The Most Important Responsibility to Your Parents
A seeker expresses his desire to be at the ashram while at the same time supporting ageing parents. Sadhguru discusses planning your life as it is suitable for your situation, but not letting the “but” hold you back forever.
Q: Everything in me is telling to me to be here at the ashram, but…
Sadhguru: But… This “but” has been echoing for the last million years on this planet. A few have handled it. Most have never handled that damn “but”.
Q: My parents are dependent on me in so many ways, and I feel it is my responsibility to support them. At the same time, I do not want to wait a lifetime to make this happen, and I feel it is a crime to make myself wait. So I’m torn right now. How should I make this happen, or how can I take this step?
Sadhguru: But you have been saying the same thing for the last five years.
Sadhguru: In five years, if you had focused on that, you could have set up their financial security so that they do not have to worry. And, when they get old, the best place for them to live is in a spiritual atmosphere. Ensuring that they must eat and must have a roof over their head is necessary. I am not saying it should not be done, but as they reach the end of their life, they must focus on their inner wellbeing. This is not the time to be building houses and setting up bank balances. I am not saying you should not take care of their physical wellbeing, but that can be taken care of to the extent it is necessary, you need not be thinking of maintaining a certain kind of lifestyle.
When you cross 65 or 70 years of age, I am not saying you are going to fall dead tomorrow morning, but you must understand that you are near. This is not about making you afraid. You must understand that when you are 60, you cannot plan your life as you did when you were 18. It would be foolish.
A Child’s Duty
Different people achieve different kinds of lifestyles in their life depending upon where they are, their capabilities, circumstances, family situations – a variety of aspects. But all those things matter only to a certain point in your life. After that, the inner dimension is the most important thing. If your parents have not realized that by themselves, it is definitely the duty of the children to remind them. Do you not think you have a responsibility in that direction? In fact, in Indian culture, it is the children’s duty to give mukti to the parents. Maybe it is not culturally alive in many places, but it is important.
Is it not the responsibility of any adult to remind their parents, “There is another dimension to your life which you must address”? I am not saying they should not eat well or do other things, but is it not important that you remind them? It is very important. Otherwise you are failing as their child in a serious way.
As for financial situations, set a time limit: “In the next six months or one year, I am going to settle it” and that is it. Otherwise, nobody ever settles their financial situation in their life. It does not matter how rich you are, you never settle your financial situation – it is always a hungry mouth – whatever you throw, it just keeps disappearing into it. If more money comes in, our lifestyle goes up. So we should decide somewhere: for our capability, for our possibility, what is reasonable and what is sensible. You decide that. It is not for me to decide. But this “but” has kept so many things pending on this planet forever!
Kicking the “But”
A lot of spiritual movements in the world, which started with phenomenal beings behind them, started as great movements, but you have never even heard of them. They did not die because of some great persecution. They died for petty things. That is the greatest tragedy on this planet. Two people could not get along in the organization so they broke everything. Somebody wanted to have a party, so they left it and went halfway. This is how it has died. This is disgraceful. They did not die because some evil forces destroyed them. They just puttered out because “Yes, we want to do it, but…” But, but, but. Do not stay on your butt forever.
I am not trying to tell you what you should do or not do. All I am saying is, whatever it is in your life, if you think it is precious for you – not for somebody else – if you think this needs to be done, you must do it today, not tomorrow because tomorrow never comes, both within and outside. Anything that you feel is very precious and valuable for you, it must be done today, not tomorrow.
Editor’s Note: The “Power to Create” meditations for Peace, Love, Health, and Success (also known as “Chit Shakti”) enable each one of us to become our own alchemist, by empowering us to transform long cherished desires into reality. Try them out!