Aiming for Shoonya

\”Shoonya is not nothingness, it is niswabhavta..\” 

This line that I heard through my uncomfortable headphones made me immediately stop in my tracks as I was taking my daily walk a few days ago. The man who was saying it was Krishna Nathji, an author and Buddhist scholar. While I usually shrug off many philosophical thoughts as impractical for everyday life, this one just struck a chord.

In simple terms, swabhava is your inherent nature and niswabhavta, according to Krishna Nathji,  is the awareness that everything is in relation to something else.  He explains that nothing in the world has an inherent nature of its own like how water takes on the colour of the things around it.  Our appearances, thoughts, feelings- everything is clouded to an extent, either by genetics or our conditioning. Understanding this is reaching the state of shoonya. I was enamoured by his words and listened till the very end.

During his talk, he also gave an example of how women are put on a pedestal, and expected to be always pious and virtuous.  Then, when you see a woman who\’s not this way, it upsets you. In reality, though, there\’s no ONE definition of who or what a woman is. She just is. Isn\’t that a liberating thought? I am sure there are many of us who have tried to mould ourselves, trying to fit into imagined natures, denying ourselves the joy of just being. When we realise that there isn\’t really an ideal, there isn\’t a \’true\’ nature, we can finally reach the freedom of being unencumbered by expectations of any sort.

You can like makeup and physics at the same time. You can be extroverted and still need your weekends under the sheets, watching Netflix. You can have grandchildren but still indulge in silly crushes on the latest film stars! There\’s no one definition of a \’true\’ woman, in fact, there is no definition at all. We are all shaped by our life experiences and our awareness at that point in time. All that we have to do, is just be. As long as you reflect upon the consequences of your actions and their impact on those around you, you can be whoever you want. The possibilities within this awareness are endless and you are free to change your mind at any time!

You can be everything. You can be nothing. You can be anything in between and yet, nature will have a place for you.

Aiming for Shoonya gives you that power.

We shape clay into a pot, but it’s the emptiness inside that holds whatever we want.”(LAO TZU)

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About the Author

Vaidehi Sriram

Vaidehi is a teacher and mentor who is extremely passionate about pedagogy, writing and the arts. read more...

9 Posts | 3,635 Views

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