Understanding Privilege

Read a quote today by Pope John XXIII

Consult not your fears but your hopes and your dreams. Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential. Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in, but with what it is still possible for you to do.

This reminded me of something Swamiji used to say often

Guilt is an unnecessary emotion.

This in turn has led to this stream of consciousness

In many ways Swamiji’s greatest gift to us sadhakas was a faith in one’s own worth based on mere fact of existence.

I am full of potential.

I am worthy.

I am divine at my core simply because I exist.

It is a faith that we all live with – we may sometimes forget or not think of it consciously but it’s there! And the closer we have been to our Guru’s message louder the inner voice screams “I am at my core Divine”.

True importance of this faith became apparent to me only after I began interacting with unreligious Americans (These are not atheist. They believe in something bigger than themselves but don’t like religion). People and specifically young women in this country are constantly bombarded by attitudes encouraging them to place their self worth on body, looks and popularity. As humans we need something concrete to feel that we matter – that we are worthy of the love we receive. A Samvit Sadhika finds that something within herself. She has an unending reservoir of strength within her because she connects herself to the Divine. She draws on the Divine’s strength because she believes: at her core – beyond the Maya – she is One with The Goddess.

An American girl child who is devoid of religion has nothing to derive that strength from except from external factors! Add to that the curse of broken families, the inherent danger of being a female without adequate adult protection and the situation becomes grim. The challenges she faces, the daily grief she experiences and fear she deals with is something you and I are too fortunate to even begin to comprehend.

I see beautiful children wilting in their childhood. Kids with potential to become shining beacons of hope struggle with depression. Adult women struggling with guilt over lost opportunities, anger towards parents who didn’t parent, guilt over lost love because they were too embroiled in self loathing to believe and accept the love coming their way. Many of these people find Bhagwati’s compassion and are able to rediscover themselves. An older acquaintance once confided to me:

Once I learnt to forgive and accept life as it comes, I discovered the joy of expressing myself. I discovered my potential to be SO many things – A caretaker, a motivator, An artist! a poet!

I have learnt to forgive myself and let go of guilt but it’s sad how many years were wasted in simply believing my worth as a human being. It has made me rethink my childhood priest’s constant claim “Christ Loves you”. If only I could have believed that!

As Sadhakas and Sadhikas did we ever TRULY question that? At our lowest moment in life (yet) did we TRULY believe ourselves to be Alone Unloved and Unwanted? I think even at our worst we knew our Guru to be there for us. Through the Guru we knew Bhagwati to be there for us.

Americans talk of social privilege but most here have forgotten what privilege is. True privilege does not come from money, education and status. True privilege comes from sitting in Guru’s feet and from having Guru’s benevolent gaze upon us.

THAT my friends is what we have had.

THAT my Bodhayana friends is what we grew up with.

THAT my friends is true privilege

THAT my friends is the reason we owe it to ourselves to aim for NOTHING less than Jeevan Mukti.

THAT my fellow Sadhakas is the only Guru Dakshina we can offer.

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2 thoughts on “Understanding Privilege

  1. Beautifully written. Written by a soul, who knows it’s existance. Here I second to your thought that we’re all Devine souls. Having that awakening is the best blessing in itself. When you see everyone as soul forgiveness generates naturally. And forgiving our own soul is most important, then only we could continue in our journey of enlightenment. Guilt keeps us stuck at one place. Understanding of circumstances that what happens has to happen, you’re responsible for your actions and if something happened, let it go, help you release that guilt.
    But we should never forget that we as a soul are on our journey, keep calm n carry on is the mantra for this journey.
    I love reading your blogs. 😊

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