It was April 2009. I was returning from Delhi by flight with a monk of the RamaKrishna Mission sitting next to me and a journalist from the US sitting on the third seat . The journalist started interviewing the monk as planned earlier.
Journalist - Sir , in your last lecture, you told us about Jogajog ( contact ) & Sanjog (connection ). It's really confusing. Can you explain ?
The Monk smiled and apparently deviating from the question asked the journalist: Are you from New York?
Journalist - Yeh...
Monk - 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 married..."
The Monk, with a smile on his face, asked again: - "Do you talk to your father?"
The journalist looked visibly annoyed...
The Monk - "When did you talk to him last?"
The journalist, supressing his annoyance said: "May be a month ago."
The Monk: "Do you brothers and sisters meet often ? When did you meet last as a family gathering?"
At this point, I saw sweat on the forehead ok the journalist. I wondered who was conducting the interview, the Monk or the Journalist. It seemed that the Monk was interviewing 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) said : "Three days..."
Monk: "How much time did you spend with your Father, sitting right beside him ?"
I saw the journalist looking perplexed and embarassed and scribbling something on a paper...
The Monk: "Did you have breakfast, 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 drops of tears coming out from the eyes of the journalist.
The Monk held the hand of the journalist and said: "Don't be embrassed, 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 and caring for each other; touching, shaking hands, having eye contact, spending some time together...You brothers and sisters have 'contact' 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 or in the society everybody has lots of contacts but there is no connection. No communication .... Everybody is in his or her own world.
Let us not maintain just "contacts" but let us remain "connected"; caring, sharing and spending time with all our dear ones.