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What is sanskar, after all? And for how long will we as a society continue to perpetrate atrocities, abuse, and control our women in the name of sanskar?
“Sanskar”. This word has always fascinated me for all the wrong reasons ever since I was a child. I could never understand the true meaning of it and always wondered what it is. As I grew up, I realised it is the word that some people, not all, are using to manipulate and exploit others, and it has deviated from its basic purpose and meaning.
Recently, I met a couple of my close friends who were pretty distraught with the word sanskar, and confided in me about their discomfort with it, how it made them feel miserable. I listened to both of the incidents carefully and wondered how sanskar can create so much of pain.
What surprised me was the fact that the word ‘sanskar’ was used just to control, manipulate and abuse the other person emotionally. In both the incidents one person was trying to control the other person in the name of sanskar.
What is sanskar, by the way? Honestly, I don’t know. It is better to consult spiritual masters or a philosopher to actually understand what sanskar is and its true meaning.
For me, sanskars are principles of life through which we lead our lives to live peacefully with dignity, respect, righteousness and basic human values. As the world changes, our life changes so does our lifestyle but basic principles will always remain the same.
We all have our own family values that we stick to. For me, that is my sanskar. To understand sanskar, I would go the other way around by understanding what is NOT sanskar.
If anybody does anything mentioned above, in my opinion, he/she cannot be sanskari. These are methods simply used to abuse, manipulate and control others and nothing else and it has nothing to do with actual Sanskar. Our scriptures are our best guides to understand the true meaning of sanskars, or a guru who has knowledge and experience and who can explain the true meaning of sanskar so we should learn from them and certainly not succumb to the abusers who are using the word ‘sanskar’ to abuse others.
We live in a fast-paced life and we cannot always follow everything that the previous generation has followed but as long as the basic human values of love, respect, compassion, kindness, empathy and mercy is instilled in our mind and that of our children’s mind, I think that is the true essence of life. Irrespective of where we live, what clothes we wear, what language we speak or what food we eat.
We don’t have to give any clarification to anyone or worry if we are sanskari or not. As long as we don’t hurt others’ feelings or harm their self-respect, we are sanskari. As long as we respect each and every human being irrespective of who they are, we are sanskari. As long as we help the needy and have kindness and love in our heart we are sanskari. As long as we care for everyone around us and treat everyone equally we are sanskari. And most importantly, if we do not have any arrogance about how sanskari we are and remain grounded at all the time, we then become truly sanskari.
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