How To Deal With Expectations In a Relationship?

March 23, 2020

6 min read

Summary: In many ways, the quality of relationship one holds, determines their quality of life. Relationships are formed to fulfill various needs - physical, psychological, emotional, social, financial... Sadhguru says - "The needs within a human being have risen because there is a certain sense of incompleteness and people are forming relationships to experience a certain sense of completeness within themselves". This is the source of expectations. Sadhguru says - "If you are happy by your own nature, the relationships will become a means for you to express your happiness not to seek happiness."

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article originally published on isha.sadhguru.org

Relationships Beyond Expectations

Sadhguru: For most people, the quality of relationships that they hold in their lives largely decides the very quality of life that they live. When it is playing such an important role in your life, it needs to be looked at. What is the basis of a relationship? Why do human beings need a relationship? Relationships are formed on different levels; there are various types of relationships to fulfill different types of needs. The needs may be physical, psychological, emotional, social, financial or political – they could be of any kind.

This piece of life is a complete entity by itself – why is it feeling incomplete? Why is it trying to fulfill itself by making a partnership with another piece of life?

Whatever be the nature of the relationship, whatever be the type of relationship, still the fundamental aspect is you have a need to fulfill. “No, I have nothing to get, I want to give.” Giving is also as much a need as receiving. “I have to give something to somebody” – this is also as much a need as “I have to receive something.” There is a need. Needs may be diverse, accordingly relationships could be diverse.

The needs within a human being have risen because there is a certain sense of incompleteness and people are forming relationships to experience a certain sense of completeness within themselves. When you have a good relationship with someone dear to you, you feel complete. When you do not have that, you feel incomplete. Why is this so? This piece of life is a complete entity by itself – why is it feeling incomplete? Why is it trying to fulfill itself by making a partnership with another piece of life? The fundamental reason is we have not explored this life in its full depth and dimension. Though that is the basis, there is a complex process of relationships.

The Source of Expectations

Where there is a relationship, there is an expectation. The expectations that most people are creating are such that there is no human being on the planet who could ever fulfill those expectations. Especially in a man-woman relationship, the expectations are so much that even if you marry a God or a Goddess, they will fail you. When you are unable to understand the expectations or the source of expectations, you cannot fulfill the expectations. But if you understand what the source of these expectations is, you could form a very beautiful partnership.

If you are happy by your own nature, the relationships will become a means for you to express your happiness not to seek happiness.

Fundamentally, why have you sought a relationship? Because you will find that without any kind of relationship in your life, you would become depressed. You are seeking a relationship because you want to be happy, you want to be joyful. Or in other words you are trying to use the other person as a source of your happiness. If you are happy by your own nature, the relationships will become a means for you to express your happiness not to seek happiness. If you are trying to squeeze happiness out of somebody and that person is trying to squeeze happiness out of you, it is going to be a painful relationship after some time. Initially it may be okay because something is being fulfilled. But if you are forming relationships because you want to express your happiness, nobody is going to complain about you because you are in the process of expressing your joy not seeking joy from the other person.

If your life becomes an expression of your joy, not a pursuit of happiness then relationships will be naturally wonderful. You can hold a million relationships and still hold them well. This whole circus of trying to fulfill somebody else’s expectations does not arise because if you are an expression of joy, anyway they would want to be with you. Shifting your life from pursuit of happiness to an expression of joyfulness is what needs to happen if relationships have to really work on all levels, because they are of many kinds.

Many Kinds of Relationships

Your body is right now made in such way that it is still in a condition where it needs a relationship. Your mind is made in such a way that it still needs a relationship. Your emotions are in such a way that it still needs a relationship. And on a deeper level, your very energies are made in such way that you still need a relationship on that level also. If your body goes in search of a relationship, we call this sexuality. If you mind goes in search of relationships, we call this companionship. If your emotion goes in search of relationships, we call this love. If your energies go in search of a relationship, we call this Yoga.

Once there is no compulsion within you and everything that you do becomes conscious, relationship will become a true blessing, no more a longing or a struggle.

You will see that with all these efforts, whether it is sexuality, companionship, love or Yoga, you are trying to become one with something else because somehow being who you are right now is not enough. How can you become one with somebody else? Physically you have tried. It looks like you are going to make it, but you know you fall apart. Mentally you have tried, many times you thought you are really there but you know two minds are never one. Emotionally you thought you really made it, but divisions come up very easily.

What is the way to fulfill this longing to become one with something? There are many ways to look at it. You might have noticed this at some time in your life, suppose you were very joyful, or loving or ecstatic and your life energies are feeling very exuberant, you feel a certain sense of extension. This extension, what does it mean? First of all, what is it that you call as ‘myself’? What is the basis for you to know “this is me and this is not me?” Sensation, isn’t it? Whatever is within the boundaries of your sensation is you. Whatever is outside the boundaries of this sensation is “the other” and the other is always the hell. You do not want to experience this hell, so you want to experience at least a small part of humanity as a part of yourself. This longing to include somebody or the other as a part of your life is what is called as relationships. If you include the other, the hell could be your heaven. To experience that heaven, to have that piece of heaven in your life is what the desperation to have a relationship is.

Whatever is the longing behind any relationship, either if you try through the body, or through the mind, or through the emotion, you will only long; you will never know that oneness. You will know moments of oneness but it will never really happen. If you experience all this life around you as a part of yourself – Yoga is the means to experience this oneness – the way you exist here will be very different. When this happens, relationship will only become a way of looking towards the other’s need, not about your own because you have no need of your own anymore. Once there is no compulsion within you and everything that you do becomes conscious, relationship will become a true blessing, no more a longing or a struggle.


What Is Love?

June 11, 2018

9 min read

Summary: What is love? And what is unconditional love - if there is such a thing! Is love just one more need, which has been glorified? Sadhguru narrates a beautiful and touching story of a king and his loving wife. He also elaborates on the science of 'mangalsutra', and how it is a tool for two beings to get entwined, and sadly how the science has been lost now. So, is love the goal of life? Sadhguru clarifies...

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article originally published on isha.sadhguru.org

What Love Is and What Love Isn’t

Q: Love seems to be the driving force in my life. I think I am a little confused about being one with someone versus having unconditional love for someone.

Sadhguru: Is it really unconditional?

Q: I don’t know. Okay, maybe not.

Sadhguru: There are any number of conditions, isn’t it? All the conditions you have set for the other person, all the expectations you have of the other person, if they are all broken tomorrow, the same love will turn into anger and then hatred. So if we have to maintain your love, we have to control the other person in such a way that he does only what you expect him to do! Otherwise, this wonderful love will turn into very nasty anger.

Love is a Fragile Dimension of Life

I am not trying to belittle relationships, but there is nothing wrong in looking at the limitations of what it is. It has limitations, but that does not mean it has no beauty. A flower is so beautiful, but if I crush it, it will become manure in two days. I can destroy a flower in a moment, but does that reduce the beauty and significance of what the flower is? No. Similarly, your love is fragile. Do not believe fanciful things about it. At the same time, I am not denying the beauty that is attached to it.

But if you make such a fragile dimension of life the foundation of your life, you will naturally be anxiety-ridden all the time because you are sitting on such a fragile flower. Suppose you built your house not on the earth but on a flower because it is beautiful, you will always live in fear. If you built your foundations on the earth and looked at the flower, smelt it and touched it, that would be wonderful. But if you built your house on the flower, you are constantly in fear. I am speaking only in that context. We are not trying to deny what love is.

Love as a Need

On one level, if you look at it – I do not want to generalize this totally, but for many people it is so – love is just one more need without which they cannot live. As the body has its needs, the emotion has its needs. When I say, “I cannot live without you,” it is not any different from me saying, “I cannot walk without a crutch.” If you had a diamond-encrusted crutch, you could very easily fall in love with it. And if after you used this crutch for ten years, I tell you, “Now you can walk free,” you would say “No, how can I leave my crutch.” There is no life sense in this. Similarly, in the name of love, you make yourself so absolutely helpless and incomplete within yourself.

Does it mean to say there is no beauty and no other dimension to this? There is. There have been many people who lived in such a way that they could not exist without the other. If it really becomes like that, that two beings have become like one, then that is wonderful.

The Story of the Queen’s Love

This happened to a king in Rajasthan, India. He had a young wife who loved him and was totally dedicated to him. But kings always had a lot of concubines. So he thought it was quite silly, the way she was deeply engrossed in him. He was amused and he liked the attention, but sometimes it was too much. Then he would shake her off a little bit, and carry on with many others, but the woman was totally dedicated to him.

The king jokingly asked, “Is that so for you? Do you love me that much?”

The king and queen had two talking mynas, which are tropical birds that can speak better than a parrot if you train them. One day, one of these birds died, and the other one just sat there without eating food. The king did everything possible to feed the bird, but the bird just would not take in any food, and died in two days’ time.

This somehow touched the king. “What is this? It is natural for any life to value its own life first. But this bird just sat there and died.”

When he said this, the wife said, “When someone really loves someone else, it is very natural for them to go away with the other, because life would not mean anything for them later.”

The king jokingly asked, “Is that so for you? Do you love me that much?”

She said, “Yes, it is so for me.” The king was very amused by this.

One day, the king went out hunting with his friends. This thought about the birds dying and his wife saying that it was also true for her was sort of playing in his mind. He really wanted to check it out. So he took his clothes, bloodied them and sent them back to the palace with someone who announced, “The king was mauled by a tiger and killed.” The queen received his clothes with great dignity, without a tear in her eyes. She arranged for firewood, put the clothes on top of it, and then laid herself on the firewood and died.

People just could not believe this. The queen just lay down and left. There was nothing else to do because she was dead, so they cremated her. When the news went to the king, he was broken. Just on a whim he wanted to play with her and she actually died – not committing suicide, she left just like that.

Mangalsutra: Entwining Two Lives Together

People have loved like this because somewhere, two beings got entwined. In India, there was a whole science behind how marriage was conducted. When two people were to be married, it was not just the compatibility of the families and bodies that was looked at. The energy compatibility was looked at.

Most of the time, the two people would not have even seen each other. It did not matter because the compatibility had been fixed by someone who knew this better than them. If they themselves made choices, they would make choices depending upon the shape of the nose, the eyes and this and that, which will not mean anything three days after the wedding. If your wife has wonderful eyes but she only glares at you, what is the point?

Mangalsutra means a sacred thread. Preparing a sacred thread is an elaborate science.

When marriages were fixed by someone who knew, they prepared something called a mangalsutra. Mangalsutra means a sacred thread. Preparing a sacred thread is an elaborate science. We make a few strands of raw cotton, smear it with vermilion and turmeric, and then it is energized in a certain way. Once this is tied, it is for life and beyond.

There have been situations where the same couples have remained as couples for lifetimes, consciously choosing to be like that because they employed ways to tie people together not just on the physical or emotional level. What you do on the level of the body, mind and emotion goes with death. But what you do on the level of the energy stays on. You can actually tie peoples’ nadistogether. This is why it was considered that once it is done, it is for life. There is no question of reconsidering because something far deeper than your understanding has been tied together by people who knew what to do.

What you do on the level of the body, mind and emotion goes with death. But what you do on the level of the energy stays on.

Nowadays, the same procedure is done, but by people who do not know what to do. So people are naturally refusing, “We don’t want to wear the damn thread.” Whether you wear it or not does not mean anything now, because the science behind it has been lost.

When it was done by someone who knew how to do it, then for those two people, it does not arise in their mind, “Should this person be my wife or not?” “Is this man going to be my husband forever?” It just goes on. Even with death it does not stop.

There are any number of couples in India where if one dies, the other one will follow within a few months even if they are healthy, simply because the energies were tied like this. If you are bound like that with another human being, that two beings exist as one, that is a wonderful way to exist. It is not an ultimate possibility, but it is still a beautiful way to live.

Love is not the Goal

Today, when people talk about love, they are talking only about the emotional part of it. Emotions will say one thing today and another thing tomorrow. When you first made the relationship, you thought, “This is forever,” but within three months you think, “Oh, why the hell am I with this person?” Because it is going by what you like and what you do not like. In this kind of relationship, you will only suffer because when a relationship is unstable – when it is off and on – you will go through enormous pain and suffering which is totally unnecessary.

The idea of love is not to create pain, though a lot of poetry about pain has been written. The reason why you go into love is because it is supposed to bring you blissfulness. Love is not the goal; blissfulness is the goal. People are mad about falling in love with someone, though they have been wounded and bruised any number of times, because when they thought they were in love, there was a little bit of blissfulness in them. Love is just a currency for blissfulness. Right now, that is the only way most people know how to be blissful.

But there is a way to be blissful by your own nature. If you are blissful, being loving is not a problem; you will anyway be loving. Only when you are seeking blissfulness through love, then you are very selective about whom to be loving with. But when you are blissful, whatever you see, you can be loving with that because there is no fear of entanglement. When there is no fear of entanglement, only then you will know involvement with life.


talks on Relationships



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What Is Unconditional Love?

January 1, 2018

6 min read

Summary: Sadhguru tells us that, this concept of unconditional love, is grossly misunderstood. There is nothing like conditional love, or unconditional love. He says - "There is either love or no love. Either you know love in your life or you know a mutual benefit scheme"! All relationships are transactions, and we must manage them gracefully. Sadhguru narrates a beautiful and touching story (from her grandmother) to highlight this aspect. Sadhguru says - "Do not get lost in ideas of unconditional love. Love itself is a condition."

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article originally published on isha.sadhguru.org

How To Love Unconditionally

Questioner: Namaskaram. How to give unconditional love? I always have issues with that when I am dealing with people, particularly with my wife.

Sadhguru: If it becomes unconditional, she will not be your wife. It is a condition of marriage that she should always be your wife. Within this condition, how can it be unconditional? Right now, your very life is a condition. Only if you fulfill certain conditions will life happen. When it comes to an emotion like love, there is no such thing as conditional love or unconditional love. There is either love or no love. Either you know love in your life or you know a mutual benefit scheme. “I will give you this – you will give me that. If you do not give me this, I will not give you that.” If it is a mutual benefit scheme, run it gracefully.

Benefit schemes are needed. With business partners, neighbors, husband, wife, children, father, mother, there have to be some transactions. If you think this is all one overflowing love affair, you are still living in la-la land. Your wife should bring you down to earth. Romance is fine, but when it comes to relationships, there is a transaction. If you do not want to admit that, you will suffer. If you admit it, you will learn to conduct it gracefully and well. If you say, “I gave you so much – what are you giving me,” it becomes ugly. There is a way of running it in a graceful manner, so that what you give is not noticed by anyone.

The Generous Brothers

My great-grandmother told me many stories – this is one that stuck with me. This story is not the basis of my life but definitely shaped me in some ways. There was a man and his wife. In those days, the man worked the land, grew crops, and made money. And if you had boys, you could work more land. They had two boys. These two boys grew up into strong young men. They worked hard with their father, increased their land, and became well-to-do. When the man was getting very old, he told his two sons, “I may die anytime. This is one thing you must maintain at all times. After my death, both of you should always share the produce of this land fifty-fifty. Never should there be any debate, argument, or fight about that.”

One day, a worm entered the unmarried brother’s head. He thought, “My brother has a wife and five children to take care of, and I am single…”

The old man died, and the boys took care of that. In India and many other parts of the world at that time, there was no question of dividing the land. Only the produce could be divided, not the land. Only in the last four generations, maybe after the British came, we started dividing the land. So, the two brothers always split the produce equally between themselves. One of them got married, and he had five children. The other one never got married. But still they shared fifty-fifty. One day, a worm entered the unmarried brother’s head. He thought, “My brother has a wife and five children to take care of, and I am single. Still I take fifty percent, and he takes fifty percent. This does not seem to be fair. But it was our father’s wish. And my brother is so proud that if I try to give him some more, he will not take it. So let me do something else.” He started an operation. Once the harvest was over, every night, he secretly carried a sack of grain on his back and put it in his brother’s store.

The same worm entered his brother’s head, and he thought, “I have five boys growing up. In a few years, I will have much more happening for me. My brother has no one. What will he do later on? But he takes only fifty percent; I take fifty percent. If I try to give him more, he will not take it.” He started taking one bag of grain every night and putting it in his brother’s store. A kind of reverse osmosis of grains was happening. Both of them did not realize that for a long time.

They were growing old and still continued to do this. One day, as they were walking with a sack of grain towards the other one’s store, they bumped into each other. They looked at each other and suddenly realized what had been happening all this time. They quickly averted their eyes, walked on, took the sack of grains to its destination, went back to their houses, and slept. Time passed, and they became old and died. The towns people wanted to build a temple and were looking for a nice site for it. After a long search, they decided the best place to build a temple was where these two brothers met with a sack of grains on their backs, and were embarrassed about their own generosity. If you live like this, you are a living temple. Then you do not have to worry about unconditional love, conditional love, and all this.

A Pool of Gratitude

If you do not count what you give but always remember what you get, you will naturally be a pool of gratitude. Drop this nonsense of “How much I have done!” If you do not expect anything from anyone, you will live easy. If you expect something from someone, or you ask yourself whether they love you or not, then all these problems arise. When you do not expect anything from anyone, if they do it, it is wonderful for them. If they do not, what is the problem?

Do not get lost in ideas of unconditional love. Love itself is a condition.

A relationship is a transaction; it takes a certain skill to run it well. Otherwise, it can turn ugly. You may have seen how wonderful it can be with someone on one day, and how ugly it can be with the same person on another day.

Unfortunately, most people do not want to acknowledge that a relationship is a transaction. There are certain ground rules and conditions for it. Only if you stay within these rules and conditions, will you run the relationship successfully. If you have la-la ideas like “our love is unconditional,” any day, it will break down.

Do not get lost in ideas of unconditional love. Love itself is a condition. Why should you love? If your emotions are sweet, you will look at anything you see lovingly – whether it is the sky, a lake, a man, or a woman – simply because you are loving in nature. There is no condition on it. It is your quality, not someone else’s.


Mouni Roy – Why Are Relationships Becoming Fickle Today?

September 1, 2018

3 min read

Summary: Relationships can be of many kinds; but these days the word "relationship" largely connotes a body-based relationship. Once the relationship is body-based, usually the excitement about each other's body will die after some time. Once that happens, the relationship starts to fall apart. So you must look at relationships in terms of an expression of joy, and for that to happen you must first become joyful by your own nature. Once your relationship is not need-based, and you are naturally joyful, you can hold wonderful relationships with everyone!

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article originally published on isha.sadhguru.org

Why Are Girlfriend-Boyfriend Relationships So Complex?

Mouni Roy: Why do relationships, especially between girlfriend and boyfriend or husband and wife, become so complex?

Sadhguru: Namaskaram Mouni. Everyone knows the sweetness of relationships, but there is also a lot of sourness – which you are beginning to taste. Unfortunately today, we have imbibed this idea from the West that if you utter the word “relationship”, people are generally thinking of body-based relationships. But relationships can be of many kinds.

If relationships are body-based, the excitement about each other’s body will usually die after some time. What you thought of as the ultimate is not ultimate after some time. It is natural that people begin to grow out of it when the main draw which brought them together starts to melt away. Without knowing why, they start being unpleasant to each other because, essentially, such a relationship is about extracting sweetness and happiness from another person. If you try to squeeze joy out of someone, after some time, when it does not yield the same results as it used to in the beginning, some bitterness will begin.

If relationships are body-based, the excitement about each other’s body will usually die after some time. What you thought of as the ultimate is not ultimate after some time.

Certain things may happen as you start growing older. From yesterday to today, you are a little older. So today, while you are young, you must think of all the relationships that you hold in your life – not just biological relationships – in terms of an expression of joy, not an extraction of joy.

For this to happen, you must first become joyful by your own nature. If you focus on becoming an exuberant overflow of joy, and your relationship is about sharing this joy, you do not have to worry about the normal circus that people go through in their relationships.

Managing Relationships

A relationship may not stay just in one area of life. Once people are together, they will have to share many things. Naturally, you will start stepping on each other’s toes for many small things that happen. Because of this, there will be many interactions, or you can even call them altercations, that will happen.

You cannot manage all this on a daily basis. So, the best thing is to manage yourself in such a way that you are a naturally exuberant, joyful being. If this happens, your relationships will not be need-based.

When relationships are need-based, if what you need does not come, you will start cribbing. You will start complaining and feeling bitter that you are not getting what you are supposed to get. If you just eliminate this need within you, and you are naturally overflowing with joy, then you can hold fabulous relationships with every kind of person, irrespective of who they are. They do not have to be like you. May you have the most beautiful relationships in your life.


Are Marriages made in heaven?

February 14, 2019

3 min read

Summary: Does a perfect companion exists and has God already chosen the 'right' person already for you? People may seek a mate for physical, mental or emotional reasons- but it will be wise to recognise the limitations that exists between relationships and truly understand what 'Love' is. A 'Soul', which is complete and boundless does not need a mate. Sadhguru looks at the whole idea of 'Soulmate', love and why people come together.

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article originally published on isha.sadhguru.org

Are You Desperately Looking For A Soulmate?

Sadhguru: Many people subscribe to the idea that there is a single “right” person out there for everyone. Some believe that this is determined by the stars. There is also the pervasive notion of the “soulmate” chosen by the Creator Himself. Implicit in both views is the idea that human love has its origins in the heavens rather than on terra firma.
What people forget is that the soul cannot mate with anything or anyone. Nor does the soul need a mate. When we speak of the soul, we are speaking of the absolute and boundless. Only that which is limited needs a mate. Why would the boundless ever seek a partner?

The advantage of being realistic is that when you are confronted by limitations tomorrow, you will find a mature way to deal with them.

Why do people seek a mate? It could be for physical reasons; we call that sexuality, and it can be quite beautiful. It could be for mental reasons; we call that companionship, and it can be beautiful, too. It could be for emotional reasons; we call that love, and that has been legendarily extolled as the sweetest experience. Certainly, physical compatibility, companionship and love can make life wonderful, but if you are honest with yourself, you cannot deny the anxiety that follows such an arrangement.

It is wise to be honest about the limitations and conditions within which a relationship operates. The advantage of being realistic is that when you are confronted by limitations tomorrow, you will find a mature way to deal with them. But, most people create limitations. They employ terms like “soulmate”, or proclaim that their relationship is “made in heaven”. With this level of self-deception, disillusionment is inevitable.

Marriages are not Made in Heaven

Is there something wrong with marriage? Not at all! Marriage can be a very pleasant experience as long as you know it is not the ultimate. If you have too many romantic delusions, even if you are married to the most wonderful person, it will definitely crash because you cannot delude yourself forever. If you want to live sensibly and joyfully, it is important to remember, marriage is a human arrangement, not a celestial one.

Love is not about what you do. Love is the way you are.

It is true that certain karmic connections may draw people towards each other. This does not mean, however, that these will be ideal relationships. The success of these relationships will depend on the maturity and sensitivity with which we approach them.

I am not being cynical about love – far from it. Love is one of the most beautiful qualities a human being is capable of. Many cultures have suppressed love; others have tried to export it to heaven. But love is of this planet, and it is deeply human. Why deny that?

Love does not need an object. Love is simply a quality. If the person you love is not in your physical presence, you are still capable of loving them. If the people you love cease to exist, you still continue to love them. This means you are using people around you as mere stimuli to find expression for this innate quality. If you bring sufficient awareness to your discriminatory intellect, love is the only way you can be. Love is not about what you do. Love is the way you are.

Love is simply life longing for itself. This longing is essentially to become all-inclusive – boundless. It is only when love becomes all-inclusive that you touch the boundless. And that is when you realise a simple truth: the soul does not need a mate. It never has.


How To Deal When Someone Lets You Down?

August 17, 2017

3 min read

Summary: It is important to understand that whatever relationships you have formed in life, are to fulfill your needs - physical, psychological, emotional, financial or social. If you keep this in mind, you will always approach the relationship with a certain humility. Relationships don't go on by themselves, they need to be continuously managed. You must be sweet by your own nature. If you constantly need support of the other person, after some time, they will get tired and run away, and you will feel as if they have let you down.

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article originally published on isha.sadhguru.org

What to do When Someone Lets You Down?

Q: How do we deal with it when a person who we thought would never let us down does let us down?

Sadhguru: The problem is wrong assumptions. You are making assumptions about others, about yourself, and about creation. You got a little too romantic and thought the relationship happens by itself. Relationships need to be managed. The question is, are you a good manager or not? Still, however good a manager you are, things can happen. About someone letting you down…You may have unrealistic expectations about people. I know the question is coming from a certain experience, and I am not trying to belittle the pain. I know what it means to you as an individual. But at the same time, you need to understand that you came alone into this world, and you will go alone. You entered the relationship because you needed it.

No matter how much drama you create around it and what assumptions you make about the relationship, it is about trying to fulfill your needs. Whatever relationships you have formed in your life, you have done so to fulfill your needs, be they physical, psychological, emotional, financial, social, or whatever else. If you keep that in mind, you will approach your relationships with a certain humility. If you get carried away by your own thoughts and emotions, you forget about the fundamentals of the relationship, and you forget to manage it well. That is when things can go wrong.

Becoming Sweet by Your Own Nature

If you are disillusioned with something or someone, it means you come to reality. This may sound cruel, but this is how life is. All people that we hold dear will go, or we will go. Even if you hold hands and die together, you will still go separately. These are your emotions. When you form a relationship with someone, it is an agreement between the two of you to help each other experience some sweetness of emotion.

As you mature, you need to learn to keep your thoughts and emotions sweet by your own nature. If your thoughts and emotions are pleasant, you can share them with other people. But if, without the other person, your thoughts and emotions get bitter and unpleasant, if someone has to offer life support every day, they will get tired. If others constantly have to keep you happy and loving, it is a burden on them, and they may run away at some point. When they escape, you think it is betrayal. Again, these are all your emotions. In the larger context of existence, you are just a piece of life.

The Value of Relationships

You are making deals and relationships with people for various purposes. This not only applies to the relationship between husband and wife, but also relationships with business partners, friends, children, parents, and so on. Always remember you have entered the relationship to fulfill your needs. They may have entered the relationship for their needs, but that is not your business. Your business is to understand that they are valuable to your life.

They are adding value to who you are. When you are aware of that, you will manage the relationship in one way. If you think you are of great value to someone, you will manage the relationship in another way, which may not allow it to last long. Or you may be doing all the right things and still it may go wrong. Whichever way it is, it is your business to make yourself into a pleasant and wonderful piece of life. With or without someone, please make it happen.


I’m In a Toxic Environment – What To Do?

June 2, 2017

5 min read

Summary: Many relationships have become ugly, and one ends up living in a toxic environment, feeling helpless. Sadhguru says - "A lot of nastiness is happening. If we rise above that, we will become successful human beings". To illustrate this, Sadhguru narrates an interesting story of a smart ass, who shook off the dirt thrown at him, to get himself out of a deep well. Sadhguru says - "What other people did to you is not the question. “What have you done to yourself?” is the big question. You must do the best. Be a smart ass". This is a must read article for everyone in such situations.

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article originally published on isha.sadhguru.org

When Your Parents Quarrel, What Do You Do?

Student: Some of us are caught in between the fights our parents are having, and unfortunately we have to choose between them. It is a very confusing situation. How can it be handled?

Sadhguru: Human relationships, as beautiful as they can be, can be the ugliest part of your life if you do not conduct them right. It is not always because we did something wrong. Most of the time, there is no substance, but it gathers so much significance that people fall apart and ugly things happen.

None of these people are fighting for a kingdom. They are fighting for little things. Unfortunately, these fights for little things can get so ugly and can make everyone’s life around ugly.

They came together with enormous love, affection and longing but it has turned out like this. If you witness such things so early in your life, instead of getting tangled up in it, you must understand and make up your mind that this is not how you are going to conduct your life.

The Porcupine Predicament

This is not just about husband and wife. In any relationship, if the other person does something – even unknowingly – you become like a porcupine. I use the word “porcupine” because I have had a close encounter with a porcupine.

A lot of nastiness is happening. If we rise above that, we will become successful human beings.

I was in a narrow cave exploring the place and I got trapped with both my hands stuck. There was a porcupine in the cave that got wild with me and turned around and started charging me. I wasn’t able to crawl back because my hands were stuck. They raise a lot of dust when they charge, so I wanted to close my eyes because he was throwing dust in my face, but I wanted to keep my eyes open because I wanted to see where the quills are coming! Fortunately, it turned out to be only a mock charge.

The porcupine is an appropriate example for these quarrels at home. Initially, they blister their thorns and they try to mock charge. Somewhere, after a few mock charges, it loses control and then it turns into real poking.

When other people say ugly things to you or make nasty accusations about you and sometimes do nasty things to you, to look beyond that and walk gracefully in your life takes a certain sense within yourself. You should bring this sense rather than getting into the turmoil of whatever nastiness is happening in the country, the community or the family. A lot of nastiness is happening. If we rise above that, we will become successful human beings.

Somebody says something nasty because something nasty is happening within him. You cannot spit out something nasty unless something nasty is happening within you. If somebody spits out something nasty, they need your love, compassion or distance. Initially, you try love. If it does not work, compassion. If it does not work, distance. But do not get into the spiral of that nastiness because there is no end to it. It will suck you in. I have seen so many brilliant people with wonderful capabilities getting into the spiral of nasty relationships and going down the chute.

When you are still young, what is happening with your parents may be a big issue. But every generation had parents. After some time, you will see that what they do and what they do not do does not affect your life. You will grow beyond that. Right now, if your parents are offering you the opportunity that you grow beyond this very quickly, please make use of this opportunity! It does not matter what comes towards you, you must make it a stepping stone to stand on.

A Smart Ass

You know, there was a smartass. It so happened, Shankaran Pillai had an old donkey. It had become very old, so he was trying to sell it, but nobody wants to buy an old donkey. Then, one day in the morning, the donkey was braying piteously because it had fallen into an open well which was dry. The terrified donkey kept making ugly noises, wanting to come out. Shankaran Pillai’s friends and neighboring farmers came and looked at this. They said, “This is a useless, old donkey. What is the point? Anyway we told you a long time ago that you must close this dry well. Let’s close it with the donkey inside.”

What other people did to you is not the question. “What have you done to yourself?” is the big question. You must do the best. Be a smart ass.

So they started putting basketfuls of mud into the well. As every basketful fell on the donkey, the donkey shook off the mud and stood on top of it. Like this, as they threw mud, it started coming up. They were surprised, “Wow! This is a really smart ass!” As they threw more and more mud, he just came up, up, up – and he walked out. Shankaran Pillai really loved this intelligent donkey now. He tried to go and hug the donkey, but the donkey turned around, kicked him in the face, and trotted away. You be the donkey, okay.

It does not matter what life throws at you, you shake it off and stand on that. Every experience in our life should make us better, richer. We do not look for sweet experiences. Whatever comes our way, we make it a basis for our growth, maturity and wellbeing. You can never decide what the world will throw at you, but what you make out of it is one hundred percent yours, always. You must make the best out of everything that comes towards you.

If a lot of ugly incidents happen in your life when you are young, you must become wiser than everyone else. But most people choose to become wounded. You cannot carry your wounds anywhere. When you die, you leave the body, so you cannot carry it like a badge. Most people are carrying their wounds like a badge – “You know what happened to me?” Whatever the hell happened to you, what have you done with yourself? This is the only question. What other people did to you is not the question. “What have you done to yourself?” is the big question. You must do the best. Be a smart ass.


How To Deal With My Mother-in-Law

April 13, 2017

3 min read

Summary: Sadhguru says, the identity of a mother or a wife came later, first they were a woman. Sadhguru says - "There is an instinctive rejection or resistance to the new woman coming into the house because you are now required to share someone who belonged to you in an unequal proportion – not even in equal proportions". Though, there is some biological basis to this protective behavior, if one is mature and aware, they can grow out of it.

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article originally published on isha.sadhguru.org

Mother-in-Law Demystified

Q: There is a common saying in Tamil: “There is no man who has the right cattle for his farm. There is no man who has the right wife for his mother.” What is your perspective on this?

Sadhguru: This is a fundamental problem in most human beings. They are always looking for the best person or the best thing to do in their life. There is no best person, nor is there a best thing to do on this planet. Whatever you do, if you put your heart into it and really throw yourself, it becomes a great thing to do. Whoever is next to you right now, if you give yourself totally, if you show total involvement, you will see, just anyone is fine. This moment, whoever is next to you, if you show absolute involvement, it is great to be with them. If you think, “Is this the best person?” no one in the world is the best person. Even if you get married to God, not just your mother, you yourself will complain.

A Mother and a Woman

About satisfying the mother – when you say a mother, essentially she is a woman. Then she became a mother. When you say a wife, essentially she is a woman, then she became a wife. It is a secondary role. Her basic identity is that of being a woman. The next identity is maybe a wife and the next is a mother. It comes in that order.

Unfortunately, the same stupid relationship problems have been going on for centuries, endlessly.

Once it happened in America, a young man from a family in the Mid-west was going to get married to a girl. He told his mother and wanted to bring the girl home. It is a question of the mother’s blessing and also a little bit about her approval so that altercations do not happen in the house. At the same time, he was very fond of his mother, and he wanted to make it a little challenging and humorous for her.

So, he brought three other office colleagues of his, who were all young women, along with his girlfriend. They all came for dinner, and his idea was that the mother should find out who the intended girl was. He behaved just the same with all of them so that she would not make out. After they all left, he asked, “Mama, do you know which is my girl?” She said, “I know. The one who was wearing the red vest.” He asked, “How did you know? I did not even look at her. I was always glancing at the others just so you do not know.” She said, “The moment she walked in, I didn’t like her. So it must be her.”

There is an instinctive rejection or resistance to the new woman coming into the house because you are now required to share someone who belonged to you in an unequal proportion – not even in equal proportions. A mother wants her son to get married and be happy. But on another level, a mother is still a woman. You have to seek permission to share something that belonged to you. That makes things a little difficult. Unfortunately, the same stupid relationship problems have been going on for centuries, endlessly. It could be changed, but people have not decided to change it.

It is somewhat biological because it is all a process of procreation and protection. If a woman is not possessive about what belongs to her, she would not have taken care of her children. She would have just delivered them and walked away. It is biological, and that extends itself throughout life in some way or the other. However, if one is mature and aware, one can grow out of it.


Why Do We Form Families?

December 2, 2018

4 min read

Summary: Why do some families turn out beautiful and other ugly? Sadhguru tells us that family is not about duty, it is not about dependence - rather it is a kind of partnership where both partners are constantly concerned about the other persons wellbeing. Above all it is essential for the nurturing, training and molding of a child.

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article originally published on isha.sadhguru.org

Family Matters

Sadhguru: Once, at a family dinner, Shankaran Pillai announced that he was going to get married. Everyone asked, “What! Whom are you going to marry?”
Shankaran Pillai said, “I am going to marry Lucy from our neighborhood.”

The father said, “What? You’re going to marry that lousy Lucy? We don’t even know her parentage.”

His mother said, “What? You’re going to marry that lousy Lucy? She has no inheritance.”

The uncle said, “What? You’re going to marry that lousy Lucy? She has such lousy hair.”

The aunt chipped in and said, “What? You’re going to marry that lousy Lucy? She wears such terrible make-up.”

The little nephew also did his bit and said “What? You’re going to marry that lousy Lucy? She doesn’t know anything about cricket.”

Shankaran Pillai stood his ground and said, “Yes, I am going to marry Lucy because there is one big advantage.”

“What is it?” they all asked.

“She has no family.”

Why Do We Form Families?

When a child is born, it is not made to the extent that other creatures are made. It needs nurturing, training and molding. So the need for family arose. Family is a very supportive base for a human being to grow. But for many people, family does not become a support, it becomes a hurdle. It does not become an uplifting process, it becomes a way of entanglement, not because family is a problem, but because of the way you hold it.

Family is beautiful only when it operates in a certain way, otherwise it can become the most terrible thing.

Family is an example of how anything that is created for your wellbeing can be turned into a disadvantage. You see this happening in many different ways. For example, affluence should have been wellbeing, but most people use it like poison. Education should have been wellbeing, but educated people are the ones who are destroying the planet right now. What was given to us for wellbeing could have been the greatest blessings, but instead they are threatening the very existence of the human race.

Similarly, family, which should have been a support and a means for one’s growth, has become a process of entanglement and burden for many. Family is beautiful only when it operates in a certain way, otherwise it can become the most terrible thing.

Family is Not About Duty

A family does not mean dependence, it is a certain partnership that you formed. Partnerships are relevant only when both the people are willing and they are going in a certain direction together. If both the partners are constantly concerned about each other’s wellbeing, partnership is meaningful. If it is all about you, either in terms of family or in terms of profession or in terms of spirituality – whichever way – partnership is irrelevant for such a person. If you stay together you will create a big mess for both the people.

You do not stay in a family because of duty. You stay in a family because there is a bond of love that you have formed.

You do not stay in a family because of duty. You stay in a family because there is a bond of love that you have formed. If there is a bond of love no one needs to tell you what to do and what not to do. You will do what is needed.

Aspiring for More

But just because you formed a bond of love with someone or a group of people does not mean you should not aspire for something more in your life. The best thing that you can do to people around you is, you make yourself in the greatest possible way a human being can be. You must pursue that. The more you evolve, the more you contribute to people around. If people do not understand this, if they think that the only way they can have you is for you to be stuck on the same level as them – with the same limitations and the same problems and you should not seek freedom beyond that – then that is not a family, that is a mafia. If you are running a mafia of how to extract something from each other, that is not a family. How to give the best to each other, that is a family.


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