Updated: Jun 17, 2020
Dilemma of fulfilling other's expectations. How far one should go?
Seven years ago I was the seed of Bodhi Tree. A seed which you can hold in your hand. A seed which you can throw away if you want to. A seed which you can bounce around and play. A seed which initially wasn't ready to lose itself in the darkness of the fertile ground to become a Tree. A seed which had ego and who thought of itself as a separate existence. Separate from all of you and separate from divine. For a long time this seed remained just a seed and nothing good happened to it. Anyone could hold it or leave it. Finally, the seed realized this is not who I am, this is not the full expression of who I am, this is not how it could be and this is not how it should be. And if I want to find who I am, at first I have to lose my ego and have to surrender to the darkness of this fertile ground, to the spiritual sadhana. I did that. Seven years ago, I buried myself deep into the fertile ground. The fertile ground started poking me, peeling me, breaking me, changing me, and time to time my remaining ego kept on surfacing up the ground. Whenever it surfaced, I met you, you and many of you who again showed me that I am just that small tiny seed or at max a sprout which can be twisted, turned and broken very easily.
Whenever that ego took pride in the growth and said, oh I am a young sprout now, right then and there came you, you and you like the storm and broke those only two leaves which I had, bent the soft, small trunk that I had and life shattered the remaining ego. By and by I kept losing my ego, aham, the feeling that says "I AM". By and by I became a perfect Sanyasi, a renunciate for whom the world doesn't exists, because I AM was dissolving to stop perceiving the world.
After five years of such grinding that "I AM" was dead, the Ego was gone completely. And in the process that seed became a huge Bodhi Tree. Such a huge tree now that hundreds of people can sit in its shade. Now you, you and you cannot hold it in your hand, because it is no longer that tiny seed. You can't even hold any part of it. You can't comprehend it's humongous-ness because it has spread more below the ground than it is visible to your eyes above the ground.
Those of you who still think I am that "seed", those of you who still can't see the Bodhi Tree that I have become, are blind. Your ego, your attachment within is blinding you. You are still trying to hold it, assuming it is the same seed you held once then you are wasting your life, your life energy.
Many of you are still only seeing that sheath, that cover, that body that the seed had and being ignorant of the reality. A seed is a seed and a tree is a tree. You are not able to see and accept the "transformation of a seed into a tree" what can be done?
You are happy being blind, being ignorant, no one can help.
The Bodhi Tree - Guru
Above, I have told you my story first. To help you understand that Human Gurus have lived in the same world as you (Spiritual Seekers) are living. They have had human parents and relationships full of love, attachment and/or hatred with other humans.
They were once controlled by Vasanas (Chitta-Vritti, past impressions, Sanskaras) like you are now. And there are many people in Guru's lifetime who do not see or accept him or her as a Guru. Such people are still wearing the glasses of their attachments or hatred (Raga or Dwesha) on their eyes. Their vision is impure. They see the Guru as a human encased in the frame of relationship that they once held with him or her. And hence they expect the same behaviour, a similar outcome from the "connection" that they once had.
It's like how Ram wasn't an Avatar, a Guru for his own father and hundreds and thousands of people around him. After all, there was One Ram in Treta Yuga, rest were normal humans. It's like how Krishna was nothing more than a trickster, prankster, wizard, lover-boy for all those who wanted to fight him or love him. Despite giving Geeta-Upadesha to entire Universe and being the Ultimate Guru, there were Duryodhan, Dushshaasan and hundreds of thousands of other people who remained "blind" to who he was. Who didn't want to see who he was? You think those people would have behaved the same way if they would have realized the reality of Krishna. It was the same story for Jesus. Except for 12 apostles and few others, rest remained oblivious to the reality of who he was and crucified him. It was the same story with Meera, Kabir, Shirdi Sai Baba, Guru Nanak, Guru Lahiri Mahasaya, Yogananda, Ramakrishna, Anandamayi Ma, Buddha and all the other Gurus.
So people are blind to "reality as it is". There were thousands who had seen Ram, Krishna, Meera, Jesus, Yogananda, Anandamayi Ma and all Gurus being born, playing around, having relationships, being a brother, sister, lover, parents, spouse and finally Transforming into a Bodhi Tree. Yet, hundreds and thousands failed to see that Transformation and accept it.
The point is whether you are seeker (a seed in the fertile ground) or you are a Guru (Bodhi Tree) there will always be people around you who will "fail to see and accept the transformation" in you.
Now, you ask "which expectation of others can I fulfil and which ones I can drop"?
You have 3 things to understand here:
1. Mamakara - This is your "field" of understanding of who you are and this keeps changing with speed when you are on the spiritual path. You are a father, mother, friend, spouse, lover, brother, sister all your identities keeps on dissolving one by one. When you are Enlightened/Self-Realized then nothing remains in this "field". After some time a Guru arises in this field. Just the Guru! No one else.
2. Ahamkara/Ego/I-Maker - This is your "field of extension of you". Means who you think as yourself through your Mamakara is extended, projected onto others and this projection is called as Ahamkara. As a spiritual seeker, the projection/ego is decreasing with speed, because your Mamakara, your understanding of all that "you are" and "you are not" is changing. When your Mamakara said "I am a Lover, a Friend, a Mother, A Daughter", then you Projected yourself as a Lover, a Friend, a Mother, a Daughter onto other people. Then others means your lover, friend, child, parent responded and behaved accordingly. But slowly your identities dissolve. You are left with nothing, so your Ahamkara/Ego can't be projected as a lover, friend, mother or anything else. When your Mamakara has ONLY ONE FACE, ONE NEWBORN IDENTITY AS A GURU then your Ahamkara/Ego will be projected to others ONLY AS A GURU and nothing else. All relationships, connections are LOST. As a seeker when you are on the path of losing your identities then you cannot "fulfil the expectation of others for the identities that you have lost". It is not our job to force others to evolve with us. If they are not evolving it's their path, their problem. You do not have to fulfil other's expectations of you in any way.
Fulfilling responsibility is different than playing on or fulfilling other's expectations. Do not confuse between the two.
Now, Bodhi Tree can't just vanish and be a seed again because others cannot see or accept it's existence as a Bodhi Tree. Ram, Krishna, Jesus, Meera, Shirdi Sai Baba, Yogananda, Buddha, Anandamayi ma or I cannot go back and be the old self, or something else if the relatives, friends and people around "fail to see and accept" the transformation.
3. Anyakara - Other's expectation or view of "who you are". This is the field where you hold an image of how others see you. People can see you as a seed forever, they can see you as a woman or a man or a friend or a lover or a spouse or a child or whatever. How other's see you is their problem not yours. You do not have to play by the Anyakara, means other's expectation of who you are.
You can drop it right away. I did that.
There is nothing wrong in a Seed becoming a Tree which can provide shade to hundreds of people. Should that tree be guilty of being a tree? No, not at all.
People need to "break their attachment" and you can't compensate for it for long. And in such cases "words" are not needed at all, means you can't explain all this to those who are blinded by their attachments. If they could "see their attachment" and "know the suffering that it causes" then they would have broken it. Won't you pull out the thorn if you see it and realize the pain it is giving you? So only action works as actions speak louder than words.
Moving away, cutting-off from such people is the right thing to do.
As a Self-Realized being, I cannot play or fulfil other's expectation as anything else but Guru. The Guru is not bound by the Anyakara, Mamakara or Ahamkara at all. Means I am not bound by other's views or thoughts of "who I am" because a Self-Realized being's Mamakara is not a personal/individual field anymore. That boundary is dissolved, that field is whole divine cosmos, that Guru is the Divine Cosmos itself. Guru can't respond to anyone's blind attachment and their behaviour instead can only respond to genuine intentions of a Disciple/Student.
Similarly, as a Spiritual Seeker, you are not bound by Anyakara, you can drop it, break it, leave such people, relationships and move on. Those people have no idea who you are to become and how you will be helping others, even those blind attached ones. They have no idea about that. So leave it for now! No justification, explanation you need to give to anyone else for doing this.
It is like what parents do; is beyond a child's understanding for decades; until he or she becomes a parent himself or herself.
May you be a Bodhi Tree!