“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.”
― Jalaluddin Rumi
‘We each possess within ourselves not only the answer to our own problems but the potential to live our lives on a much higher level than we currently imagine possible.’
– Lama Yeshe
Coming back to my initial intention for this last trip to India, I can say that it has the flavor of a pilgrimage, not just a random, usual get-away or touristic trip but rather something that changed my perception about world. Time flies so fast and when I look back, four months ago, seated in this same room, at home – I had a lot of doubts and fears about this trip. I was waiting for it for so long! With the passing of time I have realized that I will never feel prepared enough for India and had to just go for it, surpass this feeling of uncertainty that pushed me backward and just go with the flow. So I left and decided to give up all my expectations and just embrace whatever will be there to experience.
And so it happened that I slowly felt in love with this crazy place called India. From its southernmost extremity – Thiruvananthapuram – up to the old Himalayas, in McLeod Ganj, Dharamsala, I have explored and experienced with all my senses the most culturally diverse country I have been traveling to so far. I can honestly say it became my home and its people my own family. This article represents just a short outline of my search of moral and spiritual significance.
It is a true fact that people from all over the world come to India in a spiritual and mystical quest. We live in a continuous change and the capitalist and materialist tendencies make this quest grow even more. People with different backgrounds and wakes of life flock to discover the traditional Indian way of life that has thrived and flourished for ages. Of course, one that is on this search will be astounded with the number of paths, books and theories on one hand and spiritual leaders, gurus and saints on the other – all that shared their part delivering a message of peace, brotherhood or quest to inner exploration.
Take Bhagavad-Gita as an example of an ancient and very much respected Hindu scripture described by Herman Hesse as a ‘beautiful revelation of life’s wisdom which has made philosophy blossom into religion’. It is the sealing achievement of the Hindu Synthesis, incorporating various religious traditions. It also beautifully describes yoga as the science of the individual consciousness attaining communion with the ultimate consciousness. You are on the path to attain this ultimate consciousness:
‘When you have overcome the delusions of your understanding sprung from self-centred attachment. Then you attain a state of indifference towards all the past experiences and the others yet to be had’.
Thus, through its broad religious influence, meditation, yoga, ayurveda and philosophy, India still sets an example in spreading the message of compassion, harmony and wholeness for the entire world. Here, all that exists in the universe is perceived as the ultimate manifestation of God. Generally speaking, the people here have a great respect for all living beings, as well as for nature and all its elements. This sacredness combined with a positive and healthy lifestyle provides an ideal harmonization of the spirituality and religiosity and represents a never-ending journey to develop one’s own consciousness.
In this light and out of my own experience I have to admit that this short pilgrimage has changed me a lot. One of the most precious souvenir that I brought with me from India is the exercise of mastering my own mind and to have the courage to face the fear within, to accept it, express it and transcend it. We often forget that our mind is our true home. That wherever we go, it accompanies us. So often we feel lost, we feel empty or missing something or someone. There is always a lack and a quest for happiness that comes from the exterior as we fear to face our own selves. We are so much satisfied with theories or practices that promise to make us happy that we forget we are strangers to this ‘I’ we often mention. We are slaves to our minds! Who chooses then when you should feel joy, misery, sadness or excitement if not you, through your mind? Joy is always within you, and once you will discover that the true happiness comes from the inside you will want to change the patterns of your mind – as the only thing you can actually change.
One of the most incredible memories of this trip is when I met the Dalai Lama. His energy was so powerful and as he was spreading compassion and love just by his gentle look – ( and then I understood the real meaning of the saying that the eyes are the mirror of the soul) instantly tears started coming out of my eyes and I felt such a deep peace and joy that I almost felt I want to explode. I then came to better understand that he is the true embodiment of his teachings!
‘Whether we are eating, sleeping or doing business, we should constantly check our intentions, check our body, speech, mind and actions for even the subtlest negativity’.
I believe it is such a precious gift we are offering to ourselves when we create this space and we try to understand our own nature as well as recognize our false conceptions and mistaken actions. Therefore, take a pause before judging, before getting angry or showing any kind of negative emotion. Be in control of yourself and each day you will feel more peaceful and joyous.
All in all, I can only bow my head to all of you that have crossed my path, accompanied or showed me the way in this crazy labyrinth called life. I am grateful for each and every moment of this journey and will keep them all in a warm and safe place in my heart. There is one thing I am sure of – that I will be back one day. I have received so much and time will come for me to give back to the world!