“`Nature or Temperament—the most important part of Life, the most essential part of Life, is to make life explicit. The importance of Life is due to this temperament.
The first link – in my Temperament was my Stubbornness
This stubbornness was neither harmful to anybody nor useful, but it stood by me in good stead, even in my wrong steps.
I have always done what I liked. Even in the conjunction of some rare moments, I have never followed the desires of others. For me, the most important thing is the guidance of my ‘why’ and how I act upon it. I have a Beautiful aspect of my temperament, which keeps me miles away from partiality.
I was, at one time, well impressed with the lifestyle, nature, or temperament of a speaker and not at the relationship with that person. I could never become a part of anybody’s hauteur, envy, selfishness, and foolishness. At that time, I was not aware of my ‘why’, probably because I was lost in a thick fog. Perhaps the activities of my mind were an indication of this ‘why’ in me. In that part of my life, that has now passed, my ‘why’ applied to itself the label of stubbornness.
For me today, the most influential person was my revered father. But during his last moments I did not obey him. My father was a man of ‘Satu-gunas,’ a man of action, a man practicing asceticism. His existence carried so much importance for me, which I can’t explain. However, his virtues were ill balanced. In order to acquire his virtues, I needed the watchman-ship of knowledge. I lacked the present moments; therefore, I could not understand him. But my ‘why’ understood his virtues. So his hesitancy, reserve, first preference for others, even though they might be wrong—always incurred my disapproval. This was the most critical moment of his Satvik journey of Life that he could not call even a bad person bad. This state of his mind suggested to me some elements of servitude, settled deep at the depth of his being. His servitude, even though Satvik, became for me only Freedom and still more Freedom. To reject my father, was for me, the rejection of the world. His death was the Death of a daughter—the Death of a daughter’s world! His cancer became for me the consciousness of seeing a bigger world!
But his pilgrimage of Life, which involved recognizing all relationships, left me a non-pilgrim; it became a milestone for me in my spiritual quest to know myself. For my ‘why’ having watched his life, stuck this poster to the four-walls of my life—that:
Relationships should not be taken in the sense of so many restraints, but as opportunities for mutual cooperation.
So breaking these restraints awards me the badge of stubbornness.
The second link – Frankness or Candour
Whatever you like, you like; whatever you don’t like, you don’t
Whatever you love, is Love; whatever you hate, is Hate
In short, whatever is in your mind, should be on your lips; there should be no concealment, no formality, or artificiality. This frankness proves both useful and harmful, encouraging and elevating, as well as depressing and degrading. Whatever loss I sustain is in the social and worldly spheres. I cannot succeed in the class which consists of businesspersons or materialists. However, what I call unsuccessful is taken by my ‘why’ in the sense of successfulness. Still my body and mind fall victim to depression and despair, and my ‘why’, the queen, raises its eyebrows mischievously at the instigation of ‘why’ itself.
As for gain, there is plenty of gain. All becomes acquaint with my temperament. For many people, I am rude, outspoken, rough of expression, and foolish, but on the mental plain, those who have unique distinctions become my friends. My candour acts as a sieve, leading to the purification of my life. But this ‘why’ honours this plain-speaking of mine with the title of ‘honesty’, and perhaps by exhorting me in this way, wants to transport me to the state of perfection.
The third link – Mutability
In every sphere, in every direction, the demand for novelty was so great that most Beautiful aspects of Life fell into abeyance. However, I never felt their want nor showed any regret, but ever remained conscious about them.
I could not say what I wanted but this want did not sit still in me.
Today, I know what that want or longing is. I was worried to think of my inner imperfection or deficiency, my inner hollowness stung me. This imperfection and hollowness always wanted some newness or novelty in my life. To make room for the new, the old one had to be said adieu. So this change went on at full speed in every field of my life. As soon as a thing changed, my thoughts underwent a change, and at once, I underwent a change. Might it be taken for my promise.
Whatever I had promised to do, whether to myself or to others, I could never accomplish, simply went back on my word. Then how could anybody trust me, and my friendship?
It was my ‘why’ that persuaded me to share all my infirmities with others, before they shared theirs with me.
Then nearly ninety percent of my problems were solved. This habit of undergoing change after change converted my life into a cataract. That Life which was conscious of the conglomeration of all thoughts, actions, virtues, vices, and other mental states, kept ever flowing and followed its own moods and caprices.
For—I saw the promise-keeping persons, who, for the fulfillment of our ordinary promise, wasted the major parts of their life, but what did they get in return?—Only bravo!
I saw no changing persons who stuck to their rites and rituals. Their Life ultimately ended and their bodies were cremated, but those rites and rituals survived and even strutted about. Why did they do all this? Only to win the title of ‘goodness’! I also saw the religious fanatics, who ever endeavoured to prove ‘persistence-incarnates’ but could not raise in their lives a single fragrant flower: no Beautiful flower grew in them. They were swayed by a trivial consolation, that:
They were religious minded!
In short, my ‘why’ by vitalizing all aspects of virtue and vice, right and wrong, pushed on the flow of Life by the idea that they all constituted the utility of life and nothing else. That whatever was inane, only that was perfect. All else, these virtues and vices, rights and wrongs, and world’s religions—were based on our life; Life was based on thirst, thirst on desires. They did not have their own ‘existence’; their ‘existence’ depended on desires and wishes. Keep this view, O Rose:
One person can learn nothing from virtues while another can get the quintessence of truth even from vices.
The fourth link – Positive thinking, Positive tendency
From my early life, I saw and realized that I did not take any situation, event, or temperament in the negative sense. I remained positive in whatever befell me. If there was anything negative in my environment, I took it in the positive sense, with the desire to live a positive life.
If my mother beat me, I would see if I could beat my children. I peeped into its depth, and found the answer: I would never do it.
Envy and jealously—all around—nearly suffocated me. So how could I do the same to others?
If I ever showed some negligence or some other drawback in my conduct, I would make it a lesson for myself.
If some other person committed a fault, I would learn from their mistakes. Why and how was this taking place? I do not know, but it was actually happening. I never proved successful even in the promises made to myself. For example:
At night before going to bed, I promised to rise early the next morning and be the first to do religious recital. As the morning came, I got up from the smell of sweet, fragrant tea. After having the morning tea, if someone suggested that we should go out for a walk, I would readily agree. On my return, I was attracted by play and games. Now again came the time to sleep, and then, a mysterious, secretive smile would come over my lips and put me to sleep, by covering me with the pall of carelessness! No argument, it all happened as a matter of fact.
Some classmate of mine would scold, abuse, or laugh at me and then no longer remaining on speaking terms with me.
A few days later, she would express a desire to again be on speaking terms with me. If I came to know of her desire, I would not disclose to her that I knew her mind, but under some excuse, I would go to her, inquire of her well being, and make peace with her again. Thus, I fulfilled her desire. Why?
Perhaps I could not bear to see anybody in the state of mental confusion of suffocation or helplessness.
Perhaps my own helplessness and mental suffocation enabled me to realize the confusion of others.
Perhaps it was a deep, positive mental state.
Such trifling things, pertaining to my school and home atmosphere, would direct the flow of my life in new directions. My mode of thought sought after truth, not only from the right and true things, but also out of the wrong and untrue things; it searched for virtues, not only in the virtuous, but also in the vicious temperaments as well. It was not my mode of thinking, but the mode of thinking of some other being deeply embedded within me. Perhaps this very reflectiveness came to a halt at the sight of:
Wading through water
The stream of reasoning
Decaying human physiques
This halt or pause becomes a beautiful encampment, then ‘why’ comes again and sticks a label saying:
“If you wish to see Beauty
Know your own ‘self’
Then all you need are the brakes, not speed
Not a car, but spiritual thirst”
If I peep within, I find in my life, a long list of desires
Are desires themselves Life?
Is life a conglomeration of desires?
Sometimes a trifling desire has to cover a long distance of years, to get fulfillment or a draught of satisfaction. When I think back to my desires, they were only at the mental level. They had no physical or social content. I had absolutely no desire for hearth and home, good clothes, wealth and affluence, jewelery and ornaments; I remained confined to a caravan of feelings and sentiments.
Perhaps my present start of life began at the mental level. Material goods did satisfy my physical needs, but my objects of attraction remained beauty, my own ‘self’, truth, and happiness.
I remember those moments of my wedding: People: “Bare, unadorned ears do not look nice, put on your ornaments”
People: “Apply some light lipstick to your lips”
Rose: “Why? Why should I do that?”
People: “Your lips will look beautiful then.”
Rose: “Then apply lipsticks to your own self, please.”
People: “Wear an embroidered suit.”
People: “It is a wedding, you will look more beautiful in it.”
Rose: “Is it my wedding or the suit’s wedding?”
What was I doing? What was I saying? Even I was not conscious of it. Perhaps my search was at some other level. This frankness saved me from narrow-minded and materialistic people. Whatever took place at the physical level and the social level, happened because of some inclination of mine. However, the intensity of my demands was soon going to take me to some other direction. I wished, for example:
All should form one family
All should be happy
All should enjoy freedom
All should be free from worries, anxieties, helplessness and despair.
It was possible only if, I was prepared to face depression in the attempt.
My wish expressed for others’ welfare, was in fact my wish for my own well being.
My desire to Love all was an expression of self-Love.
My desire for universal Freedom was, in fact, an expression of my own servitude of some kind.
My longing for general happiness was, in fact, pain of my own helplessness and despair.
These desires of mine brought the advent of spring—they ultimately discovered freedom, love, and happiness.
You see this expansion of my life was possible only on the axle of my desires. The destination of Life depends on the mood of the wayfarer, on the fact of which path is adopted. Perhaps the desire to remove imperfections becomes the starting point of leading a righteous and immaculate Life. An account of the fulfillment of this desire cannot be given in the language of emotions and passions.
This desire, at first, brought me failure at the external plane. Though I ask, did it really bring me failure? This failure, in fact, looks like success; for this failure is a degree of understanding Life.
My ‘why’ now opens some other pages, of my desires and wishes.
How can I become infinite and boundless in the world, when the world itself is controlled by limits?
How can I spread my wings of oneness with others, when they are all confined to the cages of their egos, or narrow selves?
How will anyone understand my feeling of human love, when everyone is engaged in meeting the demands of their selfish narrow self?
In this way, the sense of failure is depressing. However, today the weather has changed, as has my mode of thought, and profundity has come into my being.
If we cannot make the world a single house, at least we can realize our oneness with all.
For if another person’s house is not ‘mine’, I, on my part, can feel my oneness with them.
If all others are confined to the narrow cages of ‘yours’ and ‘ours’, at least I am not one of them. Then for me, they all become ‘mine’.
These considerations remove my tremor of imperfection. The feelings I cherish about others contain feelings regarding myself, and they bring me back from others to myself again. Even in this good feeling there is servitude—a limit, a remoteness, for ‘why’ is saying:
“Goodness is also a limit and by renouncing it one can flow in the easy flux of Life.”