Friday, June 27, 2008

Parivrajaka - What is it??!!

In the previous few posts we mentioned about Parivrajaka. This post is to further elaborate on it based on inputs from Swamiji during the Varanasi yatra. Our very first halt at Puri, during the opening discourse, Swamiji spoke about our deep rooted identity and how our reluctance and inability to let go of it causes problems. When we are staying in the same house, with the same people, interacting with the same colleagues, friends about the same topics, reading the same kind of news daily, gradually our identity solidifies.

We start to identify ourselves with the objects/people/situations around rather than our real core and drift away from our REAL identity. Sometimes, through meditations or by the grace of the Master, we start to transform. But then again, our surroundings pull us back. Society constantly reminds us - you are son of so-and-so, you are employed at so-and-so, you are a friend of so-and-so... and because of this our identity based on our possessions is constantly reinforced in us.

This reminds me of a beautiful video discourse by Swamiji (attached to the post in the end) where He gives us deeper truths about "I" and "mine". Personally for me, it has been one of the most powerful discourses that shook me. He says that we all think we came first and then gradually started acquiring our possessions. In other words, we think that the "I" came before the "mine". But shockingly, it's the other way around! We start to build our very identity on our possessions! Till the age of 7, we associate ourselves with our physical possessions - mother, toys. After that, the mental layer starts to get choked with our other kinds of possessions. This includes our desires, fears, worries etc and our identity is built on top of all this.

What does this mean? If we take away our possessions, we feel we are nobody. How true! A true parivrajaka journey means breaking away from our solid possessions (not just physically, but mentally as well) and becoming more fluid. When we keep moving from one place to another, meeting new people, there is freshness every moment. The unexpected is always in store, which means the courage/spontaneity to face up to anything starts to flow inside.

During Swamiji's Parivrajaka, He used to take whichever train came first to the platform, not knowing where He was headed. He never touched money throughout His wandering, so you can imagine the inner strength!

Another important message Swamiji says a Parivrajaka conveys: It makes us feel the loving hand of existence if we are open to it. Swamiji recalls that wherever He used to be, He would invariably be given food and shelter. He never thought about it, nor carried the necessary money, but Existence used to make sure He was well taken care of. He says, not one day did He starve. Amazing isn't it?

We are so used to planning that we cannot accept this logically. We not only plan, but have back-up plans, insurances and what not. When the deep trust with existence happens, we suddenly relax. Also, when we relax, the trust is further strengthened.

Most importantly, a parivrajaka helps to relax from our solid identity. When we are constantly on the move, before we start to get settled and comfortable in one place; before we start to identify ourselves with that place and people, we have moved to another. So, there is no scope for that societal identity to solidify. With awareness, we learn to use that identity only when we absolutely need it. The rest of the times, we just relax from our societal identity and enjoy being with our core - our true nature - that of bliss!

Enjoy this video that I mentioned above on "I" and"mine":


Anonymous said...
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Nithya Priyan said...

I wish I read this post prior to starting my travels in India!

Beautiful post as always!