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Cricket in a monastery-27

Venky smiled, “You are disturbed as well as at ease, an amazing contrast”

“Yes, and the reason why I am happy is because Maharaj gave amazing classes. He just accepted us for what we are. He appreciated cricket and wished India wins and he also came down to our level. He didn’t judge me or anyone else for wanting India to win the match.

“All this time I was in denial. I was criticizing people and the game for no reason. It was simply a covert attempt to hide my own desires. But after seeing Maharaj so amazingly deal with this issue both in his room where we met him and in his public classes and now in the car, I am convinced it’s all right to love cricket. I am a classic victim of cognitive dissonance, a conflict of what I think is right and what I want are different. Ever since I moved into the ashram, I felt guilty for loving cricket and following the game. But I couldn’t help it. Just before going to the airport I blurted out to you guys the score. I couldn’t keep it a secret. I had been hearing the commentary on my small radio but was terribly pained I had been doing it. But Maharaj has eased my pain. I feel accepted.

“A deeper issue has been addressed here by Maharaj. I have been staying in the ashram since 1998 and I must confess I am happy but at the same time pained because I am realizing a deep problem facing not just the monks but also the people outside is their inability to accept themselves or others for what they are.

People need to be kind to their own selves and forgive themselves. It’s all right, we are not perfect, we need to approve of ourselves and accept ourselves just the way we are. No need to beat ourselves down for not being exemplary monks or for being the perfect husband and wife. My dealings with families has revealed to me a common obsession of most people is of wanting perfection; they want to be perfect themselves and wish their spouse too is perfect. This leads to inability to accept each other and we build walls instead of bridges. Each one of us is an island of our own, and we need to connect to each other by making bridges of accepting the other people for what they are, a unique person. But because we are inherently violent on ourselves, and can’t accept our self for what we are, we land up not accepting others as well. This ruins our relationships at all levels”

“That’s profound”, Venky sighed, “To accept ourselves and others”

“Yes, and this realization came the hard way because I couldn’t accept myself and my hobbies after I joined the monastery and therefore my disconnect began ever since I joined the ashram” Kishor moaned softly.

Venky continued to murmur, “That could be a big controversy. I hope you haven’t said this to others. Not all can appreciate this”

“No, you are the only one I have confessed, besides guru Maharaj”

“My dear Venky, ever since I chose to be a monk, I had to confront everything that I thought was natural for me”

“Just days before joining the ashram I thought of seeing Sachin bat once, for I knew my inner calling would drag me here and then I might never see Sachin play. I got a special pass for watching Sachin play for Mumbai against the Australians at Brabourne stadium and I was amazed how he scored a double hundred in just one day, and that was his first double century”, Kishor’s eyes beamed with joy as he recalled the event.

“But the tragedy was I couldn’t enjoy the match. I saw him bat but was also doing my pranayama, reading spiritual books and silent meditation simultaneously, while also trying to dismiss the game as an illusion. It seemed so unnatural but I was doing it nevertheless. And I was happy he smashed Shane Warne all over the ground, and it was a scintillating knock, a true masterpiece. Yet I was miserable and felt guilty for wasting my time. That’s when my conundrum began and only now Maharaj has alleviated my misery and solved my dilemma”

Kishor continued, “And I wrote an e mail to Maharaj about a week ago about my dilemma”, Kishor’s voice was now hurried. “I wondered what ails me. I am successful; people respect me, and think I am a great realized monk, but I now realize I am disconnected from myself. I asked Maharaj about the reason I feel a vaccum in the heart and I admit his reply soothed my heart!”

Venky exclaimed loud, “What, you wrote to him and he replied in the middle of all this intense schedules?”

“Shh”, Kishor pulled his hand, “remember the sound is heard in the next room”

“It’s all right; anyways it’s time for them to wake up. I am eager to read what Maharaj said”

To be continued…


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