Break your shackles and be Free

Your relationship with others can be of two natures:
The bond of attachment: The family members who you consider to have a right over; those from whom you expect to receive joy, comfort, respect, service and things; –with them you have the bond of ‘attachment’ (Moha). When they fulfil your expectations, you feel happy; and when they don’t, you feel sad. This type of relationship only ensnares you in the fetters of happiness and sorrow. You will willingly enjoy its pleasure, but you will be compelled to experience the resultant sorrow. It is an inviolable law that the enjoyer of pleasure must suffer sorrow helplessly.
The bond of love: Family members who you consider have a right over you; for whom you wish to provide maximum joy, comfort, respect, service and happiness while not expecting anything in return; –with them you have the bond of love. When you are able to fulfil their expectations and see them happy, you feel joy. Whereas, when you aren’t able to meet their expectations and see them unhappy, you feel compassion. 

The Difference between the two relationships:
In attachment, the focus is on your own pleasure and happiness; while in love, it’s on the welfare and happiness of others. With attachment, you experience that you are happy when your desires are satisfied and you are unhappy when they are not. In love, you don’t have any personal desire in your heart other than the feeling of welfare of the people you love. If your family members seem to act in concordance with your feelings, their joy brings satisfaction to you. If they seem to act against it; then guessing their impending sorrow, you feel compassion for them. Attachment will ensnare you in pleasures and pains. In love, the pleasure is replaced by joy and the pain is replaced by compassion. Pleasure and pain cause bondage; whereas joy and compassion for others is a great Sadhana. The bond of attachment is forged with a small number of people, while the bond of love is with the whole universe and the Lord of the Universe.

If you have pleasure and pain in your heart, be sure you are a pleasure seeker (an epicurean); but if you have satisfaction and compassion in your heart, you have a saintly heart. Lord Rama describes the virtues of saints thus:

“They grieve to see others in distress, and rejoice at the sight of other’s joy.”
                                                (Sri Rama Charita Manasa Uttara Kanda 37.1)

Is the entire world your family?

The entire world isn’t your family on the grounds of the bond of attachment.  This is because you don’t feel pleasure and pain in the favourable and unfavourable conditions of beings of the world. Thousands take birth and die every day, millions are sick, transactions of billions of rupees take place, billions worth of profits and losses are experienced every day, thousands of accidents occur. But you feel neither pleasure nor pain on account of these things. Thus, from this standpoint, the world is certainly not your family. However, you can consider the entire world as your family on the basis of the bond of love. To think like this is your greatness and Sadhana.


Where and who are you bonded to?

What is it that you wish for and what is it that you wish to avoid? You want happiness and you want to avoid sorrows; because your real nature is bliss. You wish for joy, peace and repose; and not trouble, tension or unrest. You wish to be worriless, fearless and powerful; not worried, afraid or weak. You wish for a blissful life; not for a hopeless and sad one. When and what causes sorrow, worries, fear, disappointment, mental stress and unrest in your life? The body, those relatives (whom you consider your family) and the wealth to which you are bonded due to attachment cause worries and sorrows. You are bound with only the things and persons who make you unhappy when they are in adverse conditions.

If you want relief from worries and sorrows forever, give importance to the bond of love, abandoning the bond of attachment. Take recourse to the Satsang of Brahmajnani great men, and arouse divine love in your heart beholding the Lord of all, the Supreme Lord in all. At the same time, devote some time to becoming Asanga (non-attached) in order to realize your essential non-attached and free nature, and be free. Then you will be free from the dependence on others even for attaining the joy of satisfaction and compassion.