When you simply be, giving up the need to become, you are FREE!

The true meaning of Life is being free!

And to be free you must just let everything be. When you wish that things were different is when the shackles of pain, agony, suffering, sorrow, guilt, anger, jealousy, remorse and fear imprison you.

How do you let it, or anything, be?

This question has to be answered by understanding why it is being asked in the first place. What is the difficulty in letting things be? One clear idea can be that if you don’t do something about some situation, you will have abdicated responsibility. Or if you don’t do something, something worse will happen. Or that you may grieve later that possibly you could have done something. So, for these reasons and perhaps a few more, you will find it difficult to let things be! And you want to get back into control.

Let’s also be clear about what situations call for action and which ones call for letting them be. Your house is on fire, obviously, you can call the fire service. Your teenage child is taking to drugs. Surely you can counsel him and take him to a de-addiction center and work on getting him back. So, you act when you can act and must act. No issues. But there may be situations in Life when you cannot do anything. Someone close to you is dead. What action can you take to bring the person back to Life? So, let it be. Or someone is seriously ill. The doctors are trying. But they too say only a miracle can save her. What can you do to work that miracle? The best you can do is to let it be. Or a relationship is suffering because someone is hell bent on interpreting whatever you say. You have clarified, apologized, fallen at their feet, but the person keeps on bludgeoning you. What can you do? You want the situation to heal, but what can you do? Healing takes time. So, you just let it be. Or you try your best to resurrect a failed business and your Life, but every single attempt meets with zero success. It’s not that you lack talent or purpose or values or ethics. But still the business doesn’t happen. Money just refuses to come to you. You have tried getting an employment but nobody even wants to meet you, let alone hire you. What do you do? Other than letting it be, do you have a choice? So, when you have tried everything and nothing works, while you may still want to try newer approaches to dealing with a Life situation, you just let it be.

When you let things be, the mind will make matters worse. It will remind you that you are doing nothing about a grave situation. It will amplify every small fear into something draconian, gruesome. But fear has to be dealt with head-on by facing it. Only then can you overcome it. Once you have crossed the threshold of fear, all other emotions become manageable. If you are not scared of what will happen, how can worry even exist? When the future doesn’t worry you why will the past haunt you anymore? Your entire being slips into just being.

So, to practice letting things be, take stock of your Life:

1.     Make a two lists: areas that you can act on and areas you cannot act on
2.     Act on all areas that you believe there are options available to act on
3.     And on those areas where you can’t do anything anymore, where you don’t have any more options left, just let them be. Watch your emotions as they obsess with you. Meet them head-on. Only that way will you transcend them.
4.     When you transcend your emotions, beginning first with fear, you will slip into just being
5.     This may take days, weeks, months, years, but only through continuous practice can you arrive at that state of just letting your Life be
6.     And once you have let it be, you have given up the need to become, you are NOW free!


That’s how you experience true freedom. Freedom means a certain inexplicable blitheness of the spirit. You feel alive – because fear, anger, worry, guilt, everything, every uninvited guest who was residing in you, holding you in their grasp, has taken leave. The house is empty. And what resides there is a lot of free spirit and light. It’s pure. It’s beautiful. And that is what the true meaning of Life is __ being free, unshackled, unencumbered, detached, being alive.
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If it has gone, simply, let it go!

When something or someone goes out of your Life, simply let ‘em go! Understand that loss is an integral part of living!
Last evening, my phone fell down on the street, hit a kerbside stone, and the display screen cracked irreparably. I was shocked for a nano-second. Then I picked up the instrument to check if it was working.  It was. I dusted it and moved on – after double-checking all its functions. I smiled to myself. Some years ago, I would never have been this way. I would have grieved and sulked. Especially, in a situation when replacing the phone instantly is not an option – I don’t have the means to buy a new phone! In fact, even this one was gifted to me by a friend some months ago. As I looked at my battered phone later in the evening, I remembered an incident that happened eight years ago. I am a collector of LAMY pens. And at that time, I was using one daily. I simply loved the look and feel of these pens. I was naturally very possessive about my LAMY collection. On a flight from Chennai to Mumbai, I lost my blue LAMY. I remember how I grieved through all my meetings that day in Mumbai and how I needed more than a few drinks that evening to get the blue LAMY out of my mind. In contrast, I felt good with myself surveying my phone last evening – with my ability to have let go of what had already gone (broke)!
There’s a beautiful song from the 1961 Tamil classic Paalum Pazhamum(A.Bhimsingh, Sivaji Ganesan, Saroja Devi) which goes “Ponaal Pogattum Poda…” (Viswanathan-Ramamoorthy, Kannadasan, T.M. Soundarajan). The lyrics basically mean, “If it has gone, let it go…everything/everyone is impermanent…)! That song, to me, sums up what Life is all about! 

Indeed. Everything and everyone around us has to go one day. The very nature of Life is impermanent. If you pause for a moment to reflect, you will realize that you came with nothing and you will go with nothing. Your name, your wealth, your qualifications, your experiences, your memories, your relationships – nothing will make it with you. When it is your time, you will have to go. Period. This is one non-negotiable quality about Life. Then, if you care to reflect more, why do we cling on to almost everyone and everything? It is because we cling on, because we don’t let go, that we suffer. What happens to us is not in our control – whether it is a broken mobile phone or a broken relationship or the death of someone we love. But how we let things and people go, when it is time for them to go, out of our lives, can truly impact how we feel about and experience Life. If you resist what’s going or gone, you will find Life to be an endless struggle. But if you let go gracefully, you will be drenched in inner peace and happiness – no matter what the circumstances are! 

To celebrate Life, just Let It!

Let It? Yes! We need to move from a state of Let Go to a state of Let It to experience the beauty and magic of Life!
Many people say letting go is tough! Let Go does mean that you are holding on to something and letting go connotes attachment, pain and a struggle to attain detachment! But letting Life do what it pleases is a simple, magnificent way of celebrating Life. Where you don’t become a party to Life’s trials, tribulations, vicissitudes and vagaries, but are just an observer.
Swami Sathya Sai Baba, whom I have never met, but always experienced, taught me this practice of just letting Life do what it pleases. One of his simplest, yet most profound, teachings says: “You just Let It! Let problems come. Let problems go. Let happiness come. Let happiness go. Let debt come. Let debt go. Let grief come. Let grief go. Let death come. Let death go. Just Let It!” I struggled with the concept initially. But soon discovered that only when you are party to something are you in grief. When you are a witness, there is a momentary disturbance, but you are quickly reminded by your soul that you are a not involved! When something goes wrong with your child, you are stressed out. You are anxious. You want a resolution. When something goes wrong with a neighbor’s child, you profess concern, you lend a shoulder, you support but do not get involved or attached. So can you look at your own Life like the way you would look at your neighbor’s? Can you be a mere observer? A bystander? When you are in that state will you realize that this whole lifetime is a celebration.
You can expunge the darkness that engulfs your soul, because of debilitating emotions like anger, grief, guilt, fear, anxiety, worry and such, by choosing not to get involved with your Life. It doesn’t mean you should not live, you should not act. Of course you must act and do what you can, and what you think you must, in any given situation! Just don’t get involved. For example, in a fractious family situation, in which I find myself embroiled just now, I made an attempt to speak up and make people see reason. I would have done injustice to my Life and my family if I had not spoken up. The act of speaking up was mine. But the outcome has been Life’s. And it has been disastrous. More insult and ignominy have been heaped on me. The family has been pushed farther away from coming together and being at peace! I don’t grieve the outcome though. I know it is not ‘my’ outcome. Because I let Life lead the outcome. I just let it. And I celebrate the light, the joy, the song in my soul!

This is not at all difficult. It is outright simple. If I can, you too can let it! When you are involved, is when attachment will come. And where there is attachment there will be agony. But if you are a mere witness, an observer, a doer of what you can and what you must, and let Life lead, you will be in a non-stop celebration called your Life! Try it with your Life! Just Let It! Celebrate! 

The true meaning of Life is being free — so let Life simply be!


The true meaning of Life is being free!

And to be free you must just let everything be. When you wish that things were different is when the shackles of pain, agony, suffering, sorrow, guilt, anger, jealousy, remorse and fear imprison you. 

How do you let it, or anything, be?

This question has be answered with understanding why it is being asked in the first place. What is the difficulty in letting things be? One clear idea can be that if you don’t do something about some situation, you will have abdicated responsibility. Or if you don’t do something, something worse will happen. Or that you may grieve later that possibly you could have done something. So, for these reasons and perhaps a few more, you will find it difficult to let things be! And you want to get back into control.

Let’s also be clear about what situations call for action and which ones call for letting them be. Your house is on fire, obviously, you can call the fire service. Your teenage child is taking to drugs. Surely you can counsel him and take him to a de-addiction center and work on getting him back. So, you act when you can act and must act. No issues. But there may be situations in Life when you cannot do anything. Someone close to you is dead. What action can you take to bring the person back to Life? So, let it be. Or someone is seriously ill. The doctors are trying. But they too say only a miracle can save her. What can you do to work that miracle. The best you can do is to let it be. Or a relationship is suffering because someone is hell bent on interpreting whatever you say. You have clarified, apologized, fallen at their feet, but the person keeps on bludgeoning you. What can you do? You want the situation to heal, but what can you do? Healing takes time. So, you just let it be. Or you try your best to resurrect a failed business and your Life, but every single attempt meets with zero success. It’s not that you lack talent or purpose or values or ethics. But still the business doesn’t happen. Money just refuses to come to you. You have tried getting an employment but nobody even wants to meet you, let alone hire you. What do you do? Other than letting it be, do you have a choice? So, when you have tried everything and nothing works, while you may still want to try newer approaches to dealing with a Life situation, you just let it be. 

When you let things be, the mind will make matters worse. It will remind you that you are doing nothing about a grave situation. It will amplify every small fear into something draconian, gruesome. But fear has to be dealt with head-on by facing it. Only then can you overcome it. Once you have crossed the threshold of fear, all other emotions become manageable. If you are not scared of what will happen, how can worry even exist? When the future doesn’t worry you why will the past haunt you anymore? Your entire being slips into just being.

So, to practice letting things be, take stock of your Life:

1.   Make a two lists: areas that you can act on and areas you cannot

2.   Act on all areas that you believe there are options available to act on

3.  And on those areas where you can’t do anything anymore, where you don’t have any more options left, just let them be. Watch your emotions as they obsess with you. Meet them head-on. Only that way will you transcend them.

4.   When you transcend your emotions, beginning first with fear, you will slip into just being

5.  This may take days, weeks, months, years, but only through continuous practice can you arrive at that state of just letting your Life be

6.   And once you have let it be, you have given up the need to become, you are NOW free!

That’s how you experience true freedom. Freedom means a certain inexplicable blitheness of the spirit. You feel alive – because fear, anger, worry, guilt, everything, every guest who was residing in you, holding you in their grasp, has taken leave. The house is empty. And what resides there is a lot of air and light. It’s pure. It’s beautiful. And that is what the true meaning of Life is __ being free, unshackled, unencumbered, detached, being alive.