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 and also 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 walked into her thAthA’s room, she saw him sitting with his eyes closed. She was raring to share her thoughts with him but it was so calming to see him in this posture that she did not want to disturb this moment. When her thAthA opened his eyes a few minutes later and looked at her, she started to talk, as though the wait was enough for her.

MAnvi: thAthA, I want to share something with you and this will take some time. If you are free now, can I share?

At her thAthA’s smile and nod, MAnvi began her sharing.

thAthA, I was listening to a discourse by pUjya Swamij on Bhagavad Gita, chapter 15 verse 15 and I heard him explaining the meaning of the word ‘apOhanam’.

apOhanam means ‘forgetfulness’. I liked the way he was explaining about this. I will tell you what I understood of the explanation and give my own examples too.

The word ‘forgetfulness’ like all of us know, is not being able to remember something at a particular time. This could land us in a challenging and unpleasant situation at times; especially when because of this forgetfulness we are not able to achieve what we wanted to. No one wants to deliberately forget, isn’t it thAthA? But we do at times and get shouted at too. We are also asked “How can you forget something like this?” Well thAthA, if I knew how I can forget something, I will always remember to remember, right?

There were two things about pUjya swAmiji’s explanation which I found thought provoking and profound.

apOhana as forgetfulness could also looked at as a blessing. This is because, only if we forget something will we be able able to enjoy something. For example – For reasons known to us we feel sad, but can we be sad all the time? Only if we forget the sadness, we can enjoy moments in life; and life gives us many such moments of joy.

You know thAthA, there are times when someone makes a mistake and we expect them to feel bad about it for some time. This ‘some time’ could vary for each of us. If they smile or laugh at something else much before we expected them to, we get angry. Actually when they smile, it may mean that they have forgotten the mistake for some time, and this will help them to move on with their life, isn’t it?

apOhana could also be looked at as the capacity to suspend one’s thoughts and ideas for a while and the mind is free. This means that we set aside our own thoughts and ideas to have the space to learn new things. For example.,

If our mind is clogged with thoughts and ideas all the time and we always remember them, where is then the space to learn new things?

If we  remember all the mistakes that were done by someone with whom we have a relationship – i father, mother, sibling, spouse, offspring, friend, relative boss etc., where is the space to remember the moments, when they have been supportive or helpful or kind or compassionate?

If we always keep in front of us what we already have as knowledge, how do we question that knowledge to learn more? It is important to suspend our existing knowledge so that we can then keep our mind free to learn new things, right?

thAthA, in a situation if we suspend our thoughts and ideas to keep our mind free to learn something new, we are also being objective isn’t it? It means that we are willing to keep aside what we know, and look at a situation differently?  We are thus learning to be objective without being judgmental, is it not?

Imagine thAthA, if we suspend all our thoughts and ideas then nothing moves inside the mind. In that stillness, we can go past and explore; and in the process learn something new.

I think we should be like this whether we are in an extremely happy state of mind or in a sad state of mind. After a while, we should suspend all our happy or sad thoughts and keep our mind free, to help us  move on in life. This is how we would grow as an objective and compassionate individual. Am I right, thAthA?

MAnvi’s thAthA looked at her and wondered how one person could influence her thinking so much!! This was apOhana for her as well!!