Eastern Eye (UK)
Family is not dependence
‘PARTNERSHIPS ARE RELEVANT ONLY WHEN BOTH PEOPLE ARE WILLING’
ONCE, at a family dinner, Shankaran Pillai announced he was going to get married. Everybody asked, “Who? Who are you going to marry?”
Shankaran Pillai repliedd, “I am going to marry Lucy from our neighbourhood.”
The father said, “What? You are going to marry that lousy Lucy? We don’t even know her parentage.”
His mother said, “What? You’re going to marry that lousy Lucy? She has no inheritance.”
The uncle said, “What? You’re going to marry that lousy Lucy? She has such lousy hair.”
The aunt chipped in and said, “What? You’re going to marry that lousy Lucy? She wears such terrible make-up she looks like a street woman.”
The little nephew also did his bit: “What? You’re going to marry that lousy Lucy? She doesn’t know anything about cricket.”
Shankaran Pillai stood his ground and he said, “Yes I am going to marry Lucy because there is one big advantage.” “What is it?” they all asked. He said, “She has no family.” So family is beautiful only when it is operating in a certain way, otherwise it can become the most terrible thing.
A family does not mean dependence, it is a certain partnership that you formed.
Partnerships are relevant only when both people are willing and they are going in a certain direction together.
If both partners are constantly concerned about each other’s wellbeing, then the partnership is meaningful.
If it is all about you, either in terms of family or in terms of profession or in terms of spirituality – whichever way – then the partnership is irrelevant for such a person.
If you stay together, you will create a big mess for both the people. You do not stay in a family because of duty; you stay in a family because there is a bond of love that you have formed.
If there is a bond of love, nobody needs to tell you what to do and what not to do; you will do what is needed.
Just because you formed a bond of love with somebody or a group of people does not mean you should not aspire for big things. The best thing that you can do for people around you is to make yourself in the greatest possible way a human being can be. You must pursue that. The more you evolve, the more you contribute to the people around.
If people do not understand this, they think the only way they can have you is you must be stuck on the same level as they are stuck on, with the same limitations, the same problems and that you should not seek freedom beyond that. That is not a family; that is a mafia.
If you are running a mafia of how to extract the best from each other, that is not a family. How to give the best to each other, that is a family. If that is not there, there is no family, so there is no question of breaking it.
Every human being should naturally aspire for the highest possible potential that he can reach in his life because that is the greatest contribution he can make to life around him.
If you keep yourself limited, that is not a contribution, not just for your life, for everybody. If you are in a certain state of wellbeing, wisdom and blissfulness, if you are in the highest possible way that you could be, that is the best thing you can do to all the people around you. That will not happen without striving and without some sacrifice; and sacrifice is not a sacrifice. Only when you have no love for each other, it is a sacrifice. If there is love for each other, to forgo something for another person’s wellbeing is a privilege.
Ranked among the 50 most influential people in India, Sadhguru is a yogi, mystic, visionary and bestselling author. He was honoured with the Padma Vibhushan, India’s highest civilian award, in 2017, for exceptional and distinguished service.