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. 

It always was difficult for MAnvi to see her thAThA when he was sick. For her thAthA though, even if he was sick seeing MAnvi and discussing with her made him feel better.

MAnvi: thAthA, why cannot we have this discussion another day when you are feeling better?

thAthA: MAnvi, you know what my response will be.. but if you think that you need to come another time, then feel free to do so..

MAnvi: No thAthA. Let’s continue the discussion..

thAthA, you like to discuss even when you are sick and I don’t like it because I think it may tire you out. However, you don’t want me to do something that I don’t like even though you may want it; which means neither one of us is able to fulfil each others’ rAgas and dweshAs but we may decide to for a reason that is valid to us. Isn’t this how it is in many relationships?

thAthA: MAnvi, I like the way you have connected this and I am sure you will explain on this later. to answer your question I don’t think it is the same in all relationships.

When we relate to another person in a relationship, each of us come with our own rAgas and dweshas. We want others to fulfil them and they want us to fulfil theirs. In addition to this, our rAgas and dweshas also keep changing. Then, is a fulfilment of all of one’s rAgas and dweshas possible at all? Also, to fulfil one person’s rAgas and dweshas the other person has to change and if they are not comfortable with changing, is there freedom in the relationship?

MAnvi: thAthA, there are relationships and there are relationships. Let me explain – there are some relationships where we don’t like the person at all and it is OK for us to not fulfil their rAgas and dweshas or vice versa. They can be in their space and we in ours.

thAthA: In which case, do we have a relationship with them or do we just relate to them when our paths cross?

MAnvi (the cogs in her mind were turning fast): You are right thAthA. I think we only relate to them and it is transactional to that situation.

There are some people we like and for some reason we seem to accept them as they are and they seem to accept us as we are. They don’t seem to have rAgas and dweshas that they want us to fulfil and neither do we have any, for them to fulfil.. These people may hold a special place in our lives.

thAthA: Are there such relationships, MAnvi?

MAnvi: Speaking for myself, yes thAthA. As I share with you on this now, I also wonder how this can be.. But that’s how it is.. Why is it like that, I don’t know thAthA. (asks with a cheeky smile) Like the term ‘Motiveless Malignity’, is there a term for this that is a pleasant one?

thAthA to explain further, may I connect what I said earlier? You like to discuss with me even when you are sick but you were willing to postpone it because you know that I don’t like to see you being sick. I don’t like to see you being sick but was willing to have that discussion immediately because you feel better when we do it. What made each of us take this step, thAthA?

thAthA: MAnvi, each of us took this step because in this relationship there is something more than the rAgas and dweshas that we both want to understand and appreciate which made us move past our rAgas and dweshas.

MAnvi: thAthA, I was able to move past my rAgas and dweshas and took this step because it is you. This also means that the relationship should matter to both of us, isn’t it?

thAthA: MAnvi, is making a relationship work only in your hands?

MAnvi: No, thAthA.

thAthA: But your contribution to make it work is in your hands?

MAnvi (slowly as she was sure he was going to say something that will make her question her fundamental belief) : Yes, thAthA.

thAthA: I would like to leave you with this thought. I want you to think on it and we can meet again in a few days, by which time I will recover completely.

To have freedom in relationship, we need to move past our rAgas and dweshas. For this to happen we need to understand ourselves first – our own limitations and strengths… and till then understanding others don’t happen..

MAnvi had that pensive look that her thAthA knew all too well.. She had always heard that it is important to ‘put herself in other’s shoes’.. No one told her till now that it is of primary importance to ‘put herself in her shoes’.. This gave rise to some questions which she knew was tougher to answer and yet so simpler

  • I am here talking about freedom in relationship with others, what about the freedom in my relationship with myself?
  • Is there freedom in my relationship with myself now?
  • If I am bound in my relationship with myself, how can I look for freedom in my relationship with others?
  • How can I bring in the freedom in my relationship with myself?