Updated on: Monday, November 08, 2021, 06:32 AM IST

Guiding Light by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Dependence and independence


The body is dependent on the whole creation. In society, somebody has to make clothes, produce electricity, or drill for oil. The body cannot be independent of the world. For the body, dependency is absolute. When the Spirit identifies with the body, then it gets pinched and looks for independence. Mind, intellect, ego - they all look for independence.

In looking for independence, often, you get stuck in the ego and become more miserable. Most people are not aware of their dependency. When they become aware of their limitations and dependency, the desire for independence arises. Independence cannot be achieved unless you start moving from within.

When you move within, you discover that you are interdependent. Individual Self/Soul/Jeeva is interdependent, and in fact, every wise person knows that everything is interdependent and there is nothing like independence.

Life is a combination of both independence and dependence. You were born dependent. Somebody had to lift you up, change your diapers, wash you, feed you, bathe you and put you to bed. When you die, you are not going to cremate your body. When you are sick somebody has to attend to you. You cannot operate yourself or be your own doctor. After 50–60 years, it becomes so obvious that you are dependent on somebody.

Money gives you a false notion that you are independent. Just the fact that you pay some bills doesn’t mean you have become independent. You are just getting it done as an exchange. You may have money, but what if nobody wants money? Then you are dependent. You may think financially you are independent, but if you cannot endure certain derogatory remarks from one of your friends or family or someone, you are not independent.


So life is a swing between independence and dependence. At the same time, you are independent to think, act, and control your feelings. If you want to feel good, bad, kind, or have good manners, it is your choice you are totally independent to be so. If you want to speak sweetly or blame somebody or be rude, you are totally independent to do so.

You have to choose what you want to be independent about and what you want to put yourself through. If someone blames you or tells you bad things about yourself, then you will come to know how independent or dependent you are. If you are really independent, then nothing can bother you. You move with zeal, vision, and a smile.


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Published on: Monday, November 08, 2021, 07:00 AM IST