Love and Relationships
By Swami Rama
There are two laws, the law of contraction and the law of expansion. Hate others, you are going through the law of contraction. Love all, you are going through the law of expansion. Learn to love, that is the law of expansion. What does love mean? It means to give, without any expectation, to your own people. This is a school where you learn to give unconditionally. Then you will learn that nothing is difficult for you, nothing is difficult.
First thing you should learn is to just give. Instead of arguing with your wife, just give her what she wants. Just give your children what they want. Slowly, you will discover that they have started loving you so much and they have become so very considerate. They will never exploit your generosity. Learning to give is one of the greatest of arts. Give selflessly, to those at home, to those with whom you live. Start doing it there. Love will completely transform you, for love alone has that power, even death does not have the power to transform you.
So if you love, then there is only love, there is no space for you. At present you have likes and dislikes; but with love, there is a sense of equality, you love all, you can never hate anyone. There is that underlying understanding that I will love all and exclude none. You are free. It is a joy that leads to bliss. There is so much expansion of your mind that anything that is hidden, that is unconscious, comes forward as a part of the conscious mind. Why should you be unhappy? You know who is unhappy? One who is selfish. Who is happy? One who is selfless. It’s that simple. I am not telling you to go crazy, giving away all your wealth to strangers, becoming uselessly charitable, no! I am telling you to do experiments at home, with those who live with you. Transforming your personality is the simple way to attainment. Let us not make it difficult.
Your home is a miniature universe. Have you seen the family of Shiva? You Hindus should understand this symbolism. Shiva has got a deadly cobra around his neck. His son Ganesha rides on a mouse. Is it possible for a snake and a mouse to live together? Parvati has a tiger and Shiva has a bull. A snake lives with a mouse and a bull lives with a tiger. Man lives with a woman, a woman lives with a man. It’s a symbol of unity in diversity. O man, learn to adjust your life in such a way that there is no conflict at all. You can do that. Things impossible can be made possible, provided you learn to understand life. So Shiva’s family tells you that there are disagreements, disparities in life; yet our goal is to be aware of, to establish the unity beneath all these diversities. We can do this with prayer, by praying to the Lord within you. Or you can do it with meditation.
There are always conflicts, confusion, with relationships in the world. A wife and husband, traditionally married and living together with all the amenities of life, claim to love each other, yet remain frustrated. Why? Because they do not understand themselves. How is it possible for them to realize life and to understand the goal of life through marriage? Girls and boys think that marriage is the solution to the problems of life. And they get very excited. The girl thinks that one day the prince of my dreams will come forward, I will get married and live happily ever after. The boy also thinks that the day I find my ideal partner, I’ll be very happy. But, nothing happens, because a basic philosophy, basic understanding, basic knowledge, is missing. This is especially so with those from Eastern traditions. They bank more on the sayings of their books and they talk about their ancestors. “Our scriptures are great, our rishis, our sages, were great, our forefathers were great.” But how about you, sir? We have to understand this.
We used to live in the mountains of India, the Himalayas, that you have all heard of and many of you have visited. One day, a prince from a nearby state, who was educated in Oxford, came to visit my Master with all his guards and secretaries. That morning I was standing outside the cave monastery where I was brought up. The prince came forward and said, “Come here, O brahmachari (apprentice). Come here.” I said, “What’s the matter? Who are you?” He said, “I want to see your Master.” I said, “You cannot see him. Don’t order me around and get out of this place.” So his secretary came forward and said, “Do you know he is a prince?” I said, “I don’t care. I am the prince of the Himalayas.” The secretary now became very humble, as did the prince,“Sir, can I please see your Master?” I said, “Ok.” My Master was sitting inside. The prince, affecting the mannerisms of polite society, said, “Good morning to you, sir. You seem to be lonesome.” My Master replied, “Yes, because you have come.”
Don’t forget who makes you lonesome, remember this point. Those who claim to love you make you lonesome. A foreigner, a stranger, does not make you lonesome. Who makes you lonesome? Those who are closest to you. Because you expect too much from others, and others do not have the capacity. Many young boys and girls think that marriage is the solution for life. It is not. It is like a fortress, those who are in it cannot come out and those who are outside want to get in, all with great suspense. One is a helpless state, another is state of suspension. In my opinion, we should all learn to understand something in our childhood and start training and teaching our children so that they understand something about life, learning to examine one’s own self, then learning to relate with others. We remain strangers to ourselves and yet we try to communicate in the external world with others and that is not helpful. It is creating sickness. I have been doing experiments, I have been analyzing things, I’ve been watching, observing things very subtly. What do we do in the name of love? In the name of love we use others, we lean on others, we, instead of helping, hurt others, we injure others, we become dependent. Dependency is a sort of disease.
When you get married, have four understandings with your partner. We will not fight in the mornings, we will not fight before going to bed, we will not fight while eating food, but the rest of the time if we want to fight, we can fight. It’s very injurious if you do not have such an understanding in life, such a simple agreement. If two people fight, I can stop their fight just like this. You know what I tell the wives? I don’t call them housewives, that’s a bad word. No woman is married to a house, so no one should be called a housewife. I tell them, please, when you are angry, the other person should understand that you are angry, and he should not lose his patience during that time. He should just remain quiet. Simple advice. When do you get angry? Not when you are balanced. You get angry when you are emotional, irrational. But what happens? Suppose you are angry, and then your wife also gets angry, and the children start crying, and even the neighbors also get involved, what will happen? This thought pollution that you are creating will go on expanding, spreading to the whole universe.
So learn to understand that the individual family is something great, meant to radiate love to the neighbors, to the whole universe. And for that you need understanding. When your partner is upset, it is best to keep quiet. After sometime your partner says, “I’m sorry.” But if you go on fighting that is not therapeutic, that’s not healthy. I’m not saying that you should both sit in silence and not do anything. I’m saying two wheels of a chariot will lead the chariot in the same direction. And that is very good. Please fight but not all the time.
Don’t fight with a woman, for you will never win. You will be sorry if you fight with her. Once, Nancy Reagan, the wife of President Reagan began to cry after a fight they had. President Reagan, the President of the United States, who had the power to press a button that could destroy the whole world, begged his wife, “Please Nancy, please don’t cry. I, with all my powers, am at your disposal.” But Nancy wouldn’t stop. He used all his powers but he failed. Finally he started crying and Nancy said, “Don’t cry, my boy. Now, you know who the boss is.”
Learn to understand everything about yourself. It doesn’t take much time. You don’t need a swami, a yogi, a scripture or anything. Just be thoughtful. Sit down for few minutes. I have seen a husband saying sorry to his wife 100 times, because she was very calm. Whenever he got angry she remained calm. So after a few minutes he would say, “Honey, I’m sorry.” But if a husband says sorry 100 times a day, he’s a rat. He’s no real husband. I find this type of imbalance everywhere. But if both are calm, understand each other and have this understanding, “Well honey, when you are upset, I will not say anything and when I am upset, please don’t say anything. Let us have this clear contract.” Then there will be no problem. But you don’t want to sort out your problems. The great institution called the institution of marriage has become an institution of misery. I know, because I am a counselor. I have counseled 45,000 couples, and none of them were happy. And those who are happy, I adore them. Two wheels of the same chariot can go travel the road very pleasantly. It’s difficult for a single wheel to do this. So in the world, two people can do wonders, provided they adjust, provided they understand each other.
Attachment is misery, nonattachment means love. First understand that. I am attached to this chair. Is it good? Because it is not mine, I don’t have a right to be attached. I can use it. Husband is yours, love him instead of being attached to him, because a day will come when you two will be separated. It’s nature. It will happen with everybody. Therefore, follow the path of love which is called non-attachment. Attachment brings misery, nonattachment means love that gives freedom. A little bit of understanding is needed.
Mothers, you are the builders. You are the first architects of this world. This architecture has come from your minds. Don’t forget that you are superior to men. You carry a child for eight to nine months. The power that you have, man does not have. If you put a small pebble on his tummy and tell him to walk for two-three days, he cannot do it. You are definitely superior. But don’t be proud, don’t get carried away with women’s liberation. Don’t forget that you are a great mother. When a woman became pregnant, she wanted shelter. She told her husband, “I need a shelter for my child. So far we have been irresponsible. I will have a tender child, how can I look after my child? I need some shade, I need a home.” And he started building a home and gradually that thought became a school called the school of architecture.
Mothers, you are the real architects. This is your responsibility. Man is tired and worn out. You should wake up, get up and build our society. That which man cannot do, you should learn to do, because you can do it. A child’s education is totally in your hands. The seeds which are sown in childhood are the real foundation for education. You have a great responsibility. You are definitely superior and higher than man. Don’t have this complex that I am inferior because I am a woman. You have great powers. When we learn to understand this, we will realize that a great part, a vital part of our society is being misused. Women are being misused, exploited for marketing, for publicity, with posters and all kinds of vulgarity. We should be aware of the wealth we have.
In childhood, the mind remains tender. A tender bamboo can be bent easily but not a mature one. A child’s mind is very receptive. All the seeds sown in childhood grow very nicely. You and I, if we now appear in a high school examination, will both fail. Childhood is something great. A child needs guidance. Actually, there is chaos all over the world in our educational systems. If we impart good education to our children, become selfless examples for them and give them love, perhaps they will grow, become the best citizens of the world and the whole universe will bloom like a flower. Education is very important. An old man is exactly like a child, but full of follies. Childhood is pure without any follies. So when a child grows, he grows with the education that has been imparted by his environment, education imparted at home which you call culture, education imparted by the college and the university. Parents should make some sacrifices for their child and work with the child. But what do parents do? Instead of giving education to the child, they give them their problems. “Do this, do that. If you don’t do it, I’ll spank you.” The child is confused. The child grows but grows with many conflicts. I don’t think we should impart such conflicts to our children, create conflicts in their minds. We should not do that. The parents should learn to meditate and children will always imitate their parents. From childhood they will form such habits which will create their personality and that’s what they become. So, from the age of three, children should learn how to sit in meditation.
An individual creates a whirlpool for himself. An individual is helpless. He has to perform his duties and when he performs his duties he has to reap the fruits. We all have to perform our duties, that is our intrinsic nature. I am not hindering the running of the world and the perfomance of actions. I’m just saying that we, as members of our society, should become responsible. We should learn to give away the fruits of our actions and continue to do our duties with this understanding. Anything that you assume in your life is your duty. You are born in a particular family, in a particular society, in a particular country. You have to do your duties according to your family, according to your society, according to your country and finally to all of humanity. This is what the Gita teaches. Then, society will bloom, the flower of society will bloom in a better way. There are two worlds, the world created by Providence like the sun, moon, stars, earth, and water, and the world created by us, by human beings. I am talking about the world created by human beings and not the world created by Providence. Let us manage the world created by us, let us not worry about the world created by Providence.
In this cosmic cycle of evolution, a time comes when you become a human being. Time is rotating constantly. There are other kingdoms that we have gone through, perhaps; no one knows, I don’t know. When you have become a human being, you have a power, you are responsible for your own actions. What you do as a human being depends upon you. A human being has got three aspects: the animal aspect in the human being, the man in the human being, and the divine in the human being. All three combined is called a human being. The question is what degree of divinity is in you, what degree of the animal aspect, and what degree of humanness? You will have to analyze that. I am not searching for God. Really I am not because my God is in front of me—all of you. These beautiful faces belong to my God. Anything that dwells in you is my God. I am not searching for God. I am searching for someone, but I have not met him as yet. I am searching for a perfect human being. And wherever I go, I look for him, but I don’t find him. So I am sad. I have visited 156 countries in the world. I have not yet met that man for whom I am searching. Let’s all make the effort to become good human beings, to be good citizens, to love all and exclude none. That is the way to the divine.
I have seen something amazing. When I go to see many swamis, they always ask me, “Do you go into the world and see people, how are they?” They think about you, and you people think about them. So remain wherever you are, enlightenment has nothing to do with renunciation or action. You should learn to build your concept of life and it’s not very difficult, it is your birthright. No matter what cultural background you have, which religion you belong to, if you have not built your personal philosophy, it’s not going to help you. Every now and then, great men come and give a push to humanity as a whole, to help them attain the next step of civilization. What do they do? Can you create a flower, a leaf, a blade of grass? No. The flowers are the same, but these great men change the basket, according to their times.
A good yogi who has received a glimpse of this knowledge starts working with himself. Not by running away from the world, not by abandoning his duties, not by renouncing but living in the world yet remaining above. You know what is your symbol? Your symbol is beautiful, it’s called a lotus. A lotus grows in the water and mud, yet remains above. I don’t have that symbol. I am a swami, that is not my symbol. You are definitely superior to me. A householder’s duty is not at all inferior, provided you remember the symbolism of the lotus.
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of Swami Rama of the Himalayas