Give and take is the core principle of worldly relationships. The problem starts when one doesn’t get what one expects in return. A man leaves a beautiful wife if she can’t produce children. Similarly, a wife leaves her husband if he is not able to provide what she expected. Not only in domestic life but in all other dealings the same rule is applicable. Most of us don’t love for the sake of love only.
In ancient times, an old sage (Yagyavalkya) having a prosperous Ashram (hermitage) wished to retire to a solitary place leaving his belongings and attachments after having fulfilled his worldly duties. He wished to divide the Ashram’s property between his two wives. One of them – Maitreyi, a wise lady, wished to know if she could gain immortality through material possessions. The sage replied that it is not so. “It is impossible to get immortality through material possessions”, he told her. Then the sage explained to her the definition of love through which one could gain immortality. “All relationships are not dear for the sake of relationships but for the pleasure of the self.” She understood. No bargaining in relationships and to love others for the pleasure of the self. And this self is immortal, of course.
The sustainability of relationship needs a sort of sacrifice and one on the road to spirituality has to do it at each step. First, develop it with a spiritual teacher or God, sacrificing vices and virtues at His feet, and then think of the relationship with all, including family members, in the form of companions. Family members may still be forcing one to keep concerns about their requirements only and the continuance of a worldly relationship. One should try not to leave them but to take them along. In case of total opposition, one may opt for the larger benefit of mankind.
God is not easily perceivable through the senses or by arguments. It is said that when one wishes to see God one finds Him in human form, i.e., a saint or a spiritual teacher, who helps the seeker to progress on the path of love. One has to love the saint and adopt his universal love for mankind. Thus, the best course left for us is to surrender ourselves to a saint and through his grace everything else comes at its own.
There are many spiritual teachers with various techniques catering to the needs of people with different mental makeup. Naturally one goes on having such teachers, until finally one meets, knowingly or unknowingly, a complete spiritual teacher (an intellect devotee), and ultimately reaches God – the universal love to the whole of creation.
The first step on the spiritual path is to be taken up by us, and this may happen due to some bitter experience in normal life, or when one feels a danger looming large on one’s life. Once on this path in the due course of time everything turns out to be in the favour of the aspirant.
SP Sharma, India