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Archive for the ‘letting go’ Category

Rows of drawers, intersected by tables and chairs, fill my dream screen. I open one and taking off my diamond earrings from my ears, place them inside one of these drawers, taking care that it is at the bottom of the drawer, underneath some papers. When I come to look for it later, I am unable to locate the exact drawer in which I have placed it. I look all over the place, even take help of my colleague, but I cannot find the ring. I give up knowing it will be impossible for me to find it, in these rows upon rows of drawers, since I cannot tell in exactly which one I have placed the earring. I am also aware that even if someone else has found it quite by mistake, they will have taken it. In other words, I have lost my diamond earrings to someone else. I touch my ear lobes and yes, it is not there.

On his parikrama of the Narmada, Swami Buddhananda comes across a poor couple living in a thatched house. As all people are, all along the route, they are very keen to feed the yatris, the pilgrims. On a parikrama of the Narmada, no food, or money, no extra clothings are allowed to be taken along. One has to live in total surrender to NarmadeMata to provide whatever is needed. The poor couple are unsure weather the Swami will finally eat food prepared by them. The Swami agrees to accept their offer. A meal is prepared and with great shraddha, Swami ji is fed. After he has partaken of the food, he gets to know that the poor couple are Muslims. Swami Buddhananda, born to a very religious Brahmin family from Karnataka, gave up his worldly ego-centered life to pursue a God-centered life while still in his youth and from being a bramacharya, he was ordained into sanyassa after many years under the vigilant eyes of his Guru. For a second, just for a few moments, Swami ji is a bit shaken. Has he now polluted his superior birth as a Brahmin by eating food cooked by a Muslim, that too on a holy mission like, NarmadaParikrama? But he is in a fix only for those moments; it quickly dawns to him, he is a Sannyasi and a sannyasi has no caste; no creed, he is beyond it all. He drops the idea and moves on with gratitude in his heart for the poor couple who so lovingly fed him with a meal.
In both the cases above, there is a holding on to something forever. In my dream, the diamonds which is associated with “forever” and in the case of the Swami, his caste, Brahmin, something he is born as and dies with and is forever a part of his life. However, in both cases, that which is “forever, is left behind.

Freudian Interpretation of dream:

The rows of drawers are the different compartments of my mind. In some part of my mind I have stored, even hidden “something” – a feeling, incident, whatever. It is a precious gem of a memory , a something I associate with forever. However, for whatever reason, I have now lost it. I am unable to find it. It is something that has been dropped from my mind – that something, someone – I associated with the concept of forever, I have lost and most probably it has been found by someone else. I do not know the new owners, nor am I concerned. I drop the idea of trying to find what I thought to be forever mine.

Whether it a diamond or our caste, anything we hold to be permanent in our lives is only transitory. There is no way to hold on to things, they come, on a visit, they pass as they will. This is the river of life, this is the journey, the parikrama, people come, people go, things belong to us for a few moments, then we lose them or they change hand; this is ourjourney, the parikrama, with many people and things. But all are only visitors and just as surely as they came, they will also go. So are we to hold on to that which has passed. Even if we try, we cannot. It is not with us anymore. It has already gone.

A often quoted story in Buddhist circles is about these two monks who are on their way from one village to another and come across a river. They have to cross the river. It is getting late in the day, and they see that an old lady is also standing on the banks waiting to cross and she needs to be helped. The monks are in a fix. As monks they are forbidden from even look at a woman of any age, leave alone touch her. But one of the monks decides that he is not going to leave the aged woman on this bank and cross himself. He carries the woman on his shoulder and crosses the river. On arriving on the other side, he puts her down and continues on his way to the hermitage with the other monk. On arrival, the first monk relates to the others how the second monk had carried a woman on his shoulder thereby breaking his monastic vow.

The second monk listened to the first relating the story. Then he turns to him and says, ” I have left the woman on the bank long ago, but you are still carrying her in your head.”
The story is the same about everything in life; when something has completed it’s purpose in our lives it either drops out, or we drop it from our minds. There is no need to look back again. What has been left behind has ceased to be ours.

Forever.

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The old house made of stone with Mangalore tiled roof is leaking from almost everywhere. The heavy rain has woken Richa sleeping on a bed with two people on either side – another woman and a man. The bed on which all of them are sleeping is the only zone where the rain is not pouring down. Richa can, in her dream see the tiles on the roof are blackened by a dead bed of moss on them. The lady on her right wakes up and hurriedly looks around the house for a dry space. There are none. The man sleeps on. In her dream Richa is a bit surprised to find that the man sleeping on her left is in fact someone she knows. He is not a stranger. In the meantime, the other woman speaks to Richa and says that there is reason for them to look for another house. This one is old and they need to move into another house and leave behind the old. Richa wonders where they could go, all three of them together. At that moment she wakes up

Getting down to basics: Dream Interpretation

Who are these people, this man and this other woman? What does the house signify? What do the aged tiles mean? What is the significance of a leaking house? Which is this other house Richa wants to move to?

The house signifies the world, the roof under which we all live. The old tiles with darkened, dead moss is the roof we call ours. It is old and has now given way. It cannot hold the water pouring down. The house is leaking everywhere. This world is tired and old. It is giving way because the tiles or the social structure on which it was built is breaking. The rain signifies the pouring in of new thoughts and ideas. It is the fresh new drops oflife flooding the entire old house. At sometime, the old house will not be able to bear the incessant rain. It will give way. Richa wants to move into a new house because she sees that this old one is going to give way sometime. The new house in her mind is the shift from the old thought patterns to the new ones. The two humans in bed beside her are the two distinct aspects/ sides of Richa – her female and male energies, they are both her identity and she is aware of both. This new house must be able to house her in her naked reality – that she is both, man and woman, yin and yang, purusha and prakriti – both at the same time. And this goes for all those who share her bed with her, the man, distinctly also with a dominant feminine side, and the women of course with a masculine side to them. This is the new house of Richa’s dream.

We are caged in our own belief systems. We learn from society around us. We respond to what our social norm demand of us. And as long as we continue to do what society asks of us, we may or may not be happy at a personal level, but we are content with who we are superficially. Our social face is in tact. Indeed, it takes intelligence to see though this web of design. Society has made sure that most humans do not think, or think that they think, but really they don’t because in any case what they think is what society wants them to think. But truth cannot be forever pushed under the carpet. Human intelligence, having made such a momentous journey to develop over centuries, cannot just be waived away, as something that can be forever honed to suit a larger interest. The real intelligence is innate, as innate as both sides of a human being are. One can overshadow one side by the other, as it has been done so far, but not forever. Reality shines through. Society changes and the old always die out to the new. Life moves on, even if we stay just where we are. And life take with it a brand new generation of humans who are more comfortable with themselves. In it’s great innate intelligence; the wheel of life seeks the balance it must have to reproduce itself.

Every time.

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