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Human Relations

Yesterday, one of my friends from Guntakal was here on some business and after finishing his work, he came to see me.

After an exchange of pleasantries, our discussion veered towards the subject of spirituality on its own.

He appeared somewhat disturbed.

“Why do you look so troubled?” I asked him.

In the middle of our conversation, he let out his doubt, “Human relationships are becoming increasingly artificial, wherein love and friendship are looked upon merely as a means of fulfilling one’s selfish desires. It saddens me to see how people no longer interact with each other unless there is something to gain from it”.

“How does that bother you?” I asked him.

“We too are a part of this society, aren’t we? Most people that I meet from dawn to dusk are hypocrites. They have one thing on their mind, but say something else. It is almost impossible to find people who are artless and unsophisticated. Therefore, when somebody says something, I am forced to think what the real intention behind their words might be. In this process we too are becoming crooked. Aren’t we also gradually losing our mental purity?” he lamented.

I was observing silently.

“This is precisely what I am so anguished about. Is it not possible for people to be guileless and speak honestly? Will we ever see a society free from such hypocrisy?” he asked.

He too has been in the sadhana path for many years. Only people like them are confronted with such problems. There is a big difference between the doubts raised by ordinary people and those who are on the sadhana path. Ordinary people may dismiss such talks as futile.

I felt like telling him something.

The real reason behind this attitude is the desire to enjoy material gains. This happens when we talk to others expecting something in return. When there is no expectation in any form, not even the satisfaction gained from talking to the other person, then there is no need to pretend. Only then will it be possible for one to speak artlessly, and not for those who have a business-like attitude.” I said.

“If so, are human relations destined to be like this forever? Can’t they be changed for the better?” he asked.

“Incidentally, I remembered a story told by Osho. Do you want me to tell you the story?” I asked.

“Please do,” he said.

He too was an ardent reader of Osho and still is. I must admit that I am the reason behind his obsession.

Kabir Das and the Sufi Saint Baba Farid were both enlightened masters. Baba Farid, along with his followers, had once visited Kabir’s house. The followers of both saints eagerly waited to see what conversation would ensue between the two great men. But all they did was sit facing each other without exchanging a single word. In the three days that Farid spent at Kabir’s house they did not talk even once. On the last day, Baba Farid took leave silently.

Followers of Kabir, who held high expectations of this encounter between the two great saints were at a loss to understand what had happened. Their hopes to hear exalted talk from them, met with utter disappointment. Clearing their doubts, Kabir said, “We need two people to have a dialogue. When there is only one person present, then with whom should I talk?”

My friend’s face lit up with extreme joy as he listened to me intently.

I concluded my explanation with the following words.

If there is expectancy of material gain, then no two people can have an honest conversation. It can happen only between people who have no expectations. Those who have transcended the mind, don’t even need to talk.

“Will I ever get an opportunity to meet such people?” he asked.

“We can think about it once you reach that state”, I replied, smiling.

He then took leave of me and walked away very happily.

All rights reserved. This article has been translated by Snehalatha M, which was originally posted in on October 5, 2010. The content or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express permission of the publisher.

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