Disclaimer – This dialogue is neither a figment of imagination nor a real one; and the same applies to the characters as well. The character MAnvi is one I see myself in, though at times different. Her thAthA is one who seems much familiar. Much of these dialogues are a trigger  from a book or a discourse by Pujya Swami Dayananda Saraswati. Any error in the way I have blogged upon on any aspect, is due to an error in my understanding alone. 

As MAnvi stepped into her thAthA’s room, she heard him saying, “MAnvi, I was about to call you.”

MAnvi: thAthA, there are many times we have said or heard others saying, “I don’t have the freedom in this relationship. I can’t say what I want to say and do what I want to do.”  The freedom in a relationship is measured by what we can or cannot say; and do what we want to do or can’t do, is it? If we can get rid of anything that is causing discomfort to us or get along with anything that makes us happy in a relationship, is it freedom? And anything that is otherwise means that we don’t have the freedom in the relationship? When we feel that we do not have the freedom in the relationship is when we say “I want some space.” because we feel ‘tied’ in the relationship. We feel we can’t be what we think we want to be!!

thAthA: So freedom in a relationship is when we can get rid of anything happily or when get along with anything happily – is my understanding right? Many times when this happens, we are also left with feelings of anger, frustration, hurt, guilt etc, isn’t it? The fact that we feel these feelings means that there are things we are not happily getting along with or things we are not happily getting rid of, in a relationship. In which case, is there freedom in a relationship? And what evokes these feelings, MAnvi?

MAnvi: thAthA, we all place certain demands on another person on how we want them to be. These demands are arising from the rAgas (likes) and the dveshas (dislikes) of ours. If we observe ourselves, whatever we do is based on our own rAgas and dveshas. You know thAthA, at the end of the day when I think of myself, I am a composition of my own rAgas and dveshas. As I see myself talking to you, I realise that ‘I’ am a representation of my rAgas and dveshas and I see the world (which includes people) thru’ this filter. I also allow myself to relate to others thru’ this filter. Ah!! Cannot help but visualise myself not as flesh and blood but just as rAgas and dveshas coursing thru’ every cell of my body – as though there are letters passing thru to say “I like this” and ” I don’t like this”. 🙁 And when the relationship is seen thru this filter of our rAgas and dveshas, is there freedom in the relationship, thAthA?

thAthA (smiling at the way she asked the same question back to him) : MAnvi, to have freedom in relationships should we be free from rAgas and dveshas ?

MAnvi: And is that possible, thAthA? Let us say that we give up our
rAgas and dveshas, would we be happy with that? Would we still be able to relate to people? We relate to people thru’ our rAgas and dveshas which makes us different from someone else and sets the foundation for the person we are. In any relationship, each one of us relate to the other person thru’ their rAgas and dveshas. We may relate well with the person or we may not and that depends on the filter of our own rAgas and dveshas thru’ which we view the other person.

thAthA: Is it always a filter that is used consciously, MAnvi?

MAnvi (after thinking for a few moments): No, thAthA. There are times when the instant we meet a person for the first time, we may take a liking to them or a dislike to them. We have no clue why!! We may hear ourselves saying, “I don’t know why but the minute I saw her / him, I really liked her / him.” or “Something about this person is giving me the discomfort and this is the first time I am meeting her / him”. This is not a conscious rAga or dvesha and hence we may not be aware of the reason for this rAga and dvesha. thAthA, I read of a term called ‘Motiveless Malignity’ and I found the meaning interesting and profound – it is when we take a dislike towards a person for a reason that we are not aware of and for which there is no conscious motive.

thAthA: This is indeed a profound term MAnvi, because it gives a different meaning to the aspect of not liking a person and with no conscious motive. I would like to contemplate on this as I have a few questions arising in me. So could we continue this discussion another day soon, MAnvi?

MAnvi knew that when her thAthA contemplated and continued the discussion later, he would share some insights and ask some questions that would change her way of thinking. So far these insights and questions had shaped the way she thought and lived and she knew that this will continue for as long as she lived. She could not but wait for the continuation of the discussion some day soon.