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Family Life

By Sadhguru Email By Sadhguru
February 2013
Family Life

It is about partnership, not dependence.

Once at a family dinner, Shankaran Pillai announced that he was going to get married. Everybody asked, “Who? Who are you going to marry?” So Shankaran Pillai said, “I am going to marry Lucy from our neighborhood.” The father said, “What? You are going to marry that lousy Lucy? We don’t even know her parentage.” His mother said, “What? You’re going to marry that lousy Lucy? She has no inheritance.” The uncle said, “What? You’re going to marry that lousy Lucy? She has such lousy hair.” The aunt chipped in and said, “What? You’re going to marry that lousy Lucy? She wears such terrible makeup she looks like a street woman.” The little nephew also did his bit. He said “What? You’re going to marry that lousy Lucy? She doesn’t know anything about cricket.” Shankaran Pillai stood his ground and said, “Yes I am going to marry Lucy because there is one big advantage.” “What is it?” they all asked. He said, “She has no family.”

So family is beautiful only when it operates in a certain way. Otherwise it can become the most terrible thing. A family does not mean dependence; it is a certain partnership that you formed. Partnerships are relevant only when both the people are willing and they are going in a certain direction together. If both the partners are constantly concerned about each other’s well-being, then partnership is meaningful. If it is all about you, either in terms of family or in terms of profession or in terms of spirituality—whichever way—then partnership is irrelevant for such a person. If you stay together you will create a big mess for both the people. You do not stay in a family because of duty; you stay in a family because there is a bond of love that you have formed. If there is a bond of love nobody needs to tell you what to do and what not to do: you will do what is needed.

Just because you formed a bond of love with somebody or a group of people does not mean you should not aspire for big things in your life. The best thing that you can do to people around you is to make yourself in the greatest possible way a human being can be. You must pursue that. The more you evolve, the more you contribute to people around. If people do not understand this, they think the only way they can have you is when you are stuck on the same level as they are stuck on, with the same limitations and the same problems, and they think you should not seek freedom beyond that. If this is the case, then that is not a family; that is a mafia. If you are running a mafia of how to extract the best from each other, that is not a family. How to give the best to each other—that is a family. If that is not there, there is no family, so there is no question of breaking it.

Every human being should naturally aspire for the highest possible potential that he can reach in his life because that is the greatest contribution he can make to life around him. If you keep yourself limited, that is not a contribution, not just for your life, for everybody. If you are in a certain state of well-being, wisdom, and blissfulness, if you are in the highest possible way that you could be, that is the best thing you can do to all the people around you. That will not happen without striving and without some sacrifice; and sacrifice is not a sacrifice. Only when you have no love for each other, it is a sacrifice. If there is love for each other, to forgo something for another person’s well-being is a privilege.

INNER ENGINEERING, a special 3-day course conducted personally by Sadhguru will be offered in Atlanta on April 19 to 21, at the Georgia International Convention Center in College Park. To register or for more information, please visit or email or call 678-390-ISHA.


Named one of India’s 50 most influential people, Sadhguru speaks before millions annually around the globe, including to prominent leadership forums such as the United Nations, the World Economic Forum, TED, and the World Peace Congress. From ground-breaking yoga programs to projects for rural communities and the environment, Sadhguru’s Isha Foundation (, serves as a thriving model for human empowerment, which is reflected in the Foundation’s special consultative status with the UN.


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