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'Friendships go beyond the body, mind and heart'

January 19, 2009 17:04 IST

We had asked our readers if they had any words of wisdom or some lessons in life that they had always wanted to pass on to their children but never found the right time or opportunity to do so.

We received many such heartfelt letters written by doting parents, telling their children to be honest, truthful and upright human beings.

In the first letter in our series, reader Nitish Rai Gupta tells his daughter Tisha to always follow the right path by adhering to the four bonds of life.

My Darling daughter Tisha
Since your birth, I have seen you grow up and evolve everyday and the pleasure it gives me cannot be expressed in words. These early years of your life are the foundation that will help you build a strong skyscraper in the world, once you are ready. As your dad, I cannot help but feel anxious that am I not doing enough to help you live a full life.
Hence am taking this opportunity to pen down a few principles in life  that will help you make the right choices irrespective of what course you decide to take your life on. Use these as guidelines and I am sure they will give you confidence and faith to do the right thing.
Nature, if studied diligently, abounds with principles that can help us lead a fulfilling life in sync with it. A great example is the process that leads to the formation of diamonds.
Technically, a diamond is made of a single element -- Carbon. Years of intense pressure and hard work converts Carbon from its softer coal version to the precious diamond form. While graphite carbon atoms are bound to each other by only three bonds, in a diamond, they manage to form a fourth bond, which results in the transformation to its glittering form.
The same is true in life as well. To shine and become invaluable, you have to strive and follow the discipline of developing all four bonds. These four bonds are: Physical, Emotional, Mental and Spiritual bonds, which, if strengthened, will give you the strength and luminosity to live a full life.
a)     Physical Bond: This concerns our physical body, its material and monetary/economic needs. It includes the need for appreciation from others and other societal achievements. Taking care of this bond would mean being physically fit, being able to fulfill the basic needs for yourself and your family.
b)     Mental Bond: This can also be defined as IQ, but needs to be taken in context with knowledge, mental acumen and true education. This is what will help you keep yourself updated in your profession and solve problems.
c)     Emotional Bond: This includes the ability to form meaningful and lasting relationships as well as connecting with the society as a whole. It would include ideas about strengthening self esteem, love, appreciation and being able to keep commitments and promises.
d)     Spiritual Bond: This is the bond with God, our creator. It is also the basis of something unique to humans -- morality. It is this spiritual bond that leads to a principle-based life.
Thus, while taking any decision, keep in mind the perspective of these four bonds and ensure that none of them are broken. Inevitably, you would have done the right thing. Let me explain this with nine fundamental situations that human beings constantly find themselves.
1. When others mock you or try to drive you down, do not lose heart. Remember not to break the emotional and spiritual bond. Remind yourself that you have to shine like a diamond and not break any of the bonds. Just focus on what you have to do and things will be okay.
2. When doubt creeps in and you feel scared of others and what they will think, don't worry. Just strengthen your physical bond. Revamp your physical appearance and look like you mean business. How you look on the outside is a result of how you feel on the inside.

Let others gauge from how you look that you are indeed a diamond. This will help you put other people in proper perspective. They are also human beings and wonderful creations of God. So why be afraid of someone?
3. When you find yourself being dragged into an argument or a quarrel, strengthen your emotional bond. Think if it is worth it? Ask yourself honestly, is this really important enough to argue about and endanger the emotional bond? Remind yourself that you never gain anything from an argument but you always lose something.
4. When things are not going right and you feel defeated, have faith in the four bonds. Everyone in their lifetime has his/her share of setbacks. Look at them as a learning opportunity to strengthen your mental bond and as a path to forming a brilliant diamond. Toughest of steel goes through the hardest of fire.

Learn from your setbacks. Research them and use the knowledge to propel yourself forward. With the confidence that you are making a diamond, you will have the strength to step back and start afresh with a new approach. There is no reason why it should not work.
5. As you grow up, romance will be a critical part of your life. If you feel it is ebbing away, do not feel insecure. Look at this as an opportunity to strengthen the emotional and spiritual bonds in your life. Look at the good things in the person you want to love and  prioritise those over petty little things. Do something special for him and do it often. This will form a strong emotional bond between you two and help you to live a complete life.
6. When your progress in your job is slowing down, don't worry. Strengthen your mental, emotional and spiritual bond with your organisation. Think 'I can do better'. When you think that, ways to do your work better will appear. It will draw on your innate strengths and switch on your creative powers. Strengthen the spiritual bond by putting service first. Other things like money will take care of itself.
7. As a parent, if things are not going right with your family, step back and think what is really bothering you. Is it the fact that your kids are not making the right choices or is it that they are not helping you fulfill your incomplete desires.

Forcing them to make choices to live a life that actually 'you' want is breaking the emotional bond that your children place in you. You need to encourage them and enable them to achieve their true potential.

On the other hand, if they are fundamentally on the wrong path, then you are duty bound to show this fact to them and try to understand why they are choosing that path. You have to tell them how they should act, rather than just snubbing and grounding them. This route might consume a lot of time and effort on your part, but it will definitely  strengthen your emotional bond with your children.
8. When you feel lazy to exercise or get tempted to feast on junk food, think of its long-term implications. Doing this is actually having a direct impact on your physical bond which will prevent you from achieving your true potential and becoming a diamond. Just making that bit of extra effort to go for the 30 minute jog or to resist the temptation to eat that piece of burger will not only make you healthy but will also give you confidence in yourself
9. Finally, I have a question for you. Would you do something like badmouthing your friend if you knew with absolute surety that no one would ever come to know and there would be absolutely no harm to anyone at all?

One school of though might say that it is perfectly fine to do so in this scenario, But you will break the spiritual bond that you have with your friend.

Your friend has placed his/her trust in you even if he or she might not be able to know everything that you do or say. Your friendships go beyond the body, mind and heart. It goes to the fourth critical dimension -- the soul. Thus remaining faithful to your friends and family is a critical element to elevate your spiritual connection with them.
I sincerely hope that these principles help you make the right choices in life, wherever destiny takes you. And you must remember, no matter what, your mamma and papa are always there for you.
Papa dearest!

Like Jawaharlal Nehru and Barack Obama, would you like to write to your children? Send us the letter, to, and we will publish it in our pages!

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