By Punya Srivastava April 2013 There is perhaps no concept in love as thrilling as that of a soul mate – the one person who we are meant to love and live with lifetime after lifetime. Do soul mates really exist, and if so how can we attract them, asks Punya Srivastava We all have grown up fantasizing about that one person who will enter into our lives to complete us, fitting like that last piece of a jigsaw puzzle. Girls moon about their Prince Charming, and boys over their dream girl. A few of us get lucky enough to find that someone special, while many complete their life journey still yearning. They might have found their mates, but not their soul mates. What then, is the difference between a mate and a soul mate? “The one who covers the distance from the other side to beside, I can say, is a soul mate,” says Bhumika Thakkar, solution designer and application engineer, in addition to being a dreamer, an amateur writer and a hard-core romantic. “A soul mate is someone who can see through my eyes and read me, and know that there has been a definite reason to everything I do, irrespective of it concerning him or not. Finding your soul mate is a quest, a longing of your soul to express something that cannot be easily explained through words to all, but well understood by that one person,” she further adds. But, on a more conscious level, the term ‘soul mate,’ singularly describes the one who helps you evolve into a better being, who meets you on the plane of deeper consciousness, and who resonates with you the most. Many believe that soul mates are two halves of a single ‘whole,’ who find their way through lifetimes to achieve union. Edgar Cayce, the noted American psychic, described a soul mate as ‘a complement to oneself.’ His son Hugh Lynn Cayce further elaborated on his father’s readings and gave his interpretation of the term, “Two souls may, in a number of incarnations, grow very close together in their pattern of spiritual evolution. These souls will need the help and assistance of each other as they evolve, and in any one incarnation, will be drawn closely together, because of their many past associations and the intricate entwining of their respective personalities.” Thus, soul mates are on a constant look out for each other throughout lifetimes. They might have shared different, but close, relationships in their many lives. This affinity for the other half goes beyond whys and hows of human domain. “Soul recognition may be immediate – a sudden feeling of familiarity, of knowing this new person in depth, far beyond what the conscious mind could know – at depths usually reserved for the most intimate family members, or even deeper than that. Intuitively knowing what to say, and how they will react. A feeling of safety and a trust far greater than could be earned in only one day or one week or one month,” writes Dr. Brian Weiss in his book, Only Love Is Real. Soul mates are people who are destined to be together, so that they can delve into deeper consciousness together, supporting, and motivating each other in their quest. Popular writer Richard Bach, famous for his spiritual fiction books like Jonathan Livingstone Seagull, Illusions, and One, defined soul mates in his bestseller, The Bridge across Forever, as ‘someone who has locks that fit our keys, and keys to fit our locks. When we feel safe enough to open the locks, our truest selves step out, and we can be completely and honestly who we are. We can be loved for who we are, and not for who we are pretending to be. Each unveils the best part of the other. No matter what else goes wrong around us, with that one person, we are safe in our own paradise’. “What we are actually looking for is a twin flame – the other half of our soul who may come to us after lifetimes. A twin flame will walk in after we have learnt all our lessons, and are ready to receive him or her in our lives. We will recognize him the moment we are ready for that journey with him,” says Dubai-based writer, novelist, and poetess Meenu Mehrotra. Yes, we need to be ready for that moment. We need to work upon ourselves to reach a level where acceptance comes easily to us, and where our minds are steered clear of doubts, fears and inhibitions, because the journey forward requires purity of mind and soul. People seek love outside, and get disappointed. Why? Because they are expecting someone else to fill that void, which can only be filled by themselves on their own. Therefore, we must first learn to go within, be acquainted with every nook and corner of our selves, learn to accept us as we are and be happy in our own space. Rumi had said, “Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” When we have accepted ourselves, and love ourselves, we are capable of loving someone else wholeheartedly. Yet, not everyone finds his or her soul mate. Some are just not destined to travel that road. This in no way means that our life renders incomplete. “There is no need to feel incomplete if one does not have a conventional ‘soul mate’, for there is a possibility that the sole purpose of the current lifetime is not about finding a soul mate. If the soul awareness has risen beyond this understanding, it is possible that the soul mate does not appear in the form of a conventional relationship, but in a different way, to explore more, learn more; it is the choosing of the soul before taking a human form,” says Anupama Dafre, a facilitator from Mumbai. As Dafre implies, the soul mate relationship may not always be romantic in nature. Some soul mates can come in the form of siblings or children or even friends. Shares Shilpa Vasudev, a Mumbai-based writer, “I am pretty sure that my mother was my soul mate because we shared a relationship of almost perfect harmony. Even when we did not talk, there was an energy between us that nourished us both.” Then, there are many who might have found their soul mates in this lifetime, only to part ways with them in due course of time. Shocking? Indeed. How can soul mates, the ones destined together, part ways after knowing that they are meant to be together? It could well be because they have learnt whatever they needed to from each other in this lifetime. Even higher than love is the imperative of growth and sometimes further growth demands a movement away from each other. Such a parting, unlike other conventional relationships, is free of drama and embitterment. Writer Richard Bach has been a living example of this instance. His relationship with actor American actor, Leslie Parrish, which fueled his book, A Bridge Across Forever, ended after 21 years of marriage. Bach had said, “When a marriage comes to an end, we are free to call it a failure. We’re also free to call it a graduation.’ What follows are interviews with four couples lucky enough to have found their soul mates. Susheel Nair and Kapila Ramakrishnan “We are together by choice, not because we are bound by marriage,” says Kapila Ramakrishnan, a past-life therapist and an animal rights activist. She, along with her husband Susheel Nair, who is also a past-life therapist as well as an entrepreneur, believes that two people may not be born as soul mates but metamorphose into soul mates, once they get to know who they themselves are. Married for over seven years, Susheel and Kapila have known each other for the last 16 years. Those nine years of friendship helped their relationship to evolve into respect and love for each other, but the real shift happened after six-seven months of their marriage in 2005. Both had high-powered jobs in Chennai, Susheel in the corporate world, and Kapila in the advertising field, and they were hardly able to see each other during the first few months of their marriage. Then one day they met Dr. Newton Kondaveti, the renowned past-life therapist, and their lives transformed considerably. “We started understanding each other much better. I would attribute our real togetherness to a chance reading of Many Lives, Many Masters by Dr. Brian Weiss, who in turn guided us to Dr. Kondaveti. After these two instances, we both actually started believing that we had a common purpose in life – to walk together on the path of deeper consciousness,” states Susheel. Kapila says that many people marry with an expectation that their partner will make them happy. “And that is where the problems start. In our case, we do not depend on each other for being happy. We came together to learn from each other, complement each other, accept each other’s attributes, absorb them, and make them a part of our individual lives,” she explains. “Also, we love and accept each other as we are, without wanting to change anything; just as you do with your friends. A successful marriage is, after all, a deeper kind of friendship,” adds Susheel. Susheel and Kapila: Bound by love They both quit their high-paying jobs in search of inner peace and satisfaction and moved to Bangalore, working in a resort amidst nature’s beauty and organizing spiritual workshops. After spending around four years in that place, one day in meditation, Susheel heard his inner voice asking him to quit his job. Deciding to check it with Kapila, he found her wanting to share some news with him. And voila! It was the same message she had received too! “That was the most defining moment for both of us as we took it as the confirmation of our new venture,” states Susheel, adding “It has been over five months since I started my restaurant and wellness place, and we both are in a happy space, living a life much better than what it was ten years
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