Surrendering to the emergence
This weekend we had the wonderful opportunity to spend some time with Shri. Babulal Gandhi, a living legend. Babulalji, now 90 years old ,has had the good fortune to be a part of the Bhoodan movement and walk with Vinoba throughout the journey. Babulal ji was sitting at the gate waiting for us when we walked into his beautiful lush green organic 100 acre farm that he has developed over the last 50 years in a small town and rain shadow region called Phaltan, in the interiors of Maharashtra.
The conversation we had with him has left a deep impact on me. Because here is someone like me who strives to explore his so called ‘Individuality’, sitting opposite a man who has lived his life for the society. Once Vinoba ji and others were in a camp where people were coming to join the Bhoodan movement. One of the senior members asked Babulal ji, do you think you can dedicate the rest of the life for the society? Without a second thought, he took out a piece of paper, wrote on it that he is surrendering for life and gave it to him. That’s it. Since then he has never looked back; serving the society continuously ever since.
I asked him “Babulal ji, How can you surrender so effortlessly?” He replied saying, “where there is effort, there is resistance so it has to be spontaneous when your heart is ready.” I was immediately reminded of Sahajta that Jaideep brought out on the call. The question I am holding since then is, what are the foundational pillars of Sahajta? How do we cultivate this spontaneity with complete surrender to the emergence? What must be our heart quality and our connection for us to be able to make choices that we never regret?
As we were holding these questions and a few of us sharing our journeys, one of the youngest participants asked him, "Dada, if you were to do something for the society, where does it begin?"
Babulal ji, thinking very intently, took out his spectacles, wiped it and said gently;
“Keep the vision of the world and your feet firmly on the ground you are standing. All the decisions you take have to hold the quality of service to the people. So what are the steps:There was complete silence as he finished saying this. Everyone was literally in a state of a deeper inquiry, some teary eyed and some analytical folks still wondering, what just hit us.
Vichar parivartan - Change in your thoughts, perspectives, etc
Aachar parivartan – Change in your habits, actions, responses etc
Hriday Parivartan – Significant change in the quality of your heart and
Samaj Parivartan – Changes around you, society, world at large.
So every change begins with you. Focus on the longest and widest vision with your feet firmly in tune with your reality.”
Leading onto the inquiry, we asked him another question. "Dada, there are many times one has to make a decision with multiple choice points, how do you discern which action is the most appropriate?"
Dada, paused for a long time before he started. He said,
“I have never thought about myself alone. However, since you have posed the question there are 3 things that come to my mind now.
First, Anekantavad, the art of holding multiple perspectives. Just like the story of 7 blind men describing their experience of touching an elephant. Each one is true in their perspective, however the sum total of all the experience is also true. So one has to take everyone’s views into consideration and then take a decision.
Second, Jagruti (Awareness) of the environment, world around you and the world inside you.
Thirdly, understanding from your own truth, which is a culmination of all the experiences you’ve had till date and surrendering to the emergence. Then whatever decision you take will always be appropriate.
It’s not so much about right or wrong but being true to the moment of choice.”
The impending question to me was, how much do we know about ourselves and be in tune with the emergence?
Jai Jagat !!