The Garland of Relationship

To be is to be related and without relationship there is no life.
Relationship is not only between people but between ourselves and nature, between ourselves and property, between ourselves and ideas; as long as that relationship is not fully understood, there must be fear.
Love alone can bring about a radical revolution or transformation in relationship; and love is not a thing of the mind.

– J. Krishnamurthy

In our modern age, we tend to give too much importance to individual accomplishments. But much of our happiness and growth depends more on the quality of our relationship than our individual achievements.

The first and most important part of our relationship is with people. The path to fulfillment in this domain begins with mutual goodwill and understanding in our mind and heart, blossoming into a deep inner harmony in our thought and feeling and finally culminating in pure unconditional love. However relationship with people is only one aspect of it. Relationship with Nature, things and ideas are also as important as with people. For example, one of the main causes of the present environmental crisis is our distorted relationship with Nature promoted by an infantile scientism, technocracy and theology at a certain stage in the evolution of modern western culture. However, scientific attunement or understanding of Nature, though helpful is not sufficient for a true and deeper relationship with Nature. Along with scientific understanding, there must also be aesthetic appreciation and emotional communion with Nature.

Similarly with things or material objects. We tend to regard material objects as inanimate things and use them in a careless manner. But many inwardly sensitive and spiritually advanced souls perceived a consciousness in material objects which can respond positively to care and attention of human consciousness. In a conference organised by Sri Aurobindo Society, a speaker mentioned briefly about this subject. At the end of the talk, a participant narrated his experience. He loved his car and took care of it as if it is a living being. And whenever his car stops while running, due to a repair or break down, it always stops near a workshop!

And finally with ideas. We must learn to receive and relate with ideas with an impartial equanimity and without bias, preferences, prejudices, attraction or repulsion. If we want our life to become a beautiful and harmonious garland, we have to cultivate the right attitude in all these four facets of relationship.

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