In the material world where we focus on goals like financial growth, better health, professional growth and success, let’s also add one for our relationships.
The year was 1990. I was returning from Delhi by flight with a monk of the RamaKrishna Mission. A journalist from Chile was there with us . He started interviewing the monk, as had been decided earlier.
Journalist – Dear Sir , in your last lecture, you told about Jogajog (contact) & Sanjog (connection ). It’s really confusing. Can you explain it to me ?
The Monk smiled a little but apparently deviating from the question, he asked the journalist: Are you from Chile ?
Journalist( J ) – Yeh…
Monk ( M ) – Who are there at home ?
The Journalist felt that the Monk was trying to avoid answering his question since this was a very personal and unwarranted question. Yet the journalist said: “Mother has expired. Father is there. Three brothers and one sister. All are married…”
The Monk, a smile on his face, asked next: – “Do you talk to your father?” Now the journalist looked visibly annoyed…
The Monk – “When did you talk to him last?”
The journalist suppressing his annoyance said: “May be a month back.”
The Monk: “Do you brothers and sisters meet often ? When did you last meet as a family together?”
At this point, I saw sweat on the journalist’s fore head. I wondered who was taking whose interview. It seemed that the Monk was taking the interview of the journalist.
With a sigh , the journalist said: “We met last at Christmas two years ago.”
The Monk: ” How many days did you all stay together ?”
The journalist ( wiping the sweat on his brow) : “Three days…”
Monk: “How much time did you spend with your Father, sitting right beside him ?”
I saw the journalist looking perplexed and embarrassed and scribbling something on a paper…
The Monk: “Did you have breakfast or lunch or dinner together ? Did you ask how he was? Did you ask how his days are passing after your mother’s death ?”
I saw the journalist’s eyes sadden.
The Monk placed his hand on the journalist’s hand and said: “don’t be embrassed or upset or sad. I am sorry if I have hurt you unknowingly… But this is basically the answer to your question about “contact and connection ( jogajog and Sanjog)”. You have ‘contact’ with your father but you don’t have ‘connection’ with him. You are not connected to him.
Connection is between heart and heart… sitting together , sharing meals , caring for & hugging each other. Touch , shaking hands, having eye contact, spending some time together…Your brothers and sisters have ‘contact’ with each but you have no ‘connection’ with each other….”
The journalist wiped his eyes and said : “Thanks for teaching me a fine and unforgettable lesson”
This is the reality today. Whether at home, in society and elsewhere everybody has lots and lots of contacts but there is no connection. No communication… . Everybody is in a his or her own world.
Let’s not be well “contacted” – let’s be well “connected”, with each other …… caring , sharing , touching , hugging , spending time together with all our near and dear ones, and other co-passengers in our life travels.