It was sometime in the year 2013, we sat in the Guru Kutir where three of us, me, my wife Shailaja and Guruji’s long time disciple Srimati Sudha Naik sat with Guruji and enjoyed the blissful calm.
Shailaja sought Guruji’s directions for our Sadhana and he replied, “I am giving you two keys, use the two keys together and you can open the vault, you will discover the path. The keys are Freedom and Responsibility.”
He asked us to contemplate on these words. Our journey started.
I was wondering what was freedom, did he mean Mukti, Moksha? I asked him.
He said, “Don’t jump to conclusions, it’s a seed; don’t see this seed under a microscope, don’t cut it for further investigation; that will only make you a Pundit.It will not lead to anything; you will merely destroy it. Sow it, water it, get it sunlight, take good care and let it germinate, let it turn in to a healthy plant. There will be storms, rains, hot Sun, cold winter; protect it and help it grow.It will bear flowers; it will bear fruits.”
He had already sown the seed, I just had to take good care! There is a sweet breeze now, butstorms too come, so does sweltering heat, blistering cold and torrential rain. I must protect the small plant that has emerged from the seed. I need to evolve ways and means so it keeps growing. All this has taught me so many things. I had never thought that maintaining a plant could bring out such creativity within me. I was seeing myself as if for the first time.
I waited for the seed to germinate; it was taking so much time; I was becoming impatient. I wanted it to grow fast and faster. I ensured the soil was duly manured, wet and that it got sunlight. But it was taking so long; oh my God! Slowly my patience turned in to anger, but the seed went its own way, what was it doing!
I developed fear, may be the seed has rotted, it will never germinate. So what, I will get another seed! But I had developed attachment with that seed; after all we had shared so much anxiety together, but of course I don’t know if it shared the same anxiety as I did.
I decided to wait, I want this seed to grow into a beautiful plant, Guruji has told me it will. Yes, it will.I will wait.
As I waited, Guruji came along and asked, “How is your Yoganushthan going?”
I said, “Yoganushthan?”
He said, ‘Yes, Yoganushthan! Yoganushthan has five dimensions called ‘Niyama’. What you are going through is called ‘Shaucha’. It will lead you to a state called ‘Ahimsa’, the first of the five Yamas. Keep it up”.
I ‘kept up’ as advised by Guruji.
I noticed the plant had germinated. Why has Guruji mentioned Yama and Niyama? Is there any connection between Freedom and ‘Yama’ or ‘Niyama’?
I saw that Yama meant Ahimsa, Satya, Asteya, Brahmacharya and Aparigraha. How can it be ‘Freedom’? What is the ‘bondage’ from which we want to be free?
I need to understand ‘bondage’ so that I may understand ‘Freedom’.
Does ‘freedom’ mean the freedom to evolve, to grow? Another leaf appeared – this question made sense.
What is evolution and what can prevent it? Whatever impedes it, binds us to wherever we are, in whatever state we are. What are all those factors?
To be continued
Laxman Sakharam Karandikar