Dr. Vijai S Shankar MD.PhD.
Published on www.academy-advaita.com
29th April 2016
We are born into a family without our choice for any family. Also, we cannot be born without a family. The family may vary in numbers from one to many. The father and mother as a family may be either single or as both and we have no choice on this either.
Whatever numbers we have as a family is all that we can have. Whatever understanding there is in a family is all that they can have and we have to accept, because we, as a family, are in nature and nature is what it is. It is a precious unity and so is the family a precious unit, because man does not make nature; nature manifests man and his precious family.
The wise member of a family explains once or twice to family members, who they are born with, how to live and the explaining happens out of compassion and care, a feature of nature’s unity. How to live, as the wise member of the family explains, may or may not manifest, just as the explanation may or may not manifest. The wise member of the family does not explain to a member of the family, who is a member as a result of marriage, how to live life, because of gratitude to life for gifting him a family member by marriage. The wise also respect the member of the family by marriage because she leaves her family that she was born into, only to enable the birth of his family.
The knowledgeable family members, however, blame each and every family member for how they live if it is not acceptable to them and instruct each other how to live. This also happens as a feature of nature when it does happen. The blaming and instructing feature of nature happens because of lack of understanding of a family unit.
Now, how could man understand and differentiate between blaming and instructing due to knowledge and explaining how to live due to wisdom? The vital feature that distinguishes is repetition. Knowledge repeats while wisdom does not.
Knowledge repeats blaming and instructing and waits impatiently to accept what it expects, whereas wisdom explains once or twice and waits patiently and does not repeat how to live. It accepts every member of the family however they are.
Now, what could the understanding be that distinguishes knowledge and wisdom regarding how to live? By knowledge one takes and does what he or she wants without honesty or gratitude to all the family members, who are born or who are a member of the family due to marriage. This is how to live according to knowledge, but knowledge however is not wisdom.
Wisdom always has honesty and gratitude to all that happens, especially to all that happens to a member of the family as a consequence of marriage and they do not explain to them how to live. They only explain once or twice to the members of the family, who they are born with, how to live wisely. Because of this understanding the wise members of the family have care, concern and unconditional love for every member of the family, no matter how they came to be a member of the precious unit called family, either by birth or by marriage.
Author: Dr. Vijai S. Shankar
© Copyright V. S. Shankar 2016
It is in every man and woman’s nature to be part of a family and to respect other members of that family whether it is the result of birth or marriage. It is also the case that the members of a family will display characteristics that may or may not be in harmony with each other’s, thus strengthening or undermining its unity. Disunity can only destroy a family’s natural foundation of love, concern and care. At times this may lead to separation and a refusal to have any contact. There is no benefit to be gained by this for any member of the family; only distress in the whole unit. The guidance from the wise in this article is needed for the restoration of family life. There is nothing more important to the community of families across the world.
Julian Capper, UK.
German Translator’s Note:
Family life is often difficult for the mind. Patience and trust in life is necessary when conflicts prevail. There is no quick solution and often many compromises are to be done, although this helps mostly only for a while. In the long term, understanding which leads to unconditional love, care and concern is the key – and it is provided by life if it is meant to. This article by Dr. Shankar can be the beginning or deepening of our understanding. It is a precious gift for every family member.
Marcus Stegmaier, Germany.