“He who has let go of hatred
who treats all beings with kindness
and compassion, who is always serene,
unmoved by pain or pleasure,
free of the “I” and “mine,”
self-controlled, firm and patient,
his whole mind focused on me —
that is the man I love best.” The Bhagavad Gita
I have been thinking about exploring what i’ve learnt about love. Its a word that gets overused on many levels. The word is powerful, and can change moods, it can open your eyes and at the same time make you feel safe. I use this word often towards my friends, food, family, experiences, feelings, yoga classes, clothes, music, goals, the quality of life, freedom and most importantly connecting with someone who is deep in my heart. There are times when i’ve used the word so carelessly, like when i love an idea, in the very moment its said and then the process of putting that idea in action sometimes lets me feel a little different.
Love is powerful, as the Bhagavad Gita says if we let go of certain emotions which counteract love then we can see all with compassion. I had that feeling only recently. My sister called me on Saturday 10 January, while i was at Bread and Circus devouring a fruit platter with coconut yoghurt. She said her contractions had started. The last time I witnessed my sister give birth I needed to have a shot of whisky because of all the trauma she had experienced and I felt helpless as I couldn’t do anything to take my sister away from the pain of labour. I was not looking forward to seeing my sister in such a state. My sister is a twin they are eight years younger than me. I remember when mom and dad bought them home, they were so fair, beautiful and alert looking around taking in their home and family. My sisters (all four of them) love me so much, this love between us all is unconditional. We’re best friends, Raj my sister is one of the most kindest people i’ve met and she is a beautiful mother. Here I was driving from Alexandria to her place in Bondi worried about what I will have to witness today.
I park on the pavement, my sister is heavily contracting so I don’t care if I get booked. Its an emergency. I run into the house and little Leela is with my other sister, Raj’s twin Manveer. I grab the bags and hold Rajs arm, we make it slowly and carefully towards the car, while Sasha follows us in their car. At the hospital birthing centre, in the Royal Womens Hospital Randwick, we are greeted by Phil the gay midwife, just the right energy you need with the Virdi’s in the house.
He broke the waters and Raj contracts a few more times, while Phil suggests to fill up the bath tub. I’m there studying the goddess Durga because i’m teaching the following day. At the same time I’m rubbing my sisters back and asking her to exhale the breath out. Its all happening at once. She finally, delicately gets in the bath tub. A little moan from Raj, and she feels Ishas head. ‘I can feel her head’, she says excitedly to me and Sasha. We are both shocked. Don’t say a word to her or each other. I’m quite as I remember Leela coming out, and it was a painful affair. My worried face doesn’t leave me. Another contraction and there is Isha swimming to her mothers arms. She opens her eyes meets Raj’s. Sasha has teary eyes and I’m feeling so grateful for my sister to give me this experience, my worry turns into joy.
Isha swam out of her mother like it was the most natural thing in the world. Sasha cut the cord and holds his child for the first time. This is love in its true organic state. Raj is now giving birth to the placenta which is little overwhelming for me because I don’t do well at the site of blood. Raj is then taken to get some stitches, Sasha follows his wife while I have the honour to hold Isha. I take my top off and cradle this 10 minute old baby. She opens her eyes and looks deep into my soul, touches my heart and I have tears of joy. Here it is, unconditional love right in front of me. The energy of pure love grabs me so deeply that nothing in this world matters. My satsang preparation and class do not matter, all that matters is being in this moment with my beautiful niece. On this day my sister gave me the greatest gift of all, understanding unconditional love.
When someone touches my heart, not many do, and not many experiences do either, but when it happens which has been only a handful of times, my heart gets bigger with unexplainable joy. I’ve not stopped smiling since that day. From that moment onwards, no matter what, i will use the word love only when it’s coming from my heart and not my head. There is no need to receive the love back, its what connects me to that deeper feeling to experience love. In that moment of my heart being poked by unconditional love, there is no me, there is no I, there is no need or want, there is nothing but pure unconditional love. Every being on this planet and univervse should experience life in that manner. We can only do that when we put our own inhibitions away and look deeply into the eyes of another. A tree never eats its own fruit. Thank you universe for such wisdom.