Going Back to the Ancestors – What Does It Hold For You?

by Jayita Bhattacharjee

If you want to know yourself, then know your ancestors first. You come from a long line of healers, singers, dancers, painters, artists. You may be a descendent of very powerful visionaries. Their ancient knowledge resonates until today, deep in your marrow. 

You had ancestors who lived at one time and were probably scattered all over the globe. Despite the fact that you are unaware of the specifics of who they are, or where they lived and what they did—still the fact is that they lived in a time and age when they were in touch with the earth and sky, herbs and plants. They were tree lovers and tree huggers. They spoke to the animals and danced in the rain, knowing that too held a thousand wonders. They lived in an age when the knowledge of the body, mind and soul was something sought for.

Your ancestors lived in a time when there was sense of reverence for this earth. They lived in a way so they could speak to the trees while resting beneath their shade, and touched the smiling flowers. They walked barefooted just to feel the ground, to listen to the music rising from the ancient earth. They lived in a close connection with this universe, and the closer they came, the closer they felt the heartbeat of life. In this age where we live, many of us ache for those ancient days, longing for the wisdom that seems so inaccessible to us, as life now is very much denatured while we are constantly running in the faster lanes of life. 

The lack of this commonplace wisdom has led to a longing inside us and we yearn to feel that lost connection again, that sense, which is lost in today’s high tech, high speed age. The desire to listen to the music of earth has fallen between the cracks. How unrecalled is the need to feel the beat of life in the most raw, real and primal manner; For those who have this hunger, this search for a deeper meaning, for them, the seeking has pulled some ancestral findings, so they can  seek reverence and wisdom. You got to find your roots to know where you descended from, who they were, trace their life story, their thought patterns. As that speaks much about your past. Without your ancestors you have no history, and without history you are a homeless, rootless person, a wanderer, in search of something: in search of a home. That creates a major part of your identity and is integral to your selfhood. Your ancestry defines your existence.                                            

Know your ancestors first, go back to them as they are your roots, your origin. In such a return you will find yourself grounded and anchored. From them you descended, and their thought patterns are running in every cell of your body. They left their spiritual imprints as they came before you, in the bloodline. And what they left, resonates more powerfully than any other way of being or loving.

There are ways to connect with our ancestry. If any of the ancestors have left written records, their stories will give plethora of insights into your own life and may even carry you through the joyful and challenging phases of your life. They contribute hugely to your distinctiveness. Anything written from them will give you a meaningful insight into who these people were, from whom you descended. The biographical sketches and the oral histories of your ancestors might give you an insight into what life was like for your ancestor. So, they might shed a light on some of the baffling mysteries in your life. You may think that your life began the moment you took your first breath, but in reality, your life began thousands of years ago, when your ancestors came on this earth.

There is a connection we have with our ancestors whether we are aware or unaware of it—first or second or more generations back, and how the emotional traits are handed down within our family lineage—the spirit of life, the optimism, pessimism, the harshness, tenderness, the savage nature or the kindness. Every bit of grit came from them to us. This is monumental, as every trait is transmitted and carried from one generation to another. When we are wondering why we react or behave in a particular manner, we often ignore who we descended from. But every living being has a root, an origin, an ancestor whose life story we are not always much interested in. 

Without their life story, we cannot have a well-defined life story of our own in the first place. Not knowing what or who preceded us does not offer a comprehensive explanation as to how and from where we inherited those emotional traits that shape us into who we are today. Just like a tree has its roots, we too have ours. We cannot choose to ignore them. Ignoring them is ignoring a part of us, defying our historical existence, from where we fell upon this earth and received this gift of life. Wonderment comes from history, from people and events of a bygone era. It is a compelling duty to learn them, study them, and to feel them, transporting our own selves to those times when they lived. In the process we will learn to feel ourselves, to analyze and justify why we feel the way we do. The same traits have been streaming like the rapid rush of a river that has been flowing and gurgling from one generation to another.

It would only be right to honor our ancestors. When we find emotionally disconnected, unstable or dysfunctional, it becomes necessary to search into the lineage so we can trace our ancestors and know their mindsets, their emotional traits, if they were emotionally happy and healthy or if any of them were dysfunctional. By understanding them, we understand us. What was not making sense before comes into clarity and while narrating our own tales, our own emotions, everything comes to light. Things make perfect sense in our head. 

We do not feel so rootless anymore. Rather we are relieved, and we no longer wander in search of answers. As long as we keep roaming, we are restless, wrestling with our own selves. When we know our roots, the wandering soul finds a home. We find meaning, solidity, an imprinted impression in our hearts. The dawn cracks, finally.

Quite naturally, we are packed by those traits that were seen in our ancestors—the good and bad, the beauty and the dross. Much rolls from them with the passage of time into us. And from there, our words get imprinted on every page. The narrative keeps on flowing again without a hitch, a pause as you now know the history that was left behind in the times of your forerunners. The mystery gets unveiled as you dig into all those centuries back, when your ancestors were living in the light of ancient times. How beautifully your self-narrative unwinds, as when you go back in time, it is then that your story unfolds. 

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Jayita Bhattacharjee was born in Calcutta, India, later studied Economics at the University of Houston in Economics and had chosen her career as a trustee and teacher. Her Indian residence is in the vicinity of the famous Belurmath. Currently, she is settled in Tampa, Florida. Her books The Ecstatic Dance of Life, Sacred Sanctuary, Light of Consciousness and Dewdrops of Compassion are among several that she has authored. It was a calling of her soul to write with the ink that kept flowing from her heart. This is what gave her the fulfillment and richness in her heart to shed light on what guides a person to respond to the mystical voice hidden inside, and to soar in a boundless expansion with the limitless freedom of spirit.

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