When you have nowhere else to go, when you have tried everything else__and nothing has worked__it is time to go within! The journey within is not one that most of us seeks willfully or gleefully. Sometimes, we are forced into it by Life. The Bible says that God instructed Abraham to “go forth” – to leave his father’s home, to depart from the unknown and go forward. Interestingly, the literal translation of the words in the Bible, ‘lech le’cha’, is “to go inside”. It is only after going inward, seeking within, that we discover the “key to the kingdom”!
My own inward journey happened after a series of blunders I made in the material world, and perhaps, out of an unsolicited moment of awakening! Years ago, on my office door, I had stuck a little yellow sign that read ‘Seek Within and Ye Shall Find’. I vaguely that knew the phrase had a Biblical connotation. But I didn’t bother to check or learn more. I simply purchased it from the bookstore where I found it and stuck it on my office door. At that time I led a team of 40 and the sign, I believed foolishly then, was to signal to my team members that I was Mr.Know All and they should never hesitate to walk in and seek clarification or approval. Those were the heydays of my ego trip as I was to realize later. In a few years after that, my business came down crashing like a pack of cards and I soon found that every effort I made to resurrect my tottering Firm was coming a cropper. Past the phase of temple visits, worships and rituals, wearing stones and rings, following vaastu and feng shui, I leaned on mouna – a practice of observing silence periods. mouna did not make my problems go away. But it sure gave me inner strength to deal with them. One day, in 2007, as one of, among the last few, my team members was leaving my Firm, I stood alone in my empty office (the support staff too had left for the day) and was reminiscing on how much things had changed. What used to house over 25 team members was on that day people-less. I was alone in that office at that time. Yet I was not grieving. I was not filled with sorrow. I was in fact at peace with my new, though extremely painful, reality. At that precise moment, I paused to reflect on the signage on my office door. Then, as if it was a Eureka moment, the signage made profound sense to me. I realized that the larger reason why me and my Firm were subjected to such disruptive change was to force me to go within, and to discover the higher purpose of my creation. I smiled to myself, locked up my office and left for home.
The truth and essence of Life, including the God we desperately seek, is within. There are possibly many ways to go within. Some are even well-advertised methods! But the destination for everyone is the same. All roads, methods, paths, ways, lead to the same home – within! The reason why we first think this to be mumbo-jumbo or initially believe “it is not for me” is because we are forever seeking outside. Just look at yourself. Look around you. All the wants that you and the people you know, and they people they know, are chasing are outside of us. Someone wants a new car, or a new house, or a new job, or a new spouse, or a new laptop, or something or the other __ hoping that by attaining it, happiness will prevail. However, no one has been happy by either chasing or achieving wants. The seeking outside has never rendered anyone peaceful and happy. At the same time, those that have sought within, have had no more need for the pursuit outside, have had no more wants and have already learned to be happy despite their circumstances.
Instead of spending a whole Life in vain, seeking outside and finding only impermanent and unfulfilling wants, when Life’s situations seem to check-mate you, simply accept them and make the pilgrimage within. For it is only within that you will find peace that is lasting, joy that is total, and bliss that is enduring!