Guiding Light: Roles And The Person

Guiding Light: Roles And The Person

Swami Brahmavidananda SaraswatiUpdated: Thursday, May 23, 2024, 06:54 PM IST
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All of us play roles in life. From the moment we are born, this begins

All of us play roles in life. From the moment we are born, this begins. One is a child to one’s parents, a brother-sister to a sibling. As we grow up, we take on the role of a student, friend, then romantic role, employer, employee, husband, wife, parent and so on. In most of these roles, we encounter some or the other role. Our whole life goes in managing these problems. We become so involved in these roles that these problems become mine. I can practically hear many reading this thinking, ‘But the role is me. Indeed they are my problems.’ As a father you will have problems with your child and vice versa. Between husband and wife, Employer and employee, one need not even speak of problems. As a member of a political party, there are problems. Further we have national identities and hence national roles. All these roles I play. Even though we call them roles, we are so identified with them that we don't see these as separate from ourselves.

So, the first step in spirituality is to see myself as independent of the roles. Even though I am very identified with roles, I can pick up and drop a role. The very act of looking at my parents makes me a child. When I shift and look at my child, I pick up the role of a parent. Just by shifting my sight I have picked up and dropped the role, which shows that I am a person who is playing a role. The role is dependent on me. I am independent of the role. This is not a theory. This is a fact to be seen clearly. Agreed that some roles are difficult to drop, because our identifications are very strong. Like the role of a mother or doctor or an army officer. Even if I want to drop the role, others will keep imposing this on me. I am a simple person who is independent of the roles. A person who can think, desire, and act. We see this clearly.

The writer is the founder of Aarsha Vidya Foundation. You can write to him at aarshavidyaf@gmail.com

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