From darkness to light
Today is Guru Purnima. It is the day when the disciple pays homage to his Guru. Since my Guru is none other than you, I would like to express my gratitude to you on this auspicious occasion.
First and foremost I am grateful for giving me life itself. All my life is based on the fact that I am alive. I have no idea how I ended up in this body. And what is giving life to this body. But had I not been alive, there would be nothing to write about.
I am grateful for my parents. They may not have been the best parents if seen from principles of good parenting, but they were the perfect parents for the lessons I needed to learn in this lifetime. They set the stage for issues I needed to work through — abandonment, rejection, worthlessness.
I am grateful for my grandparents who brought me up. They did the best they could. They gave me the best education according to their capacity. They took care of me as their child. In the absence of my parents they became my parents.
I am grateful for my education. It was a conventional education, focused on conformity, competition and academic achievement. It was just what I needed to eventually realize that the path to happiness lies in freedom, creativity and individual expression.
I am grateful for choosing a career which was totally divorced from my natural self. Chartered Accountancy not only made me realise that I am not made for numbers, but also that choices made for monetary gain and social recognition do not always add up in the end.
I am grateful to you, for sowing the seed of spiritual quest. This took me on a journey of Gurus, ashrams, practices and books. It made me a seeker. Each spiritual experience made me thirsty for Self Knowledge.
I am grateful for hurt and betrayal. They made me rebel against my fake goodness. And helped me get in touch with emotions that I had long suppressed. They threw me into the unknown with no one to rely upon. Even though I was terribly angry with you at that time, in retrospect I can see how those experiences were the perfect bitter medicine I needed.
I am grateful for my addictions. They have been the most extraordinary teachers. They taught me that suffering always accompanies instant gratification. Being seduced by impulses is not the same as honouring feelings. They are vastly different.
I am grateful for all the counsellors, coaches and mentors who helped me to get in touch with my feelings. Who heard my story patiently when it needed to be heard. If it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t have crossed the milestone of being true to my feelings. And also realizing its limitation.
I am grateful for my corporate experience. It made me realize that my passion for human development couldn’t be expressed through training programs or organisation development interventions designed to meet corporate goals.
I am grateful for my stint as an independent consultant. I learnt what it means to be an entrepreneur. What it means to sell your services and face rejection. It also brought me close to people with wealth and power, only to realise that they are as human as any of us.
I am grateful for strangers, who made me a part of their family. Who cared for me when I needed it. Without expectations. A miracle of human kindness.
I am grateful for love. Yes, for that one time I experienced love. What it means to feel a sense of childlike oneness with another human being. To share a life. And yet it made me realize human love can never be perfect. But even in that imperfection it was beautiful!
I am grateful for depression. For the fear that my life is over. That I had nothing to look forward to or live for. The darkest phase in my life taught me no phase in life remains forever. After winter comes spring. One just needs to be patient.
I am grateful for The Yoga Institute. For being the spring that came after winter. It became my home, community and karma bhoomi for five years. It is where I midwifed my own rebirth. It gave me the most precious gift, my calling as a spiritual teacher.
So here I am, amazed at how well you planned everything. It all makes perfect sense now. Every experience got me closer to you.
My final gratitude is for the ultimate realisation that you and I are not two, but One. The One Life that expresses itself through many forms.
I am the Disciple. I am the Guru.
I am Life.