May 2, 2015

Who is our true relative?

Our parents, spouses, siblings, cousins, uncles, aunts and grandparents are all very dear to us.  We share our lives with them, we live with them and grow with them.  In other words they mean the world to us.  It is naturally difficult to imagine our life without them in this world.  Also, it is equally difficult to imagine leaving them behind after we depart from this world.

The worldly relations are very close to our heart, they are a source of immense joy but at the same time the reality is that they are all temporary.  Regardless of how much time we spend together in this life and how wonderfully we live together, we all have to leave each other someday.  The nature of worldly relations is temporary.

There is another reality to worldly relations.  While we live in the world believing that these are the the only relatives we have ever had, we have actually had innumerable such relatives in our innumerable past lifetimes.  We have had countless mothers, fathers, husbands, wives, siblings and other relations.  A layman may wonder how is that possible?  This possibility come from the fact that our true identity is that we are the souls and not the material body.  Since the soul has transmigrated through a countless bodies, it has also had a similarly infinite number of relations of those bodies.

Each and every soul is on its own journey, during the course of life the soul misidentifies with the body and establishes relationships with other material bodies.  All these relations are temporary, they last only as long as the body lasts.  As soon as the body ceases to exist, so does the relationship.  Swami Mukundananda has brilliantly explained the whole concept in this short audio clip through the example of co-passengers on a train.  Travelers meet during the journey, establish friendship but ultimately part ways as their destinations arrive.

If spiritual aspirants can firmly accept this eternal reality about their lives, detachment from the world will become much easier.  One will then begin to seek the true relation of the soul.  Who is that true relative?  Swamiji answers that at the end of this clip.