This article has long been pending. One of the reasons it has been pending so long is because it is pretty vast and I am not sure where to start. But I want to attempt this.
In fact that is the purpose of this blog.
This blog lets me delve deeper into thoughts which otherwise just cram my head, but I hardly ever can actually ‘talk’ to someone about it. Because very few people can just listen. Nor do I fancy going on a monologue with anyone. And where is there so much time to just delve deep into a topic and have a person at similar wavelength? But maybe someday I might have some friends like this.
For now I don’t. And when you are beginning to proverbially ‘be yourself’. You will also typically find that a lot of people around you, are on a different trip. Because inner clarity brings within a very personal journey that is unique.
I will call it karma. But you may better understand it as ‘I am unique’, of course because the sum total of all the experiences and mental impressions and tendencies of a person, is most definitely a unique set.
I had earlier written a blog on You Should Open Up About Your Real Interests, Here’s Why, it highlighted the importance of like minded people around you and this is a similar effort. But approaching it a little bit differently.
When I wrote the Being Single blog, I was writing about something very important to me.
My basic life choice – of remaining single and opting for simplicity and minimalism.
And yet when you read the blog it is all about addressing other peoples thoughts. The obsession of society with sex.
And that is why – it is very important to find like minded people. Because then you can bolster your own thoughts and delve deeper in them.
Imagine that if I had friends who were spiritually minded. Maybe couple of them would have taken up bhramacharya in some yoga ashram. Another would be traveling solo across the world. Another couple would be married but totally open to the idea of remaining single too. Then what would this article on Being Single be about?
Would it be about all the awesomeness of being single?
Maybe I wouldn’t think about writing it at all because it is so natural.
The people about whom I wrote in that article, I have no negativity towards them. But I see the difference in thoughts and approach to life. So over time understanding the need to articulate my thoughts, uninterrupted – I started this blog. Then I have also very proactively approached people, made new friends with people who specifically interest me. And this has been invaluable.
It is not worth at the end of day to keep hanging out with or engage much with people with whom you don’t grow.
And it is true what in Buddhism I read,
‘People who oppose you help make you stronger’. So yes, when faced with criticism or these people who have very different and often irrelevant (to you) perspective on life, you can also grow. And you must, for spirituality is about using all external situations for inner truth and well being.
But what I am highlighting here is the need for the People who support you. And this support is different from people who ‘let’ you be who they are or who are ‘Ok’ with you choices either. It is a deeper support.
I think for a seeker it is very important to find these people.
How it may happen would be unique for you. Because you can’t just run up to some spiritual person and ask for support and understanding. Even if they give it, it may not really click for you.
It needs some clarity. Some idea of your own needs, what exact support you need. Some clarity about your spiritual path. And then the right connect with that person.
It may be an interaction where you genuinely ask for support and get help. Or it can be an interaction where you just get close to another spiritual seeker and from their life you find so much support. A feeling of oneness that carries you through many hard times. It strengthens your resolve and reduces your doubts.
And so a while back I would sing these bhajans that kept highlighting the need for sant-sangati (company of ascetics). And I would be all woebegone about it, because I didn’t have any sant-sangati. And the few around me, I didn’t connect with.
For example, I had access to a dear Jain nun. And she was always very encouraging – but only to take up Jain diksha. So it didn’t connect with me. Don’t get me wrong, it would be amazing to chat with her on Jain tenates and understand it deeply. Gain general spiritual insights also. But this is not my path. There was no click.
So finally over the years, I have come to certain inner clarity. And overall the situation internally and externally changed. Maybe it just got more conducive for the sant sangati to happen.
Very happy and invaluable. 🙂
Also it is needed.
संत संगति आवश्यक है
There are lot of these fantasy ideas that keep floating around. Like, ‘Do I need a Guru for spiritual growth’ or ‘spirituality is inside me, it doesn’t need any external support’ all this kind of stuff. And at a level they are true. Whatever external situations are, we cannot stop the effort at inner clarity and truth in our lives. And that is spirituality. But inevitably the external situation will have to shape up too, in some way.
And that external shaping may very well happen because internally things changed, and then I only went and created the external situation. But however it may be. The external too is important.
Sant sangati. <3
त्रिजगति सज्जन संगति रेका
भवति भवार्णव तरणे नौका