Thursday, August 4, 2011

“Let Go”

One, who find delight in freedom from attachment in the renunciation of clinging, free from the inflow of thoughts, he is in absolute harmony with universe. Many a times nature teaches us lessons in a subtle manner, which we seldom realize. Today as I share some of my experiences with you, I urge you to listen to the whisper of nature, try and renounce your attachment and insecurities because sometimes it is a lot rewarding to just “let go”. Let go of situations, things, memories, and people and sometimes even yourself.

It was a Friday morning. I was excited and geared up for the weekend as I left for work. On reaching my workstation, I realized my chair was missing and I asked my colleague, if she had a clue as to where my chair was. She asked what I meant by the statement “my chair”. Why did absence of that chair bring such dismay to me? Seeing my blank face she replied “My dear, drop the idea of ownership of these materialistic things. It does not mean that you are dropping the possessions but your possessiveness. Let go of situations, things, memories, and people and sometimes even yourself”. I felt it was too boring and philosophical. I somehow managed to trace my chair and was back in swing.

That weekend was far too special as I was expecting a call from my friend in the US. But my phone was silent for the day. Even the next day I did not get the much awaited call. I was very disturbed as I went to attend my classes that Saturday. The class was on analytics and decision making and strangely enough our professor began the class by asking us a question “Which is the most difficult decision that we may have to take in life”. Lot many answers rolled out from the students about job, marriage etc. Our Prof replied “The most difficult decision in life is to let go of the person or thing that we cherish the most in life. Let go of situations, things, memories, people and sometimes even yourself”.

Surprisingly that evening I realized that my mind was blank except for those words of my professor. I started pondering that often we get attached to people and even materialistic things and feel insecure of losing them and become restless and loose our emotional stability. When there is so much attachment even the mere thought of their absence squeezes our heart in pain. Is it wise? Is it healthy? I started questioning myself.

The very next day I got a call from my brother who is in his 9th standard seeking help to write an essay on “Chandra Gupta Maurya”. Even though the name sounded familiar, being out of touch with history I searched the internet for information about this emperor. Chandra Gupta was a street boy picked up by the wise “Chanakya” to become the emperor and he founded the most chivalrous dynasty ever the “Maurya Dynasty”. He then went on a successful and historic acquisition of prominent Indian states. Though he won over the initial struggle of poverty in his early life and had attained power and riches, there was a point in his life when he felt that it was enough. He renounced the kingdom that he had meticulously built, abdicated his throne and retired to the Jain retreat at “Shravana Belagola” near Mysore. He then lived a life of a saint for 12 years till his death.

As I read about Chandra Gupta my professor’s words resonated loudly in my mind. “The most difficult decision in life is to let go of the person and thing that you cherish the most in life. Let go of situations, things, memories, people and sometimes even yourself”. Interestingly this time these words did not sound boring and philosophical. I felt that sometimes we should be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the life that is waiting for us.

As I started to picture the trees in the storm, the answer began to dawn on me. The trees in the storm do not try to stand up straight and erect. They allow themselves to be bent and the branches blown with the wind. They understand the power of letting go. For they know only when they let go the old leaves will the new life emerge and add freshness and beauty to the surroundings. Let go of situations, things, memories, people and sometimes even yourself. For all- the art of living lies in a fine blend of letting go and holding on.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Hi Srujuna,

    Sorry, on this paradigm I always stand opposite whenever wisdom talks open up.

    So I couldn’t hold myself by saying that we ShouldN’T Let Go.

    Firstly, let me establish a support by a saying from Rumi(A Persian Muslim poet from 13 century) :
    “God turns you from one feeling to another and teaches by means of opposites, so that you will have two wings to fly, not one.”

    Whenever, I examine the essence of this expression it gives me lot of nerve for invasion. God made me with a purpose-A purpose to fly and there is an expedition to fly. “Every moment was rewarding” (let it be cheerful or bereavement). When I flew higher in the life, I saw not only the world below me was colorful, even my wings were getting colored. I was encircled with other colorful featured being around me and started invading further.

    There was a need involved for any invasion and nature made the whole thing hard to reach. Some great beings never accepted their defeat and invented many things (materialistic/relationships/etc). If we don’t enjoy these stuff then what’s the fun of this voyage.

    Finally, what’s the difference between living and dead?


  3. Like trees, we need to build firm roots yet we should be flexible to swing with the breeze. I guess only then we can LIVE LIFE.

    #NowPlaying Right now I feel.. Just Like a leaf on a breeze... Who knows where its blowing.. Who knows where its going....

  4. Hi Dinesh,
    Wonderful perspective indeed! and I liked the analogy that you have explained so beautifully. I partially agree with you on the aspect that we shouldn’t "let go". Sometimes we hold on to somebody or something only to realize at the fag end that it was not meant to be that way it is. That is the reason I have discreetly mentioned "sometimes" and not "every time" that we need to let go and be flexible to adapt to new relationships and new life that awaits us. Hence all I mean by this script was to know what we need to hold on and what we need to let go as Supriya has rightly summarized :-). For all I have strongly realized one thing that- It requires greater strength and character to let go than to hold to people or thing that we cherish the most.


  5. Hi Srujana,

    I agree with your explanation but my comments were slightly different.

    Let me illustrate my comments in further, with two set of emotions:

    First group: Happiness, Love, Confidence, Optimistic, Enthusiasm, Appreciated/Appreciating, Gratitude, Trust, Optimistic, etc

    Second group: Sad, Fear, Worried, Anger, Guilt, depression, Jealousy, Anxiety, Frustration, etc

    If you enjoy the first set of emotions more, then more you feel living.

    In the second set, there are actions involved for all emotions it could be “Let go” or “Shouldn’t Let Go”.

    In the “Let Go” situations people will forgive fully and try to forget whatever has happened. They never gain any payback.

    But in the “Shouldn’t Let Go” situations either person acts positively to overcome these feelings or negatively to destroy everything. If he acts positively then builds better esteem in himself. If he acts negatively then loses whatever he encompasses.

    For example: Sad because of bad appraisal – Forget about the appraisal and continue same way of working(Let Go)
    Take the feedback and act to build confidence in your Superior (positive way)
    Brawl against the your superior without receiving the feedback and try to prove your capability(negative way).

    It’s up to the individual to chose the “Let Go” or “Shouldn’t Let Go – Act positively” or “Shouldn’t Let Go – Act Negatively”


  6. Interesting Perspective!
    I think we are coming to same point, let me try to clarify my stance as lucidly as you do:-)….

    For instance about your example of the bird: while the bird has a purpose to fly, if it encounters any mountain/storm in its path and it becomes rigid in making its way by piercing the mountains/weathering the storms, it may get squashed and trashed. The only objective of this bird should be to enjoy its journey and reach its desired destination. So it may be in the best interest of the bird to “let go” of rigidity of that route and choose another comfortable route. So the bird in this case should be wise enough to know what to “hold on” (destination, pleasant journey) and what to let go (predetermined route/path).

    Similarly in case of bad appraisal or good appraisal; Instead of basing our happiness or sorrows on the set rating criteria which is relative in the context of the company, it would be better to set our happiness and sorrows on our own internal standards; as per me it is “ how better I am today than what I was yesterday”. This is because when we base our happiness on these external factors like ratings/ appraisals etc, we may get good ratings however we may still not be happy because we may not get the expected hike. Even if we get the hike, we may not get the expected promotion. Even if we get the promotion we may still not be happy because our competitor has also got the promotion etc. So if we base our happiness on these external factors on which we cannot exercise full control we may always be unhappy and dissatisfied, rather I feel the truly happy person is the one who “Lets go” of the rigidity of controlling these external factors and “holds on” to the internal pursuit of improving only one thing that he truly has control on -----“Himself” and the good results will automatically follow.

    Having written this I don’t claim that I have attained these great virtues, I am still a lesser mortal trying to conquer my own insecurities and weakness, however I would want to attain these virtues someday.

  7. Hi Again,

    Yes, our views are equivalent but this topic is so interesting for me that I can’t go away without updating my perception. So sorry, I would like to add one more comment on this :-) and nothing against your beliefs.

    In summary:

    Your Views: Be flexible enough to change your desires or paths and ignore the past feelings (yesterdays dreadful days)

    My views: Hold your desires; work on the past failures in constructive way to build a safe path

    So as I said in previous comments, it’s up to an individual to choose his own destiny. There is nothing wrong to change the trail or follow the same.

    Moving forward with same examples, the bird could change a pathway or try to take some safe haven and continue in the same pathway when the tides are low. In further, if the bird chooses different path without knowing possible treats then there could be same amount of risk carried in different path. So there is some amount of preparations or lessons learnt with past experience.

    And with respect to ratings, hike and promotions, we may set our standards of living and try to enjoy whatever is present. But if we have higher desires then we need to understand what are the bits and pieces needs to be cracked --- like higher qualification, better soft skills, greater involvement with management, etc. So if we try to compare with others then compare for the approach/attitude which others outsmart us.

    And finally every person is unique. So never try to mourn with the past failures or behaviors. Confront with better way of breathing (as you said “How better I am Today than what I was Yesterday”)


  8. Hi Dinesh,
    Thought provoking perspectives again!
    Please don’t be sorry for putting forth your points and perspectives. I look forward for different perspectives because we can never learn anything from people who completely agree with us all the time.
    In context to your comment I don’t believe in letting go of the desires. All I believe in is knowing what we can control /change and holding on to that and knowing what we can’t control/ change and letting go of waste efforts to do so. That is the reason I say life is a healthy blend of “Letting go and holding on”:-)

  9. Hey, lets catch up on this .. very gud vocab, flow n structure :)

    very nice read, Srujana :)

  10. :):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):)

    Hai Srujana,

    Perfect!!! I agree with your rationale.

    But when we try to discriminate between “holding” and “leaving” we try to bias towards accepting the failures for the tasks we find it difficult to do. And these are the tasks what we term impossible.

    Equally in case of human values we try to ignore the lessons learnt with the incident/person.

    So when we try to hold these displeasures then we build very strong attitude of dazzling diamond. And it’s not important that results should be accomplished for whatever we clasp because certain outcome may take seconds or generation together.

    In simple examples: Mohammed Ghazni invading India for 18 times or Thomas Edison fails 10000 times.

    As ending quote for this comment, I would say
    “There is nothing called impossible only when try from the bottom of our heart. So never let it go.”

    Cheers to your receptivity,