Live to Give
One year has flown by! On 26th June 2022, I accepted vows of lifetime renunciation (sannyasa) - my name was changed from "Sutapa Das" to "Svayam Bhagavan Keshava Swami" (or "Keshava Swami" for short). They say it's the final vow - we close all the doors of material opportunity, to clear the path to a world of unlimited possibility. My deep gratitude for the kindness and support everyone has showed me on this journey into the unknown. It's just the beginning... looking forward to many more adventures, experiences and divine encounters.
Someone asked me what my reflection was after one year in the renounced order. This is what came to mind.
The essence of spiritual life is selflessness. It runs antithetical to the selfish notions of materialistic paradigms, imprisoned in the tiny and humdrum world of “I, me and mine.” We live to give. When we embody the spirit of being concerned about others, their wellbeing, their happiness, their prosperity on all levels, then miracles happen in our own lives. When our spirit of giving comes from a deep place of care and compassion, that ‘giving’ actually becomes the energising force of our life. That’s why you see the saints tirelessly and ceaselessly giving, without any sense of fatigue or fade. When we give, not seeking appreciation, reward or anything in return, then we enter a different arena. When giving becomes an act impelled by the heart, an expression of who we are, it attracts divine energy. For the great souls, when others “take” and accept their service, they actually feel like they are being given to.
So I guess I have witnessed a glimpse of that… but of course a long way to go! If the essence of life is to give, then giving one’s very self is the ultimate aspiration. That is the vow of the sannyasi - mind, body, words, and no holding back - the world becomes their family. I’m not there, but trying to embrace that life which has opened up before me. Thank you to everyone for being so generous and accepting whatever small service we have offered. In your acceptance, I have been the greatest receiver.