Thursday 18 October 2018

Set the soul free

My mother was a very dynamic & progressive woman far ahead of her times. Her resilience was intact even at the ripe age of 80.. 13 years ago, she was fighting her last battle in Manipal Hospital, Bangalore. After a botched-up surgery, she seemed to be breathing her last.  For over 48 hours she was on life-support system and non-responsive.  At that moment, my sister went close to her and whispered in her ears that ‘she was free to go’ if she chose.  That perhaps was my sister’s way of letting the soul realize its freedom and not keep it chained in relationships.

How often can we grant freedom to the significant others’ souls?  The moksha for a soul is not just what happens when one departs from the world.  A soul seeks moksha in one’s life perhaps several times.  How often do we recognize and honor it?  Every relationship comes with an expiry date, which no-one knows nor  can predict precisely. However, there exists an expiry date certainly and holds true for all relationships, be it your spouse, children, colleagues, business partners et al.

When one doesn’t honor this law, the suffering triggers and it is a two-fold suffering for the soul as well as the body.  Misery to the soul – for, a soul is never happy in a body that has ceased to enjoy; the entrapment in the body thus becomes a source of suffocation.  Any forcible continuance is bound to create loss of spirit for the soul.  Diseases for the body – any demand on body to contain free spirit leads to multitude of ailments for the different organs.  Every single relationship, that outlives the symbiotic integration of body & soul, tends to suffer from this. 

When one learns to let go – this becomes easier.  Otherwise, the possessiveness begins to chain the soul with body and  vice versa  The question arises then, how should we discover in a relationship (say between a parent and child) that it’s time to set the soul free?

My take from some of my recent experiences are as follows.   In any bond, when you notice that to continue the relationship, one or both sides increasingly requires facades or masks; or when you notice that the congruence takes a back seat and the primary play between the beings is for the gallery its time you do something about it.   Be mindful though that if the ‘authenticity deficit’ continues to widen and/ or ‘mutual gratitude’ evaporates, then maybe it’s time to grant that relationship, a release (moksha). 

And that release may not be forever – maybe in the same life time, the relationship will begin to thrive one more time.  As has happened in many a parent child relationship, teenagers/ young adults who experienced release (not the possessive controls) often, after a liberated detachment, rediscover the symbiotic magic in the relationship  and they live happily ever after.  On the contrary, in parent-child relationships where entrapment of the soul far exceeds  the desire of that soul, finding such an equilibrium remains elusive throughout life.  The same pattern is visible in many couples, business partners and employee-employer relationships.

In many cultures when people pass away, the occasion is celebrated.  In our family too, we celebrated  the departure of my mother; for, we believed that her soul lived a fulfilled and contented tenure with all of us.  We were sad but not remorseful

The relationships in which either of you (or the other person) are  consciously moving away, are occasions to celebrate.  You have a choice whether to cherish those or repent.  No prizes for guessing what I prefer to do in my life.  TS Eliot has beautifully said

Time present and time past
Are both perhaps present in time future,
And time future contained in time past.
If all time is eternally present
All time is unredeemable.

What might have been is an abstraction
Remaining a perpetual possibility
Only in a world of speculation.
What might have been and what has been
Point to one end, which is always present.

Footfalls echo in the memory
Down the passage which we did not take
Towards the door we never opened
Into the rose-garden. My words echo
Thus, in your mind.


  1. Wonderful read that provides fresh perspective on relationships. Triggered reflection. Thanks Harish...

  2. Well said. It echos my philosophy in many ways. Indeed freedom and authenticity are two load bearing pillars of a relationship. When that ceases to exist so does the relationship.
    I enjoyed the simplicity with which you write. It's straight from the heart!!

  3. Liked the way you expressed your thoughts. Gives a fresh insight.