A Brief Q/A On Satya- Prem- Karuna With Arun Dada
During a recent conversation with Arun dada he shared three words that serve as pillars to his life: Satya-Prem-Karuna
On truth: What is your definition of truth?
Truth is different for every individual. Truth is our lifeline. Each person should follow his definition, his base of truth. When he does that, day by day the layers of ignorance will keep shedding depending on the level of inner transformation (antar-shuddi). As one deepens in the practice of inner transformation the aashudhi will start peeling away. Today you may see the truth in a certain form. But there will come a stage when it will become formless (vastravihin) and colorless (rangvihin).
Dada sang few lines from a song to explain further:
"Sat na meli rang sogatha, khelu neet chopat."
(In the game of ludo there are different coloured pawns. For each individual his colour is his truth.)
"Jeevan ne jeeti lidha mein janam janam ne ghat."
(When I play with God it is always a win-win situation for me. If we win, God becomes mine and if I lose I become His)
"Bhed na jane bhodi duniya. Maro anhad sathe neh"
(The naive/ ignorant world doesn't understand this subtle difference, this direct connection that I have with Him.)
On a lighter note, he shared an incident with Jugatram Dave and Babal bhai Mehta whom he considers as the pioneers of Sarvoday movement in Gujarat along with Ravi Shankar Maharaj.
Once Dada, Jugatram Dada and Babal bhai were taking bath in an open space and after washing their clothes they were on their way to dry it. Jugatram Dave saw that Arun dada had washed all his clothes except his towel. So he asked him, “Why did you leave your towel unwashed? It is important to wash it as it actually helps us clean our body.” Arun dada said, “ I was feeling lethargic post bathing but from tomorrow I will make sure that I wash it.”
As Arun dada walked a few steps he saw Babal bhai also did not wash his towel. Dada with a huge laughter said now I became his guru so I went and asked him, “Why didn't you wash your towel and added the same line saying, towel has to be washed with soap as we use it to clean our body.” Listening to Dada’s question, Babal bhai said, “Towel is for drying our body and not to clean it. If you think it is to clean, what is the point of taking a bath”:)
Dada to give more clarity on different facets of truth added that both the perspectives were right. To give more clarity on different facets of truth, Dada emphasized that both the perspectives were right. Jugat dada said so because he saw my towel dirty. Babal bhai saw my body clean so he was right too. It is just the way we see. Till date whenever dada washes his towel with soap he remembers Jugatram dada and every time he washes it with water he remembers Babal bhai Mehta.
On prejudice: When I am biased, I tend to not listen to the other person. How do I lessen my prejudice/bias towards that person?
Dada shared a scenario where someone said that Govind has committed a crime, Gopal was arrested, the case went on Keshav and Narayan was sent to the prison. When we hear this situation, how do we feel as a listener? Does it sound absurd? In a similar way, when we look at the river we see it as one but can we dip in the same water twice? When we see a lamp burning, is it the same throughout or is it changing each second?
We see an individual as the same but internally everyone is changing. Like 50 years ago I was different then what I was yesterday. From yesterday to this moment also I have changed. The way I am changing the other is also changing. How can you judge someone on the bases of what he did yesterday or months back or years back? We should cultivate that eye and that heart where we can see the individual as new/different/transformed every time we meet him.
On Forgiveness: What if someone keeps repeating a behavior that is hurtful, till when do we let go?
Dada shared a story of Jesus Christ where a disciple asked him, to what extent do we keep forgiving someone? Christ replied 7*7 times which is equal to 49 times. So then the disciple asked what if that person still repeats the same hurtful behaviour? Christ said, you now multiply 49*7:)
Someone asked Vinobaji, what do you do if you encounter a person who is giving you a hard time? He said, “You deal with him in a gentle way.” What if the person still doesn't understand? He said, “You approach him by being gentler.” What if the person still doesn't get it? Baba answered, “In that case, you bring out the gentlest side of yours. The road is to become gentle, gentler and gentlest.”
On Compassion (Karuna): What does Karuna mean to you?
Dada said, “Karuna is to feel someone's pain and be of service in reducing it. Someone asked Vinobaji, do you believe in allopathy, naturopathy or homoeopathy? He said I believe in sympathy. If anyone around me is in pain, it is my duty to help him mitigate it added Dada.”