. But something else happens, minor tweak.
And that minor tweak changes everything.
It is a juice of life!
~Excerpts from a ‘Shabd-Yoga’ session. Edited for clarity.
Watch the session: Acharya Prashant: To change your relationships, let yourself change
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