Father’s Day special - What lived and brought all of us was their [father’s and mother’s] relationship as a couple imbued with co- operation, commitment, compassionate, caring and complimenting activities.
Babuji, as my father was fondly called by everyone, had a rare combination of erudition, experience [too vast involving diligent, dirty and delicious etc], enthusiasm, over-flowing energy defying age and discomforts, an enlightenment which was never exhibited either through verbal arguments, didactic instructions, patronizing attitude etc but which silently manifested in his wisdom in handling any situation [good, bad, ugly etc] silently and sanely.
These qualities are a rare combination of a sort of contagious self confidence which motives all those around, not necessarily leading to material success though that may accrue incidentally, but they give strength to take everything that providence offers with courage in a very positive mode.
This combination is in fact a unique gift which comes out of the inner strength and intuition [confirmed from the line leading to mercury mount in his palm]. It was this very same combination which my father has fortunately bequeathed to me and to all his children which helps us in many pursuits and problematic situations to perform with conviction with sensitivity to the time cherished culture and the time tested humane values of the society. The inherent strength of this combination is that it bestows immense pride of ancestry and thereby creates hope for the future of the society. It is more worthy than inheriting many millions of dollars.
Through these qualities that he manifested he made us realize without instructing the real duties of life which involve performing those deeds and pondering those thoughts that give either pleasure or contribute intrinsically to enhance the worthiness /betterment of the body ,mind and spirit [ for those who can feel it] and not bother about performing other activities be they traditionally required rituals, or culturally conditioned compulsions, socially sanctioned or solicited stipulations but at the same time do anything and everything not to hurt the sentiments of near and dear ones even if that required temporarily compromising on some of our strongly held convictions, for, in such circumstances momentary hypocrisies are justifiable rather than hard hearted haughty and hurting refusals.
He was not a great believer of any tradition, belief system, nor had faith in any fervent sense but he firmly believed in humanitarianism, questioning everything with reason and helping others at all costs. Thus he had some very healthy justifiable contradictions which emanated from a very strong inner strength which allowed simultaneously the existence of very busy engagement of the body and mind in all duties and an inherent detachment [not aloofness]. These contradictions taught me to equally savor the serenity of silence and solitude and also to socialize with free abandon and without any inhibition.
So, whether we succeed really in profitable ventures or not. Our basic relationship with everyone and the environment based on inherent and intrinsic values blossom into a lifelong bond of friendship not necessary to be bonded by proximity, nor commitments nor cooperation but a sort of soulful music imbued with harmony of life and melody of living, not a heart to heart friendship but a heart to heartbeat relationship.
All of us, his children know well, if at all we have acquired the freedom to think freely, talk openly and allow as many ideas unblocked by any ideology or tradition, however lofty or laudable the ideology or tradition may be and widen our horizon of view and perception it was because of him, our loving father.
He was calmness personified to a fault :- he was stoical [ calm and impassive]to any personal suffering; philosophical [calm in face of ] to the pinpricks as well as the pulverizing impacts of providence; serene[ calm in a dignified manner] in his sensibility; exhibited equanimity [ calm self –possession leading to even-temperedness] in any eventuality; imperturbable [calm and unexcitable in temper] in his own way; equitable [calm and even tempered] in entertaining silly disputes among the siblings; readily mollifying [ calm or pacify by offering concessions]the recalcitrant children usually with candies; phlegmatic [calmly indifferent] purposefully to petty arguments in politics; most of the times very composed [exhibiting calm self –control] born out of clarity in the face of criticisms; allaying [calm or soothe] the fears of diffidence or defeatism in any of his children reminding that the game of life is never over; carrying all mundane tasks with tranquility [calmness] while inwardly staid [calmly detached or sober] and voluntarily propitiating [calm or reconcile] the offended or wounded spirits with pleasant words.
He was subdued [calm and quiescent] when for better practical reasons he was willing to converse, cooperate and comply with the correct choices his elder sons made without insisting on treating decision making as an exclusive parental prerogative out of merely age- related- advantage- based egoism to which most of us are susceptible as parents.
He lived mostly as the author Pema Chödrön observes, “Simply be present with your own shifting energies and with the unpredictability of life as it unfolds” and manifested patience and enlightenment. Again to quote Pema Chödrön, “Patience is the training in abiding with the restlessness of our energy and letting things evolve at their own speed”. [THE PLACES THAT SCARE YOU: A GUIDE TO FEARLESSNESS IN DIFFICULT TIMES] Pema Chödrön on enlightenment, “When we resist change, it’s called suffering. But when we can completely let go and not struggle against it, when we can embrace the groundlessness of our situation and relax into its dynamic quality, that’s called enlightenment” [LIVING BEAUTIFULLY: WITH UNCERTAINITY AND CHANGE]
He could freely do all these because he had a wonderful woman, my mother whose greatness cannot be confined by words. She was a living example of silent love and sacrifice. In fact it would be a great mistake to praise him [my father] alone; they were in fact a single entity, the best unbeatable team forever as far as I know.
They had biologically individual lives but what really lived and brought all of us was their relationship as a couple imbued with co- operation, commitment, compassionate, caring and complimenting activities devoid of any competition , comparison etc which unfortunately spoil modern relationships. Without discussion and debate they shared the task of feeding us physically, psychologically and soulfully [spiritually]. Their impact is undeniable and inerasable but since they ensured the inward flowering of our individual souls and psyches we used our freedom to liberally acquire some imperfections. My dear parents your presence is always lively though you may not be present around me in flesh and blood.
Now that the tears have cleaned my eyes and dried up my heart I can switch from a subjective being submerged in sentiments into an objective person.
The purpose of all these Mother’s Day and Father’s Day other than the obviously commercial ones is to probably remind us, in our inevitable busy life, the importance of our parents.
Henry Miller once said, “One of the nine reasons why reincarnation happens is sex and all other eight reasons do not count”. Similarly one of the main reasons of your life is your parents, even if you happen to be the accidental by product of their biological urge. The fact is your life came into this world through them and because of them. So, do respect them and take care for them or at least enquire about their welfare once in a while when they are alive. If they are unfortunately no more with you act in a way which would make their souls and spirits proud of you.