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The Secret Of Joyful Relationship

When the mind is such that it is looking at everything as an investment, as an opportunity, as something to be derived profit from, then obviously one would be looking at the persons in one’s life as opportunities, as investments, as profit centres.

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Why do we enter relationships? If we look at the world around and if we look at our lives, it would become amply clear why we forms relationships.  

When relationships are utilitarian and transactional and have elements of functionalities and dependencies, then surely there can be no Joy in relationships. Then, of course, there is a motive, there is a plan, an objective, something that you want to get out of the relationship.

You want to know the health quotient of a relationship? It’s easy. Just investigate the relationship for dependency. Are you dependent on the other? In any way – physical, psychological, material, immaterial. Is the other dependent on you? Where there is dependency, there would only be violence, not Love.

When the mind is such that it is looking at everything as an investment, as an opportunity, as something to be derived profit from, then obviously one would be looking at the persons in one’s life as opportunities, as investments, as profit centres.

What then about Joyful relationships?

When we see, we find that we usually enter relationships from a point of incompleteness. We say, “There is something missing within and what is missing can be supplied by the world.” Look at one’s relationship with his wife, with his house, with his car, with his bank account, with his parents, with his clothes – is it because of an inherent Joy that the relationship exists or is it in search of Joy that the relationship exists?

If my self-definition is that ‘I am a sufferer’, then whatever I do, cannot bring Joy to me. I cannot start-off by declaring myself to be a patient and then have healthy relationships. But that is the usual calculation of the one that we are. We say, “Life is not alright, this is missing, that is missing, one need to reach somewhere, there is a certain need for accomplishment and there are a thousand things that one is desirous of”. And then relationships become just a means to take care of all that one perceives as wrong within himself. That is, at least, the hope that the mind cultivates.

The drowning man who is clutching to the lightest of supports is not clutching to those supports because he loves them. He is desperately hanging on, it’s a matter of his own particular personal life. The relationship exists just to serve his own individual need. And remember that this need is a projected need, it is not really an objective need.

We need to inquire, even in small matters, what is our relationship with the world, how do we relate with the clothes that we wear? What place do they have in our life? What is this thing about wearing different kinds of clothes for different occasions? Why does one marry? Why is one travelling in a particular vehicle? Why does one consume the news, the media? Is it not so that he reaches somewhere? And is it not true that if the object of relationship stops serving the purpose that it was intended to serve then the relationship itself goes bitter.

So what is the secret of Joyful relationships?

When one is not related to the other by way of habit or expectations then there is complete freedom in the relationship. Then one does not accept limitations or obligations and neither does one impose obligations on the other. It is really a healthy relationship because then it is real, present, moment to moment. You are not obliged to have a carry forward of the past. You can really know who the person standing in front of you is. You can really talk, you can really relate.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.


Acharya Prashant

Indian author and Advaita teacher

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